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Thread: I Need Some Help, Please...

  1. #1
    Senior Member George Wallace's Avatar

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    I Need Some Help, Please...

    My NazNet friends, specifically Pastors and fellow students of the Word, or anyone with access to a decent library or set of commentaries – I need your help.

    The timing chain on my old Toyota went and it will take the shop quite a while to get it fixed, meanwhile my transportation is limited, I cannot get back and forth to the library as often as needed and I need to finish a paper soon.

    So how can you help? Gland you asked

    It may be quite involved, for that I offer my thanks in advance. My paper is about Stephens’s statement in Acts 7: 15-16, where he appears to misidentify the local of the Patriarch’s (or at least some) burial and appears to ascribe to Abraham purchase of land in Shechem, which was done by Joshua.

    What I need is at least 6-8 quotations from newer Commentaries (Preferably exegetical commentaries, but really any will do. I need more diversity of examination / explanations.) which address these verses.

    While I don’t need full Turabian citations (of course if you really want too….), but I will need direct quotes with page numbers and enough info about the referenced Commentary so that I can get the info needed for a Turabian citation.

    So the bare bones question is “What do your commentaries say relating to Stephens apparent inaccuracy in Acts 7:15-16?"

    So if anyone is willing to block and copy, or type in here what your Commentaries state I would greatly appreciate it and you would be helping me a great deal.


    Blessings
    George

    "Preach the gospel; if necessary use words" is like saying "feed the poor and; if necessary use food."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    George, I have Luke Timothy Johnson's commentary on The Acts of the Apostles, from the Sacra Pagina series, p 118-119. He writes the following:
    Transferred to Shechem: This simple conclusion has a number of difficulties based on the confusing doublets in Genesis concerning the burial-sites by the patriarchs, and fhe diverse traditions of where people were actually buried:
    a) Both Abraham and Jacob purchased burial places in Canaan;
    b) Abraham bought his from Ephron the Hittite in Hebron (Gen 23:10-19);
    c) Jacob bought his from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem (a person) in Shechem (a place) in (Gen 33:18-20.
    d) But according to Gen 50:13, in accordance with his own request (Gen 49:31), Jacob was taken by his sons to Abraham's burial site at Hebron - where Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca and Leah were already interred. This obviously confuses things, but it agrees with Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 2:199-200 and The Book of Jubilees 45:15; 46:9-10.
    e) A final element of confusion is introduced by Josh 24:32, which says that the bones of Joseph were taken to the cave bought by Jacob from the sons of Hamor.
    f) Luke has therefore either confused these traditions, or telescoped them into one.
    “No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works.” (John Wesley)
    Thanks Todd Erickson - "thanks" for this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    George, here is the list of commentaries that I have on my c9omputer:



    Comentario de la Biblia Matthew Henry
    Believer’s Bible Commentary
    The Bible Exposition Commentary
    Harper's Bible Commentary
    Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume
    The Acts of the Apostles
    Acts: The Crossway Classic Commentaries
    Acts: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary
    Baker New Testament Commentary: Acts
    Believer’s Study Bible
    Believers Church Bible Commentary: Acts
    The Bible Guide
    The Bible Knowledge Commentary
    The Bible Reader's Companion
    Biblia de Estudio - LBLA

    The Biblical Illustrator
    The College Press NIV Commentary: Acts
    Comentario Bíblico Mundo Hispano Tomo 18: Hechos
    A Commentary on Acts of Apostles
    A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments
    Concise Bible Commentary
    A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Volume 1
    Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
    A Handbook on The Acts of the Apostles
    Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Acts
    The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
    The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Acts
    Jon Courson's Application Commentary
    King James Version Study Bible.
    KJV Bible Commentary
    Life Application Bible Commentary, Acts
    The MacArthur Study Bible
    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible
    The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version
    Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary
    Nelson's New Testament Survey
    The New American Commentary: Acts
    The Open Bible
    The Outline Bible
    The People’s New Testament
    The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 28: Acts
    Preaching the Word: Acts—The Church Afire
    The Pulpit Commentary: Acts of the Apostles (Vol. I)
    Reformation Study Bible, The
    Spirit Filled Life Study Bible
    The Teacher's Commentary
    A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition
    Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee
    Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary
    Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament
    Willmington's Bible Handbook
    With the Word Bible Commentary
    Woman's Study Bible
    Word in Life Study Bible
    Word Pictures in the New Testament
    Word Studies in the New Testament
    The Wycliffe Bible Commentary : New Testament


    If any of these would help just let me know and I'll send you the relavant passages
    You can be right or you can be in relationship

