Close Reading #3 (Acts 4:32-5:11)
The other section in this passage that could be potentially problematic is the section where it discussed that no man’s possessions were his own (vs. 32). This is not a command to share everything that you own. This was a cultural and situational occurrence. While we are called to help those in need. I think it would be a stretch to create a command from this single passage.
I agree with the boundaries chosen for this particular text. However I do not agree with the transition from Chapter 4 to Chapter 5 after Acts 4:32. There seems to be a smoother transition and gathering of like ideas from 4:32-5:1 than there is from 5:11-5:12. So while I would not change the boundaries chosen for the assignment I would move the chapter break from after 4:32 to after 5:11 and just add the first eleven verses of chapter five to the end of chapter four. My reasoning for this is that from 4:32 to the end of chapter four, Luke is describing the way the Apostles and those with them were living. Chapter 5 begins with a story that exemplifies what Luke was just describing. If a reader would only begin to read at Chapter 5 they would completely miss the meaning of the story of Ananias and Sapphira. And then 5:12 seems to move on to a completely different subject.
Luke probably wrote Acts as a sequel to his Gospel. It was a letter specifically written to Theophilus (the same recipient of Luke’s Gospel). Since Acts’ main purpose is to act as a history of the early Christian church post-ascension, I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that the audience is the universal, catholic church. Luke was writing to all followers of Jesus Christ. In this particular section of the text, Luke probably shared this story to show the severity of attempting to misdirect or lie to not only your fellow man but to God himself. It says in both 5:5 and 5:11 that a great fear seized all who heard of this story. I think that that’s what Luke was hoping for in...