The Trance of Peter

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by drfuss, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Acts 10:9-16
    "9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven."(KJV).

    The scripture says Peter fell into a trance. During the trance, Peter responds to God by saying "Not so Lord,.....". My question is: Did Peter actively respond to God? Or did Peter see himself in the trance responding to God?

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. Deacon

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    He was communicating with God, does it matter?

    We went over this very text in class last Sunday morning.
    Here are some of our observations:

    Peter was at the house of the tanner, Simon (Acts 9:43).
    Tanners by nature of their profession, were unclean to Jews.
    Tanners require salt, therefore proximity to the sea would be desirable (10:6)
    and they smell foul at times.

    Cornelius had a vision (Greek – horama)
    Peter had a trance (Greek – ekstasis)

    Peter declined to eat unclean foods three times (verse 16).

    Peter was initially confused regarding the meaning of the trance although he recognized it was from God. (vss 14,17).

    Joppa is a short days walk from Caesarea.
    Cornelius servants probably left early the next morning an arrived after noon sometime after Peter completed the trance.
    The Gentile servant men received lodging from Peter and Simon the tanner’s over that next night (see 10:28).

    God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
    Acts 10:28 NASB95

    Rob
     
  3. drfuss

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    Post deleted by drfuss.
     
    #3 drfuss, Jul 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2008
  4. drfuss

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    drfuss: I agree with Deacon, it doesn't really matter since the result is the same. However, it does matter if you are studying the life of Peter.

    Would Peter say no three times to a message from the Lord? Was the Jewish laws so overriding to Peter that he would say no to the Lord three times?

    On the other hand, if Peter saw in a trance that he said no to the Lord three times, that could just be a message to Peter as to his reluctance to accept what he was about to experience.

    Note that immediately afterwards, the Lord told him to go with the gentiles, and he did so without question; yet he questioned the Lord during or in the trance.. I know that this is just speculation, but I think Peter saying no could have been a part of the trance.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  5. Deacon

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    Could he?, Would he? Peter denied he knew Jesus three times.
    Remember the Jewish laws were based upon God's law.
    They weren't Jewish laws, they were God's laws.
    No wonder Peter was confused!

    Well I snuck ahead in the Sunday School lesson and looked at Acts 11:5

    I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, …
    NASB95

    Seems that you can have a vision within a trance.

    The Greek word for “trance” is related to our English word for “ecstasy”.
    It is translated (in many versions) by:
    trance 3 times, Acts 10:10; Acts 11:5 and Acts 22:17.
    amazement 3 times, Mark 5:42; Luke 5:26 and Acts 3:10.
    astonishment 1 time; Mark 16:8

    Rob
     
  6. drfuss

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    Deacon writes:
    "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, …
    NASB95

    Seems that you can have a vision within a trance."

    drfuss: Hmmm... A vision within a trance. Was Peter actually the third party to this vision/trance? Who knows?

    I confess; I am teaching the SBC lesson next Sunday on Acts 11. That is why I am trying to sort this out now.
     
  7. Thinkingstuff

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    God gave him a message and Peter responded. The trance was a medium of communication. Was it like the Dead Zone. I have no idea.
     
  8. Deacon

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    Soooo...
    How did your class go today?
    Did you entrance them?

    Rob
     
  9. sag38

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    Does it matter that he saw himself do these things or that he actively participated in them? The focus should be on the result. The result was that he went to the house of a Gentile and the man and his house to the Lord thus opening up the gospel to all peoples.
     
  10. drfuss

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    drfuss: The class went very well thank you, at least that is what many members said. As far as the trance/vision issue, I only made mention of it; comments here on BB helped me not to make an issue of it. I realized that the class would be less interested in the trance/vision issue than those here on BB.

    Thanks for asking.
     

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