Luke 24.13-33 and Acts 8.26-39:
The Emmaus Incident and the Eunuch's Baptism as Parallel Stories

Return to Index or Epistles as Homilies before Eucharist  
[This study originally appeared in The Bangalore Theological Forum, Vol. VIII, No. 1, 1975, pp. 17-30.  Material in square brackets has been added since then.]

        In this study we shall show that there is the same structure to the story concerning Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24.13-33) as there is to the incident on the road between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8.26-39).1  We shall then attempt to draw out the consequences of this demonstration for our understanding of Luke-Acts
        The apparent parallels are as follows:

Luke 24 Acts 8
 1. Traveling from Jerusalem v. 132 Two disciples vv. 27-8 Ethiopian eunuch
 2. They have knowledge of v. 14 The events v. 28 Scripture
 3. They are approached by v. 15c Jesus v. 29 Philip directed by the Spirit
 4. They are joined by v.15d Jesus vv. 30-31 Philip
 5. They need guidance v.16 Eyes of disciples are prevented from recognizing Jesus vv. 30-31 Eunuch needs guide to understand the scripture
6. A question about the traveler's perplexity is asked by v. 17 Jesus vv. 30-31 Philip
7. Travelers stop v. 17 Disciples, looking downcast v. 31 Eunuch (by implication only) so that Philip may come up and sit with him
8. Travelers ask questions based on their knowledge (cf. 2 above) v. 18


Dost thou (σύ) not know of the events of these days?'
Disciples give summary of Jesus' ministry, passion and reported resurrection.
vv. 32-34 Eunuch reads scriptural prophecy, Isa. 53.7-8.  Then he asks: 'I pray thee (σου), about whom does the prophet say this?'
9. Jesus/Philip begins to expound the scriptures vv. 25-26 v. 35a
10.a. 'And beginning from...', καὶ ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ: v. 27 'Moses and all the prophets, v. 35 'this scripture,
  b. Preaching good news, Jesus he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things about himself.' he preached to him the good news, Jesus.'
11.a. They stop together vv. 28-29 vv. 36, 38
  b. Disciples/Eunuch request: Jesus to stay with them. Baptism
12. Jesus/Philip go with the travelers: v. 29d Jesus enters to stay with them. v. 38 Philip goes down into the water with the eunuch.
13. Eucharist/Baptism v. 30 v. 38b
14. End of the sacramental action v. 31a 'And their eyes were opened and they recognized him.' v. 39a 'And when they came up out of the water' (i.e. into new life)
15. Disappearance of Jesus/Philip v. 31b Jesus vanished from their sight v. 39b The eunuch saw Philip no more (he having been caught up by the Spirit of the Lord).
16. Travelers journey again, rejoicing vv. 32-33 v. 39c

         I.  We may begin our comments on this parallel structuring by noting that in the whole of the text of the two narratives, the only significant words that are the same are the emphatic pronouns, 'thou' (σύ) in Luke 24.18 and 'thee' (σου) in Acts 8.34, and the phrase, 'And beginning from' (καὶ ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ) in Luke 24.27 and Acts 8.35.  All the rest of the paralleling is done by presenting narrative content in the same sequence. [3]  Unlike the other three evangelists, who use not only structural paralleling but also many exact verbal parallels, the author of Luke-Acts seems to use very little repetition of identical vocabulary or phrases to indicate the inter-relatedness of of parts of his gospel.  The narratives we have looked at are an illustration of this. [4]
        [A further point of contact between the two narratives is the stress on Jesus' suffering as being scripturally based.  Lk 24.46 f. links Christ's sufferings explicitly to the demands of Scripture, while in Ac 8.32 f. the eunuch reads Isa 53.7 f., a Suffering Servant passage.]
