Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Sunday School Lesson #28

Posted by Jim F. on July 20, 2007

Lesson 28: Acts 1-5

There are several stories in these chapters: In chapter 1, we learn that Jesus ministered to the apostles for forty days after his resurrection and that Matthias was chosen to fill the vacancy left by Judas. Chapter 2 tells us of the visit of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, the gift of tongues given to them as a sign of the Holy Ghost, and Peter’s sermon admonishing those who hear them to repent and be baptized. Chapters 3-4 tell of Peter and John healing a lame man which resulted in many people believing their preaching and the high priest, Caiaphas, and his family demanding that they cease preaching that Jesus was resurrected. Of course they didn’t heed that demand. Chapter 5 begins with the story of Ananias and Sapphira, who withheld part of the money they received for the sale of their property, lying to Peter about how much they had received—and dying as a result of their lie. Because many were converted as a result of the preaching of Peter and the other apostles, the high priest had all of the apostles arrested and imprisoned, but they were released by an angel. Called on to account for their refusal to obey the high priest’s command not to teach in Jesus’ name, they said they would obey God rather than men: as witnesses of Christ, they cannot refrain from preaching him.

We can understand each of these stories not only as historical stories, but also as stories that help us understand how to live in the world as Christians. Why do stories do that better than lists of principles for life? Pick one or two of these stories and use them to reflect on what it means to be a Christian.

Acts 1

Verses 1-14: Why do we have nothing in Acts of the teachings of the 40-day ministry (verse 2)? Why was that ministry important to the apostles? To what does the word “passion” (verse 3) refer, to the suffering in the garden and death on the cross, or does it also include the resurrection? Why does Luke use that word, a word that could also be translated “experience” (Galatians 3:4), “suffering” (Luke 22:15), or “enduring” (Mark 8:31)? What do the apostles hope that the risen Lord will do (verse 6)? The Jerome Bible Commentary points out that the order of preaching commanded by Jesus in verse 8 corresponds to the parts of Acts: Jerusalem :: Acts 1-7; Judea and Samaria :: Acts 8-9; and the ends of the earth :: Acts 10-28, with Rome being the end of the earth. Does that teach us anything about the book of Acts? What do you make of the angels’ response to the Eleven in verse 11?

Verses 15-26: Since Mathias never again appears in Luke’s account, why was it important that he tell us about his election to the Twelve? Note that the word translated “bishoprick” in verse 20 means simply “office.” The literal meaning of the Greek word is “to have the duty of watching over others.” Why did the new apostle have to be chosen from among those who had been disciples from the time of Jesus’ baptism until the resurrection (verses 21-22)? To what is the new member of the Twelve specifically to be ordained (verse 22)? What do those things mean for us?

Acts 2

Verses 1-13: The festival of Pentecost (also called the “Feast of Weeks”) was originally an agricultural feast, but since it coincided with the date when the Israelites arrived at Sinai (Exodus 19:1), it became a feast in which Israel celebrated the covenant of Sinai. That is why, for Qumran Jews, Pentecost was the most important feast of the year. For other Jews, however, it appears to have been a feast of secondary importance. Are there any parallels between the events of Sinai—or the Sinai covenant—and the events portrayed in these verses that would make the day of Pentecost particularly appropriate as the day when the Holy Ghost was given? What is the significance of speaking in tongues at this time? Does it have symbolic significance?

Verses 14-36: Verses 23-31 are a long interjection. To understand the thrust of the sermon, read verse 22, then verse 32, skipping the verses between. Of what is Peter testifying? Why is it important that “we all are witnesses”? The Twelve are called as special witnesses (D&C 27:103), but are they the only witnesses of Christ’s divinity?

Acts 3-4

Verses 3:1-3:11: We have heard about the Seventy doing miracles, but we’ve not seen any disciples do them. However, we frequently saw Jesus doing miracles. What does Peter doing a miracle suggest?

