Acts 6 and the
Myth of Apostolic Succession
A FREE ZOOM LECTURE + Q&A
Thursday September 22, 2022
Acts 6 depicts the ordination of the seven to minister to the Greek-speaking widows of the Jerusalem church. It has often been thought to depict the first instance of apostolic succession and the first deacons. As such, it has become a key text over the centuries in heated discussions over church government.
In this lecture, Matthew Colvin will argue that it does not; that the apostles did not ordain anyone, and nor do they ever do so in the New Testament. The argument will be made on four fronts from Rabbinic Jewish sources: halakhah, typology, grammar, and textual criticism. Attendees will learn what the laying on of hands really does, who exactly laid hands on Timothy, and what polity and officers the New Testament actually depicts.
The lecture will be followed by an open Q&A.
WHAT ARE FELLOWS LECTURES?
Davenant Fellows Lectures are free, public lectures hosted monthly via Zoom throughout the academic year. They aim to showcase the scholarly expertise of our Davenant Hall faculty, and to provide a bank of high-quality lectures freely available online. Lectures are recorded, with both video and audio being made available after the event. To access past lectures, visit our YouTube or podcast archives.
“Acts 6 and the Myth of Apostolic Succession” by Matthew Colvin
Rev. Dr. Matthew Colvin is a presbyter in the Reformed Episcopal Church. From 2012-2017, he served as a missionary teaching ministerial students in the Philippines and Indonesia. He holds a PhD in ancient Greek literature from Cornell University (2004). His published works include articles on Heraclitus (Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2005 and The Classical Quarterly 2006), a translation from Latin of the 1550 Magdeburg Confession (2011), and The Lost Supper: A Study of the Passover and Eucharistic origins (Fortress Academic, 2019). He is currently working on a book on women’s ordination and the origins of ordained office in the early church. He lives on Vancouver Island.
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