THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL VICTORIOUS OVER THE POWER OF EVIL IN ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Dirk van der Merwe

Abstract



This research focuses on how the author of Acts managed, rhetorically, to communicate his
ideological standpoint regarding “the power of proclaiming the good news about the
kingdom of God and the power that exist in the name of Jesus Christ” (8:12). In three
related texts (8:4-25; 13:1-12; 19:1-20) he addresses the practices of magic which
occurred in the society or even in the early Church, to prove to his readers that the
proclamation of the gospel overpowers the practice of evil. In these texts there are
references to magic or magicians (Acts 8:4-25, mageiva, mageuvw 13:1-12, mavgo~ (bis);
19:8-20, prav

xei~, pariverge~) which refer to the occurrences of magical practices. In
addition references to 'exorcism' (ejxorkistw`n), 'deceit' (d.ast..f..) and 'evil' (p....)
also occur. Complementary to this is the considerable frequency of references to the
proclamation of the gospel and the occurrences of miracles (duvnami~ and shmei`a) within
the same historical context. When these texts are compared with one another, it becomes
evident that other similarities also occur. The reason for making such a comparison is to
point out how the author used the interaction of events such as 'magic,' 'exorcism of evil
spirits,' 'miracle' and 'gospel proclamation' to explain his understanding of the supreme
power of the 'gospel' as victorious over the power and influence of 'evil.'

Keywords


Magic, Miracles, Proclamation of the Gospel, Convince, Rhetoric

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/103-0-590

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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