Jn 14:14 / Acts 7:59; Prayer to Christ

From: Paul S. Dixon (dixonps@juno.com)
Date: Sat Feb 21 1998 - 12:36:15 EST

On Sat, 21 Feb 1998 11:25:23 EST GregStffrd@aol.com writes:
>Dear Paul,
>You wrote:
><< To be sure, the inclusion of ME here does seem forced and can
>easily be explained as a scribal adjustment, perhaps thinking of Acts
> 7:59 or perhaps his own practice of praying to Christ. >>
>That seems resonable. Particularly when praying to Christ became
>commonplace. Regarding Acts 7:59, I wonder how we should take
>EPIKALOUMENON. Should we take it as equivalent in some sense to
>PROSEUKHOMAI in Matt. 6:9 and elsewhere, or
>is it used in a sense similar to Acts 25:11, 21, 25?

The significant difference, of course, is that in Acts 25 Paul is
to Caesar on earth, while in Acts 7:55 Stephen has just been given a
glimpse of heaven where Jesus is standing at the right hand of God the
Father (Acts 7:55). Regardless, that Stephen calls upon Jesus to receive
his spirit suggests an essential equality of Jesus with God the Father
(cf. Lk 23:46 where Jesus Himself calls upon His Father in a similar
situation). It seems only if Stephen viewed God the Father and Jesus as
essentially both equally QEOS (here we go again) would he request of
Jesus the same thing Jesus requested of His Father. Otherwise, why not
imitate Jesus completely, and direct his request to the Father?

At any rate, I like Russell Van Zandt's comments which I copy and paste

I've always thought Stephen's prayer was an exceptional case because
he had just had (or was still having?) a vision or view of Jesus
"standing at the right hand of God". Since he was allowed to see
Jesus, it made sense for him to talk/pray to Jesus.
End guote.

Paul Dixon

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