Verses 3:12-3:26: Why does Peter refer to “the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob” in verse 13? In verse 17 Peter says that he assumes that the people of Jerusalem, and their leaders, executed Jesus out of ignorance. Is he giving them the benefit of the doubt here or does he really think that their ignorance explains what happened? (Compare Luke 22:34.) Does their ignorance explain why preaching is required, namely to remove their ignorance? When are “the times of refreshing” (verse 19)? Jewish tradition seems to have associated the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the restoration of Israel with the end time. But they have just seen the former (Acts 3:1-13) and the Lord has made it clear that he will not tell them about the latter (Acts 1:7). Now Peter has suggested that receipt of the Spirit is a fruit of repentance (Acts 2:38) and suggested that the end time is yet to come (Acts 3:21). Surely Peter’s listeners would have found this confusing, given their assumptions. But is there a sense in which they were right? In other words, is there a connection between the reception of the Spirit and restoration? Individually? For the church? Why does Peter make an appeal for conversion by referring to the prophets in verses 22-26? Have he and the other church leaders had a similar recent experience? (See, for example, Luke 24:27 and 24:44-46.)

Verses 4:1-4:31: Why would the Saduccees, which included the temple priests and the captain of the temple, have been angry about Peter’s preaching? Why do the Twelve say they preach (verse 20)? For what do they pray (verse 29)?

Verses 4:32-4:37: If, as some assume, each member of the Church was required to give his possessions to the Church, why is Barnabas in particular remembered?

Acts 5

Verses 1-11: Verse 4 suggests that Ananias’s donation was voluntary rather than a requirement of membership. What, then, was his sin and that of his wife?

Verses 12-16: Why do the saints meet at the Jerusalem Temple? What does verse 13 mean? Why are healings so important to the story?

Verses 17-42: About what is the high priest indignant? Does verse 28 answer that question? Compare the response here with the Twelve’s response to persecution in chapter 4. What does Peter mean when he says “We are his witnesses” (verse 32). What does he mean when he says “so is also the Holy Ghost”? To whom does the Holy Ghost bear witness of Jesus Christ? What does Gamaliel, a Pharisee, suggest about Christianity in verse 39? What is he worried about?

31 Responses to “Sunday School Lesson #28”

  1. John said

    Forgive me if this is off-topic. I have been waiting until Lesson #28 to share this wonderful story on the blog.

    I got off at George Street.wmv

    We are all witnesses, but only the Holy Ghost does the converting.

  2. N.G. said

    Are there any parallels between the events of Sinai—or the Sinai covenant—and the events portrayed in these verses that would make the day of Pentecost particularly appropriate as the day when the Holy Ghost was given?

    I´d like to hear a bit from those who frequent the blog about opinions on what, exactly, happened with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Is this the sign that the Holy Ghost was finally sent from the Savior as he promised, and then the apostles could start confirming others? John 20:22 seems to imply that at least 10 of the apostles were actually confirmed by the Savior (meaning the ordinance of the laying on of hands); if that´s the case, then is this a manifestation of that confirmation? Or did they (or anyone else) actually receive the gift of the Holy Ghost at this time?

    Any and all thoughts are welcome.

  3. brianj said

    NG: Is it possible that John 20:22 shows ordination to the priesthood, and not the gift of the Holy Ghost? Or simply a priesthood blessing? Or even that the ordinances in those days were not exactly the same as those we perform today?

    I think Pentecost represents a time when the Holy Ghost was made available in its full role to the disciples; that previously they enjoyed some aspects of the Holy Ghost but not others. Pentecost seems to mark the beginning of a covenant relationship with God through the Holy Ghost, just as Sinai marked the beginning of a covenant through the Law. The Holy Ghost is the new Law which is to be followed.

  4. Robert C. said

    I’d think Pentecost is also closely associated with the Gentiles receiving the Gospel. I’ve always had a somewhat silly notion of many angels in heaven being so excited about events which have been a particularly long-time-in-coming that they all rejoice when the event finally comes and somehow make spiritual manifestations that much stronger (as in the Kirtland temple also).

  5. Kathleen Z. said

    John, thank you for the link to the story “I got off at George Street.” I’ll be using this on Sunday and will also have my family listen to it!
    It’s a great example of the power of one and the power of the Holy Ghost. Thanks again!

  6. nhilton said

    John #1, thanks for that inspiring link!

  7. Jim F. said

    Yes, John. Thanks.

    Thanks also to Brian and Robert C for responding to N.G.’s question before I got to it. I don’t think I have anything to add.

  8. nhilton said

    Jim, in Acts 3:12+ Peter encourages the Jewish leaders responsible for Jesus’ death to repent but doesn’t invite them to be baptized or become members of “the church.” I had in the notes that they weren’t baptized because they are guilty of Christ’s murder, but I don’t know if this can be substantiated–I don’t recall the source to my notations.

