Spiritual manifestations in Acts

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rlvaughn, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    In the history recorded by Luke in the book of Acts, it seems Spiritual manifestations/miracles accompany the spread of the gospel throughout the Roman empire, but that they are more prominent in the early sections of the book of Acts than in the latter. A commentary I am reading quoted W. L. Knox, who wrote, "We have a steady reduction of the emphasis on the miraculous aspect of the working of the Spirit which corresponds to the development in the Pauline Epistles." (W. L. Knox, The Acts of the Apostles, Cambridge: University Press, 1948, p. 91)

    What are your thoughts on this?

    If this is so, why are the miracles/manifestations more prominent in the early part of the book of Acts that the latter part?

    Is there a corresponding element between this and Paul's claim that where there are prophecies they shall fail, where there are tongues they shall cease, etc. (I Cor. 13)?

    Does anyone have or have access to Knox's Acts of the Apostles? I'd like to understand better his finish of the statement "...which corresponds to the development in the Pauline Epistles."

    Thanks.
     
  2. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Too me it seems like Acts can be viewed as a funnel...


    Wide at the beginning, encompassing all the church... so of course there would be many miracles recorded.
    Then as you read through Acts it seems to narrow down to the acts of one apostle,.... Paul.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    You have correctly discerned that the miracle gifts or rather sign gifts were for the purpose of spreading the gospel.

    God chose this way to assure the world that the message has his approval. Much like Gods' aproval of the baptism of Jesus.

    Matt 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    You can be sure that there are no selfserving gifts. gifts from God always work to edify others. In this case these gifts edifiedthe lost so that they may see Gods' hand in the matter.

    I dont have knoxes commentary but you are on the right track.
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Tim, that seems like a good point. As the author narrows the focus there could be an attending "narrowing" of the record of spiritual manifestations. Another thought I have is that as the focus of the mission is increasingly to the Gentiles that the signs were not as important -- since it seems the Jews were the ones who were most moved by signs.
     
  5. saturneptune

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    If the miracles decreased as Acts progressed, does that mean miracles are non-existent today?
     

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