The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2013 pp. xvi + 96. $19.95
Phoenix Guides to the New Testament, 5
Buy this book now from SBL
The book of Acts opens with the dramatic story of tongues of flame descending upon believers at Pentecost and the prophecy of an egalitarian dispensation of the Spirit being fulfilled. Yet, as the narrative unfolds, we become aware of a tension between the socially egalitarian promise of the Pentecost story and the author’s underlying concern to provide reassurance for his elite patron Theophilus that Jesus followers do not disturb the existing social order. In this Guide, Acts is read as a struggle to tame the tongues of fire. Acts mutes the egalitarian promise of the Spirit through presenting an ‘orderly account’ (as its author calls it) of the Jesus movement that appeals to elite sensibilities. At the same time, the narrative contains contradictions, gaps and fissures that suggest the outlines of a more complex, and even subversive, religious movement.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Acts, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches, Ideological Critique
Review by Brian LePort
Citation: Brian LePort, review of Shelly Matthews, The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).
Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.