    I also believe the phrase “one accord” literally denotes a “circle prayer.” If this is so, it brings deeper meaning to what is repeatedly going on as the church prays together in the temple and relates to our own temple experience.

    Are we sure the temple mentioned here is Herod’s temple vs. a newly dedicated space for the first Saints to meet and experience the “power from on high” and give appropriate temple worship? Because, if it is Herod’s temple then the women aren’t a part of this temple experience whereas we’re told in 1:14 that women are a part of this worship. I’m wondering if it’s another location, other than Herod’s temple, because they’d be watched in Herod’s temple by the Jewish leaders who had killed Jesus. I’m thinking back to the first temple worship/endowments given in J. Smith’s day before there was a dedicated temple in which to do them.

    I think this example of living the Law of Concecration is extremely significant to us today in that we will be required to live it fully before all things can be restored. How are we doing in our preparation for that day? Ananias & Sapphira’s experience seems REALLY harsh but it’s obviously meant to teach us something equally important.

  9. BrianJ said

    nhilton: could the early saints have met in the court of women in Herod’s temple?

  10. Jim F. said

    nhilton: I take it that verse 19’s invitation, “Repent and be converted,” is an invitation to be baptized. Surely only those who directly participated in the murder of Christ would be guilty of his blood. In addition, Peter makes clear in verse 17 that what happened was a matter of ignorance, even for the rulers of the Jews who were the only ones directly involved.

    I would be interested in your source for “one accord.” I can’t find anything that mentions a circle prayer, but I may not be looking in the right places. I’ve looked in several places for “pantes homou,” the phrase in question.

    As for the temple, when we are dealing with incidents from 2,000 years ago, anything is possible. But given what we know (and there is much we do not), there’s no evidence that the Saints used any other temple than Herod’s.

    Acts 1:14 occurs in an upper room some place in Jerusalem. So, they were worshiping in places other than the temple, which is not out of sync with what we know about Jewish worship. But whatever they did in those other worship services, we know from the last verse of John and other verses that the brethren also continued to go to Herod’s temple. They still considered themselves Jews, Jews who believed in the Messiah, but not yet members of another group, and the temple, Herod’s temple, was central to Judaism.

    As BrianJ suggests, it is also possible that the Church sometimes met in some of the courts at the temple where women and non-Jews were allowed.

  11. nhilton said

    Jim & Brian, thanks for your comments. Re: temple worship, I’m seeing this as something very sacred & not somthing done out in the open i.e. court of the women, thus my wondering about a more private place. From my memory, the authenticity of Herod’s temple was in question and this made me wonder if the first church might have simply instituted a different place to perform these temple rights, i.e. endowment. The endowment wasn’t going on in Herod’s temple, from what I gather, but was something new, like the Holy Ghost, that was given to the first church after Christ’s departure. Certainly these endowments couldn’t have occurred inside Herod’s temple.? Maybe you don’t read the “endowment” part as being anything more than the gift of the H.G., but I see more “power from above” in the form of a formal endowment, like we experience today, as coming to this early church. What do you think?

  12. nhilton said

    Jim, I will try to find the source for the “circle prayer” notes in my margin. It was during an adult religion class taught by Norman Gardner in Las Vegas, NV (Norm’s a stellar teacher!) and he has since moved to Tuscon to direct the institute there. So I will try to track him down. :)

  13. Jim F. said

    nhilton, thanks for looking for that reference.

    As for the temple: we have a little evidence for the early Church having at least some of what we would recognize as temple worship, like the prayer circle. However, we know very little about what they did or didn’t do. If they had the endowment (they may or may not have), you’re right that they certainly couldn’t have received and given it in Herod’s temple. You’re right, though, I don’t see anything in these chapters that seem to me to refer to the endowment that we know of through the temple.

    There were many Jews unhappy about Herod deciding to rebuild the temple, but only a few of them went so far as to claim that it was unacceptable as a temple. There is no evidence that the Christian-Jews were among them, and there is evidence that the early Christians continued to take part in temple worship in Herod’s temple.

    Initially and for some time, probably until the destruction of the temple in 70, Jewish converts to Christianity assumed that they had to continue to keep the Law of Moses. It appears that included doing things at the temple, though we aren’t sure what. It would seem strange for them to offer sacrifice if they had a Christian understanding of its meaning. Perhaps it served as the primary meeting place in Jerusalem, as the agora did in Athens, but I think it must have been more than that or there would be little point in underlining that they were daily in the temple.

