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By István Czachesz

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Although Thomas appears as an apostle from the beginning of the book, the first chapters not only set a new task before him, but also substantially redefine his relation to Jesus. The commission of Thomas begins with the division of the lands among the apostles, a motif that appears in several other texts. Among others, it is related in the Martyrium prius of Andrew, the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, and the Acts of John by Pseudo-Prochorus. I will discuss these episodes in Chapter 10. From the Acts of the fourth and fifth centuries, I have selected three texts which contain interesting commission episodes: the Acts of Philip, the Acts of Barnabas, and the Acts of Titus.

Philosophers who allegedly descended from the gods, went through subsequent reincarnations, went 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 12, trans. D. Hicks in LCL. 1. Cf. 347f; Dodds, Greeks, 10. 1, trans. J. Todd in LCL. Aristotle, frag. 1–3 (Rose3); Cf. 24. 15–17 (NRSV). Commission in Ancient Literatures 47 down to the Hades, worked miracles, resurrected from the dead, and who were worshipped in cults, include Epimenides, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Epicurus, and Apollonius of Tyana. The heroes of the apostolic Acts also show superhuman abilities, but they always refuse any attempt to deify them91.

Seraphs were in attendance above him’. The scene reminds one of the commissions of Rekhmire and Thutmose III: ‘He made heaven and earth festive with his beauty’. When Luke describes Paul’s commission in Acts, he makes allusions to this text. This is especially clear in Acts 22, where the vocabulary of the narrative is thoroughly Jewish59. Paul sees a vision in the temple, in which Jesus affirms that his testimony has been rejected in Jerusalem, and sends Paul to the Gentiles: ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.

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Apostolic Commission Narratives in the Canonical and Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (Proefschrift) by István Czachesz


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