Peter s Halakhic Nightmare

4.5 Anxiety and Nightmare Motifs in Peter's Vision Having sketched some of the special features of anxiety dreams and nightmares , I shall now look at aspects of Peter's experience reminiscent of these more disturbing dreams .

Peter s Halakhic Nightmare

Did Luke intend Peter's visionary command to eat 'unclean animals' in Acts 10 to suggest the dissolution of the Jewish Law? Whilst scholars have argued over sources, inconsistent redaction and later reception, many have failed to notice here the novel use of a type of transgression anxiety dream. John Moxon shows how by the incorporation of such naturalistic motifs, Luke takes "revelation" in a new and decidedly psychological direction, probably imitating similar developments in Graeco-Roman biography. If the vision reveals an illegitimate transfer of disgust within an exaggerated halakha of separation, then its target is prejudice and inconsistency, not the Jew-Gentile divide as such, as underlined by the ironic contrast with the pious Cornelius. In this reading, Luke's non-supercessionism is maintained, whilst showing him acutely aware of the kinds of nightmare holding many back from the nascent Gentile mission.

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