Bible Study

Day 61 – The Apostles and Converts form a New Community

Today’s reading: Acts 4:23-37

After Peter and John are released by the Sanhedrin they go back to their new community and pray in thanksgiving.  In the prayer they recognize that verses from Psalm 2 were actually prophetic, describing how the Jewish leaders would conspire with the gentiles against the messiah.  Notice, this suggest that the young church has authority to interpret scripture.

The latter part of today’s reading depicts an undefined but longer period of time in which the Apostles are beginning to preach regularly and the community is growing around them.  Part of this involves the members of the community forgoing their possession and donating everything to the Church.  Sometimes descriptions like this are used to try and justify ideologies like socialism / communism.  However, that is a bridge to far.  First, the new converts are giving their possessions to the Church, not a government.  Second, their decision is voluntary; it is not being imposed on them by a new government.  Third, throughout history there have been monastic and religious orders that have adopted this way of life.  The Church has always said that it can be a good thing, but not a necessary thing, for people to forgo private property and live a simple life of material poverty.  And certainly the Church has always taught against gluttony including form of materialism and consumerism.

Tomorrow: Acts 5:1-21

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