In a time when the current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is being criticized as a ‘Marxist’ for quoting St. John Chrysostom, along with other church fathers, in critiquing our current economic paradigms (i), it may be prudent to look more deeply into the hermeneutics of Chrysostom. r121913popeChrysostom, in his eleventh homily on the Acts of the Apostles (ii) according to the words of Ludwig Von Mises, “…applauds the consumers’ communism of the first Christian congregation, and…advocates its revival. Not only does he recommend this form of communism by reference to the example of the Apostles…but tries to set forth rationally the advantages of communism as he conceives it.”(iii) The passages in the Acts of the Apostles referred to are 2:43-47, and 4:32-35, both of which speak of the Jerusalem church’s practice of holding all possessions “in common” (ἅπαντα κοινά) (iv). The question as to the historicity of the accounts (v) is not of concern here for our focus is the role that they played in Chrysostom’s preaching and exhortation. We will first look at the passages from the perspective of Biblical scholarship to see how these passages should be understood within their own context and the purposes of the author of the accounts. Next we will consider the various thematic issues found throughout Chrysostom’s preaching, practice, and thought to see how these passages should be understood within the context from which Chrysostom preached. Lastly, we will evaluate the evaluative judgments made by scholars and commentators as to Chrysostom’s reasoning and exegesis of these passages. It will be argued here that Chrysostom, far from being an idealistic monk with naïve utopian dreams of poverty-free communities, was a reasonably informed Biblical exegete and preacher attuned to the nature of his congregation and the reach of his aspirations. We will see that the possibility of the creation of such communities for Chrysostom was not something lacking the need for maturation nor was it an event that must be understood as miraculous, as Richard I. Pervo says of the accounts in the Acts of the Apostles (vi). Chrysostom’s goal, well summarized by J.I. Maxwell, “was not social change… The Christian ethos had to become all embracing, to become common sense, to become habit, and so to be taken for granted…” (vii)

            The passages in the Acts of the Apostles reflect the wider Graeco-Roman and Jewish ideals in the ancient world about collective property possession and the elimination of poverty. The author of these accounts wished to portray these ideals as fulfilled among the believers in the Jerusalem church at the early stages of the history of the Christian movement (viii). Indeed, a plethora of examples could be drawn on to illustrate this point (ix), for as C.K. Barrett has rightly noted, “That friends share all things is one of the most widely quoted maxims in ancient literature.” (x) The ideal in our Jewish texts can be seen by the exemplar of Deuteronomy 15:4, which reads “But there will be no poor among you (for the LORD will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance to possess)” (RSV) (xi). As Ben Witherington III, along with others, has noted, this ideal seems to have been practiced by the community at Qumran (1QS 5:1-3; CD 9:1-15) as a demand of ritual purity and communal law, unlike the seemingly voluntary and friendship-based practice found in Acts and in the Graeco-Roman portrayals of ideal communities (xii). The parallelism between the accounts in Acts and in the utopian aspirations of the Graeco-Roman world is well illustrated by both the linguistic and conceptual similarities between Iamblichus’s account On the Pythagorean Way of Life (De Vita Pythagorica) and Acts. The Pythagorean community portrayed by Iamblichus was “…μιᾶς ψυχῆς…κοινὰ γὰρ πᾶσι πάντα καὶ ταῦτα ἦν, ἴδιον δὲ οὐδεὶς οὐδὲν ἐκέκτητο (one soul…for all things were common, and the same for all, and no one possessed anything as his or her own)…” (On the Pythagorean Way of Life, 167-168). Similarly for the author of Acts the Jerusalem church was “…καρδία καὶ ψυχὴ μία, καὶ οὐδὲ εἷς τι τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ ἔλεγεν ἴδιον εἶναι ἀλλ᾽ ἦν αὐτοῖς ἅπαντα κοινά (one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common)” (4:32). Beyond the linguistic parallels there is a great similarity of purpose between these two accounts for they both wish to present sub-groups in the past as the portrayal of a ‘golden age’ to be followed by the group at the present time (xiii). As for whether this practice was to be extended beyond the community or not (xiv), what is clear, especially by the use of the imperfect verb in Acts 2:45, is that this was a continual action by the community and not a one time occurrence (xv). What we have then portrayed by the author of Acts is an ideal exemplary community who, by practicing the voluntary communal ownership of property resulting in the alleviating of poverty amongst its community members, fulfilled both the Jewish and Graeco-Roman ideals of a utopian community.