  14. Jim, I’m wondering how the apostles and disciples could even be “daily in the temple” considering the danger they were in as associates of Jesus. Being there so much, under the scrutiny of the Jewish leaders & Roman soldiers, seems odd. I think they’d be doing things differently than other temple attendees with their enlightenment from Jesus, especially after Pentacost & the HG being given. I’m wondering how enlightened they really were considering Jesus taught that the Jews were so misguided. It seems that he would have purged them of their empty traditions & instituted new laws, i.e. sacrament, that they couldn’t really enact in Herod’s temple. All these thoughts lead me to ponder on the reality of a different “upper room” being the place where they carried out their worship.–Nanette

  15. Clark said

    Perhaps the danger was overstated? I think there is a lot of consensus that the NT portrayal of the Jews and Jewish leadership is, shall we say, a tad biased.

  16. BrianJ said

    I echo Clark’s comment.

    I also wonder just how accurate it is to think of the Law of Moses and the worship it entailed as “misguided” “empty traditions.” The enlightenment they received from Jesus could easily have given them a renewed sense of meaning in performing those sacrifices, offerings, etc. The Law of Moses and especially the temple service is quite beautiful, in my mind, so I’m not sure it needed to be “purged.” I know the Book of Mormon paints a different picture of this with the Nephites, but then they were a very (very!) different people than those in Jerusalem. To the point: I don’t see any problem with a believing, enlightened Christian-Jew attending Jewish temple services—should I?

  17. Jim F. said

    Nanette, I don’t know of any documents to support the idea that early Christians in Jerusalem were in danger from the Romans. The Romans seem to have felt “We got rid of the leader; we don’t need to worry about them.” Neither the Gospels, Acts, nor the epistles suggest that the Jerusalem Church was worried about Roman persecution.

    I also agree with BrianJ that Jesus didn’t teach that the Jews were misguided in temple worship. He had a lot of nasty things to say about the Pharisees (though most of the first converts seem to have come from among them), but what he said had, it seems to me, mostly to do with their reliance on the oral tradition, building hedges about the law.

    He doesn’t criticize the temple leadership much, though we know they were corrupt and they seem to have been the ones primarily behind his execution. He never attacks the temple rites themselves. In fact, his cleansing of the temple seems to be a protest against the money-making associated with those rites, not against the rites. Neither does he say in anything we have recorded that those rites are to change. If he said that to his disciples, it seems odd that they didn’t think it was sufficiently important to write down. As Hebrews demonstrates, Christians had a new understanding of what the existing temple rites meant, but that is a different matter than giving up on those rites or believing that they were misguided. Indeed, if the rites were misguided, then that would make it more difficult for Hebrews to use the temple as its explanatory fulcrum.

    Luke says that after Christ’s departure and prior to Pentecost, the Eleven were “in continually in the temple, praising and blessing God ” (Luke 24:53). Then he tells us that even after the day of Pentecost they were in the temple daily (Acts 2:46–that is the scripture I misremembered as being in John—my apologies). I think we have to take him literally.

    However, Acts 2:46 also shows that going to the temple wasn’t the same as participating in the Sacrament, so the early Saints worshiped not only in the temple, but also in members’ homes. Whatever part of the endowment they had, I assume they performed it also in individual homes.

    The short version: Luke seems clear that the first Christians continued to take part in traditional temple worship, though they also held other worship services, such as for the Sacrament. If they had the endowment, I assume they did its ordinances in homes, as they did the Sacrament.

  18. nhilton said

    Jim, I like your concluding last three paragraphs in summing up the early church’s temple/home-centered worship. It makes sense to me. Thanks.

    I found another tip in uncovering the source of my notes on the circle-prayer = in one accord prayer re: #8&12. I have noted that the word “accord” = “chorus” = “circle.” I will pursue this lead & let you know if I come up with anything.

  19. Jim F. said

    nhilton, it is true that the English word “accord” has roots meaning “circle” and is related to “chorus.” That may be what your informant was thinking of.

