The most recent Naked Bible podcast featured some discussion of the point of the punishment of Ananias and Sapphira. I made the comment that Luke wanted readers to see a patterning contrast between others who sold something and “laid the money at the apostles’ feet” vs. what Ananias and Sapphira “laid at the apostles’ feet.” But an alert listener (hat tip to Rachel) commented on the blog in response to the episode that the incident was reflecting another pattern. Rachel referenced a University of Durham dissertation by Brian Thomas Hoch to which I’d linked some time ago. The 2010 dissertation is available online:
“The Year of Jubilee and Old Testament Ethics: A Test Case in Methodology. Doctoral thesis, Durham University
Here is page 292 — a table showing the literary and conceptual relationships (patterning) between Gen 1-3, the sin of Achan in Joshua 7, and Acts 5. (Note: I tried re-saving it in more readable orientation but it wouldn’t do it – download it and rotate it in Adobe).
You’ll want to get the dissertation at the link above and read pages 288-295 for the author’s explanation. He sees thematic continuity and connections between Adam’s sin and restoration, Achan’s sin and the restoration of Israel, and Ananias and Sapphira’s sin in the context of the new people of God (the Church) and the impending final Jubilee (the consummation of the new kingdom of God — not Israel, but a global kingdom). He writes:
It is the sin and consequence within the type-scene of a new salvation history setting that provides an application to biblical ethics. The new age of Jubilee fulfillment in Jesus Christ was marred by Ananias and Sapphira, an Adam and Eve type who stole devoted money from God. Just as Achan’s sin signaled that a new era awaited final redemption, so the sin in Acts 5 shows that, even after the resurrection, salvation history is still moving forward. The Jubilee’s influence on the biblical story, and its instruction to follow the ethics of ‘covenantal brotherhood’ is not yet complete. The type-scene makes us aware that there is (figuratively) one more Jubilee cycle to be run before the end of it all.
Honestly, you’d have to read the dissertation’s early content on the Jubilee motif to really get what he’s suggesting. If you’re interested, dig in! This sort of “echoing” of ideas happens all through Scripture. It’s macro-level analysis, but that’s often where the good stuff is.
Ah, interesting, I’ll def look into it later this year. Thank you for sharing via Rachel.
The stories seem obviously similar to Judas’ betrayal of Christ for silver. Judas betrayed Christ and the apostles were scattered.
Hi there Mike, I cam across this interesting lecture called Hebrew is the DNA of creation.
Wondering if you caould have a look at it and offer your opinion.
Here is the link.
Leviticus 27:28-29 “the ban”
Did Ananias fall under the “herem” like Achan did in Joshua 7, if not….what are the differences? The dissertation, very good.
That’s the case Hoch is making. Here’s a quote from p. 282:
“There are numerous intertextual allusions between the Jubilee legislation and Acts 4-5. There are similar topics, concepts and vocabulary that appear to portray
Ananias and Sapphira’s act as a dedication, parallel to that of Lev 27, which was immediately kherem because Jesus fulfilled the Jubilee. Their punishment was that of
stealing from devoted things.”
The paper was a hard read for me, bible reading is not bible study”. I was not sure I understood rightly because of the depth of the paper and I sure don’t remember that quote from p.282.
Thanks for providing motivation to a simple layman to explore the depths of the text.
So, about a month too late, but I love this sort of cross-testament stuff. We need more experts on both testaments and not just one.
I found stuff similar to this in 2 Peter and Deuteronomy when I wrote a term paper. Not meaning to toot my own horn (OK, maybe a little) but it was really exciting to find it myself, and more exciting when I saw that none of the commentators I read noticed it. And my professor wrote ‘Did you come up with this yourself’ on my paper – I think she meant it in a good way :D. There’s still stuff to be found, and ordinary people can find it!! I think this is especially true with cross-testamental stuff. Academics tend to be experts in NT or OT, but not usually both, I think.
It’s really cool stuff – inter-textuality has become the academic rage (for good reasons — not just trendiness).
Could you please give your opinion on the link that I previously posted Mike ? I would really appreciate it.
haven’t read that one.
Mike, please edit one of the posts
This man is teach on the Kabbalah. Here a copy and paste from Wikipedia. “Secrets Of The Hebrew Language” should have been your first clue that this junk and a waste of your time.
Kabbalah (Hebrew: קַבָּלָה, literally “receiving/tradition”) is an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought that originated in Judaism. A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism is called a Mekubbal (Hebrew: מְקוּבָּל).
Kabbalah’s definition varies according to the tradition and aims of those following it, from its religious origin as an integral part of Judaism, to its later Christian, New Age, and Occultist syncretic adaptations. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal, and mysterious Ein Sof (infinity) and the mortal and finite universe (God’s creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a religious denomination in itself. It forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of the concepts and thereby attain spiritual realization.
From the small part I watched of the video, I thought it was
wakko stuff Just wanted another opinion.