            Chrysostom in preaching on these passages in his eleventh homily on the Acts of Apostles invites his own community to imagine what would happen in their own context if they were to practice such a system of economics. Based upon his own conjectures, he estimated that if the population of the Christian community in Constantinople was around one hundred thousand people, and that there was roughly a million pounds of gold amongst the population at large, that thousands of pounds of gold could be collected from the Christian community, more than enough to feed the population of the poor, roughly no more than fifty thousand people by Chrysostom’s estimation (xvi). Chrysostom concludes by saying, “Nay, should we not make it a heaven upon earth?” (xvii) The practical outworking of this practice, as Chrysostom sees it within the eleventh homily, does not include any retention of the idea of private property, indeed, “It is not to be said, that though indeed they maintained the rest, yet they did it with the feeling that the means whereof they maintained them were still their own.” (xviii) For Chrysostom, the humble act of the submission of their property at the feet of the apostles (Acts 4:35) to be the dispensers of the property, showed that for this community the property was not given as a gift out of their own private property nor was it to be a means of vain-glory for the giver, but that this practice was thought of as a means of removing “…inequality from among them, and made a goodly order.” (xix)

            It can be shown that, for Chrysostom the adoption of these practices were the natural working of many other themes to be found throughout his thought and work, such as: (a) the regular, urgent, and repeated emphasis in Chrysostom’s writings upon the ascetic ideal of giving up one’s possessions as a means of self-discipline with the hatred of extravagant living, and not merely as charity (xx), (b) Chrysostom’s strong condemnation of the rich, such as when he chided rich women who thought their toilet utensils should be made of silver, while others shivered in the cold “…as if they thought their excrement merited privileged treatment…” (xi), and (c) finally, the way in which Chrysostom, while still holding and admiring many ascetic ideals, found that the isolation of monasticism was not conducive to the Christian’s task of commitment of service to the wider world, an opinion for which he created many enemies among the monks of Constantinople (xii). The three themes then, of loss of possession as self-discipline, the condemnation of the rich, and the commitment to the wider world, can be seen as the conditions in Chrysostom’s thought which most naturally produced in his exegesis of Acts the idea that the practice of collective property ownership was the ideal for the church at large as it would encourage the self-discipline, rid the community of the rich in helping the poor, and be a powerful witness to the world. Chrysostom in his thought-experiment of the out-working of these practices projected that there would probably be no unbelievers left in the world, so attractive would the new community be. (xiii)

            It is with such great aspirations then that commentators both on Chrysostom and the Acts of the Apostles have deemed the notions present (or seemingly present) in both as unrealistic, fictional, or naïve. For commentators who wish to take a positive view of the accounts in Acts but wish to avoid the implications drawn from them by Chrysostom and others, there have been primarily two strategies used to avoid this conflict: (a) to emphasize other themes within the text, or (b) to argue that the texts were not composed with the authorial intention of actually being the exhortation to other communities to follow their portrayal. For an instance of the first, Francis Martin rightly notes the change in emphasis between ancient scholars and modern scholars upon the texts in Acts when he says, “Of the four characteristics of the early community, the ancients tend to accent detachment from wealth, while the moderns try to determine whether the breaking of bread is a eucharistic celebration.” (xxiv) The change of emphasis is so strange because it is not clear from either passage in Acts that the Eucharist is mentioned at all (xxv). Another theme of consistent thematic attention by modern commentators is the emphasis upon unity, as Witherington says, “The phrase επι το αυτο is an important one, and it appears both here [2:44] and in v. 47…The intent of using the phrase is to say something about the unity or togetherness of the early Christians…” (xxvi) What is of most interest here is that the emphasis upon unity is separated from the collective ownership of property, whereas for Chrysostom, and others like St. Augustine (xxvii), the unity of the believers is precisely the reason why the property should be shared collectively.

            Chrysostom explicitly points to the question as to whether the collective ownership of property and resultant poverty preceded the love and unity of the believers, or whether their unity preceded the collective ownership of property and resultant poverty, concluding the latter (xxviii). In other words, for Chrysostom, the collective ownership of property was the result of their unity, not a precedent or by-product. The second strategy used in avoiding the implications of reading Acts the way Chrysostom read it can be seen most exemplary in Barrett’s cautionary statement on the author of Acts’ intent, which reads, “It is undoubtedly part of his intention to use example to show his contemporaries…how the church should conduct its common life; though he never suggests, or hints, that church members ought at all times to dispose of their capital assets…” (xxix) If not quite outright contradictory, certainly Barrett’s caution is deeply inconsistent, for he wishes to incorporate the understanding that the author of Acts intended his statement about the Jerusalem church to be followed by other churches as the ideal, without concluding that the author of Acts intended his portrayal of the church to be followed at all times. Indeed it would be almost impossible for one not to see that the authorial intent of the Acts passages discussed here were meant to be programmatic, for as Pervo rightly says, “Utopias set in the distant past or future tend to be critiques of things as they are.” (xxx)

