Growth of a New Community

Bible Study Lessons

Forty-nine days later the disciples waiting in Jerusalem are “clothed with power from on high” as Jesus had promised (Lk. 24:49; Acts 2:1-4). Jesus poured out the Spirit on his disciples (Acts 2:33) and gave public witness to his Lordship and Messianic status (Acts 2:36). In response, three thousand people were immersed that Sunday (Acts 2:41) and they formed a new community of people as they joined the 120 disciples who had been waiting for the coming Spirit (cf. Acts 1:15).

This new community of Jesus’ disciples is described in Acts 2:42 as those who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.” The exact point of Acts 2:42’s structure is ambiguous. Luke may be describing four different activities: (1) teaching; (2) fellowship; (3) breaking of bread; and (4) prayers. However, he is probably describing two main activities, (1) teaching and (2) fellowship, and then fellowship is subdivided as (a) breaking bread and (b) prayers.

In other words, Acts 2:42 may describe two ways in which this new community expressed fellowship, that is, they communed through breaking of bread and prayers. This is indicated by the use of “and” (kai) in Acts 2:42. Teaching and fellowship are conjoined by the first “and.” Breaking of bread and prayers are conjoined by a second “and.” The second group stand in appositional relation to the last word of the first group, that is, “breaking of bread and prayers” explain the meaning of “fellowship.”

John Mark Hicks, Come to the Table: Revisioning the Lord’s Supper (Abilene, TX: Leafwood Publishers, 2012).










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