Acts 2 The truth and the fiction of my story

Source

Here is the link to the original story I wrote about Acts 2.

http://aprilreynolds.hubpages.com/_xlrvaljpe5td/hub/Acts-2-The-Gift-of-the-Holy-Spirit

A good imagination is a useful tool in studying the Bible. Putting yourself into the story, imagining the setting, hearing the sounds, and picturing the people can all enhance your understanding of what is happening. Once you immerse yourself in the scene, you can think about how you would feel or react in the same situation. This will help the words take on new meaning, and help you apply the words to your own life. It is also one of my favorite ways to write about the Bible; from inside the story.

However, it is important to recognize that our imaginations are not the inspired Word of God. When reading stories like mine, or thinking of our own imagined scenarios, it is vital to distinguish where absolute truth leaves off, and human interpretation begins. Human speculations can always be wrong, and sometimes we just don’t know what it was really like to be there.

For example, last year I wrote a hub on Acts 2. It is the story of a foreign Jew who is visiting Jerusalem for the Pentecost and is a witness to the disciples receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. The facts as they are found in the Bible are absolutely true. The history of the Pentecost is accurate to the best of my ability based on the research I was able to do. The rest is my imagination. The main character is my own creation. What he sees is how I envisioned the events. And his thoughts and feelings mirror how I think I would react in a similar situation. It is possible that there was someone there that reflected my character, but it is also possible that there was not.

Recently I heard a sermon on the story that gave a whole different perspective of the events. My pastor suggested that this all happened in the Temple instead of a house, as I envisioned. While clarifying that he might be wrong, my pastor gave several reasons to back up his theory. To begin with, the marvel took place around 9am; the time Jews went to the temple to pray. Also, we know that there were thousands of people there when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. It is easy to see that there is a lot more room for that many people at the temple than outside of a house, or even in a very large courtyard. The Temple was also the center of Jewish worship. It would make sense that the people, who traveled from all over the world to celebrate the holiday, would make their way to the temple.

But wait you say. The Bible specifically says that they were in a house. In fact every translation I looked at said they were in a house, except the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, which says “Suddenly there was from Heaven a sound like a mighty wind and the whole place in which they were sitting was filled with it.” But what is interesting to note is that the Greek word for house, oikos, is also used in Luke 11:51 in referring to the house of God; or the temple.

Here we have a situation in which either picture could be correct and there are respected commentaries touting both claims. The point I want to make is that both theories are based on speculation. As far as I know, there are no eyewitness accounts, which have survived, from someone who was actually there that tell us where exactly the disciples were gathered. We are free to enjoy our own opinions on the matter of exactly where these events took place without it affecting the truth of the story or the amazing gift we are given in the Holy Spirit.

Too many people get caught up in arguing over unimportant theories of what the Bible means, which are founded in speculation, and miss out on the powerful truth it actually contains. Please don’t let that be you.

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Comments 25 comments

newenglandsun 3 years ago

If we cannot trust commentary on the Bible, and some things in the Bible are really difficult to understand, then should we just throw the Bible away?

Oh, yes. Your poetry inspired me to write a poem.

http://dragonsabre.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/religi...


celafoe profile image

celafoe 3 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

is there an upper room in the temple? not that i am aware of and that is where Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit.

Context folks context is the key to truth. another reason to not believe what you are taught until it is confirmed to you by the Holy Spirit and you are willing to stake your life on what you believe because you might be. He who teaches is responsible for what he teaches but you and only you will answer to God for what you believe.

and if you teach you are judged by a higher yardstick (see James) so unlike so many you should only teach with fear and trembling.


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 3 years ago

The upper room was not in the temple; it was a private home where Jesus and the apostles often met.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

1 Chronicles 28:11-12 - Then David gave his son Solomon the plan of the vestibule of the temple, and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy seat; and the plan of all that he had in mind: for the courts of the house of the Lord, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of the house of God, and the treasuries for dedicated gifts;


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 3 years ago

I fail to see your point with the verse you used. The place Jesus told them to wait was not in the temple; it undoubtedly was the guest room He asked "the owner of the house" if He could use to celebrate the Passover the Thursday before His crucifixion (Mark 14: 14-15).


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

I would have to agree that the last supper wasn't in the Temple. Sure, Temples have upper rooms, but that doesn't mean all upper rooms are in Temples. I like how you talked about "being there". It reminds me of some really well done Bible Videos that put you in the spot https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/the-last-s...


newenglandsun 3 years ago

@glynch1

a) April's story is about Acts 2, not Jesus's last supper with his disciples

b) the Bible often says contradictory things in the gospels (theologians attribute this to the notion that witnesses have trouble remembering things the exact same way)

therefore, April's pastor's argument that it was in a temple and not a house is quite solid.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I just wanted to point out here, that I personally could care less whether Pentecost happened in a house or in a temple.

Additionally, April said:

"Too many people get caught up in arguing over unimportant theories of what the Bible means, which are founded in speculation, and miss out on the powerful truth it actually contains. Please don’t let that be you."

@celafoe

Are you seriously judging April on account of the fact that she couldn't care less whether the Pentecost happened in a church or a house? Estupido.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

@glynch1

Sorry, I wanted to point out at least one instance where the gospel writers say contradictory things.

