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Arator on the Acts of the ApostlesA Baptismal Commentary$
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Richard Hillier

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198147862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198147862.001.0001

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Eunuchi Fecunda Fides Gentiles, Sinners, and Song of Songs I: 5

Eunuchi Fecunda Fides Gentiles, Sinners, and Song of Songs I: 5

(p.92) 5 Eunuchi Fecunda Fides Gentiles, Sinners, and Song of Songs I: 5
Arator on the Acts of the Apostles

Richard Hillier

Oxford University Press

In his exposition of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch, Arator's main concern is to set the eunuch, or rather his mistress, Queen Candace, in her place at the end of a list of types which prefigure the conversion of the ecclesia ex gentibus. He also enters into a not entirely serious examination of the effect of baptism, given the obvious physical condition of the eunuch, and alludes in the last line of the Song of Songs 1: 5 to Christ's teaching concerning eunuchs and chastity at Matthew 19: 12: ‘and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven’. Arator highlights the unexpected benefits which the eunuch will now receive: Philip's instruction enables him to reap the reward of baptism, the harvest sprung from the seeds of his diligent application to the scriptures. The biblical interpretation of Ethiopians as sinners and gentiles is also considered.

Keywords:   Arator, baptism, eunuchs, chastity, Philip, sinners, gentiles

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