Book Notice: Aaron W. White, The Prophets Agree: The Function of the Book of the Twelve Prophets in Acts

Aaron White The Prophets AgreeHere is a new book that combines two of my interests, the book of Acts and the use of Scripture in the New Testament: Aaron W. White, The Prophets Agree: The Function of the Book of the Twelve Prophets in Acts (Biblical Interpretation Series 184; Brill, 2020). White completed his PhD at Bristol University under the supervision of John Nolland. He currently serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in South Charleston, Ohio.

White has previously published an article on this issue, “‘The Creative Use of Amos by the Author of Acts’ Reexamined: The Lukan Appropriation of LXX-Amos in Acts and What it Tells Us About Luke,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 46.2 (2016).

The title of the book alludes to James’ enigmatic used of Amos 9 at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:15-17), although Acts 15 is only one of the four quotations from the Minor Prophets in Acts. He devotes a chapter to each citation:

  • “I Will Pour out My Spirit”: Jesus the Lord and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Joel 3:1–5 in Acts 2
  • “Forty Years”: The Divided People of God and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Amos 5:25–27 in Acts 7:42–43
  • “I Am Doing a Work”: The Gentiles as God’s People and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Habakkuk 1:5 in Acts 13
  • “All the Gentiles Who Are Called”: Sending the Gentile Mission and the Lukan Reading of LXX-Amos 9:11–12 in Acts 15

White compares Luke’s use of the minor prophet to an example from Second Temple Period literature. For example, Testament of Judah 24 alludes to Joel 3:1–5 in a messianic context. The Damascus Document: CD-A 7:13–8:1 alludes to Amos 5:25–27. For Habakkuk 1:5 in Acts 13, White 1.16–2.10 examines 1QpHab 1.16–2.10. For the perplexing use of Amos 9:11, White turns to 4Q Florilegium.

The book argues for the importance of reading the Twelve Prophets in unity when it is quoted in Acts and the integral role these citations play in the redemptive-historical plotline of Acts. White focuses on the place of the Minor Prophets in Acts asks what difference it makes to regard these four quotations as a singular contribution to Acts from a unified source.

I look forward to reading this book.

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