        II.  In Item 8 (Luke 24.18-24; Acts 8.32-34) the disciples have knowledge of the events but not of the scriptures, while the potential convert has knowledge of scripture but not of the events.  Both stop short where they do in their understanding  because they do not know Jesus (Luke 24.16; Acts 8.34).  In Luke's presentation it would appear that neither knowledge about Jesus nor knowledge about scripture will bring one to confess, to know, or to have a living relationship with Jesus by itself.  That would appear to come only as one goes in The Way (note 'the way' passages in each narrative, Luke 24.32, 35; Acts 8.26, 36, 39).  This would match Luke's stress on Christians as being those of  'The Way', ἡ ὁδός (Acts 9.2; 19.9, 23; 22.4; 24.14, 22).  Jesus (Luke 20.21) and Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18.26) proclaim 'the Way of God'.  See also the parallel phrase, 'the Way of the Lord' (Acts 18.25).  In Acts 16.17 Paul and his companions are said to proclaim 'a way of salvation'.  To these passages may also be added at least Luke 1.76, 79; 3.4, 5; 7.27; 9.57 and 10.4 as other passages which appear to have a meaningful use of 'the way'.  An entering upon 'the Way' may also be implied in Acts 9.17 and 27, which concern Paul's conversion.  Finally we may notice that Elymas is said to pervert 'the right ways of the Lord' (Acts 13.10). [5]
       As the travelers go in The Way so Jesus is brought to them.  In the case of the eunuch, Philip's coming and departure are effected by the Spirit, the departure being the only time such a 'miraculous' transporting occurs in Acts (8.26-29, 39).  It would appear that it occurs here in order to match the 'miraculous' departure of Jesus in Luke 24.31.  The gospel that Philip preaches to the eunuch is not 'about Jesus', but rather he 'preached to him Jesus', τὸν Ἰησοῦν, which seems to mean that in Philip's preaching Jesus himself is conveyed to the eunuch.  Through Philip, Jesus is made present and known to the eunuch.
This would match the words to Paul in Acts 9.5: 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting', that is, in the Church Jesus is present and in the Church's ministry lies the extension of Jesus' ministry in Luke-Acts. [6]  Thus it is only as one goes in the Way that knowledge about Jesus leads, through the presence of the Lord, to a living understanding of the scriptures.  And it is only as one goes in the Way that knowledge of the scriptures leads, through Jesus' presence, to an understanding of the events.  If we are correct in this understanding of the presentation of these two narratives, then Luke-Acts would appear to have its own equivalent of Mark's 'messianic secret', namely, the necessity of going 'in the Way' if one would know Jesus as one's living Lord now. [7]
        When we come to discuss the overall structure of Luke-Acts (see VI below), we shall consider the possible significance of the fact that in both these narratives the journeys are ones that move away from Jerusalem.
        III.  Our demonstration that these two narratives are parallel would seem to demand that the Breaking of the Bread (Luke 24.35) in the first story be an ordinance of the community which is as firmly established as is baptism, which occurs in the parallel position in the second story, and that it should also be on a par with the latter in importance.  There would seem to be no other candidate than the eucharist.  On this basis, what we appear to have in the first narrative is the community's eucharist, not merely an account with eucharistic overtones.  That it is the eucharist of the ongoing Church would also seem to be implied by the clear indication that it was two disciples who had not been at the Last Supper with the earthly Jesus [8] (thus they return to Jerusalem to the Eleven at Jerusalem, Luke 24.33, and it was the Apostles, Luke 22.14, that is, the Twelve [9], who had been at the Last Supper).  This incident at Emmaus, then, would appear to be an account that proclaims that the whole Church knows its risen Lord in the Breaking of the Bread.  This increases the likelihood that 'the Breaking of the Bread' in Acts 2.42 is the eucharist.  That two disciples are involved in the Emmaus event may be Luke providing two witnesses, as is his wont, but in this event it is strange that they are witnessed to by the Eleven first of all on their return to Jerusalem: 'Indeed, the Lord is raised!' (Luke 24.34, taking ἠγέρθη in a passive sense [10]).  Thus perhaps Luke has two disciples as representing the corporateness of the eucharistic fellowship (see the stress on continuing in the fellowship in Acts 2.42).  [This Eucharist 'in one kind' in Lk 24.30 adds further weight to the arguments for omitting Lk 22.19b-20, the cup-saying, etc., from the Lukan account of the Last Supper.  The primary note of the Lukan (Roman?) Eucharist appears to have been fellowship with the living Lord (in contrast to the emphasis placed on participation in his self-giving dying in Mark, Matthew and Paul).]
