4 thoughts on “Ten things about Pentecost (Acts 2)”

  1. The specifics about the counting of Shavuot (“weeks”) is scripturally to count the seven sabbaths from the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and then the next day is Shavuot. It’s a finer point, but then, the distinction of the timing is made clear in the Scriptures as that. “Pentecost” is merely a Hellenization of that–the typical anti-semitic response of Post-Nicene Christianity.

    1. Thanks, jennacar … I appreciate the point about anti-semitism, although I see the argumentation of the first few centuries as antagonism between faithful,people sharing a common origin (history, scripture, tradition) but arguing about different interpretations. That’s not anti-semitism as we know it, in the aftermath of the developments from late antiquity through into the terrible sequence of events in 19th and 20th century Europe —culminating, of course, in the Shoah. That is a far worse, far more pervasive, force. What was happening when the early church adopted Jewish terms and practices, and “Christianised” them, was the start of supercessionism, born out of sibling rivalry and fuelled by wider political forces (Constantine etc). It’s complex. But acknowlegedging the Jewish heritage, and being sensitive to how we talk about it and write about it and relate to it, is important,

      1. But you miss my point. The early church participated IN these activities marked “Jewish” (which was never exclusively true particularly since “jew” and “Jewish” wasn’t a thing until much later). The believers didn’t regurgitate them in some “Christianized” rebranding–until much, much later when Judaism was increasingly uncool. Did you ever wonder why so few assemblies would have sent reps to Nicaea–considering the importance of that meeting? It was only–going generously on the numbers which seems to have been a huge challenge to collect for some reason (my guess is that some who came might have defected, but that’s just me)–around 17 percent of the estimated 1800 extant assemblies of the time. Some were probably rightly suspicious of Rome. Some were possibly Jewish-led and not invited; there is evidence for that position. Yet and still, for a religion that claims to be egalitarian, it kind of–to me–goes against one of the basic tenets of “love your neighbor” to move forward into what amounted to an agreement supposedly representing the entirety, making “Christianity” in some way official (but not THE official( religion of Rome with not even a quorum.

        I would also suggest you examine the uses of the word “Christian” the three different times it’s used. At Antioch, it was used in the passive voice–“were called.” When Peter uses it, it’s also used in a shamed sense. Paul obviously avoids using the term when Agrippa says “You speak so well, I might be persuaded to become a Christian” -which is said as in a synonym for maybe “lunatic” in the passage context. The single most telling clue, though, is the fact that no writer wrote to “The Christians at” or used the term at all. They say saints, brethren, and James even addresses the twelve tribes. The pinnacle is that there is no “Christian” gate in the New Jerusalem. The faith is, as Paul said, a sect called the Way. Which if you leave Christianity to more closely follow you bible, you are similarly, as Paul claimed to have, evidently still in “heresy.” (Acts 24:14).

  2. Jennacar, after Gd separates the 2 promises in Gen12: 2-3, throughout the rest of the Bible, the Jews (to eventually include the remainder of Benjamin) are addressed separately from the 10 Tribes. So the naming and categorising of the Jews is not a modern construct.

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