Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Jeffrey Gibbs

Scripture References in this Resource

Acts 1:8; Acts 10:34; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:47; Acts 15:14; Acts 15:16-18; Acts 17:3; Acts 18:28; Acts 2:16-21; Acts 2:39; Acts 24:15; Acts 26:17; Acts 26:22-23; Acts 28:23; Acts 28:26; Acts 3:18; Acts 3:25; Amos 9:11-12; Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 49:6; Joel 3:1-5; Luke 2:32; Luke 24:46; Luke 3:6; Luke 4:25-27


Meek, James A. "The Gentile Mission in Old Testament Citations in Acts: Text, Hermeneutic, and Purpose." Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2005,341 pp.

Study of the Old Testament in Luke-Acts has focused on the role of the Old Testament in development of Luke's Christology. Explicit citations and summary statements of Old Testament teaching, however, support five main themes: the death and resurrection of Christ, eschatological blessings, judgment, rejection of the gospel by many Jews, and the inclusion of all who believe in Jesus (including Gentiles). The question "Who are the people of God?" is posed both by the rejection of the gospel by many Jews and the surprising acceptance of it by many Gentiles. The role of the Old Testament in developing Luke's ecclesiology has received little attention.

The present study examines four explicit Old Testament citations in Acts. Two are applied directly to the Gentile mission: Acts 13:47 (Isa 49:6); Acts 15:16-18 (Amos 9:11-12). Two others anticipate it: Acts 2:16-21 (Joel 3:1-5); Acts 3:25 (Gen 22:18).The study focuses on questions of text, hermeneutic, and purpose.

1. The form of the text cited is generally closer to the OG than to the MT, but the argument does not depend on distinctive readings of the OG.2. Citations are interpreted consistently with their original meaning, but are extended or transformed by a Christological hermeneutic. The variety of texts cited and prophetic themes invoked demonstrate the importance of the Old Testament in Luke's understanding of Christ. 3. Luke appeals to the Old Testament as "proof from prophecy." These appeals offer a window into concerns of Luke and his readers. The citations of Isa 49:6 and Amos 9:11-12 at the center of the book indicate the importance of the Gentile mission. By these citations, Luke demonstrates that an intentional mission to Gentiles was not merely the result of the rejection of the gospel by many Jews, but had always been the plan of God and has now been commanded as the necessary consequence of the accomplished work of the Messiah, Jesus. This proof, confirmed in the narrative by God's evident blessing on that mission, provides the audience with confidence that Gentile believers in Jesus are full members of God’s covenant people by faith, without circumcision and the obligations of the law of Moses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.