        If we have shown cogent reasons for believing that the Emmaus meal is the eucharist, then the stress on knowing the Lord in the Breaking of the Bread (Luke 24.35) would increase the probability that Luke 22.19b-20, the longer text concerning the second cup at the Last Supper, is an interpolation.  Luke 24.31b: 'And they recognized him; and he became invisible to them', would appear to correspond in content and abruptness to 22.19a: 'This is my body'. [11]
        IV.  The baptismal narrative of Acts 8.26-39, on the other hand, concerns the expanding Church and hence falls to a later stage of Luke-Acts than does the eucharistic narrative of Luke 24.13-33.  To understand the significance of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch, we need to look at Stephen's speech and passion in relation to Jesus' passion.  The motif of the 'temple made without hands' of Mark 14.58 and 15.29 is carefully removed from Jesus' passion in Luke and is transferred to the end of Stephen's speech, Acts 7.48-50.  Two of Luke's additions to Jesus' words from the cross, namely, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do' (Luke 23.34), and 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit' (Luke 23.46), are repeated in substance by Stephen in reverse order but now are addressed to Jesus: 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit', and 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge' (Acts 7.59, 60). [12]  In Mark 15.39 the gentile centurion confesses Jesus as God's Son but in Luke 23.47 he does not so confess, but instead he glorifies God and calls Jesus a righteous man, i.e. one deserving of vindication by resurrection (cf. Luke124.214 and 20.35 which speak of the righteous and the worthy being raised).  Thus for the Third Evangelist the Ethiopian eunuch as a Gentile occupies a position in the narrative sequence which appears to correspond to that of Mark's gentile centurion (but the eunuch does not confess Jesus as Son of God, for in Acts this confession occurs only twice, both times by Paul and both times in synagogue, Acts 9.20; 13.33). [13]
        As we know from the Mishnah [14],the earliest discussion extant on proselyte baptism concerns the question of how soon after baptism could the proselyte eat of the Passover. [15]  According to W. D. Davies [16], new proselytes after their circumcision and baptism had to present an offering in the temple before they could participate in a sacrificial meal such as the Passover. [17]  We know from Deut. 23.1that eunuchs were not allowed to enter into the assembly of Yahweh (but see the universalism of Isa. 56.3 which argues for their inclusion).  We would therefore suggest that as an Ethiopian the man in our story stands as a gentile, as a eunuch he stands for all the maimed who could not enter the assembly or draw near to make an offering in the temple (cf. Lev. 21.16-23), and as representing both the gentiles and the maimed he is now brought by baptism into the temple made without hands, the Church. [18]  Thus baptism is presented as the means whereby those who were outside are now brought in. [19]

        V.  Our final suggestion about these two narratives themselves is that they appear to reflect a common liturgical structure, probably reflecting the usage prevalent in the Lukan church, which may well have been Rome. [20] The structure appears to be as follows, with the first and last items bracketed as being dubious:

Luke 24 Acts 8
(a) (Greeting of the assembly) .15, 17 .30
(b) Reading of scripture lections .27 .29, 32 f.
(c) Preaching of a sermon .25-27 .35
(d) Examination of baptismal candidates (missing) .36b [21]
(e) Eucharist/Baptism .30 f. .30 f.
(f) (Dismissal) .31b-33 .39b, c

        The relationship of this general structure to that of subsequent liturgies is too obvious to need further comment here.

        VI.  We are going to suggest that Luke-Acts has an overall chiastic structure based on theological locality.  Taking Luke 1.1-4.30 as the Lukan prologue [22], we would state that the key passage for the whole of the remainder of Luke-Acts is Acts 1.8:
                        You shall be my witnesses in:
                                (1)    Jerusalem,
                                (2)    all Judaea,
                                (3)    Samaria, and
                                (4)    to the end of the earth.
        Galilee appears to stand for 'Galilee of the Gentiles' (Isa. 9.1, cited in Matt. 4.15) in all four gospels, although Matthew is the only one in which the connectionn is made explicit by means of the Isaiah passage. [23] With this in mind we may outline the chiasm of Luke 4.31-Acts 28.31 as follows:

(4)  Luke 4.31-9.50 Ministry in Galilee up through the Transfiguration, with Gentiles involved in 7.2-10 and probably in 6.17 and in 8.26-39 as well.
