RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Corinth and the People of God

Luke tells us in Acts 18:9-10 that Paul received a vision from the Lord, telling him that he had many people (laos – G2992) in Corinth. The people of God is one of the phrases, pointing to the main theme of the Kingdom of God, which Luke uses in his narrative, and what he means is that God has entered human history to take out a people for his name, and this included both Jews (Acts 13:17) and gentiles (Acts 15:14), whom Paul insists would become one people (Galatian 3:28; Colossians 3:11; cp Ephesians 2:12-15). Luke refers to the people of God only after Paul breaks off fellowship with the synagogue (Acts 18:10; cp. verses-6-7). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Corinth and the People of God

Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Return of Silas and Timothy

We almost forget that Paul was led to Europe by a vision (Acts 16:9-10), for he was either asked to leave or expelled from the first three cities in which he preached, and as a result he wasn’t able to spend as much time as he would have liked in any one of them. While in Athens he despaired over the trouble he knew some of the believers were in, especially those in Thessalonica and sent both Silas and Timothy back to the new churches to encourage the brethren, and to help them in any way they could (1Thessalonians 3:1-2). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on The Return of Silas and Timothy

Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Claudius Expels the Jews from Rome

Luke tells us in Acts 18:2 that Aquila and Priscilla had left Rome and come to Corinth due to the Jews being expelled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius. The problem is that some scholars try to date the expulsion of the Jews from Rome in 41 CE at the beginning of Claudius’ reign, citing Dio Cassius[1] as their authority. Nevertheless, I believe there are stronger reasons for a later dating, including a fourth century Christian historian, Orosius, who used data from sources other than the Bible to date the expulsion to the ninth year of Claudius reign.[2] Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Paul in the Synagogue at Corinth

After Paul left Athens he came to Corinth, and as was his manner, he began to share Christ with his Jewish brethren in the local synagogue (Acts 18:4). This may also have been how he actually met Aquila and Priscilla, because Jesus told his disciples that when they entered a city to first inquire who in that city was hospitable enough to house guests and stay there (cp. Matthew 10:11). What better place could there be for a Jew to find hospitable Jews than the local synagogue? Archeology has uncovered in Corinth a partial inscription in Greek on a lintel, which is believed to have read (when complete) Synagogue of the Hebrews. Its writing indicates a later structure, but the synagogue over whose doorway this lintel was placed may have stood upon the same foundation of that in which Paul preached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul in the Synagogue at Corinth

Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Corinth and Aquila and Priscilla

The city of Corinth was little more than 100 years old when Paul visited there. The original city had been destroyed in a revolt against Rome in 146 BCE, but rebuilt about a century later by Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. It was one of the greatest commercial centers in the Empire, being situated along a small 3 ½ mile isthmus connecting the northern and southern Grecian mainland, as well as being a valuable naval center for ships on the Adriatic Sea traveling east to the Aegean Sea and then eastward through the Mediterranean Sea or northward to the Black Sea. It was to this busy international commercial center that Paul came from Athens, a journey of about 37 miles, to preach the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Corinth and Aquila and Priscilla

Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paul and the Church at Athens

Many scholars and preachers of the word of God consider Paul’s time in Athens not much more than a failure. I thought so, as well, and even taught his speech at the Areopagus was a failure using 1Corinthians 2:1-2 as my authority, but is this an accurate interpretation, and was Paul’s speech in the Areopagus a real failure? Luke doesn’t seem to think so, because it is one of the three major speeches of Paul that he includes in his work of Acts. Why would he use so much valuable space for a failed effort? Perhaps we need to take a second look. I know I do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul and the Church at Athens

Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Areopagus and Judgment

The Epicureans and the Stoics took (G1949) Paul and brought (G71) him to the Areopagus (Acts 17:19), which could be thought of as arresting him, for it is the same Greek word used in Acts 16:19 when the owners of the slave girl arrested (took) Paul and Silas and brought them to the magistrates. However, this same word is also used of Barnabas in Acts 9:27 when he took Paul to the apostles. Therefore, we need to be sensitive to the context for the meaning of Paul’s appearance before the Areopagus, for it was a council that judged matters concerning foreign cults, education and public morality. The philosophers’ desire to know about the strange things (Acts 17:19-20) of which Paul spoke in the agora or marketplace, and the fact that there was no flogging or sentencing would argue for an informal inquiry rather than a hostile inquisition. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on The Areopagus and Judgment

Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Judgment, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paul’s Call to Repentance at Athens

Paul concluded his speech at the Areopagus in Athens before an assembly of the philosophers there and perhaps some curious onlookers with a call to repent from worshiping gods of their own making. He referred to the glorious Athenian cultural history as the times of ignorance (Acts 17:30). He inferred their devotion to God was nothing more than that of blind men groping or feeling in the dark (Acts 17:27), because they knew, evidenced in the words of their poets, that through nature itself the invisible qualities and power of God were more than stone, silver and gold (Romans 1:20), yet, rejecting this precious jewel of knowledge (Romans 1:23), they chose rather to worship the art of their hands and imagination (Romans 1:21), and in their wisdom, they became fools (Romans 1:22). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul’s Call to Repentance at Athens

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey, repentance

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Paul and the Greek Poets

Much has been said concerning Luke having Paul quote the Grecian poets to make a point for Christianity, believing that in his speech in the Areopagus Paul at least praises some knowledge the pagans have concerning God. Could this be true of the man who wrote the first chapter of Romans? In a word, “no” but the real question is: does Luke really say what his critics believe they understand about Paul’s speech in the Areopagus in Acts 17? Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul and the Greek Poets

Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paul Unveils the Truth about Mankind

I suppose it is safe to say, and even logically true, that, if one has a poor understanding of God who created mankind, one hasn’t the slightest idea of what man is or his purpose (if any) in life. The Athenians believed they arose from their own soil, and other nations were dispersed from Greece. The Stoics believed mankind proceeded form a single point of origin, and all things have a divine relationship. God, according to them, was as a kind of creating fire that forms and shapes all things, and all things are parts of him. We begin and end in fire and then begin again in an endless cycle. While both the Stoics and Epicureans believed God was essentially material, the Epicureans believed God created all things, but he is too busy enjoying the virtues and peace of life than to be concerned with governing his creation. Mankind, therefore, has no purpose beyond what we propose for ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul Unveils the Truth about Mankind

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Unveiling the Unknown God

Paul stood up in the Areopagus and addressed the council and other bystanders from Athens. He told them that earlier he had toured their city: I passed by and beheld your devotions (Acts 17:23; cp. verse-16). The Greek word for devotions (KJV) is sebasma (G4574) and is used in Hellenistic Jewish literature for ‘objects of worship’ (see Wisdom 14:20; 15:17 and Josephus’ Antiquities 18.9.5). This same word is used in 2Thessaloninas 2:4, which Paul wrote while at Athens to be sent along with Timothy (cp. 1Thessalonians 3:1-2). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Unveiling the Unknown God

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paul at the Areopagus

As a result of their debate with Paul in the agora or marketplace, the Stoics and the Epicureans brought him to the Areopagus to understand more about his argument. The problem is the Greek word for brought in the KJV can mean to bring in a friendly sense (cp. Luke 10:34; 18:40) or to arrest (Matthew 10:18; Acts 9:2; 18:12). It all depends upon the context. The Areopagus was a council in Athens that used to meet to handle judiciary affairs on Mars Hill (Areios Pagos), but later met near the agora or marketplace, but retained the name. In what sense, therefore, was Paul to appear at the Areopagus? Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul at the Areopagus

Posted by on February 4, 2013 in God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Paul in Athens

While Paul waited for Silas and Timothy at Athens (Acts 17:15), he seemed to have gone on a personal tour of the city and found it a virtual necropolis of idols. Athens had indeed passed its prime and glory of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. Rome was now the political capital of the world, and Corinth to the south had surpassed it in commercial importance, while Alexandria had outstripped it as a center of culture and learning (perhaps even matched by Tarsus, Paul’s place of birth). Yet, its illustrious past had gained for it the sentimental respect of the world. She was a free city allied to Rome and able to conduct her political affairs according to her wishes, and Athens’ reputation made her the Empire’s museum of Greek culture. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Comments Off on Paul in Athens

Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,