Slide 1

Two volume work


Parallel Works

-       Plutarch

-       1 K 17-2 K 13

Slide 2


Parallel works

-       Plutarch

-       1 K 17-2 K 13

Reading Luke- Acts together; authorship

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Parallel Lives; Luke- Acts

Jesus anointed (Is 61, Lk 4)                      Church anointed (Joel 2; Acts 2)

Jesus signs                                               Peter’s, Paul’s signs

3 trials of Jesus, 2 before                         3 trials of Paul, 2 before governors,

governor, 1 before a Herod                       1 before a Herod

“Father, forgive…”                                     “Lord, forgive…”

“Into Your hands I commit                         “Lord, receive my spirit.”

My spirit”

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Often writers created symmetry: books of roughly equal length

Lk and Acts each roughly same length as Matt; Mark 1 and 2; Jn 2, 3

Scrolls of standardized length

-       sometimes ran out of space suddenly at end of scroll (Jos.- oops)

-       Matt., Lk, and Acts were each close to the maximum length for scrolls, between 32 and 35 feet

-       Acts about 32 feet

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Public readings at dinner parties

Often revised, released in various editions

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Purposes: legal

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Purposes: legal

-       To record consistent legal precedents in favor of the early Christians

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Purposes: legal

-       Every Roman court declares them not guilty

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Purposes: legal

-       Prob. same reason as Josephus’s precedents for Judaism: to argue that Christianity should be legal

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Purposes: legal

-       Legal ammunition (Lk 21)

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Purposes: legal

-       Paves way for later Christian lawyers and philosophers like Tertullian and Justin

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Purposes: apologetic

Fronts: Roman law courts; Greek philosophers; rural Asian farmers; Jewish objections

Nothing can stop it (“hinder”)

Relationship to Judaism:

-       Ancient religions respected for age

-       OT their book and they were authentic voice of Judaism

-       Thus fulfillment of OT motifs


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Signs and Wonders

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The Spirit (0ver 70x)

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Evangelism (“witness” nearly 30x)

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The marginalized

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Cross cultural communication

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Lk 1:10                                                           Acts 1:14

Lk 3:21                                                           Acts 2:42

Lk 5:16                                                           Acts 3:1

Lk 6:12, 28                                                      Acts 6:4, 6

Lk 9:18, 28-29                                                 Acts 8:22, 24

Lk 11:1-2                                                         Acts 9:11

Lk 18:1, 10-11                                                 Acts 10:9, 30-31

Lk 19:46                                                          Acts 11:5

Lk 21:36                                                          Acts 12:5, 12

Lk 22:40-46                                                    Acts 16:13, 16, 25

                                                                       Acts 21:5; 22:17

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Focus of Acts: world evangelization

Spirit-empowered evangelism across cultural boundaries (Acts ? :8)

Slide 20

Miracle Reports by Craig Keener

Their Plausibility in the Gospels and Acts

My scholarly work mainly writing commentaries, but in that work the question of reliability

requires one to do some research on miracles

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Jesus’ Miracles

How reliable are the sources?

-       Ancient biographies

-       Careful with sources

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Considering Jesus’ miracles

Miracle stories constitute about 1/3 of Mark’s Gospel, about 20% of Acts

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A circular problem

-       One reason that Western scholars questioned the Gospels was that they include miracle reports

-       What’s wrong with miracle reports?

-       Earlier Western scholars said that eyewitnesses never claim dramatic miracles such as those in the Gospels

-       Were they correct?

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Picture of David Friedrich Strauss (1808-1874)

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But Strauss’ friend cured!

Picture of German Lutheran pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt

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Dr. Rex Gardner, Healing Miracles

E.g., Dr. Rex Gardner;

- 9- year- old girl, deaf without her hearing aid but praying for healing

- instantly healed

- audiologist initially denied the possibility

- but the next day, the tests proved that her hearing was normal

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Eyewitnesses (some whom I know);

Healings of deaf non-Christians in Jesus’ name in Mozambique leading to massive church growth. Heidi, Rolland Baker

Now documented with medical tests

Slide 28

South Medical Journal, Sept 2010

Read it on your own. @ 24:52 on the video

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Lisa Larios- even her bones healed! (from Richard Casdorph, M.D., PhD, The Miracles)

Slide 30

Bruce Van Natta

Crushed beneath semi-truck

Most of small intestine destroyed

After several surgeries, 116 cm left of small intestine (just 25 cm of ileum, normally 350 cm)

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Dropped 180 pounds to 125- starving

Someone led to fly from NY to WI and pray for Bruce

Commanded small intestine to grow, in Jesus’ name

Like electric jolt

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Radiologist: small intestine now about half normal length, but functional

c. 274-300 cm (from 116- more than doubled)

Small intestine can widen but cannot naturally grow longer

Equivalent to amputated appendage growing

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Healing of deep gash wounds

Dr. Chauncey Crandall (over a few days)

Dr. Tonye Briggs (overnight)