            Seen then from this first set of strategies to avoid Chrysostom’s reading of Acts, it can be perceived that Chrysostom’s reading not only covers all the themes of the passages without excluding other themes, but also reads the accounts in Acts most naturally as programmatic. In addition to this first set however there are more serious ideological confrontations with the implications of Chrysostom’s readings, which come either in the form of embarrassment or blunt refutation and criticism. An example of the first comes from Witherington who says, “…taken together, vv.44-45 do not at all suggest what we would call communism…” (xxxi) While absolutely acknowledging that to call the practice in Acts ‘communism’ would be a terrible anachronistic judgment, for ‘communism’ refers to the collective ownership of not only property but the means of production (xxxii), it still may be wondered why the reference to communism is necessary to mention at all. From the early 20th century onwards, such as in the work of Alphons Steinmann, there can be seen a great concern amongst certain groups of scholars to make sure that nothing in early Christianity could be seen as ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’ due to their own political opposition to such ideologies (xxxiii). It is this embarrassment over slight similarities between the portrayal of the Jerusalem church in Acts as Chrysostom has read it and 19th/20th century ideologies in the notion of the collective ownership of property, that causes scholars to strenuously argue that the notion of private property is still present within the text of Acts, when quite clearly it is not (xxxiv).

            It is then the second form of confrontations with Chrysostom’s reading of Acts that we come to chiefly in the work of Von Mises. Von Mises says that Chrysostom in his reading of Acts made the mistake that the monastic ideal of a communism of consumption could be applied to the whole community, for “He had not realized that this [the consumption of goods by the community] could not go on for ever.” (xxxv) In a similar vein, Barrett views the interpretation of the Acts portrayal of the Jerusalem church by Chrysostom and others, that is of the collective ownership of all the community’s property, as an unnecessary and one of many readings of the text, for it is clear for Barrett that “Luke is not compiling statistics…” (xxxvi) something which Chrysostom did to some extent. However, against such views that implicitly argue Chrysostom was naïve in some manner, or was a believer in an impossible economic system, we should take note of his consistent pastoral concerns. As earlier shown, Chrysostom did not expect the church at large to adopt programmatically the monastic lifestyle as a matter of principle. One can clearly observe that, after his ordination, Chrysostom, while still holding in an idealist manner many aspects of the monastic lifestyle such as exemplified in the strongly worded ‘rants’ of his youth, becomes “…familiar with the complexities of life and of human psychology, his writings gained in understanding and sensitivity.” (xxxvii) nb_pinacoteca_unidentified_german_xvii_1624_st_john_chrysostom Indeed, one can see this sensitivity in the eleventh homily itself, where Chrysostom has not called upon his congregation to actually practice the collective ownership of property as portrayed in Acts, though he would like that very much, but rather “Only do as I say, and let us successfully achieve things in their regular order; if God grant life, I trust that we shall soon bring you over to this way of life.”(xxxviii) For Chrysostom understood then that perhaps his community would need to adopt these types of economic systems gradually, with all concerns addressed, for it appeared to Chrysostom that “The dwellers in the monasteries live just as the faithful did then…it seems, people are more afraid of this [the economic system of the Jerusalem church] than of falling into a boundless and bottomless deep.” (xxxix)

            As we’ve seen then, Chrysostom, far from being an idealistic monk with naïve utopian dreams of poverty-free communities, was a reasonably informed Biblical exegete and preacher attuned to the nature of his congregation and the reach of his aspirations. The passages in Acts were clearly constructed and made with the intention of their being followed by subsequent communities, in fulfilment of both the Jewish and Graeco-Roman ideals of collective property ownership. Chrysostom, unlike other ideologically sensitive commentators and exegetes, took these passages to be followed programmatically, in line with his admiration of ascetic values, condemnation of the rich, and his desire to sensitively conform his community’s habits and customs so as to more closely resemble those of the monastic communities. Perhaps the only major innovation in Chrysostom’s interpretation of these passages in Acts is his suggestion that the practice of the collective ownership of property should extend outside of the church community itself, and into the wider, non-Christian, community throughout Constantinople. Having then surveyed all that we have, the question as to how we should describe the economic system that Acts portrays and Chrysostom adopts is still left with us. The connection between the practice of collective property ownership in Acts and the teachings of Jesus within the gospels of Matthew (e.g. Matt. 6:19-21) and Luke (e.g. Luke 6:30-36, 12:13-21) has not been lost on scholars (xl). Moreover, Chrysostom interpreted the initiation of the practice by the community as a product of their love for one another (xli), as indeed did the Venerable St. Bede did in his commentary on Acts where he says, “…If the love of God pervades our hearts, without a doubt it will soon engender affection for our neighbor as well…the possession of everything without [anyone] having anything of his own is a great token of brotherly love.” (xlii) The description provided by Ernst Troeltsch then, of “religious communism motivated by love” (religiösen Liebeskommunismus) (xliii), may come the closest to describing the economic system that Acts portrays and Chrysostom adopts.

