Taylor: Notes

1 Le texte occidental des Actes des Apôtres. Reconstitution et réhabilitation (“Synthèse” no 17, 2 vols.; Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1984).

2 By M. Wilcox, The Semitisms in Acts (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), 96.

3 Thus B.J. Capper, “Community of Goods in the Early Jerusalem Church”, in: ANRW, II, 26.2 (1995), 1730-1774, esp. 1739f.

4 For the expression pavnta koinav in Greek literature, see the disussion below on 4:32.

5 The AT has simply “they used to sell ...”: the expression in the WT can be regarded as a precision of the less specific AT. In fact, although the AT is generally to be seen as a revision of the WT, the reverse can sometimes be true.

6 Those commentators who suppose that 2:44-45 describes the same practice as that in 4:32, 34-35 take the verb, formulated in the imperfect tense, as meaning that, from time time, as there was need, they used to sell their goods; thus Kirsopp Lake and Henry J. Cadbury, Beginnings of Christianity, IV (London: Macmillan, 1933), 29; F.F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary (3rd ed. rev. and enlarged; Grand Rapids, Michigan and Leicester: Eerdma ns and Apollos, 1990), 132; C.K. Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles (The International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1994), 169.

7 Beginnings, IV, p. 29, suggests that the kthvmata were sold and the uJpavrxei" divided, but that only raises more acutely the problem of the neuter plural pronoun.

8 Commentators generally agree that v. 33 did not originally form part of the same unity as vv. 32 and 34-35.

9 An exception would be the sharp disagreement which led Paul and Barnabas to separate (Acts 15:39), a rift which is not healed within the narrative of Acts.

10 It is quoted by Aristotle, Nic. Eth. 9.8.1168b, as a proverbial saying on friendship. To Aristotle is also attributed the saying that a friend is “one soul dwelling in two bodies” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosop hers, 5.20.) Similar expressions are frequent in Greek writings on the theme of friendship. For further examples, see the usual commentaries, also Jacques Dupont, “La communauté des biens aux premier jours de l’Église (Actes 2, 42. 44-45; 4, 32.34-35)”, in: Études sur les Actes des Apôtres (Lectio Divina 45; Paris: Cerf, 1967), 503-519, esp. 513-516. An interesting parallel is attributed to the Epicureans by Numenius (apud Eusebius, Praep. Evang. 14.5): “The s chool of Epicurus resembles a true commonwealth (politeiva), altogether free of factionalism, sharing one mind and one disposition (e{na nou`n, mivan gnwvmhn) ... .”

11 See, once again, the commentaries, and Dupont, “La communauté des biens”, 505-509.

12 Thus the WT; the AT is formulated slightly differently, but with no change of meaning. The term uJpavrconta used here seems to mean “belongings” in general, without any attempt to distinguish between real and personal pro perty, as in 2:45.

13 Just such a practice is prescribed by Plato for the guardians of the city (Rep. 3.416d and 5.462c). There is a remarkable parallel to our passage of Acts in the 4th century author Iamblichus (De Pythagorica Vita, 167-169): “Th e beginning of justice is to experience the same sentiments in having at best a single body and a single soul (miva" yuch`") and to affirm regarding the same thing: This belongs to me, this belongs to another, as Plato testifies who received it from the P ythagoreans ... for all was common to all (koina; ga;r pa`si pavnta), even things, and no one possessed anything as their own (i[dion de; oujdei;" oujde;n ejkevkthto).”

14 This last expression is repeated in each of the two narratives that follow. Commentators refer to Cicero, Pro Flacco 68: ante pedes praetoris in foro expensum est auri pondo.

15 This may refer to a member of another similar community who is on a voyage and has sought food and lodging; cf, Josephus, J.W. 2.8.4 (section)124f.

16 In a text which may have formed part of his lost Pro Iudaeis Defensio and is preserved by Eusebius, Praep. evang. 8.11.1-19; there seems to be no reason to suspect that Eusebius has not left us the text as he found it. Similarly, b ut with less precise detail, in Quod omnis probus liber sit (section)(section)85-87.

17 Texts of the second and third centuries show that the community of goods continued to be characteristic of the Christians: Did. 4.8; Ep. Barn. 9.8a; Tertullian, Apol. 30.19.4. We can infer from Lucian of Samosata that community of goods was one of the things that everyone knew about the Christians (Peregr. mort. 13). According to Epiphanius (Pan. 30.17.2) the Ebionites claimed to be so called (“the poor”) “because, they say, in the times of the apostles, of the custo m of selling their belongings and laying (them) at the feet of the apostles”. See also Justin Martyr, 1 Apol. 14.2; 67.1,6.

18 Thus A. Loisy, Les Actes des Apôtres (Paris: Émile Nourry, 1920), 263.

19 Thus J.D.M. Derrett, “Ananias, Sapphira and the Right of Property”, in: id., Studies in the New Testament (2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1977), 2. 193-201, esp. 195f.; see also I.R. Reimer, Women in the Acts of the Apostles: A Feminist Liberation Perspective, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995), 1-29.

20 Beginnings, IV, 50, with references.

21 Thus B.J. Capper, “The Interpretation of Acts 5.4”, JSNT 19 (1983) 117-131, who draws the parallel with 1 QS.