Saturday, June 26, 2010

Comparing the Book of Acts to the Book of Mormon

It's what I thought. There's no comparison.


Steven Carr said...

Surely you should be comparing Acts to Mormon accounts of their journey to Utah.

After all, why not compare like with like?

I compare the Gospels with the Book of Mormon at Miracles and the Book of Mormon

The Gospels have the same frauds as the Book of Mormon, which is why Victor does not compare the Gospels with the Book of Mormon.

In the second half of Acts, Jesus disappears to the extent that the Romans have no clue that Christians are following a crucified rebel that they claim was still alive....

Victor Reppert said...

But you've still got miracle reports in that part of Acts. How do you explain that?

Steven Carr said...

The miracle reports are partly copied from Greek literature.

For example, the shipwreck scenes use poetic phrases that come from Homer.

Luke also seems to have based some of Acts on classical Greek literature, especially Euripides' Bacchae. In Acts 26:12, Luke says that Paul heard Jesus say , in Aramaic or Hebrew, 'It is hard for you to kick against the pricks'. 'Kick against the pricks' (laktizo pros kentron) was a well known Greek saying, which first seems to appear in line 790 of Euripides' Bacchae.

In Euripides' Bacchae, line 447, we read the following 'Of their own accord (autamato), the chains were loosed from their feet and keys opened the doors (thura) without human hand.'

In Acts 10:12, we read how doors opened for Peter of their own accord (automatos) and in Acts 16:26, we read how an earthquake loosed the chains from everybody and all the doors opened by themselves.

Did an earthquake really loose a chain from a prisoner, not a noted result of seismic activity? Or did Luke base his account of Peter and Paul's escapes on Euripides' play about the persecuted followers of a persecuted and misunderstood deity, the son of Zeus and a young , mortal woman?

Just out of curiosity, Euripides play 'Alcestis' is about a person who dies voluntarily in the place of another and then conquers death by being raised from the dead by a god.

This is speculative, but perhaps 'Alcestis' is what first drew Euripides to Luke's attention.

Less speculative is the admission by F.F.Bruce in his book 'The New Testament documents - Are they reliable?' that Acts 14:12 'ho hegoumenon tou logou' comes from 'The Egyptian Mysteries' of Iamblichus, where Hermes is described as 'the god who is the leader of the speeches' (theos ho ton legon hegemon).

Clearly, Luke was well acquainted with Greek classical literature.

Ask F.F. Bruce where some of Acts comes from, and he will tell you.

It came from Iamblichus...

Of course, Victor is an outsider to the Book of Mormon and so applies the outsider test to that book.

Victor Reppert said...

Does an earlier parallel entail fictionality? By what logic?