  4. #4
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    After Jacob went down to Egypt, he passed away in that nation, along with all the fathers. After their deaths, they were removed to Shechem, and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. Verse 16 presents two difficulties. First, Jacob was not buried in Shechem but in Abraham’s burial plot in Machpelah (Gen. 50:13). Because of that, the antecedent of they in verse 15 is to be restricted to the fathers (Joseph and his brothers) only, and does not include Jacob. According to Joshua 24:32, Joseph was buried at Shechem; Stephen here informs us that Jacob’s other sons were also buried there.
    A more serious difficulty lies in Stephen’s statement that Abraham purchased the tomb for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. According to Joshua 24:32, it was Jacob who bought the plot at Shechem. Many explanations have been offered, but two seem most reasonable. First, it is entirely possible that Abraham made the original purchase from the sons of Hamor (The people, or tribe to which he belonged) in Shechem. He built an altar there (Gen. 12:6–7) and quite likely purchased the plot of ground on which he built it. Abraham did not settle there, however, and over time the site may have reverted to the occupying people of Hamor, thus necessitating Jacob’s repurchase of it (Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, 379–81; W. Arndt, Does the Bible Contradict Itself? [reprint, St. Louis: Concordia, 1955], 14–17).
    A second possible explanation is that Stephen telescopes the accounts of Abraham’s purchase of the Machpelah site and Jacob’s acquisition of the Shechem site. That would be consistent with his telescoping of the two calls of Abraham in verse 2 (Bruce, The Book of the Acts, 149 n. 39; Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Acts [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990], 249).
    It would be rash to charge either Stephen or Luke with an error based on our limited knowledge. It is utterly inconceivable that someone as steeped in the Old Testament as Stephen would have made such an obvious historical blunder. Further, he may have had a definite purpose in mind in referring to Shechem, since in his day that city lay within the territory of the hated Samaritans. (For a discussion of Stephen’s theological motives for mentioning Shechem, see Rex A. Koivisto, “Stephen’s Speech: A Theology of Errors?” Grace Theological Journal 8 [Spring 1987]: 101–14.) Nor is it plausible that a careful and divinely inspired historian such as Luke (cf. Luke 1:1–4) would have erroneously recorded Stephen’s speech.
    To charge either Luke or Stephen with an error has serious implications for the doctrine of inspiration. To do so is either to affirm that the Spirit of Truth inspired error, or to deny that all the Bible is inspired. The former is absurd to the point of blasphemy; the latter contradicts 2 Timothy 3:16. And if all of Scripture is not inspired, who decides what is and is not inspired? Fallible human reason is certainly not qualified to sit in judgment on the Word of God. The problem, then, lies with the veracity of neither Stephen nor Luke, but only with our lack of complete information.
    Stephen thus defends himself against the accusation that he blasphemed God. He does not but affirms the great covenant work of God through Abraham and the patriarchs.

    MacArthur, J. (1994, c1996). Acts (205). Chicago: Moody Press. I'm sorry i don't have the page numbers, but it is chapter 16 of Acts: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary
    You can be right or you can be in relationship
    Thanks Todd Erickson - "thanks" for this post

  5. #5
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    Woman's Study Bible
    Pretty sure George wants that one.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    The two best volumes on Acts (IMHO) are LT Johnson in Sacra Pagina that Hans referenced. I have that one as well. If you need anything more just ask. The other is Ben Witheringtons work Unfortunately I don't have that one. Sorry.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    Another:

    7.16 ἐν Συχέμ {C}
    The author has combined the accounts of two transactions: (a) Abraham bought a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite in Machpelah east of Hebron (Gn 23.3–20), where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, and Jacob were buried (Gn 49.31; 50.13), and (b) Joseph was buried in a plot that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Schechem (Gn 33.19; Jos 24.32). Except for the two passages just mentioned, in the Old Testament Shechem is always the name of a place, not of a person. The variant readings in Ac 7.16 reflect the two traditions concerning the name Shechem, except that the Western and Antiochian texts reverse the relationship, making Shechem the father instead of the son of Hamor. In seeking an explanation to account for the curious reading τοῦ (P74 Dgr al), it should be observed that the Harclean Syriac reads “who was from Shechem”; could it be that παρά or ἀπό has fallen out of the archetype of the Western group of witnesses?
    All things considered, the Committee judged ἐν to be the least unsatisfactory reading, supported, as it is, by א* B C 88 1739 copsa, bo, fay arm geo al.

    Metzger, B. M., & United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) (301). London; New York: United Bible Societies.
    You can be right or you can be in relationship

  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    From Ben's favourite

    7:16 Shechem, located on the slope of Mount Ebal in north central Palestine, was the first capital of the northern kingdom of Israel and an important city long before the Israelites settled there. Jacob settled at Shechem and bought land from the sons of Hamor. Due to the famine predicted by Joseph, Jacob and all his sons traveled to Egypt and died there. The remains of Joseph and Jacob were returned to Canaan. Seventy people went down to Egypt (Gen. 46:27; Ex. 1:5). However, the Septuagint text, which evidently was used by Stephen, added two sons of Manasseh, two sons of Ephraim, and one grandson of Ephraim, making a total of 75 (see Gen. 46:20). Joseph was buried at Shechem. Again Stephen is bringing together two historical events: Abraham’s purchase of Machpelah in Hebron (Gen. 23:17, 18) and Jacob’s purchase of a field in Shechem (Gen. 33:19). Stephen’s use of the plural “they” indicates the use of this acceptable method of streamlining the recounting of history.

    Thomas Nelson, I. (1997, c1995). Woman's study Bible . (Ac 7:16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
    You can be right or you can be in relationship

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pete Vecchi's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    Thanks Marian Schwaller Carney - "thanks" for this post

  10. #10
    Senior Member Marian Schwaller Carney's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    George, as well, what school are you attending? The library should have online resources including commentaries. You can usually login from anywhere, not just while on campus.

  11. #11
    Senior Member George Wallace's Avatar

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    Re: I Need Some Help, Please...

    I just realized, to my chagrin, that I never said thank you to all who offered assistance, so... THANK YOU!

    "Preach the gospel; if necessary use words" is like saying "feed the poor and; if necessary use food."

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