The Book of Acts According to Alexander Campbell: An Historical and Rhetorical Commentary (Studies in American Religion Bk. 1, v.)

The Book of Acts According to Alexander Campbell: An Historical and Rhetorical Commentary (Studies in American Religion Bk. 1, v.)

By: Lee Snyder (author)Hardback

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This scholarly work by Dr. Snyder is an historical commentary on the book of Acts, according to Alexander Campbell, a nineteenth-century religious reformer, and a founder of three major denominations--the Churches of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, and the Christian Churches. During an active writing career of over forty years, he published over a dozen books and hundreds of issues of journals, spreading his ideas throughout the United States and parts of Europe. Alexander Campbell, Man of the Book There is no doubt that Alexander Campbell was one of the outstanding religious/intellectual leaders of American society in the nineteenth century. Best known as the founder of the Disciples of Christ, his followers were often simply (and pejoratively) known as "Campbellites." But Campbell was more then merely a religious figure. Francis Asbury and Lyman Beecher were religious leaders, but neither of them was elected to political office (Campbell was elected by several western counties of Virginia to represent them in the Constitutional Convention of 1829-1830.) Campbell arrived in the United States in 1809, twenty-one years old, with only the clothes on his back and a trunk of water-stained books (his first attempt to come to America ended in shipwreck off the Scottish coast). Yet at his death in 1866 he was considered the wealthiest man of West Virginia. The religious magazines he edited were two of the most significant religious organs of the nineteenth century. His agricultural pursuits ranged from simple farming to breeding Merino sheep (he became the president of the American Merino Sheep Breeders Association); buyers from across the country came to his farm to purchase stock. Circulating in the highest social circles, Campbell's overnight guests at his Bethany homestead included Henry Clay, Jefferson Davis, and James Garfield. An educator, he started Bethany College, a liberal arts school which continues today. So Campbell was obviously much more than merely a well-known religious leader. But it was his religious interests that became the driving center of his activity. Even while he was still in the British Isles, Campbell became disenchanted with the divided state of the churches. He grew up within the Old Light Anti-Burgher Seceder branch of the Presbyterians, but he early became convinced that such divisions were contrary to the will of God. So he worked for reform, initially among the Baptists in America, then, when they removed him from their fellowship, he and his followers started an independent fellowship of churches. His debates marked him as a person with penetrating intellectual ability. On three occasions he debated Presbyterians over baptism, but he also debated the socialist reformer, Robert Owen, on atheism, and took on Bishop John Purcell of Cincinnati in defending Protestantism against Catholicism. Campbell was not afraid to get his hands dirty in farm work, but he was also a gentleman scholar. The early nineteenth century was a time when the distinctions between pastors and scholars were virtually nonexistent. Scholarship was not confined to the halls of academe. Campbell was a biblical scholar. His writings (twenty books, plus forty volumes of periodicals) teem with biblical references, careful exegesis, insightful comments clearing away numerous misunderstandings of Scripture. When he and Nathan Rice were debating in 1843, Rice argued that in Revelation 19:13 the word bebammenon, derived from the root baptizo, is translated as "sprinkling" in the Peshito Syriac, Jerome's Vulgate, and used similarly by Origin. Thus Rice concluded that baptism in the early church was done by sprinkling. Campbell argued that Origen's use of "sprinkling" here could only mean that Origen had a manuscript that used errantismenon rather than bebammenon. Rice charged that Campbell was making all this up; there was no documentary evidence for this. Campbell said there had to be; it was the only explanation that made sense. Sixteen years later when Constantin Tischendorf discovered Codex Sinaiticus, errantismenon showed up in Revelation 19:13. This is only one example of Campbell's scholarly insights. He could predict what the ancient manuscript evidence was even when there was as yet no proof. In all of Campbell's writings, he gave special prominence to the Book of Acts. Because of his emphasis on wanting to return to the original forms of apostolic Christianity, Campbell did a thorough job of analyzing the church as reflected in this book, as well as the epistles. Perhaps the most quoted verse by followers of Campbell was Acts 2:38, because of its nutshell presentation of the purpose of baptism. But a commitment to the book of Acts goes far beyond merely the issue of baptism. It goes indeed to the very marks of the church that Campbell was trying to restore. Thus for him the book of Acts was a primary resource. It is for this purpose that Dr. Snyder's compilation is so useful for those who want to study Campbell's views. In this massive and exhaustive compilation, Dr. Snyder has put together all of Campbell's comments on Acts in a format that is both easy to follow and thorough in scope. I know of no such compilation anywhere else. Students of Cambpell's thought will find this a rich treasure of Campbellian thinking and application. We are in debt to Dr. Snyder for his massive undertaking.

Contents

Preface 1 Acknowledgements 5 Introduction 7 A Historical and Rhetorical Commentary 10 The Centrality of the Bible in Campbell's Thinking 12 Locating Campbell's Comments 17 A Nineteenth-Century Commentary 20 Sources Used 21 Contents 23 Abbreviations 29 Introduction to the Book of Acts 35 Title and Text 35 Author and Authenticity 38 Date 39 Purpose 40 Plan 43 The Value of Acts 44 Other Observations 51 Conclusion 52 Acts 1:1-26 55 Acts 2: 1-47 113 Acts 3:1-26 311 Acts 4:1-37 349 Acts 5:1-42 393 Acts 6:1-15 453 Acts 7:1-60 487 Acts 8:1-40 557 Acts 9:1-43 635 Acts 10:1-48 689 Acts 11:1-30 747 Acts 12:1-25 799 Acts 13:1-52 825 Acts 14:1-28 883 Acts 15:1-41 913 Acts 16:1-40 975 Acts 17:1-34 1037 Acts 18:1-28 1091 Acts 19:1-41 1123 Acts 20:1-38 1161 Acts 21:1-40 1213 Acts 22:1-30 1239 Acts 23:1-35 1271 Acts 24:1-27 1299 Acts 25:1-27 1323 Acts 26:1-32 1337 Acts 27:1-44 1363 Acts 28:1-31 1391 Bibliography 1417 Index of Scriptures 1427 Index of Subjects 1435

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773470262
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 572
  • ID: 9780773470262
  • ISBN10: 0773470263

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