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Carl Cocherell, broken ankle, March 7, 2006

Read the medical report @ 29:18 on the video

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Joy Wahnefried, classic case of vertical heterophoria

Read pamphlet @ 30:23 on the video

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In Cuba: Mirtha Venero Boza, M.D. and Baptist evangelist: knows burns

Hand of baby severely burned by hot iron

Swollen and skin peeling off

Less than ½ hour of prayer

No medical intervention

Restored completely, as if it had never been burned

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Medical Miracles

The history of Catholic medical documentation

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Eyewitness testimony

A form of evidence in sociology, anthropology, journalism, and of course historiography

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From my interviews or published sources I believe reliable

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Not claiming that everyone prayed for gets healed

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Wonsuk and Jule Ma (OCMS): large goiter instantly gone

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Danny McCain witnessed baby brother’s skin healed instantly

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My brother in Christ (later PhD in physics) and I witnessed

c. 1983, a Fuller seminarian lifted a disabled woman I knew from her wheelchair with a command of faith

I was horrified

But from then on she walked

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Found c. 350 reports of healed blindness

E.g., Rex Gardner, Healing Miracles

Medical trainee in North Wales; eye scarring

Schoolteacher, blind after accident; after healing, did not even need glasses

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Healing blindness

Oct.30, 2004: Flint McGlaughlin

Director of Cambridge Business Institute

2004 prayed for blind man in northern India

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This is where he told his story. He began to weep and I asked why? He said, “I have always heard the Children, but I have never seen their faces.”

Slide 47

Dr. Katho, from Bunia, Congo

Evangelical Brethen, president of Shalom University in Bunia

When doing evangelism

People brought them a blind elderly woman, not helped by doctors or shamans

They prayed two minutes

She shouted, “I can see!”

Remained sighted for the remainder of her life.

Slide 48

Cameroonian Baptist Paul Mokake, one of my students

My student Yolanda McCain witnessed blind eyes opened when Paul prayed

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Raisings from the dead

Helpful because

Usually people are not considered merely psychosomatically dead

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E.g., one experience so interpreted by Wesley in his journal (Dec. 25, 1742)

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Prayed for a Mr. Meynick

Who appeared dead

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Dr. Chauncey Crandell, cardiologist

Jeff Markin, West Palm Beach, Oct. 20, 2006

Dead 40 minutes, pronounced dead

Crandell led to pray, use paddle

Markin restored and no brain damage!

Slide 53

Dr. Sean George (Australia)

55 minutes trying to revive him

Acute kidney failure, etc

No brain damage

(though 3 months before he returned to work)

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Many claims from India, e.g.

Government official’s son died. Prayed to “Jesus, the Christian God”


Resultant growth among Nishi tribal people

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Global Pentecostalism

Two Western sociologists

Interviewed locals (including Hindu village elder)

A woman returned to life after being pronounced dead (no breathing or pulse)

An Indian pastor prayed for a girl dead with “worms coming out of her nose”

Returned to consciousness, shared her postmortem experience

Local newspapers covered story

Slide 56

Pastor in Mumbai shared with me

Believers found a Hindu boy, Vikram, lying at the bottom of a pool

Jaya, a nurse, and Suneeta, an intercessor, took him to doctors, who pronounced him dead

Slide 57

(photo: Vikram feeling better after raising)

As they were returning 1 ½ hours later he revived

He said he heard the name “Jesus” and then was rescued

His Hindu parents noted that he had never heard this name before

Slide 58

Photo: Vikram and his family joined the Christians in their worship service

Slide 59

Sister whom I interviewed in Philippines

Diagnosed with liver cancer in 1983, but unable to afford treatment

In 1984 died in hospital

Dead for 1 hour, 45 minutes

Minister prayed, but the woman was already under sheet

Came to life; thought she had just been asleep

Cancer completely gone

Doctor and doctor’s husband converted, became missionaries

Slide 60

Professor J. Ayodeji Adewuya

At scholars meeting in U.S., 2009, publicly noted

Newborn son was pronounced dead at birth on January 1, 1981

Slide 61

Raised after 30 minutes of prayer

Son has now finished master of science degree at the University of London

Slide 62

My friend Leo Bawa

One evening in Mayo in northern Nigeria, his host’s neighbor handed  him their dead child

Prayed for a few hours

The boy was “fully restored”

“I came out of the room and handed over the boy to his parents alive!”

Slide 63

Others in Capro informed me: c. 5 pm, Dec. 1985: Timothy Olonade from Kano toward Kaduna

Slide 64

2 people killed in accident

Police found no pulse, heartbeat

The blood was baked on him

C. 3 am. Found moving in mortuary

Slide 65

Doctors assumed severe brain damage

After 3 weeks released from hospital, though treated at home

Maxillofacial surgeon/professor return to life, rapid recovery beyond medical explanation

Slide 66

I taught for Capro three summers in Nigeria and know Timothy well

Now a leader in Nigerian missions movement.

Last modified: Sunday, April 7, 2019, 2:31 PM