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1. The Episode at Malta (Acts 28:1–10): A Lukan Text ‘Full of the Viewpoint of Antiquity’

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Chapter Summary

Despite Henry Cadbury claim that "It would be difficult to find a scene more full of the viewpoint of antiquity", than the Malta episode, Acts 28:1-10 remains one of the few under-interpreted passages in all of Acts. The moral of the story has often seemed self-evident to many interpreters, Paul's immunity to snake demonstrates his innocence in a manner easily understandable to a pagan audience. A story so "full of the viewpoint of antiquity" a story containing the fulfillment of Paul's prophecy of all his shipmates' rescue from the powerful storm, an arrival on an exotic island peopled with potentially savage barbarians, a successful encounter with a deadly viper. The barbarians' exclamation that they have witnessed an epiphany in divine figure of Paul rather than retributive justice of the goddess Δíϰη, miraculous healings of the sick, and friendly displays of hospitality suggests that a richer analysis may yet be offered.

Keywords: antiquity; barbarians'; deadly viper; goddess Δíϰη; Henry Cadbury; Malta episode; pagan audience; Paul's prophecy



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