    However, the Greek doesn’t have that meaning. In Acts 1:14 the word translated “with one accord” means “of one heart or one mind.” In Acts 2:1 the English phrase translates a phrase that literally means “were all the same.” In Acts 2:46, the verse about them being in the temple daily, the Greek word is the the same as in Acts 1:14. That Greek word, homothumadon is translated “one accord” in Acts 4:24, 5:12, 7:57, and every other instance of the English phrase “one accord” in Acts. I can’t find anything about the Greek word having to do with circles.

    If I am wrong, I would be very interested in knowing. I’m all up for any good evidence of early prayer circles.

  20. Matthew H. said

    First, let me just say thank you to all who contribute to this board and site, especially Jim F. I have taught gospel doctrine for several years, but this year has been a special year for my class and for me as I have really felt the spirit helping to push my thoughts and reflections and helped deepen my understand of things that I thought I “knew” all about.

    Although I did not intend to do so, I needed four weeks to cover the two lessons on the atonement; consequently, I am a couple weeks behind. I am trying to read ahead of the lesson I am preparing for next week so I have some time to ponder the material in the upcoming lessons. Although I have not undertaken a serious study of early Christianity for some time, the book of Acts and the development of the early Christian church fascinate me.

    In response to the question on prayer circles, my recollection is that several sources point to the prayer circle being an important part of worship for the early Church. Hugh Nibley referenced several early apocryphal writings that explicitly reference the prayer circle. Hugh Nibley wrote an article titled “The Early Christian Prayer Circle” in 1978. Although I have mixed feelings about Brother Nibley, the source documents that serve as the basis for this article impressed me.

    Let me again say thank you to all of you. Your thoughtful questions and answers continually help me ponder and broaden my knowledge.

  21. Jim F. said

    Matthew H.: Glad to hear that these things are helpful to you. They help me study scripture, and when I was teaching, they helped me prepare my lessons, so we hope they also help others.

    I read Nibley’s piece on prayer circles some time ago. I thought it was a good piece. Nhilton and I haven’t been discussing whether there were prayer circles in the early Church–I think there probably were; I assume she does too. The question was much narrower: Is the phrase “with one accord” in Acts a reference to prayer circles. I don’t think so, but if Nanette has evidence otherwise (which is certainly possible since I’m not a New Testament scholar), I am interested.

  22. Matthew H. said

    Based on the uniqueness of the word that is translated “one accord” and the fact that it appears almost exclusively in Acts in situations and imagery that I associate with temple worship, I am inclined to think this is a reference to prayer circles. I have previously thought of the term “one accord” to mean united in purpose or worship; however, my understanding is that a more literal translation could indicate offering prayers and/or hymns in unison. My impression is that the disciples seem to quickly adopt a new form of worship shortly after being taught by the resurrected Savior that includes what we would term a prayer circle.

  23. nhilton said

    Some things about the prayer I think we know for sure: it was audible and somehow those in the room participated in the prayer, whether simply to voice accord or some other expression of unity. Maybe it was a circle prayer. I’m still trying to get more info on the notations in my scriptures on this subject.

    But, back to my original question about the temple, I can’t imagine this kind of thing happening in any public setting like Herod’s temple, especially the Court of Women. I haven’t been to the temple and seen this court but can’t imagine it would offer any kind of privacy for people praying aloud in a group setting. This doesn’t seem to me to be customary of that day so it would have drawn attention, especially since the prayers would have been profoundly different than the prayers being audibly offered by others not within the church’s circle. It seems to me that it must have been a different location that would offer more privacy.

  24. BrianJ said

    nhilton: I don’t know much about Herod’s temple, so I have no idea whether a group standing off to one side, praying together would cause much of a scene. I can imagine that it would not, especially if what we think of as a prayer circle was outwardly quite different back then.

    On the day of Pentecost the believers were certainly in a public place “with one accord”, though probably not the temple (because the text doesn’t specify “temple”).

    I think Acts 1:13-14 and Acts 4:24 are the strongest candidates for prayer circles outside of Herod’s temple—and it’s very interesting to read Acts 4 that way.

    But I think it’s hard to read Acts 2:46 and not think that the “temple” mentioned is Herod’s temple, partly because it is followed by mentioning what the members did from “house to house.” In other words, “we went to the temple every day for prayer, but met in each other’s homes for other worship.”

  25. Jim F. said

    Matthew H (#22): As I pointed out in #19, as far as I can tell from looking at several Greek lexicons, the Greek word translated “with one accord,” when literally translated, doesn’t indicate offering prayers or hymns in unison. It simply means “of one mind,” as you say you’ve assumed previously. The absolutely literal meaning of the word is something like “of one emotion”: homo + thumadon, the latter being a variation of thumos, which originally meant “breath” or “life” and came to mean “desire,” “mind,” “spirit,” or “anger.”

