“How to Kill Things with Words”

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(Larry Hurtado):  Another of our PhD graduates has published a monograph based on his PhD thesis:  David R. McCabe, How to Kill Things with Words:  Ananias and Sapphira under the Prophetic Speech-Act of Divine Judgment (Acts 4.32–5.11) LNTS 454. London:  T&T Clark, 2011.

McCabe (now Assistant Professor of New Testament in Bethel College, Indiana) subjects the Acts passage to a detailed analysis conducted with the aid of modern “speech-act theory”, proposing that the words of Peter in the passage that are portrayed as resulting in the death of Ananias and Sapphira can be seen as an example of “performative” speech, in which saying something causes the thing spoken about to happen. 

Congratulations to David on this publication!

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About larryhurtado

I'm a scholar in New Testament and Christian Origins, currently Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology in the University of Edinburgh (since 1996), and previously Professor in the Department of Relgiion, University of Manitoba.

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