            Works Cited List

Barrett, C. K. A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles: in two volumes: Volume 1: Preliminary Introduction and Commentary on Acts 1-XIV. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1994.

Bock, Darrell L. Acts. Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2007.

Caryl, Christian. “The Heretical Pope Francis vs. Rush Limbaugh.” Foreign Policy, December 7, 2013.<http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/06/the_heretical_pope_francis_rush_limbaugh#sthash.kFLHHpIP.MumqXzRZ.dpbs>

Kelly, J. N. D. Golden mouth: the story of John Chrysostom–ascetic, preacher, bishop. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1995.

Levine, Amy-Jill, and Marc Z. Brettler, eds. The Jewish Annotated New Testament. New Revised Standard Version. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, USA, 2011.

Liebeschuetz, J. H. W. G. Ambrose and John Chrysostom: clerics between desert and empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Martin, Francis, and Evan Smith, eds. Acts. Vol. 5. Ancient Christian commentary on Scripture. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2006.

Nestle, Eberhard, and Erwin Nestle. Novum Testamentum Graece based on the work of Eberhard and Erwin Nestle. Edited by Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, Holger Strutwolf, and Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (Münster. 28th Revised Edition. [Stuttgart]: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012.

Pervo, Richard I. Acts: a commentary. Edited by Harold W. Attridge. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.

St. John Chrysostom. “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles.” In Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans, edited by Rev. George B. Stevens, translated by Rev. J. Walker, Rev. J. Sheppard, and Rev. H. Browne. Vol. 11. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1885.<http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf111.html>

Talbert, Charles H. Reading Acts: a literary and theological commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. Rev. ed. Reading the New Testament. Macon, Ga: Smyth & Helwys Pub, 2005.

Von Mises, Ludwig. Socialism: an economic and sociological analysis. Translated by J. Kahane. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951.<http://www.archive.org/details/SocialismAnEconomicAndSociologicalAnalysis>

Witherington, Ben. The Acts of the Apostles: a socio-rhetorical commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Carlisle, U.K: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. ; Paternoster Press, 1998.

            Notes

(i) Christian Caryl, “The Heretical Pope Francis vs. Rush Limbaugh,” Foreign Policy, December 7, 2013, <http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/06/the_heretical_pope_francis_rush_limbaugh#sthash .kFLHHpIP.MumqXzRZ.dpbs>

(ii) The text of which shall come from, unless otherwise noted: St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” in Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans, trans. Rev. J. Walker, Rev. J. Sheppard, and Rev. H. Browne, vol. 11, 14 vols., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1885), http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf111.html.

(iii) Ludwig Von Mises, Socialism: an economic and sociological analysis, trans. J. Kahane (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951), 424–425.

(iv) The English translation of the New Testament unless otherwise noted is from: Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler, eds., The Jewish Annotated New Testament, New Revised Standard Version (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, USA, 2011); The Greek text unless otherwise noted is from: Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Novum Testamentum Graece based on the work of Eberhard and Erwin Nestle, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28th Revised Edition ([Stuttgart]: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012).

(v) On which, interestingly, Richard I. Pervo deems the accounts to be essentially fiction: Richard I. Pervo, Acts: a commentary, ed. Harold W. Attridge, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009), 92; Whereas for Ben Witherington III these are accurate historical portrayals: Ben Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: a socio-rhetorical commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich. : Carlisle, U.K: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. ; Paternoster Press, 1998), 161.

(vi) Pervo, Acts, 95.

(vii) J.I. Maxwell, Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 147-148; Cited in J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, Ambrose and John Chrysostom: clerics between desert and empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 190.

(viii) Charles H. Talbert, Reading Acts: a literary and theological commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Rev. ed, Reading the New Testament (Macon, Ga: Smyth & Helwys Pub, 2005), 49.