At 9.31 the die is cast: The Exodus is to be fulfilled at Jerusalem.
(3)   Luke 9.51-18.34 The journey toward Jerusalem, involving mention of Samaria and Samaritans, although Jesus does not enter their territory even though he is willing to do so (Samaritan passages: 9.51-56; 10.25-37; 17.11-19).
(2)  Luke 18.35-19.27 In Judaea approaching Jerusalem.
(1) Luke 19.28-24.53 In Jerusalem (with all of Jesus' activity and teaching being in the temple from 19.45 to 21.38, and ending with the disciples being in the temple in 24.53). 
Acts 1.1-11.  Jesus' exaltation (i.e. ascension) and commissioning of his witnesses on Mount Olivet.
(1) Acts 1.12-7.60 In Jerusalem (and predominantly in the temple in 1-5).
Acts 7.48:  God does not dwell in houses made with hands.
(2)  Acts 8.1 The Church as the spiritual temple spreads throughout Judaea
(3) Acts 8.1-25 and Samaria.
(4) Acts 8.26-28.31 The expansion to all men: the eunuch as a maimed Gentile is brought into  the temple by baptism (8.26-40); Gentiles are brought into table fellowship through Peter (10.1-12.25); further expansion follows through Paul and Barnabas, moving to the west (13.1-19.20); the culmination is Paul's witness in Jerusalem and finally in Rome, the heart of the Gentile world (19.21-28.31). [24]

[1] There appears to be no indication that these stories should be linked in the commentaries on Luke of A. W. F. Blunt (Oxford, 1923), G. B. Caird (Harmondsworth, Middx., 1963), J. M. Creed (London, 1930), B. S. Easton (New York and Edinburgh, 1926), S. M. Gilmour (Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 8, New York and Nashville, 1952), A. R. C. Leaney (London, 1958), A. Plummer (I.C.C., Edinburgh,m1908), or E. J. Tinsley (Cambridge, 1965), or in the commentaries on Acts by F. F. Bruce (2nd ed., London, 1952), H. Conzelmann (Tübingen, 1963), E. Haenchen (Göttingen, 1956), R. P. C. Hanson (Oxford, 1967), G. H. C. Macgregor (Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 9, New York and Nashville, 1954), H. K. Moulton (Madras, 1957), J. W. Packer (Cambridge, 1966), K. H. Rengstorf (Göttingen, 1952), A. Schlatter ((Stuttgart, 1962), C. S. C. Williams (London, 1957) or R. R. Williams (with appendix, London, 1968).  Likewise, there appears to be no hint of it in K. Lake and F. J. Foakes Jackson, edd., The Beginnings of Christianity, Pt. I, Vols. I-IV (London, 1920-33 or in the Luke and Acts commentaries of G. W. H. Lampe (Peake's Commentary on the Bible ed. by M. Black and H. H. Rowley, London and Edinburgh, 1962). 
        [2004: C. F. Evans, Saint Luke (London and Philadelphia, 1990) does not appear to mention it, but I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke (Exeter, 1978), p. 890,  gives a list of "some interesting features" common to both stories, and refers to the commentaries of G. Boumann (1968|), C Stuhlmueller (1968) and to J. Dupont, "Les pélerins d'Emmaüs", Miscellanea Biblica, 1953, pp. 349-374.  J. A. Fitzmeyer, The Gospel according to Luke (Garden City, New York, 1985), p. 1560, acknowledges the parallelism and says it has also been noted by J. Dupont, "The Meal at Emmaus", in The Eucharist in the New Testament: A Symposium ed. by J. Delorme (Baltimore and London, 1964), pp. 105-121.]
