Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

7 Comments

  1. Rivers
    February 23, 2016 @ 9:10 am

    I just finished reading this book last week.

    I never thought there was a “Samaritan Riddle” to be concerned about, but I enjoyed getting Kermit’s perspective on some of the things taking place in early Acts.

    • kzarley
      October 31, 2016 @ 11:26 pm

      Rivers, in the book I affirm Pentecostalism against Protestantism by saying Spirit baptism occurred subsequent to salvation with the 120 disciples in Acts 2 and the Samaritans in Acts 8. So, I don’t say Spirit baptism always occurs at conversion, but only after Peter has finished using his keys in Acts 10, thereafter affirming the Protestant view against the Pentecostal view. And in Romans 8.9, you are not taking into the account the more important second sentence relative to the question of whether or not one can be saved and Spirit baptized later: “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Even if Paul meant “anyone” to refer only to those at Rome, which I don’t think he does, with this statement he rules out that Spirit baptism occurs subsequent to salvation, which you seem to allow.

      • Rivers
        November 1, 2016 @ 8:33 am

        Kermit,

        Thank you for the reply (and clarification).

        I didn’t remember that you think all 120 disciples received holy spirit in the upper room. My understanding is that only the Eleven, along with a few others were there (Acts 1:13-15) and that only the Twelve (including Matthias, Acts 1:26) received holy spirit at first (Acts 2:1-4; cf. John 20:22). This is why it was necessary for others to receive holy spirit “by the laying on of the apostles’ hands” subsequent to what happened in the upper room (Acts 8:15-19; Acts 9:12-17; Acts 19:6).

        I think you make a valid point about the importance of holy spirit in redemption context of Romans 8:9-11. However, we also have to be able to account for the numerous examples of believers prior to Pentecost, as well as thereafter, who were considered saved and yet were anticipating the arrival of holy spirit at a later time (e.g. Matthew 3:11; John 7:39; Acts 8:14-16; Acts 19:1-2).

        In Romans 8, Paul seems to be addressing people who had already been given holy spirit (Romans 5:5) and indicating its necessity for immortality and salvation at the end (Romans 8:11, 24). My point was simply that we don’t have any indication as to how holy spirit had been “given” to the people in Rome. The evidence in Acts weighs in favor of the necessity that it was imparted to them through the agency of an apostle. Maybe these saints in Rome were accounted for by the apostles even at Pentecost (Acts 2:10).

        • kzarley
          November 1, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

          Rivers, you need to read my book again. For one thing, I say Jn 20.22 and Acts 2 are two different events. Now, leading scholars on Acts say, and I agree, that the approximately 120 disciples (1.15) were meeting often in that “room upstairs” (v. 13) and that all of them, which included The Twelve, were baptized with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

          I’ve already laid out my position on this subject in my book. To review, when the church was beginning (starting on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2), the Holy Spirit was first imparted (=Spirit baptism) through the Apostle Peter to all three biblical classifications of human beings: Jews (Acts 2), Samaritans (Acts 8), and Gentiles (Acts 10). Then Peter was finished using his keys of the kingdom. Thus, it was not the apostles in general, but Peter in particular, through whom Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit. And it was not a rule that Peter lay hands on them for them to receive the Spirit, as Acts 10 attests.

          So, Rivers, we just have a disagreement here. You are taking the common view, adopted esp. by Catholics, which I think is not supported by the NT. Besides no hand-laying in Acts 10, hand-laying could not possibly have happened (and scripture does not say it did) with the 3,000 Jews saved on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2.41), the 4,000 Jews who believed days later (Acts 4.4), and the “great numbers” of Jews in Acts 5.14. Moreover, if laying on of hands was necessary for Spirit baptism, the Apostle Paul certainly would not have omitted such an important detail in his teaching on this subject.

          Finally, you say we have to account for “believers prior to Pentecost” being baptized with the Spirit. Quite wrong. Luke’s point is that the promise of the baptism with the Spirit (e.g., Acts 1.5) occurred on the Day of Pentecost, so that no one but Jesus had been baptized with the Spirit prior to that time.

          • Rivers
            November 2, 2016 @ 10:12 am

            Kermit,

            Thanks for continuing the discussion. Perhaps I’ve forgotten a few of the details from your book. I read it about a year ago. Please let me address the additional clarifications you offered.

            I remember you suggesting that John 20:22 was a different event than Acts 2:1-4. However, I don’t think the disciples actually received any holy spirit in John 20:22 because Jesus was “not yet glorified” (John 7:39) and had not yet “gone away” (John 16:7). Moreover, Jesus said it was “the Father” who would send holy spirit to them (John 14:26; John 15:26). Peter’s testimony in Acts 2:33 seems to indicate that all of this took place after Jesus ascended into heaven.

