A student of mine, Brian Marr, has produced a fascinating study of the literary and structural features of Acts 6-9.

One of the things that emerges from Brian’s study is the way Luke highlights parallels between Stephen and Saul, making Saul/Paul a new Stephen, destined for a future martyrdom that, like Stephen’s, will cause the gospel to expand. Brian’s structural analysis also highlights the importance of sins against the Spirit. The story of Simon trying to buy the Spirit (8:26-40) is at the center of the passage. That is a sin against the Spirit in Samaria, as Ananias and Sapphira sinned against the Spirit in Jerusalem (5:1-11) and Paul contended with Elymas in Paphros (13:4-12).

The entire paper is available in the “Downloads” on this page.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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