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Pentecostal/Charismatic Themes in Luke–acts at the Evangelical Theological Society: the Battle of Interpretivemethod

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Through interactive dialogue with Evangelical scholars and through an assessment of their interpretive methods, one may identify an ‘apostolic age’ hermeneutic which intrinsically imposes questionable assumptions upon Luke’s two-volume work and upon Paul. The result may be termed Lukan and Pauline cessationism. For Luke, narrative disconnectedness replaces narrative-rhetorical cohesion. His examples and precedents of reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit by disciple-believer-witnesses either undergo mass extinction or reinterpretation, reinterpretation which serves the traditional presupposition of an ‘apostolic age’ instead of the narrative sequencing and personification of Lukan characters. Luke’s fulfilment of prophecy theme is totally ignored. For Paul, similar discursive description of pneumatological experience which Paul assumes is understandable to his selected addressees—language perhaps being urgently and pastorally clari- fied by Luke’s conventional use of examples and precedents—is disconnected from the common oral and cognitive environment shared within the Jerusalem/Petrine Christianity portrayed by Luke. Via discussion, reflection, and testimony perhaps the coherency and validity of traditional ‘apostolic age’ hermeneutics might be explored on the battlefield of biblical interpretation.

Affiliations: 1: Church of God Theological Seminary, 900 Walker Street NE Cleveland, TN 37311, USA, Email:


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