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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Something New Under the Sun?

It is difficult to think an original thought—something that has never been thought of before. It might be like trying to imagine a new color that is not yellow, red or blue nor a blend of two or all three. In fact the writer of Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun; what has occurred will occur again, and what has been done in the past will be repeated in another day. The problem is no one remembers or calls it to mind, so future generations are apt to forget what was said or done in earlier years (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Hinduism, theory of evolution

 

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Evolution—Science or Religion?

Charles Darwin

Image from Google Images

In 1959 Julian Huxley stated: “Darwin’s theory is no longer a theory but a fact.”[1] Is this so, and does this scientific fact follow the rules of a normal scientific hypothesis, or is it simply a theory given tremendous levity denied all other legitimate hypothesis that would oppose it? [2]

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in classical writers, theory of evolution

 

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The Gospel Cannot Be Hindered

Luke ends his thesis in Acts 28:30-31, showing Paul in his rented house welcoming all—Jews or gentiles—who would come to him, and there he preached the Kingdom of God and those things that concerned the Lord, Jesus Christ, with no one forbidding him. Luke shows us that Paul did this for at least two years, and afterward nothing more is written about Paul or anything further about any of the acts of the Apostles. This, I believe, is meant to be the end of Luke’s thesis. It is not an accident than nothing further is written. Acts has a real ending, and it ends here. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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How Can You Be So Obtuse?

Throughout the day there was, no doubt, and exchange of ideas and questions put forward as Paul spoke to the Jewish assembly at his residence in Rome (Acts 28:23, 30). The problem was that some believed, but, evidently, most did not (Acts 28:24), which was characteristic of the Jewish response throughout Paul’s ministry (Acts 13:45, 48; 14:4; 17:4-5; 18:6-8; 19:8-9). So, I don’t believe the ending in Rome came as a surprise to Paul. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Argument in Rome

The Jewish leaders in Rome decided to give Paul a hearing (Acts 28:22), and when they decided upon a particular day, they, and it seems many others with them, assembled at Paul’s rented residence for what would be an all day affair (Acts 28:23, cp. 28:30). Luke doesn’t state it clearly, but his choice of words implies that this was not simply Paul preaching, but what occurred was more like a heated debate. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul, Balaam and Heliodorus

I recently ran across a website comparing Paul’s conversion experience to Balaam’s effort in the book of Numbers to aid Balak’s wish to curse and destroy Israel. The website also compared both with Helidorus’ journey to Jerusalem to rob the Temple treasury in 2Maccabees. I have to admit it is an interesting comparison. I would even go as far as to say that I agree that the comparison is a valid one, but I don’t agree with the author’s conclusion? The reason for my disagreement is that there are key points that the author of the website leaves out. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul's Conversion, Textual Criticism

 

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Did Rome Know Nothing of Paul

Some critics have pointed out that the text’s “We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you” (Acts 28:21) is quite unbelievable. However, just as is usually the case, the whole truth cannot be derived from a cursory read of Luke’s account. His record needs to be compared with what we know of Paul’s time in the 1st century CE, and Luke’s account needs to be tested against what he says elsewhere in his thesis. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Triumphal Entry

It seems that Luke continues his theme of presenting the final acts of Paul in a similar fashion that he presented those of Jesus in Luke 19:29-40. Just as Jesus had a triumphal entry into the capital of Judea, so Paul, although he is a prisoner of Rome, is presented as having a triumphal journey to the capital of the world (Acts 28:14-16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul on the Island of Malta

Once everyone was safely on land, they realized the place was called Melita (known today as Malta). Melita was named by Phoenician sailors, and it is a Canaanite word meaning refuge. Paul’s knowledge of Hebrew would have been especially useful here in that the natives were so friendly and hospitable toward the people. Luke’s reference in Acts 28:1 to the fact they knew the island was called Melita may very well mean it was well named. The sailors may have recognized the island or the natives themselves may have disclosed the name, but it was the kindness and hospitality they had shown the shipwrecked people that Luke seems to mean when he says “they knew that the island was called Melita.”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Gospel and the Voyage to Rome

It has been said that “the tendency to over allegorize” the account should be resisted. Luke’s focus is on the rescue of the passengers from danger, including Paul. There is no proclamation of the Gospel message by Paul, and the pagans on board remain pagans after they arrive on the shore of Malta.”[1] Nevertheless, if this is so, why record anything that occurred in Acts 27? Why not simply begin with Acts 27:1 and let verse-2 begin at Acts 28:12? If what occurs between Acts 27:1 and 28:12 have no meaning for the Gospel, then what meaning would they have for Theophilus (Acts 1:1), to whom Luke wrote in order to offer him a more perfect understanding of the things he had been told (Luke 1:3-4)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Shipwreck and Safety

For fourteen days the vessel carrying Paul and company was adrift on the open sea from the island of Cauda, about 26 miles south and west of Fair Havens on the island of Crete, to the island of Melita,[1] some 476 miles north and east of Cauda (Acts 27:27). Paul had promised safety for all the crew and passengers by telling them of a vision he received from God that although, they would be cast upon some island, their lives would be saved (Acts 27:24-26). Paul placed his trust in God’s word to him and encouraged those who had despaired of life to do the same (Acts 27:20, 25). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God

 

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The Storm and Paul’s—I told you so…

Once the winds over the sea calmed down, the captain and crew supposed they could then reach their desired end and set sail away from Fair Havens, but it wasn’t long before a strong storm arose and came upon them without warning, driving them further out to sea and away from the safety of Crete (Acts 27:13-15). Luke tells us that the storm was what sailors called a Euroclydon (we would call it a Noreaster today), and the Greek seems to attest to it swirling nature, somewhat like a typhoon, but, unlike a typhoon which is soon over, this storm lasted many days. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Famines and Fair Havens

We are told that it was only with great difficulty that the vessel was able to get around the cape at the eastern extremity of Crete to gain shelter from the strong sea winds out of the northwest (Acts 27:7-8). Not long afterward they were able to sail into the port of Fair Havens. Considering the late time of the year and the fact that already the vessel had been struggling against the prevailing winds in this arduous journey, one might expect the captain to want to winter at this harbor that seemed to promise safety for both lives onboard and the ship’s cargo. In fact, this is exactly what is behind Paul’s argument (cp. Acts 27:9-10). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Voyage to Rome Begins

Luke commences Paul’s journey to Rome by resuming the we passages that he left off using in Acts 21:18 at Jerusalem. It had been argued that the we passages simply refer to the people in the boat and immediately afterward on land, but this doesn’t seem to fit. For example, Luke continued to use the first and third person plural in passages on land from Acts 21:4 to 21:18, a time-span of over two weeks. Moreover, in Acts 27:1 Luke says: “When it was determined that we should sail to Italy…” At this point Paul and company weren’t on the vessel they hoped would bring them to Italy. Neither the captain of this vessel nor its crew would go to Italy. The ship Paul boarded was a coasting vessel that hugged the shore line, while making stops at several ports where it unladed its cargo and perhaps took on more. Eventually, the centurion with Paul was able to find a seaworthy vessel that could take them to Italy at Myra of Pamphylia (Acts 27:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Life in the New Testament

This is a rough sketch of where Paul was and what he was doing during his Apostleship to the gentiles. Unlike a similar blog I posted, this one concerns three-year blocks of time, which seems to be Paul’s pattern for his intended labor. Whatever he decided to do, he planned out a three year period for that work. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God

 

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