The accusation of world disturbers’ (Acts 17:6) in socio-political context
CITATION: Punt, J. 2016. The accusation of 'world disturbers’ (Acts 17:6) in socio-political context. Verbum et Ecclesia, 37(1):1-8, doi:10.4102/ve.v37i1.1595.
The original publication is available at http://www.ve.org.za
Acts 17:1–9 presents a narrative of the consequences of Paul’s engagements in Thessalonica’s synagogue. Following Paul and Silas’ reported successful 3-week mission, some Jews hauled Paul and Silas’ host, Jason, and a number of Jesus followers before the authorities. The threefold accusation was that Paul and Silas turned the world upside down, acted against Caesar’s decrees and claimed another king, Jesus. This incident is investigated from the perspective of Acts’ presentation of competing missions, in the context of the intersectionality of religion and politics in the 1st century CE. The article challenges a narrow theological interpretation of Acts 17, insisting on the need for and value of a socio-political interpretive lens to make sense of the rhetoric of this chapter.