(ix) A selection of other examples to be drawn upon include: Aristotle, Ethics 8.11 [1159B], 9.8 [1168B]; Cynic epistles- Crates 27, “To the Same” & Diogenes 10, “To Metrocles”; Euripides, Andromache, 376-77; Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 83; Plato, Republic 420C-422B, 462B-464A; Laws 679B-C, 684C-D, 744B-746C, 757A; Critias 110C-D; Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras, 20; Seneca, Epistle, 90.38. The Essenes as portrayed by Philo, Every Good Man is Free 77, 79, 84-85; Hypothetica 11.4-9, 10-11. The Qumran community, 1QS 6:18-20, 21-23. All cited and discussed in: ibid., 48.

(x) C. K Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles: in two volumes: Volume 1: Preliminary Introduction and Commentary on Acts 1-XIV, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1994), 168.

(xi) Commented and noted by: Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2007), 153; Francis Martin and Evan Smith, eds., Acts, vol. 5, Ancient Christian commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2006), 37; Talbert, Reading Acts, 48–49.

(xii) Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 162; Also Noted in: Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 1:168; Bock, Acts, 152; Pervo, Acts, 90n21.

(xiii) The parallels discussed and cited in: Pervo, Acts, 91n25.

(xiv) Both Barrett and Pervo on the basis of Acts 6 think it was confined just to the Christian community, though not explicitly said so in the passages under discussion here: Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 1:169; Pervo, Acts, 94–95. Also, but for different reasons, Bock, Acts, 155.

(xv) Bock, Acts, 153; Pervo, Acts, 94n50; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 162.

(xvi) On the question of his population estimates; J. N. D. Kelly, Golden mouth: the story of John Chrysostom–ascetic, preacher, bishop (Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1995), 136.

(xvii) St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” 142–143.

(xviii) Ibid., 137.

(xix) Ibid., 141.

(xx) Rightly said by J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, “The call for charitable giving, and the criticism not only of extravagant living, but of even the possession of riches, is found in Basil, Augustine, and Ambrose and in fact in nearly all the ecclesiastical writers of this period, but nowhere are these themes raised as regularly and urgently as in the writings of Chrysostom.”; Liebeschuetz, Ambrose and John Chrysostom, 195–196.

(xxi) In Col. Hom. 7.4-5 (PG 62.349-52), cited in: Kelly, Golden mouth, 135–136.

(xxii) Liebeschuetz, Ambrose and John Chrysostom, 137.

(xxiii) St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” 143.

(xxiv) Martin and Smith, Acts, 5:37.

(xxv) See debating this issue: Bock, Acts, 150–151; Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 1:164–165; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 160–161.

(xxvi) Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 161; Also Bock, Acts, 149, 152.

(xxvii) “First of all, because you are gathered together in one that you might live harmoniously (unanimes) and that there be one soul and one heart toward God. And you should not call anything your own, but let all things be common to you and distributed to each one of you according to need.” (Letter 211.5, CSEL 57:359); Cited in Martin and Smith, Acts, 5:38.

(xxviii) St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” 137.

(xxix) Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 1:252.

(xxx) Pervo, Acts, 90.

(xxxi) Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 162.

(xxxii) Pervo, Acts, 90–91n23. Further still Kelly comments, “What is interesting to modern students is that he always envisaged the voluntary charity of individuals as being the agent of such a redistribution. It never occurred to him, although often described as ‘almost a socialist’, that central government should have any responsibility for it.”; Kelly, Golden Mouth, 137.

(xxxiii) For a brief history of such opposition, including early Protestant opposition to the monastic tradition of reading Acts: Pervo, Acts, 90-91n23.

(xxxiv) The Rev. George B. Stevens comments, “The strong expressions of Chrys. concerning the community of goods at Jerusalem are quite different from the guarded and limiting statements of most modern commentators who seem bent upon showing that it was only a case of remarkable liberality, e.g. Hackett in loco: ”Common in the use of their property, not necessarily in their possession of it.“ Our author’s statements agree better with the New Test. notices on the subject.”; St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” 141–142n286.

(xxxv) Von Mises, Socialism, 425.

(xxxvi) Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 1:255.

(xxxvii) Liebeschuetz, Ambrose and John Chrysostom, 139.

(xxxvii) St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” 143–144.

(xxxix) Ibid., 143.

(xl) Barrett, A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 1:168; Bock, Acts, 153.

(xli) St. John Chrysostom, “A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,” 137.

(xlii) St. Bede, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 2.44 (CS 117:37), cited in: Martin and Smith, Acts, 5:37.

(xliii) Ernst Troeltsch, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches (2 vols.; 1911) Translated by O. Wyon (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 1:176; Cited in Pervo, Acts, 90–91n23.

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