Joe, I could be wrong, but I believe you and I are in agreement that the early Christians kept LEGAL ownership of property UNTIL they sold it. We agree (I think) that, even before they sold property, "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common". We agree (I think) that, from a LEGAL perspective, individuals remained the owners of property UNTIL the property was sold. Thus we read of "owners of lands or houses". If individuals had lost LEGAL ownership of property upon becoming members of the church, then it would make no sense to say "as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them". If the individuals had already lost LEGAL ownership, they would not have been "owners" and they would have had no "lands or houses" to sell. Right?
If no field belonged to Barnabas, then he could not have "sold a field that belonged to him". Right?
Furthermore, Peter specifically reminded Ananias of this fact when he asked Ananias about the property he had just sold, saying "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?" We are in agreement, I believe, that while the property remained unsold, it remained Ananias's own, and even after it was sold, it remained at his disposal. Right?
I believe we are in agreement that the passage describes voluntary acts of charity, rather than a government program. We both believe (I think) that this passage, although it certainly ALLOWS Christians to vote for socialist political parties, does not MANDATE that they do so. Right?
Thanks, Guest from Sanity. I appreciate your kind words.