Critical Companion to the Bible: A Literary Reference by Martin H. Manser, David Barratt, Pieter J. Lalleman, Julius

By Martin H. Manser, David Barratt, Pieter J. Lalleman, Julius Steinberg

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They first sail to Cyprus together with John Mark (13:1–5). Luke’s brief report focuses on the conversion of the local proconsul and the punishment of a sorcerer (13:6– 12). The missionaries then cross to Asia Minor, where they visit another Antioch, called Pisidian Antioch. A long speech by Paul in the local synagogue is included. The Jews who are the majority do not believe in Jesus, but many Gentiles are converted (13:13–48). However, the Jews make life so hard on Paul and Barnabas that they move on to Iconium, which they then have to flee for their lives again (13:49–14:7).

Then is the first list, their empty religious rituals (4:4–5), but paralleled ironically by “go and sin”: The very act of carrying out the ritual so well is sin, not salvation, as they suppose. Then follows the list of warnings already delivered (4:6–11): Details of natural disasters become metonymies of warning, a second series of Egyptian plagues (4:10). 32 Baruch Amos’s ability to make telling historical allusions shows a thorough grasp of the Pentateuch (cf. ). The chapter is then climaxed by one of the declarations of God’s cosmic power that we have already noted (4:13).

But the letter soon merges into a full confession by the writer, made on behalf of all Jews, with the devastation of Jerusalem and a total exile now assumed as having happened. There are also confessions in the Hebrew Bible, most notably Daniel 9; and statements of what would happen if the covenant with God were breached, as in Leviticus 26:27–45 and Deuteronomy 28 in the Pentateuch, and 1 Kings 8:22–61, Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple. Baruch’s confession appears to be a very well composed prayer taking elements from all the passages cited.

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