How Christian Miracles Contributed to Conversions in the First Century

Larry Hurtado published his book Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016) wherein he examined reasons why people converted to Christian at a rapid rate. One particular point he made was that Christians miracles, while not unique in the time, were a factor, but he asked why it was so without giving a probable explanation. Because he posed the question, I decided to take it up and expand upon it in what turned out to be a ten-page response that distinguished Christian miracles from pagan miracles in the book of Acts. You can read the entire paper here.

In my essay, I explain the basis of my study which begins by unveiling Hurtado’s points and focus of his own study. Then, I go on from there into Acts to show the distinct terms used of Christian miracles versus those wrought by heathens. The language itself, I argue, was enough to demonstrate that Christians believed their miracles were uniquely from God while those from others such as Simon Magus were simply magic. Happy reading.

Steven Hunter (PhD, Faulkner University) is the preaching minister for the Glendale Road Church of Christ in Murray, KY. He's also authored several books for Start2Finish, and Classically Christian explores Christianity from a church-historical perspective. Steven enjoys reading books, drinking coffee, and is a practitioner of Goshin Ryu Jujutsu—a traditional Japanese martial art.