Monday, September 2, 2013

Parallel Passages for the Fourfold Decree of Acts 15

For those who doubt that the fourfold decree addresses specific pagan cultic practices, check this out:


"But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols [alisgematon ton eidolon] and from fornication [porneias] and from things strangled [pniktou] and from blood [haimatos]," (Acts 15:20)


"But Daniel resolved not to defile [LXX: alisgeo, verb form of alisgematon] himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way,"  (Daniel 1:8)


"Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality [eidolothuta kai porneusai]," (Rev. 2:14)

"Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols [porneusai kai eidolothuta]" (Rev. 2:20)


The term "pniktou" is rare and not found anywhere else in Scripture (outside of Acts).  It's not found in Genesis 9 nor is it found in Leviticus.  But we do know a little about it:

"The Jewish philosopher Philo described the revolting practice of how pagans would often strangle or choke their sacrifices, not letting the blood out, in opposition to God's law:
 'But some men, with open mouths, carry even the excessive luxury and boundless intemperance of Sardanapalus to such an indefinite and unlimited extent, being wholly absorbed in the invention of senseless pleasures, that they prepare sacrifices which ought never be offered, strangling their victims, and stifling the essence of life [Leviticus 17:11], which they ought to let depart free and unrestrained, burying the blood, as it were, in the body.  For it ought to have been sufficient for them to enjoy the flesh by itself, without touching any of those parts which have a connection with the soul or life' (Special Laws 4.122)," (from McKee's Acts 15 For the Practical Messianic).

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