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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA CATHOLICA LATINA - Ediţia nr.1 din 2000  

  Rezumat:  The lecture looks at the transformation of the approach to the Acts of the Apostles in the light of different commentaries. Luther saw in Acts a gloss to Paulís letters, a presentation through images and narratives of his theology of the justification by faith in Christ. However, in the early historical-critical analysis of the book, the interpretation tends to see Acts in a very negative way, as a compromise-seeking in the controversy between Paulís and Peterís followers (Ch. Baur). M. Dibelius is the first one to recognize in Acts an authentic witness of the life and preaching of the apostolic church. Two other Protestant biblical scholars who have compared Acts with the Pauline letters, H. Conzelmann and E. Haenchen, find that even if one looks at the Acts as a Hellenistic literary genre (a novel), the book presents captivating images the liberating presence of God as experienced by the first Christians. It is this experience that empowers them to convince the world about Godís power. E. Kšseman introduces the pejorative term ĄFrŁhkatolizismusĒ (early catholicism) to refer to the negative transformation of the early church and its faith. After the Ąmidst of the timeĒ marked by Christís presence, faith in him and a strong eschatological hope, comes the time of the church, of institutionalization, when Christians try to integrate the wisdom of the pagan world (as shown by Paulís speech on the Areopagus). Acts show this shift from eschatology to history. A more positive Protestant approach is that of M. Hengel, who reveals the relationship between OT historical (especially deuteronomistic) tradition and Acts; both understand history as salvation-history. A real change can be seen since 1980, when both Catholics (G. Schneider, R. Pesch) and Protestants (J. Roloff) discover the deep insights of Acts. R. Pesch stresses the profound unity of the two books of Luke, his Gospel and Acts. Roloff illustrates this idea through the comparison of similar narratives, such as Jesusí and Paulís passion. The relationship between Luke and Paul (and their theology) is also seen in a new light. Even though Luke didnít know Paulís letters (he wrote Acts after Paulís death, but surely before the Pauline letters had become well known in the early church) his work reflects a good knowledge of Paulís theological thinking. This positive approach to Acts reveals the fact that the evolution of the church wasnít a betrayal of the original message, but a matter of life. The Acts of the Apostles is now seen as a way to better understand the life of the early church and as a source for faith, liturgy, life and ecumenical convergence in our time.  
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