Giancarlo Biguzzi, «Witnessing Two by Two in the Acts of the Apostles.», Vol. 92 (2011) 1-20
The program of Act 1,8 is carried through by the Twelve only in Jerusalem, Samaria and the Mediterranean coast, — but not «till the end of the earth». Their witness, however, is prolonged by the Seven of Jerusalem, the Five of Syrian Antioch, and the Seven companions of Paul of Act 20,4. Surprisingly, for everyone of the four groups of witnesses, the author narrates then the witnessing of only two of them. The narrative lacuna, apparently intentional since it recurs four times, allows Luke to involve the reader in reconstructing the spread of the gospel in all the directions for the remaining ten twelfths.
See more by the same author
18 GIANCARLO BIGUZZI
sevenths, the reader cannot avoid asking how, and where, the other
ten apostles, the other five of Jerusalem, the other three of
Antioch and the other five of Corinth, all gave their testimony.
After all, in the same way Peterâ€™s testimony at Pentecost prolep-
tically reached the representatives of nations (Parthians, Medes,
Elamites) and regions (Mesopotamia, Lybia, Arabia) who do not
appear any more in the book. It is not by means of the book of
Luke, but in the readerâ€™s mind, that the full picture of the evangel-
ical announcement has to be completed with reference to the
spatial program of Acts 1,8: â€œYou will be my witnesses in
Jerusalem ( . . . ) to the ends of the earthâ€.
In this case the reader becomes narrator, together with Luke.
He has to supply the remaining ten twelfths of the oÄ±koymenh
either already, or still to be evangelized. The testimony of Peter
and John was obviously prolonged not only by Stephen and Philip,
nor did Luke include everything about Peter and John that could
have been narrated. The same should be said about the pairs of
witnesses of Antioch and Corinth, and thus Luke does not even
cover entirely the two twelfths of the journey of the Gospel
through the oÄ±koymenh. As the time, so the space in the narration
of Acts remains open in the incomplete account, in what is left
Finally it is to be added the literary significance of each â€œnot
3. â€œ Even silence is wordâ€
D. Marguerat cites very evocative texts concerning the under-
standing of the â€œnot saidâ€ in antiquity. A reference to three will
suffice : one from Marcus Fabius Quintilian, one from Flavius
Philostratus, and one, referring particularly to Acts, from John
Quintilian speaks with praise of the painter Timanthes of
Cythnos (fifth century B.C.) who, â€œin the sacrifice of Iphigenia,
[ . . . ] painted a sad Calchas, a sadder Ulysses and gave to Mene-
laus the maximum affliction that can be rendered by art. Having
MARGUERAT, La premiÃ¨re histoire du christianisme, 313-316.