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Category Archives: Apostles

Paul—The Apostle Shaped in Cilicia

After being run out of Arabia, Damascus and Jerusalem, Paul returned home to Tarsus in Cilicia. He was a citizen of Tarsus (Acts 21:39; 22:3), and this probably meant Paul’s family was at least moderately wealthy, because the civic reforms introduced there cir. 15 CE took away the status of citizenship from all householders who had not accumulated considerable land and wealth. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Apostles, Paul

 

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Paul on the Damascus Road

Paul the Damascus Road

from Google Images

Have you ever stopped to consider the astonishing suddenness of the great persecutor of the Church of God becoming the great Apostle of Jesus Christ? Paul had been making havoc with the body of believers in Judea (Acts 8:3). After about a year and a half after Stephen’s death, Paul sought extraditions orders from the high priest to arrest believers of the Way in Damascus and bring them back to Jerusalem for trial (Acts 9:1-2). He and a few others from the elders probably traveled with a caravan going north following the Jordan River. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Apostles, Paul, Religion

 

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The Beginning of Messianic Persecution

from Google Images

from Google Images

The persecution of the Jesus Movement began only months after that first Pentecost when Peter preached his sermon accusing the people and their leaders of killing the Elect One—Jesus. Some accuse Luke of great exaggeration in his claims of the thousands of new believers repenting and coming to Jesus after each of Peter’s sermons. In a matter of days the only unbelievers in Jerusalem would have been the ruling class. But, this is a gross misunderstanding of the text. Luke highlights the history of the growth of the body following the Way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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The End of Apostolic Authority in Jerusalem

Most folks think of the Apostolic Age as a period between Pentecost, cir. 31 CE, and the death of the last of the original twelve Apostles. To some degree this is true, but as far as the New Testament is concerned, the centrality of apostolic authority is a dwindling one and ended much earlier—at least as far as the Jerusalem church was concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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The Apostles Were Persecuted for Treason

King Agrippa I was king over Judea for at least 3 years from January or February of 41 CE to 44 CE. It is possible that he reigned 3 ½ years, depending upon whether he died immediately after the summer games (Acts 12:19-23; see Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews: 19.8.2), or approximately 6 months later. We know he died in 44 CE, but did he die in January (approximately 6 months after the summer games of 43 CE honoring Caesar) or immediately after the summer games of 44 CE? If his death was quick, then he reigned 3 ½ years. On the other hand, if his death followed a six month illness, he reigned only three years over Judea. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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A Judas Contradiction?

David Ewert

from Google Images

How did Judas die, and who actually purchased the “field of blood” with the thirty pieces of silver that was paid to Judas for delivering Jesus into the hands of the Jewish authorities at Jerusalem? I have spoken with several people who believe there is a contradiction between Matthew’s account of Judas’ activities and Luke’s account of the same in the book of Acts. Notice how the Scriptures describe the account: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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A Chronology of Acts 8 through 12

The eighth chapter of Acts begins with the persecution of the Church immediately following the death of Stephen in the fall of 34 CE. At this point in time, however, it would be wrong to assume the Church is an entity in itself in the same manner that it had become in the 2nd century CE. Rather all Messianic Jews were considered a part of Judaism, a faith made up of all Jews, whether or not one believed in Jesus as the Messiah. It is precisely because Stephen and the group of Messianic believers who settled in Jerusalem from the Diaspora were Jews that the leaders in Jerusalem had the authority to pursue them and bring them to Jerusalem for trial. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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The Eight Silent Years of Paul

Paul tells us that between the time of his life-changing vision of Jesus in chapter nine of Acts (36 CE) and the council at Jerusalem was fourteen years (50 CE). In Galatians he says he did not immediately go to Jerusalem after he saw Jesus, but did go three years later. However, he did not go to Jerusalem again to discuss theology until fourteen years after his vision of Jesus (Galatians 2:1). So, by the time Paul met with Peter and James the first time, it was three years after his vision (39 CE), and between this time and when he and Barnabas left for Galatia on Paul’s supposed first missionary journey in 47 CE, there are about eight silent years. Technically, since not much is known of Paul’s first three years as a Messianic Jew, we could include his first three years and say there are virtually eleven silent years. However, for the purpose of this blog, I am concerned with the eight.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Apostles, New Testament History, Religion

 

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Jesus’ First Disciples

epistula-apostolorum

from Google Images

When John the Baptist pointed to Jesus, saying “This is he of whom I spoke… who is preferred before me… the Lamb of God” (John 1:30, 36), two of his disciples left him and followed Jesus. One was Andrew and the other was probably the writer of the Gospel of John (John 1:37, 40). Shortly afterward, Andrew found his brother, Simon, whom the Lord surnamed Peter, and told him he had found the Messiah. On their journey back to Galilee from Bethabara, which was where Jesus was baptized and near Judea on the other side of the Jordan, Jesus also found Philip. Jesus said to Philip, “Follow me!” Immediately, Philip went and found his friend, Nathaniel, and told him he had found the Messiah. At first Nathaniel chided Philip, not believing anything of import could come from Nazareth, but when he met Jesus, he also believed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Apostles, Gospel, Religion

 

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