Re: PTWCOI = the community of the STULOI

From: Trevor Nicholls (
Date: Thu Apr 25 1996 - 22:41:13 EDT

Due to mailer probs I sent this reply to Carl only, but others may be
interested in the suggestion:

Carl Conrad, replying to Shaugn Daniels, wrote:

->> "They held everything in common" from Lk's Ac
->> also would fit in here as well.
->This has always intrigued me. Others too have wondered whether this is
->historically probable. It's usually referred to as "primitive communism,"
->but there's no indication of shared means of production, only of pooled
->resources. If it really existed, we have to read a lot between the lines.
->Another possibility is that the apparent Essene model of two social levels
->of participation might have been emulated. Or is it an ideal construct
->derived from OT Deuteronomic/prophetic conceptions?

This "common holding" appears to be limited to Jerusalem; I don't think
there is much hint of it in the early churches in general. Rather, the rest
of the Christian commonwealth (apposite description!) were exhorted to
contribute of their excess to the "poor saints at Jerusalem".
A suggestion I have met is that this issue arose because of the special
conditions in Jerusalem. Note references in Jn 9, 12 and 16 to the
excommunication of Christian sympathisers. (I understand that such
excommunication limited the victim's permissible contact with synagogue
members to the buying of food only. In practice, *in Jerusalem*, this
would greatly reduce the believers' ability to provide for themselves.)
Additionally, according to Acts 6, "a great company of priests" became
obedient to the faith, losing their means of livelihood as a result.

-> I find chapter 6 of Acts one of the murkiest in the
->whole book, for reasons I have stated previously and won't repeat now
->unless asked.

Please enlighten me! I'm just preparing some notes, mainly on Stephen's
speech in chapter 7, but anything interesting on chapter 6 would be both
relevant and appreciated.

          Trevor Nicholls, Development Manager, InForm Group Ltd,
                  PO Box 1444, Wellington, New Zealand.
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