An Undesigned Coincidence (Rom 11:25-28)

It was Luke who wrote the Acts of the Apostles (compare Luke 1:3 with Acts 1:1). He wrote (Acts 19:21) that “Paul purposed…to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome”.

He gives here no reason for going to Jerusalem, but in Acts 24:17 Paul says in his defence before Felix, that he came “to bring alms to my nation and offerings”. From this it is clear that he was bringing alms which had been given to him, but there is no indication who had given them. For this detail we have to go elsewhere.

In 1 Cor. 16:1 he writes of a collection for the saints and says that he has asked the Galatians also, that he will send these collections to Jerusalem and that he may, himself, go there (v.3-4). There is no mention here of a collection in Macedonia, but when he writes again in 2 Cor. 8:1 and 4, he tells of the liberality of the Macedonians and exhorts them to be not only liberal but also ready with their gifts.

If we suppose for a moment that someone purporting to be Paul had written these letters to Corinth, they could have obtained no details from Luke’s writings in the Acts, for Luke gives no details and only mentions alms casually in recording Paul’s defence – only one who knew all the details could have supplied them, and this was Paul, and now the whole matter is brought together with all the details in his letter to the Romans (15:25-28). If again we suppose that a forger wrote the two letters to Corinth, he could only have gained the details from the letter to the Romans – but this letter was written after those to Corinth and just before Paul’s last journey to Jerusalem.

Bro. W. Mitchell (UK)

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