THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL VICTORIOUS OVER THE POWER OF EVIL IN ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
AbstractThis 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.'
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