  (Back to text)
   That this is a jouney starting from Jerusalem is confirmed by Luke 24.33: 'they ... returned   to Jerusalem', υπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ. (Back)
   A further point of contact between the narratives is the stress on Jesus' sufferings as being scripturally based.  In Luke 24.26 f. the Christ's sufferings are explicitly linked to the demands of the scriptures, and in Acts 8.32 f. the eunuch reads a Suffering Servant passage, Isa. 53.7 f.  (Back)
  Another pair of examples would be the descriptions of Simeon, who takes the baby Jesus in his arms, and Joseph, who takes down the body of Jesus.  Simeon is described as 'righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel' (Luke 2.25), while Joseph is described as 'a good man and a righteous one, ... who was looking fo the kingdom of God' (Luke 23.50 f.).  A further pair would be the Lukan sayings from the cross, 'Father, forgive them,, for they know not what they do' (Luke 23.34) and 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit' (Luke 23.46), which match Stephen's final words in the reverse order, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (Acts 7.59) and 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge' (Acts 7.60).  We may note in passing that Acts 7.60 thus constitutes a further argument for the retention of Luke 23.34.  Some further examples of similar pairing in Luke-Acts are given in the present writer's article, 'Mark 1,1-15, Matthew 1,1-4,16, Luke 1,1-4,30, John 1,1-51: The Gospel Prologues and Their Function' in Studia Evangelica VI (edited by E. A. Livingstone; Berlin, 1973), pp. 191 f.  (Back)
    In support of our suggested connection of ὁδός passages in Lukan thought, we may note the pre-Lukan usage of the word in Mark.  Mark's sixteen occurrences of ὁδός fall into four groups:
        (1)  Six are in the form ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ (we shall subsequently add a seventh passage to this group).  Four of these concern 'disciples',  μαθηταί going with Jesus (8.27; 9.33, 34; 10.32), all of them being connected with passion sayings (8.31-34; 9.31; 10.33 f.).  A fifth concerns the clear-sighted Bartimaeus following Jesus toward Jerusalem and the cross (10.52).  The sixth concerns sending away the 'great crowd', πολύς ὄχλος (8.1), who will faint 'in the way' if sent away to their home fasting (8.3).  This great crowd very likely (definitely in the present author's judgement) represents Gentiles at least in part, as argued, for example, by A. Richardson, The Miracle Stories of the Gospels (London, 1941), p. 98.  If we may accept them as proleptically representing non-Jewish disciples, then their going 'in the way' could be taken as falling in line with the other five passages above.  Thus 'in the way' appears to concern disciples.  To this group we may add the passage which speaks of the disciples beginning to make their way ( οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἤρζαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν, 2.23).
        (2)    There are three occurrences of 'by the way', παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, which appear to concern would-be disciples, namely those 'by the way' from whom the Word is snatched by Satan (4.4, 15) and Bartimaeus (10.46).
        (3)    Three passages speak of 'in' or 'on' (the) 'way', εἰς όδόν (6.8; 10.17) or εἰς τὴν όδόν (11.8).  These concern the Twelve as sent by Jesus (6.8), the disciples as following Jesus to Jerusalem and the cross in fear (10.32) and the multitudes spreading their garments in the way on Jesus' journey into Jerusalem (11.8).
        (4)    The remaining three passages concern Jesus teaching 'the way of God' (12.124), and the two O.T. quotations concerning making ready 'thy way', τὴν ὁδόν σου (1.2, citing Mal. 3.1) and preparing 'the way of the Lord', τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου (1.3, citing Isa. 40.3).
       Thus it would appear that all sixteen occurrences of ὁδός in Mark are fraught with meaning.  While this apparentle consistent us in Mark of ὁδός as referring to God's way, Jesus' way, and the way of discipleship does not prove that Luke also has always thought of ὁδός in a sense pregant with meaning, Mark's pre-Lukan usage would, at the least, appear to increase the likelihood that Luke could and would do so.
