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Sapphira’s story is perhaps the ideal example of the competing interpretative stances promoted by Luke’s narrative. Reading darkly, that is, from those without power or privilege, Sapphira’s story illustrates a divine option for a community in which there are no class distinctions, but wealth is shared in common. Such is the reasoning of the Rev. George Woodby, who in the early part of the twentieth century argued for socialism among African Americans on the basis of this passage (Williams, 221–24). In light of the segregated class distinctions with which African Americans lived, this was good news…

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