Matthew 27:54 - When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

Luke 23:47 - Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, "Certainly this man was innocent!"

Well now, what exactly did the centurion say? "Truly this was the Son of God!" or "Certainly this man was innocent!" Same exact centurion.


glynch1 profile image

glynch1 3 years ago

Could not the centurion have made both comments? Matthew merely reported part of what the centurion said, and Luke added something else he said. I see the gospel writers complementing (not contradicting) each other. Scriptural inerrancy does not obligate each writer to record everything a given person says at a given time. You are on very dangerous ground when you attribute error to divine revelation.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

wow, busy day. Thank you everybody for taking the time to read my hub. I really appreciate your visits!

You are right celafoe, teachers should be held to a high standard and it is very important to me that everything I write is biblically correct. If you can show me where the Bible says that Jesus told his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit in the upper room, I will be glad to delete my hub and find another topic to demonstrate my point.

Thank you glynch1 for your comments. Yes, the upper room where Jesus had his last supper was in a private home and not the temple.

I am glad you liked my approach Wakerra. Thank you for sharing the video. You are right, it was well done. I also agree that the last supper was not in the temple

Thank you Newengland for sharing your poem. I will have to go over and read it. I also see I have a possible topic for another hub, although just at first glance I would say it is entirely possible that the centurion said both things. Please be nice to my guests and don't call them Estupido.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Sorry glynch1, looks like you commented while I was writing. Didn't mean to parrot your point. Thank you.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

@glynch1

"Could not the centurion have made both comments?"

Really? Why would he say "truly this was the Son of God" then say "certainly this man was innocent"?

"You are on very dangerous ground when you attribute error to divine revelation."

That's assuming the Bible even has "divine inspiration". Out of curiosity, how come your god didn't even reveal that this Bible was absolutely inerrant until the 19th century?

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Problems_with_biblica...

Oh, here's an intersting quote I found:

"I speak to them in parables" - some guy who didn't know the Bible was supposed to be taken literally

@April Reynolds

Sorry, I will try to be a little nicer to your guests.


celafoe profile image

celafoe 3 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

April Forgive me Jesus did not tell them that specifically but the place they met was the upper room and the following scripture shows that they were in a house.Acts 2:1-4

2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. acts 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

NKJV

to new england sun

I condemn no one but do point out errors and omissions as well as congratulate those that present scriptural presentations. See James 3-1

also i didnt think about the plan for Solomans temple. I stand corrected. please forgive my lapse


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you celafoe, that is exactly what my hub said, and why I'm not retracting my previous hub on acts 2. I enjoyed your visit and your comment helped spark the conversation that proved my point.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hey ya'll please stop arguing on my hub! I am denying anything remotely unkind to each other from here on. You may direct your criticism of me to me, but don't argue among yourselves.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I'm sorry.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you newengland


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 3 years ago from HubPages, FB

Sis April thanks for this Hub. I was in Upper Room and there is plenty room for many people especially 120. Peter preaching may occur outside. Nevertheless there does not need to argue. Agape love.


FSlovenec profile image

FSlovenec 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

The Bible is the inspired Word of God..to change it in anyway can deceive..to many people believe everything they read...thanks for the confession.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

That would be so neat to see Vladimir! What a wonderful opportunity. Thank you for your visit


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Amen FSlovenec, Thank you for taking the time to read my hub. It is very important to be able to discern what the Bible actually says from opinion, speculation and imagination!


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Hi April, thank you for this hub. I am going to go and read your earlier one next.

I have learnt something valuable here. We do all assume (and it is likely) that it was in the same upper room as where the Passover took place that the disciples waited for the Holy Spirit to come upon them.

But on going and checking scripture.....Jesus only told them to wait (tarry) in the city of Jerusalem Luke 24: 49 Acts 1: 4, but then again in Acts 1: 13 it tells us that when they returned from the mount of Olives, they went up into the upper room "where they were staying" and lists the other disciples. and v 14 tells us that they all continued there in one accord in prayer and supplication, together with Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers, which does make it seem likely that it was here that the Holy Spirit came upon them.

But again in Acts 2 : 1 it is not specific! It simply tells us they were all with one accord, in one place, when the sound from heaven came....(Acts 2: 2)

It is what took place, that the Holy Spirit was upon them, wherever that was, and that others were drawn by the sound of heaven and were happy to receive Peter's word from God of His Son Jesus Christ and were baptised, 3000 souls saved, that is all to the Glory of our Magnificent God, that is important and not to be lost sight of. A great, thought provoking hub. Thank you. God bless


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Karen! Yes, while this particular instance is unimportant, I have learned from my Jehovah's witness friends how difficult it can be to defend your faith when you are taking a stand on a matter that isn't clearly specified. She said many people join their faith when they find out the Bible doesn't actually say what they thought it did. And believe me, they study our assumptions and are taught to refute them!


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Oh my goodness, that is scary April! Fancy studying others "assumptions" and creating battle on that to bring them into your way of thinking.

As Oswald Chamber says when referring to John 21:16 ....do you love me...tend my sheep. - "Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. i.e Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine."

I am sure that we all, have been guilty of all or parts of the above. I know I have.

So much to learn. No matter how long I follow the Lord there are still times I feel so inadequate in my understanding - back to being a baby again. Perhaps it is the best way to be in our relationship with the Lord. God Bless.

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