Original Research

Salvation in Acts 16: Meaning and missional implication derived from the sociohistorical method

Jacob T. Igba, Henk G. Stoker
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 39, No 1 | a1895 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v39i1.1895 | © 2018 Jacob T Igba, Henk G Stoker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2018 | Published: 26 September 2018

About the author(s)

Jacob T. Igba, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, North-West University, South Africa
Henk G. Stoker, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, North-West University, South Africa

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In Acts 16:17, a slave girl proclaims: ‘these men are the servants of the Most High God who have come to show a way of salvation!’ The Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30 asks, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ What do they have in common regarding their understanding of the meaning of salvation? How is it similar or different from the understanding of salvation in Africa? Are these in line with the salvation narrative aim of Luke in Acts 16? Through the sociohistorical method, this paper explores the Greco-Roman context of the slave girl and the jailer. In this process, a contextual similarity between the Greco-Roman context and the African context is identified and the impact of these contexts on the understanding of the meaning of salvation is examined. Placed in conversation with the Lukan meaning of salvation in the passage, an alternative meaning of salvation emerges, along with implications for the Greco-Roman and African contexts.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article shows interdisciplinarity by an engagement with a theological concept through the utilisation of the sociohistorical method in generating meaning and understanding of a New Testament text. It navigates the disciplines of New Testament, Biblical Studies, Mission and Apologetics.


Acts 16; African context; salvation; sociohistorical method; mission; apologetics; Greco-Roman


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Crossref Citations

1. Salvation in Acts 16:16-40: A socio-historical exploration of the Graeco-Roman understanding
Jacob T. Igba, Risimati S. Hobyane, Henk G. Stoker
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 75  issue: 3  year: 2019  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v75i3.5161