            I don’t think the evidence in Acts supports your theory that “Peter in particular” was the mediator that Jesus used to distribute holy spirit. Acts 8:17-19 refers to “holy spirit given by the laying on of the apostles’ (plural) hands.” This would have at least included both Peter and John (Acts 8:14-15). Paul also “laid hands” on the disciples in Ephesus when they received holy spirit (Acts 19:6). How do you account for this?

            As you noted, we don’t know whether or not Peter was laying hands on Cornelius when he received holy spirit. However, it’s interesting to note that Ananias was sent to “lay hands” on Paul before he received holy spirit and was healed (Acts 9:12, 17). Even though you assert that “no hand-laying could have possibly happened” with the Jews who were added to the church during Pentecost, you really don’t have any evidence that precludes the possibility.

            We agree that only Jesus received holy spirit (i.e. “descending and remaining upon him”, John 1:33) prior to Pentecost. This is confirmed in John 7:39.

            • kzarley
              November 3, 2016 @ 11:58 am

              Rivers, the reason I started dialoguing with you here is because yours was the only comment here, and you misrepresented me in the first paragraph by saying that I say in the book “the baptism of holy spirit takes place at conversion.” I don’t say that at all, as I’ve made clear in my above remarks.

              (Incidentally, you put that in quotation marks, which indicates that that is a quotation of me in my book. No it is not. First of all, I don’t use your style of saying “holy spirit,” thus uncapitalized and without an article; rather, I follow tradition and all major English Bible versions by saying “the Holy Spirit.”)

              You don’t think the disciples in Jn 20.22 received the Holy Spirit. Well then, you don’t believe the text because it says plainly of Jesus, “he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” In my book on p. 47, I quote R.E. Brown approvingly on this, thus taking the position that it is probably in preparation for their actual Spirit baptism on Pentecost, thus a lesser experience from that. And I do think your point about the Father sending the Spirit is good, that is, on Pentecost in contrast to Jesus previously breathing the Spirit on them in Jn 20.22.

              You again say things in this comment as if you have not read my book. E.g., in your fourth paragraph you ask me how I account for Act 19.1-6, that Paul not Peter was the medium for the Ephesians receiving the Spirit and that it was done by laying on of hands. I state in my book that I think this was an anomaly due to the unusual situation of these Ephesians knowing only of John’s water baptism and thus not knowing of Christian water baptism and Spirit baptism.

              You start your next paragraph by saying, “As you noted, we don’t know whether or not Peter was laying hands on Cornelius when he received holy spirit.” I don’t say that whatsoever in my book nor in these comments here. Rivers, you are not being careful in representing what I say. Moreover, Acts 10.44 says clearly in the NRSV, “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word,” which had to include Cornelius. So, Peter was preaching, not laying hands on Cornelius, when Cornelius received the Spirit. Furthermore, the text says the Spirit fell upon all of the people in the house, which would have been many, at the same moment, which also made it impossible for Peter to have laid hands on them all.

              Since you say the Spirit must be received by the laying on of hands, what about the ca. 118 disciples on the Day of Pentecost? And I still stand by what I said about the 3,000 in Acts 2, 5,000 in Acts 4, and perhaps more in Acts 5.14–the incomprehensible logistics of laying hands on all those people prevents it.

              I enjoyed the dialogue here, Rivers, but I’ve got to end it to attend to other matters. Blessings on you.

              • Rivers
                November 3, 2016 @ 4:32 pm

                Kermit,

                Thanks. Here are a few additional comments in response to your clarifications:

                1. I think we agree then that the Eleven did not actually receive holy spirit in John 20:22. I think it’s more important to consider all of the contextual factors related to when the apostles were to receive holy spirit (e.g. Acts 1:8) rather than insist on forcing the verb in John 20:22 to require a “lesser experience.” Why use this one text to construe two different experiences when there is so much evidence to the contrary?

                2. I don’t think the biblical evidence supports your theory that Acts 19:6 was an “anomaly.” First, John the baptizer was telling his disciples about “spirit baptism” (Matthew 3:11), so it isn’t reasonable to suggest that they wouldn’t have know about it. Second, Apollos and his disciples were also believers who “knew only John’s baptism” (Acts 18:24-5).

                You also seem to make an arbitrary distinction between “John’s baptism” and “Christian baptism” that isn’t warranted. The baptism of John and the baptism Peter commanded on Pentecost were for the same purposes (Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38). There’s also no indication that the Twelve or any of the 120 disciples had to receive a different “Christian baptism” because of Pentecost.

                3. I agree with your points about Acts 10. However, I would suggest in light of the rest of the evidence in Acts 8, Acts 9, and Acts 19 that it was the experience of Cornelius and his household that was the “anomaly.”

                4. I’m not sure that your “incomprehensible logistics” argument is a good route to go in early Acts. For example, if you believe in water baptism by immersion, the same factors you suggest would also “prevent” us from concluding that the apostles were able to water baptize all those people. I think it’s important to consider the evidence that there were others involved (e.g. Philip, Annanias).

                5. No problem. I’ve enjoyed reading your books, and appreciate your input. Blessings to you too. 🙂