Today the SBL PNW Regional begins here in Portland, OR. I will be giving my first SBL presentation titled, “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Disciples of John the Baptist? An Examination of Acts 19.1-7 as a Polemic Against the Remnant of the Baptist’s Disciples.” You can read it now: LePort. SBL PNW 2012.
This is an excerpt that highlights the goals of my paper (from the opening):
In the following paper I will argue that Acts 19.1-7 functions as a polemic against the remnant of the disciples of John the Baptist. It is apparent that there were some caught betwixt those who remained loyalist to the memory of John and those who respected John but demanded full allegiance be given to Jesus. It is possible that the controversy centered upon whether or not those baptized by John should be rebaptized into the name of Jesus as well. For some the baptism of John was sufficient as long as these disciples confessed Jesus as the Christ. For others this was unacceptable. If one believed that Jesus was the Christ then they should be baptized in Jesus’ name. Luke is on the side of those that expect full integration as signified by baptism in Jesus’ name. Luke presents the Pauline churches as standing in the apostolic tradition of the Jerusalem church—the church that first received the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Those who do not follow the Pauline method of conversion not only stand outside the mainstream church, but they ignore the words of John himself concerning the coming Spirit.
I will aim to support this proposal as follows: First, I will examine the four group conversion narratives of 2.1-4; 8.14-25; 10.34-48; and 19.1-7 highlighting similarities and differences between them. Second, I will give close attention to 19.1-7 and its immediate surrounding context. Also, I will compare the depiction of John in 19.1-7 with the other times he is mentioned in Acts. Third, I will compare briefly the content of 19.1-7 with passages in the Gospels that contain a similar juxtaposition between John and Jesus based on the their relationship to the Holy Spirit. This should help us better understand Luke’s argument. Finally, I will converge these points to present my reason for reading 19.1-7 as I do.
I will be presenting at 4:45 PM.