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7. Divine Visitations and Hospitality to Strangers in the Malta Episode: An Interpretation of Acts 28:1–10 and its Literary Function in Luke-Acts

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Chapter Summary

The Malta episode functions as a climactic example of God's salvation going forth to "the end of the earth" as it finds a welcome reception among the Gentiles in Malta. The literary context preceding the Malta episode, therefore, sets forth the Paul who is God's emissary of salvation, makes divine prophecies, receives visits from God's angel, and speaks the words of Jesus. He embodies the presence of Jesus, the agent of God's first visitation, as he accomplishes salvation for all on board. This characterization of Paul is crucial for our interpretation of the Malta episode, since Paul continued to embody Jesus' presence. Paul's meal with the Gentile prisoners in Acts 27 is the concluding salvific meal scene in Luke-Acts. Luke indicates the salvific nature of Paul's extension of hospitality to the prisoners as "it exists for your salvation" (27:34).

Keywords: Gentile prisoners; God's salvation; hospitality; Jesus; Luke-Acts; Malta episode; Paul



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