Ritual water, ritual spirit: an analysis of the timing, mechanism, and manifestation of spirit-reception in Luke-Acts

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
McCollough, David John

The dissertation analyses Spirit-reception in Luke-Acts with respect to timing, mechanism, and manifestation. Its narrow focus excludes questions regarding Spirit-reception’s theological significance. It employs three primary tools: narrative progression/sequential reading, presupposition pools/entity representations (ERs), and focalization. By beginning with Jesus’ baptism where Spirit experience is joined to the prayer aspect of the baptismal ceremony and observing Jesus’ Luke 11:13 teaching on prayer, one arrives at Acts 2:38-39 with an ER in which Spirit experience is not separated from baptism, but linked with the prayer element of the unitary baptismal ceremony. Acts 2 focalizes dissociative xenolalia and creates a programmatic expectation that all initiates will experience it. Acts 2 does not depict new converts receiving the Spirit and thereby leaves a narrative gap which the reader must fill with information from Jesus’ baptism. Acts 8 adds to this information by providing Luke’s first depiction of new converts receiving the Spirit and showing the facilitation mechanisms used, prayer and handlaying by gifted individuals. Luke stated neither that this procedure was exceptional nor that it was standard. He simply presented a solution to the problem of the Spirit failing to come. Saul’s conversion clarifies that non-apostles can be gifted to facilitate the Spirit. Cornelius’ house adds the concept of the Spirit being given during a gifted individual’s preaching ministry and shows early church leaders using Pentecost as a standard of comparison. The cumulative nature of presupposition pools/ERs means that the last Spirit-reception scene (Acts 19) must be viewed in the light of all the accumulated Spirit-reception scenes, the total ER.
  • References (159)
    159 references, page 1 of 16

    2.1 Hermann Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des Heiligen Geistes (1888) 4 2.2 Arthur James Mason, The Relation of Confirmation to Baptism (1891) 4 2.3 Hans Leisegang, Pneuma Hagion: Der Ursprung des Geistbegriffs der synoptischen Evangelien aus der griechischen Mystik (1922) 5

    2.4 Heinrich von Baer, Der Heilige Geist in den Lukasschriften (1926) 7 2.5 Friedrich Büchsel, Der Geist Gottes im Neuen Testament (1926) 8 2.6 Nikolaus Adler, Taufe und Handauflegung: Eine ExegetischTheologische Untersuchung von Apg 8, 14-17 (1951) 10

    2.7 G. W. H. Lampe, The Seal of the Spirit: A Study in the Doctrine of Baptism and Confirmation in the New Testament and the Fathers, and other writings (1951) 11

    2.8 Hans Conzelmann, Die Mitte der Zeit: Studien zur Theologie des Lukas (1954) 13

    2.9 Eduard Schweizer, 'πνεῦμα' (1959) 14 2.10 Frederick Dale Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness (1970) 14

    2.11 James Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Re-examination of the New Testament Teaching on the Gift of the Spirit in Relation to Pentecostalism Today (1970) 17

    2.12 Gonzalo Haya-Prats, Empowered Believers: The Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts (French edition, 1975) 19

    2.13 David Petts, The Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Relation to Christian Initiation (1987) 20

    2.14 Robert P. Menzies Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts (1991) 21

    2.15 Max Turner, Power from on High: The Spirit in Israel's Restoration and Witness in Luke-Acts (1996) 24

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