Telling Hands and Teaching Feet
Nonverbal Communication in Two of the Narratives of Acts
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be citaed
- List of Figures
- List of Abbreviations
- Part I Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands
- Chapter 1 The Words for Hands in the Greek Text of Acts
- Chapter 2 Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Greek Text of Acts 3:1–11 and 9:1–19a
- Chapter 3 Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Wider Greek Text of Acts
- Chapter 4 Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Greek Text of Luke’s Gospel
- Chapter 5 Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Greek Literature of Second Temple Judaism
- Chapter 6 Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Works of Aratus and Aeschylus, Hippocrates and Soranus
- Chapter 7 Summary of Part I
- Part II Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet
- Chapter 8 The Words for Feet in the Greek Text of Acts
- Chapter 9 Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Greek Text of Acts 3:1–11 and 9:1–19a
- Chapter 10 Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Wider Greek Text of Acts
- Chapter 11 Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Greek Text of Luke’s Gospel
- Chapter 12 Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Greek Literature of Second Temple Judaism
- Chapter 13 Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Works of Aratus and Aeschylus, Hippocrates and Soranus
- Chapter 14 Summary of Part II
- Series Index
Telling Hands and Teaching Feet
Nonverbal Communication in
Two of the Narratives of Acts
Oxford • Bern • Berlin • Bruxelles • New York • Wien
Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche National-
bibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at
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ISBN 978-1-78874-683-0 (print) • ISBN 978-1-78874-680-9 (ePDF)
ISBN 978-1-78874-681-6 (ePub) • ISBN 978-1-78874-682-3 (mobi)
© Peter Lang AG 2019
Published by Peter Lang Ltd, International Academic Publishers,
52 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU, United Kingdom
Carole Ferch-Johnson has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this Work.
All rights reserved.
All parts of this publication are protected by copyright.
Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without
the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution.
This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming,
and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.
This publication has been peer reviewed.
British-born author Carole Ferch-Johnson developed a love for Scripture and pursued its study over many years. Her education included B.A. (German Major and Religion Minor), Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA; M.A. (Religion), Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI and PhD (with a thesis that forms the substance of this book), Avondale College, Cooranbong, NSW, Australia. A career in the people-helping professions, including pastoral counselling and hospital chaplaincy helped increase her interest in a better understanding of how the principles of the Bible might be brought to bear on human relationships. On the basis that effective communication is a core skill for relating positively and nonverbal communication is demonstrated repeatedly in the pages of Scripture, the themes for this book came into being and were developed from an academic perspective
About the book
This book represents an extensive examination of human hands and feet and their functions as media of nonverbal communication in the transmission of the mission and message of Jesus by the early church. Research sources for the task include the Greek text of Acts and the Gospel of Luke as well as Greek Second Temple Jewish writings, contemporary Greek literature and medical works. Scholarly definitions and descriptions from the field of interpersonal communication lend credibility to the enquiry. In the process of discovering whether or not these media of nonverbal communication contribute effectively to the advancement of the mission and message of Jesus, the author’s interesting and innovative approach casts light on the text as several new and creative insights emerge. The book concludes with some practical applications of its findings to the life of the church of today.
This eBook can be citaed
This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.
part i Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands
The Words for Hands in the Greek Text of Acts
Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Greek Text of Acts 3:1–11 and 9:1–19a
Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Wider Greek Text of Acts←vii | viii→
Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Greek Text of Luke’s Gospel
Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Greek Literature of Second Temple Judaism
Nonverbal Communication through Telling Hands in the Works of Aratus and Aeschylus, Hippocrates and Soranus
part ii Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet
The Words for Feet in the Greek Text of Acts
Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Greek Text of Acts 3:1–11 and 9:1–19a
Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Wider Greek Text of Acts←viii | ix→
Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Greek Text of Luke’s Gospel
Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Greek Literature of Second Temple Judaism
Nonverbal Communication through Teaching Feet in the Works of Aratus and Aeschylus, Hippocrates and Soranus
Index←ix | x→ ←x | xi→
Figure 1. Attic red-figure column-krater. Reproduced with permission © Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig.
Figure 2. Attic red-figure hydria from Vulci, the Pan Painter. Reproduced with permission from The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photograph © The State Hermitage Museum. Photo by Pavel Demidov.
Figure 3. Painting of a satyr-play on the Pronomos Vase. Reproduced su concessione [with permission] del Ministero dei Beni c della Attività Culturali – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.
Figure 4. Attic red-figure hydria. Reproduced with permission Martin von Wagner Museum, University of Würzburg (Photo: P. Neckermann).
