David McCabe is Professor of New Testament and Greek at Bethel University in Indiana. He received a M.A. in Biblical Studies and a M.A. in Theological Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from New College, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. McCabe has taught graduate and undergraduate studies for 16 years focusing on biblical interpretation, literature, and biblical languages. He has led student and adult study trips to Israel, Greece, and Turkey. His research interests span across a wide range of topics such as biblical literature, material cultures, historical theology, and philosophy of language. Dr. McCabe delights in sharing the experience of reading the Bible in "high-definition" while situated in the lands that gave rise to these sacred texts.
Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2023
Ideal Community and Counterfeit: The Conspiracy of Ananias and Sapphira in the Book of Acts
The Acts of the Apostles presents a puzzling narrative about a married couple, Ananias and Sapphira, who participate in a communal practice of sharing possessions but are killed because they hold back some of the money (Acts 4:32–5:11). By keeping these funds back for themselves, they violate the unified communal ethos and contrast with Joseph Barnabas who serves as the positive example. This passage has caused significant concern and embarrassment for readers of the Book of Acts from the second century to modern times. This lecture will provide a contextual and historical discussion about this couple’s story, the conventions surrounding “communities of shared goods” in the ancient Mediterranean environment, and the cultural dynamics at work in their confrontation with the apostle Peter. In examining the episode’s literary composition, historical context, and rhetorical value, this presentation will assess the couple’s crime, why it was punished so severely, and what it accomplished in Luke’s narrative about the early Jesus community.