Thomas D. Stegman SJ

In this third of a five-part series on what the New Testament teaches about faith, Thomas D. Stegman, SJ – associate professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and ministry – sets forth Luke’s distinctive understanding.

Near the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (the second book of his two-volume work), the evangelist Luke offers two brief descriptions of the early Church in Jerusalem. First, he observes that the members of this Church ‘were faithful to the teaching of the apostles and to fellowship, as well as to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers’ (Acts 2.42). Second, he notes that these members were of ‘one heart and soul,’ and that they freely shared possessions so that no one was in want (4.32). This second description follows immediately upon a dramatic scene in which the Holy Spirit filled those gathered together for prayer and empowered them to speak God’s word ‘with boldness’ (4.31).

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