Figure 5. Attic red-figure cup. Reproduced with permission © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Figure 6. Attic red-figure calyx-krater. Reproduced with permission KHM-Museumsverband.←xi | xii→ ←xii | xiii→
I have to confess that, as a systematic theologian, when I first heard that Carole Ferch-Johnson was writing on hands and feet in the Acts of the Apostles, I said to myself, ‘Why not choose a topic that is broader and deeper; something that deals with the big picture of Scripture’? I was wrong! Carole has in fact dug deeply into a topic that has attracted little scholarly attention in the past but which, at the same time, has important implications for church and ministry in the twenty-first century.
Exegetically, Ferch-Johnson engages well with her two chosen narrative passages (Acts 3:1–11 and Acts 9:1–19a), and in doing so brings to bear a wealth of comparable material from the rest of Luke-Acts, the Greek works of Second Temple Judaism and several classical Greek authors.
What makes Carole’s work interesting and engaging, though, is its multidisciplinary approach. While examining the missional function of hands and feet in the apostolic period, she skillfully uses the work of Julia T. Wood to engage with modern communication theory; in particular non-verbal communication. That the early Christians used verbal and written communication modes is well known, but I had not looked for the non-verbal clues within the biblical narratives; something I will be much more attuned to now that Carole has shown me the way.
It is, I admit, surprising that the non-verbal clues have not been given greater attention in biblical interpretation and application, particularly in light of the general acknowledgement that more is communicated in the non-verbal form than in the verbal. And, could it be that in Western society, at least, we may be losing the ability to see beyond the bare words of emails and tweets to real people? For me, it is not unexpected that Ferch-Johnson – herself a pastor, chaplain, theologian and woman of wisdom – whose feet have walked the path of pain and loss should call us back to listening more carefully; not only to Scripture but to each other as well.
Reportedly, Teresa of Avila said: ‘Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours’. It seems to me that Carole’s timely←xiii | xiv→ goal is to remind us of that. I hope she also finds the time to deal just as thoroughly with some of the other ‘body parts’ as well; the eyes, the ears, the knees, the shoulders, the heart (to name just a few).
Professor Ray Roennfeldt, PhD
It was due to my keen interest in Scripture and fascination with the dynamics of human relationships that I was drawn to a study of the people of the Bible. I have known for many years that effective communication is key to the successful transmission of meaning and I believed this was as true of the characters of the Bible as it is of people in everyday interaction in the modern world. I also realized that nonverbal communication, involving human bodily parts was largely authentic in transmitting meaning. This awareness became my inspiration for examining two not-so-simple stories. These are the healing of the lame man by the gate Beautiful in Acts 3:1–11 and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus in Acts 9:1–19a. It was here that I wanted to discover how nonverbal communication through human hands and feet operated and if it achieved its purpose.
According to Luke, the author of Acts, Jesus appeared to his disciples shortly after his resurrection and showed them his hands and his feet (Luke 24:39–40). This was not only evidence of his resurrection but a means of featuring two human bodily parts essential to his mission. It is for this reason that this book presupposes a selective representation of Christ on earth by the early church through human hands and feet. These then, are instruments of mission designated by Jesus as they engage in activities of interpersonal communication.
At the same time, current theological discourse on embodiment provides a basis for examining how literal human hands and feet operate as media of nonverbal communication in the narratives of Acts. Consequently, this investigation has a threefold aim: (1) to evaluate the effectiveness of human hands and feet with their functions as media of nonverbal communication in the two narratives of Acts and to answer the question – was meaning transmitted; (2) to ascertain whether the nonverbal communication described in the two Acts narratives contributes positively to the mission of the ascended Jesus through his followers on earth and (3) to help close the gap between current scholarly comment on human hands←xv | xvi→ and feet with their functions, and the outcomes apparent from their use as media of nonverbal communication in the two narratives under study.
I would like to express my gratitude to those who have helped me bring this book into being. Firstly, I thank my senior PhD supervisor, Dr Steven Thompson, whose encouragement and enthusiasm were a constant source of inspiration. Secondly, I thank my associate supervisor Dr Carolyn Rickett, whose support and skill in written communication were invaluable and, thirdly, I am grateful to Paul Bogacs for his wisdom and expertise in the field of relational communication. Finally, I thank Avondale College of Higher Education for the opportunity to write the original thesis and Peter Lang for publishing it as a book.←xvi | xvii→
ANE Ancient Near East
AV Authorized Version
BCE Before Common Era
BGT BibleWorks Greek LXX/BNT
BNT BibleWorks Greek NT
CE Common Era
LCL Loeb Classical Library
LXX Septuagint Greek Text
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2019 (May)
- Hands and feet and their functions communicate nonverbally The role of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relationships in Scripture Effective nonverbal communication of the mission and message of Jesus
- Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2019. XXII, 390 pp., 6 fig. b/w