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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem’s Poor

Luke doesn’t mention the collection Paul made for the poor at Jerusalem, but this is understandable, since Luke’s addressee is Theophilus, Annas’ son and former officiating high priest at Jerusalem, because the Annas family had been mistreating the poor, especially the priests. They had sent men to rob them of their tithes, which some depended upon for life itself. The time is cir. spring of 55 CE, and Paul planed to continue at Ephesus for awhile to preach the Gospel, but he sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia (Acts 19:22) to confirm the churches of Europe concerning his intention to bring an offering from them to Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The Word of God Grew and Prevailed

In Acts 19:20 Luke sums up the fifth section of his thesis by saying: “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” It almost seems out of place here before the riot later in the chapter, but it isn’t. Paul’s 3rd recorded missionary journey is not yet complete, but Luke uses what is already said to sum up what turns out to be Paul’s mission to the world in the name of the Kingdom of God as a free man. A glance backward would show us that Luke sums up his entries into his thesis at the conclusion of conflicts—either within the Church (Acts 6:7; 16:5; 19:20) or in respect to the unbelieving community (Acts 9:31; 12:24; 28:30-31). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Can Evil Be Made to Destroy Evil?

In Acts 19 Luke related a strange story about a Jewish high priest and his sons—seven in all (Acts 19:13-20). At first glance this strange story seems to place the power of God over against the power of magic, because the result of it all was many who became believers of the Gospel at Ephesus brought their own books of the curious arts, which they had used before they came to the faith, and burned everything as a testimony to their friends and family, who didn’t believe (Acts 19:18-19). However, is this really all about magic not being as powerful as the Gospel? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The Kingdom of God in Diana’s Land

The province of Asia is now part of modern day Turkey in the Mediterranean. It was once the home of the world renowned Artemis or Diana, the great goddess of the Ephesians. For two years Paul preached at Ephesus, sending emissaries throughout the province and perhaps beyond, preaching the Kingdom of God and bringing men and women under the Lordship of Jesus (Acts 19:10). During this time aprons or handkerchiefs of Paul’s were sent to the sick and those possessed and they were healed (Acts 19:11-12)! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The School of Tyrannus

After Paul returned to Ephesus he spent the next three months in the local synagogue, discussing the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, and reasoning with and persuading those who listened (Acts 19:8). I find it astonishing that he was able to preach Christ so long in the synagogue before a movement began among the Jews to speak against the Gospel (Acts 19:9).[1] But, once this occurred, Paul separated himself from the synagogue, rather than continue there in debate. It was Paul’s way not to resist evil when it presented itself (cp. Matthew 5:39), but rather to leave and dig in elsewhere (cp. Genesis 26:16-33). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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The Ephesian Pentecost

Before moving on, I wish to say something more about the disciples whom Paul met at Ephesus, when he returned to the province of Asia through the interior regions, after strengthening the Galatian churches he raised up earlier (Acts 18:21-23). When we begin reading Acts 19 we are struck with something new. Luke has Paul meeting with certain disciples before going into the synagogue to preach to the Jews. The oddity is so different from what Paul usually does that it has been suggested that the reading of the occurrence is too difficult, and “If there were any authority in manuscript or ancient versions to omit the episode, one would be inclined to take that course.”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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Paul’s Firstfruits in Asia

Finally, Paul is able to evangelize the province of Asia, as he had intended a few years earlier (Acts 16:6). As he begins his third recorded missionary journey, Paul found 12 men at Ephesus who seemed to understand Jesus is the Messiah, but he noticed that something just wasn’t kosher about them (cp. Acts 19:1-7). After further inquiry Paul realized they were familiar with Jesus through the baptism of John. How should this be understood? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 3rd missionary journey

 

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How Are We to Understand Apollos?

Apollos is an interesting figure, whom we meet for the first time in the New Testament at Acts 18. Paul has left Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem, and for the first time since Acts 15 Luke introduces us to a person who is preaching about the Messiah, but it is not Paul. What should we make of this, and why does Luke introduce us to Apollos but mention him no more in his thesis? Why does Paul in his letter to the Corinthians speak of Apollos’ mighty work in Achaia, but makes no mention of his labor at Ephesus or in any other part of Asia either in that letter or in his epistles to the Ephesians or the Colossians? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Did Paul Intend to Visit Jerusalem?

Some scholars have a problem believing Paul ever intended to visit Jerusalem when he left Corinth, because neither he nor Luke mentions that intention. I love to study scholarly reviews of the text, and see the things that they see, because my eyes are simply not trained to pick these things out. But, I almost pity them in their search of exactitudes that will permit them to believe this or that about the text. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey, Textual Criticism

 

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Paul’s Vow at Corinth

Awhile ago I had written a blog concerning Paul’s vow, and it can be found HERE. Paul’s vow and his second recorded missionary journey end about the same time. After leaving Corinth with a brief visit to the synagogue at Ephesus in the province of Asia (Acts 18:19), Paul sailed off to Caesarea and went up (to Jerusalem) to report to the church there and offer the appropriate sacrifices pertaining to his vow (Acts 18:21-22; cp. 21:17-19 and 23-24, 26-27). Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Luke, Gallio and Sosthenes

It is difficult at times to know what to include in my blog to make it informative, on the one hand, but not adding so much information that I leave more questions in the end than answers. Therefore, before bringing Paul’s second missionary journey to an end, I would like to address certain questions, concerning both Luke and what occurs in Corinth involving Gallio’s court and Sosthenes, the synagogue ruler. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey, Textual Criticism

 

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Paul Appears Before Gallio

If my understanding of the time of Paul’s journeys is correct, Paul arrived in Corinth either late summer or near the beginning of autumn in 51 CE. Some scholars place Paul’s appearance before Gallio’s court near the end of his term as proconsul of Achaia, but I think Luke’s “remained many days longer” (NASB) in verse-18 should be seen in light of his “he settled there a year and six months” (NASB) in verse-11. In other words, Paul probably appeared before Gallio nearer to his arrival at Corinth than his departure. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Paul’s Prophetic Role in Corinth

Once the Jews in the synagogue at Corinth opposed Paul, and Paul separated himself from them, he began to preach daily next door in the home of Gaius Titius Justus (Acts 18:7). Whether the Jewish party opposed God and blasphemed the way or opposed God by simply opposing and insulting Paul, they placed themselves under the judgment of God (cp. Romans 13:2), and when this occurs God tells us to separate ourselves from those people in order to avoid partaking in judgment with them (cp. Revelation 18:4). Therefore, Paul broke off fellowship with the synagogue, saying he was innocent of the path they had chosen, and their blood was upon their own heads (Acts 18:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Paul’s Vision at Corinth

Paul’s stay in Corinth was not to be like his ministries cut short in Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea. No, in Corinth it would be much different than how Paul had come to expect in his ministry in Europe; he would remain here until he was satisfied with his labor and leave on his own terms. But, how could Paul know this? Once trouble broke out, it had been his manner to leave, so that he would not bring the wrath of the enemy upon the new and emerging church of God. Paul was made aware of what to expect through a vision from the Lord. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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