    You are right that homothumadon occurs only in the book of Acts (except for one appearance in Romans 15:6, where it is translated more literally, “with one mind”). However, in only two places (Acts 2:46 and 5:12) is it closely associated with being in the temple. In the other 9 places in Acts, it doesn’t have to do with the temple. (See Acts 1:14, 2:1, 4:24, 7:57, 8:6, 12:20, 15:25, 18:12, and 19:29).

    So, without some documentary evidence (from Greek texts of the first or second centuries), I don’t see any way to reasonably infer that the phrase “with one accord” has anything in particular to do with temple worship or prayer circles.

    As I said, however, I am not a New Testament scholar, so there may well be things I don’t know about. Perhaps Nibley’s essay on prayer circles says something about it. But based on what we have talked about so far, there’s no evidence of a connection of that phrase and prayer circles.

  26. Jim, re: #8, a previous question I had about those Peter addresses not being invited to be baptized which I think you addressed in #10, but I’d like to re-open,
    my Rel. A 212 BYU Ind.Study notes specifically state that these people were NOT invited to be baptized, making a contrast between Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost when he outlined what they must do and the promise which compliance would rezlie with those who heard his sermon a few days later at the temple when he did not receive the same intructions. They were told to repent, but Peter did not tell them to then be baptized. In fact, he implied that their repentance would bring forgiveness ‘when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord’ (Acts 3:19) The Greek term translated ‘times of refreshing’ is figurative for the Messianic age, or the period of the Millennium.

    Continuing, Joseph Smith said, “A murderer, for instance one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have foregiveness. David sought repentance…Peter referred to the same subject on the day of Pentecost, but the multitude did not get the endowment that Peter had; but severals days after the people asked, ‘What shall we do?’ Peter says, ‘I would ye had done it ignorantly,’ speaking of crucifying the Lord. He did not say to them, ‘Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins’; but he said ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come …’ This is the case with murderers. They could not be baptized for the remission of sins, for they had shed innocent blood.’ [Teachings…,339]

    Maybe this sheds new light on my original question or maybe you disagree with this interpretation?–Nanette

  27. Clark said

    I think Joseph’s statement has long been re-interpreted as being too narrow. So on a mission a murderer has to be interviewed by the Mission President (it once had to be an Apostle) but so long as they are repentant they can be baptized.

    The difference is that David, at least in most LDS interpretation, had a fair degree of knowledge of the gospel and most likely had the priesthood as we understand it. Thus he is far more culpable than a regular person.

  28. Jim F. said

    Nanette: I–hesitantly–think that Joseph’s interpretation is wrong. He assumes that Peter is speaking to the leaders of Jerusalem. However, verse 11 identifies those he is speaking to as “all the people” in Solomon’s Porch at the temple. That would not be the leadership who plotted Jesus’ execution.

    In addition, in verse 14, Peter says that the people to whom he is speaking asked for a murderer to be granted to them, referring to the crowd’s demand that Barabbas be freed. It is difficult to believe that the people in Solomon’s Porch are the same people who were in the crowd at Pilate’s palace. Perhaps a few among them were the same, but surely not all or even most of them. So when Peter says “You denied the Holy and Just One,” he must be speaking hyperbolically.

    Finally, I am not sure how to understand “repent and be converted” if it doesn’t include baptism. In the Greek the “times of refreshment” isn’t as obvious a reference to the Millenium as it is in English. Literally the prhase says something like “so that times/seasons of refreshment might come from the face/presence of the Lord.” The verb, “might come” (erchomai) is in the subjunctive mood rather than in the future tense. So the Greek is ambiguous as to what “times of refreshment” refers to, but I think it is more likely that it refers to the peace that comes through conversion.

  29. nhilton said

    How odd, then, that the BYU Ind. Study class is still promoting the position of #26. Frank Judd is my course instructor with the course having been written by Richard Draper Ph.D. including a 2006 copyright.

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  31. Jim F. said

    Nanette: Frank and Richard are both better New Testament scholars than I am. That is part of my reason for my hesitation. But this may also just be one of those things that isn’t certain, so thoughtful people can have different opinions.

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