        Actually we would asume that Luke never saw Mark 8.3, for it would seem that Luke's edition of Mark probably did not include Mark 6.45-8.26.  That this section is an interpolation inrto an earlier edition of Mark would appear to have been demonstrated decisively by C. T. Ruddick, Jr., 'Behold, I send my messenger', J. B. L. 88/4 (December, 1969), pp. 381-417, a conclusion Ruddick himself points out (p. 393).  [2004: See on this site: Mark and the Triennial Lectionary and Mark 6.45-8.26 in parallel with Joshua.]  (Back)
[6]   This would appear to be what is implied in Acts 1.1 which specifies that the first treatise (Luke) concerned 'all that Jesus began both to do and to teach', so that the second treatise (Acts) is to be concerned with what he continues to do and to teach through the Church after his exaltation.  See VI below.  (Back)
   On this as being Mark's message see E. Schweizer, 'Mark's Contribution to the Quest for the Historical Jesus', N.T.S. 10 (1963-64), pp. 421-432.  See also E. Schweizer's summary of Mark's theological achievement in his commentary, The Good News according to Mark (ET by D. H. Madwig of Das Evangelium nach Markus, NTD, Göttingen, 1967; London, 1971), pp. 380-386.  Schweizer's arguments are not weakened even if one accepts the differentiation between tyhe Messianic Secret and 'the mystery of the Kingdom in God' in Mark as proposed by Schuyler Brown, 'The Secret of the Kingdom of God', J.B.L. 92/1 (March, 1973), pp. 60-74. (Back)
    This was pointed out by J. M. Creed, The Gospel according to St Luke (London, 1930), on 24.30.  (Back)
   The Twelve and the Apostles are equated in Luke 6.13; the sitting on thrones judging 'the twelve tribes of Israel' of Luke 22.30 implies that it is ther Twelve who are at the Last Supper.  The women at the tomb report to 'the Apostles' (Luke 24.10), and this is followed by Peter's running to the tomb (Luke 24.12).  When the disciples return to Jerusalem, the Eleven then report to them the Lord's resurrection and appearance to Simon (Luke 24.33 f.), which connects the Eleven and Simon just as the Apostles and Peter were previously connected in Luke 24.10-12.  Finally, Acts 1.26 ('the Elevcen Apostles@) confirms that 'the Eleven' of Luke 24.9 are 'the Apostles' of Luke 24.10. (Back)
    C. F. D. Moule considers it likely that there is a passive force here (An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek [2nd ed., Cambridge, 1959], p. 26.).  (Back)
   If we omit Luke 22.19b-20, then the immediate sequel to v. 19a concerns the betrayal of Jesus and his passion (vv.21-23).  We would suggest that the cup of Luke 22.17 is the first cup of the Passover Seder, and that vv.19b-20 are to be omitted not simply on textual grounds, but also on the basis of Luke's contents.  In the Passover Seder after breaking the unleavened bread, the next item to be referred to is the lamb.  Luke has stressed in 22.7 'the day ... came on which the passover must be sacrificed'; he has further retained the Markan material about the disciples being sent to prepare the Passover that Jesus might eat it with them (Mark 14.12, 14, 16; Luke 22.8, 11, 13), and he has added the saying , 'With great desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you' (22.15), so that the Last Supper in Luke's presentation is clearly intended to be seen as the Passover Seder.  On this basis we would suggest that Luke's narrative is theological, not chronological.  The supper of 15 Nisan is begun with the first cup and the breaking of the mazzôth, but then the Lamb, which has not yet been slain, goes out to be crucified, and we have reverted to 14 Nisan in theological time, the date for the sacrificing of the passover lamb.  It is the present writer's conviction that Paul and all four evangelists are presenting Jesus' sacrifice in terms of the Binding of Isaac, an event which the Jews took to be an expiatory sacrifice par excellence and which was associated with Passover, being taken as having occurred either on 14 Nisan (when the lamb was sacrificed) or 15 Nisan (when the Passover Seder was held)  If the understanding of Luke presented above is correct, then the evangelist is trying to 'have it both ways' by having the Last Supper be the Passover Seder and also having Jesus be sacrificed as the Passover.  We may suggest that it is because the Lamb has yet to be sacrificed that the Supper breaks off after 'This is my iody' (Luke 22..19a).  The passion reference of vv. 21-23 we may then take as a reference to the sacrificial Lamb, but it is a Lamb who has yet to be sacrificed.  On the Binding of Isaac se J. E. Wood, 'Isaac Typology in the New Testament', N.T.S. 14/4 (July, 1968), pp. 583--589, where further bibliography is also given.  (Back)
    The correspondences between Jesus' and Stephen's words add further force to the arguments for retaining Jesus' words in Luke 23.34, as we have already indicated in note 4 above. (Back)
    We would suggest that this is because outside of Jewish circles 'Son of God' could be taken as referring to a Hellenistic divine man, while Luke, despite his Hellenistic traits, is concerned to keep a Jewish-Christian concept of the meaning of 'Son of God'. 
        Perhaps Luke does not include any confession by the eunuch at this point (an omission supplied by the interpolation of Acts 8.37) in order to maintain a strict parallelism with Luke 24.28 f. where Jesus is not yet recognized. (Back)
[14]    Pesahim viii.8; Eduyoth v. 2, etc.  See Strack-Billerbeck, I, pp. 102 F. (Back)
   Nils A. Dahl, investigating baptismal origins, concludes that the Christian rite is based on that of John, and that John's in turn is founded on the regular lustrations connected with temple worship rather than on either Jewish proselyte baptism as such, or on the lustrations of such groups as the Essenes.  He concludes on Jewish proselyte baptism:
                The baptism of proselytes is a special variety of ritual tebilah characterized by its juridical
                importance, which makes the presence of witnesses necessary.  We come near the truth if we
                say that through circumcision the proselyte is incorporated into the people of the covenant;
                through immersion he is consecrated to take part in its holy worship.  It is not by chance that
                the oldest discussions on the subject deal with the question whether the new proselyte
                should be allowed to eat the Passover immediately or only seven days after immersion.
        See N. A. Dahl, 'The Origins of Baptism', in Interpretaiones, ed. by N. A. Dahl and A. S. Kapelrud (Oslo, 1955), p. 41.  (Back)
    W. D. Davies, 'The Jewish State in the Hellenistic World', Peake's Commentary on the Bible, ed. by M. Black and H. h. Rowley (London, 1962), p. 691, section 603a.  (Back)
    The meeting of this requirement would appear to be what is referred to in 1 Cor. 5.7-8: 'Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast ....'  For  the correlation of 1 Corinthians to the observance of Passover, see on this site: 
1 Corinthians and the Observance of Passover.  1 Corinthians draws heavily on the scriptures read in synagogue between Passover and Pentecost; for a partial indication of this, see 1 Corinthians, Galatians & Romans related to the Torah Sedarim  (Back)
    The healing in Acts 3..2 ff. of the man born lame which is followed by his entering the temple (v. 8) may likewise represent a similar motif, for the lame were excluded from exercising the Aaronic priesthood (Lev. 21.18).  (Back)
    Acts 10.1-11.18, the story of Peter and Cornelius, would then concern not so much the first Gentile converts as it would concern (1) table fellowship between Jewish and Gentile Christiana, (2) the bringing together of Palestinian Jewish Christians and Roman Gentiles, and (3) the approval of the apostles in Jerusalem of these things, three points not made by the narrative of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. (Back)
     See R. P. C. Hanson, 'The Provenance of the Interpolater in the "Western" Text of Acts and of Acts Itself', N.T.S. 12 (1965-1966), pp. 211-230. (Back)
     Acts 8.36, the eunuch's words, 'What hinders me being baptized?' would appear to point to almost an inversion of the examination of baptismal candidates.  The implied answer to the eunuch's question is that nothing hinders him, not even his being a eunuch.  On
κωλύειν, 'to hinder', being used in reference to baptism, see O. Cullmann, Baptism in the New Testament (SBT 1; London, 1950), pp. 71 ff.  [The answer to the eunuch's question is 'Nothing!', but some MSS add Ac 8.37 as a confession of faith that the candidate is required to make.]   (Back)
   For the arguments for this being the prologue se the present writer's essay on gospel prologues (referred to in note 4) in Studia Evangelica VI, pp. 161-194.  (Back)
   See Gibbs, op. cit., pp. 163-170 for the combination of Galilee and the mission to all men in each gospel.  (Back)
   This same overall chiasm to Luke-Acts, but without reference being made to Acts 1.8, is noted by M. D. Goulder, Type and History in Acts (London, 1964), p. 58 (Back)