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Category Archives: Paul First Missionary Journey

Concluding the First Missionary Journey

Since Luke tells us that Jews from Pisidian Antioch were among those in Lystra who embittered the minds of the gentiles at Lystra, perhaps it was these same Jews from Antioch who did the same at Iconium, convincing the gentile God-fearers in that city to rise up against Barnabas and Paul. Once they believed Paul was dead after the stoning incident, they may have ceased following the team. In any case, the believers at Lystra witnessed a miracle in seeing Paul arise after he was drug out of the city and supposed dead (Acts 14:19-20), because whether or not he had been dead, after Paul was stoned, he should not have been able to leave Lystra for Derbe on the following day. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Gospel, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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Barnabas and Paul in Lystra

After fleeing Iconium, Barnabas and Paul came to Lystra, one of the major cities of Lycaonia. Since Luke never mentions that the apostles enter a synagogue in Lystra, there probably aren’t enough Jews there to warrant one. Therefore, they began preaching to or perhaps conversing with the locals about God. Exactly where they were in the city is not clear, but it was near the city gates (cp. Acts 14:13), where a beggar was probably placed hoping for alms (Acts 14:8), and he listened attentively. Actually, though, Luke never says the man hoped for alms; I suppose it is possible the man knew a trade in which he could labor with his hands, but if this is true, it would be surprising that Luke doesn’t mention the oddity, for back then most people who had a serious impairment weren’t trained to become financially independent. On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise the reader to discover a man who was never able to walk was a beggar in the first century CE. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Gospel, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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Barnabas and Paul in Iconium

When the missionary team was expelled from Pisidian Antioch by the civil rulers there, they traveled to Iconium and entered the local synagogue. An interesting point, at least to me, is that Luke doesn’t mention either Barnabas or Paul by name while they preached in Iconium. Luke refers to them always in the plural using the pronouns they or them, and once calls them apostles. In fact, if one reads only Luke’s record of the Iconium evangelistic effort without knowing what occurred before or afterward, the team would be anonymous. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Gospel, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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Paul and the Marriage Supper

It seems that some of the Jews and many of the gentiles who heard Paul speak in the synagogue of Pisidian Antioch wished to speak of these things again the next Sabbath (Acts 13:42-43), and both Paul and Barnabas spoke with them at that time and encouraged them to remain in the grace of God. That is, to believe the Gospel is a lot like receiving an invitation to an event and being excited over attending that event. Paul and Barnabas told these believers to remain excited; don’t be persuaded by someone who makes light of its value that the event isn’t worth attending. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Gospel, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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Paul’s Name Revisited

In a recent blog-post (HERE), I suggested that Saul changed his name to Paul at Acts 13:9, and that Luke is doing some word play on the names of Elymas-Bar Jesus and Saul/Paul. While I still believe this, my suggestion that Saul received his name, Paul, rather recently in Syrian Antioch as a put-down by Romans, wishing to denigrate his evangelistic activity there, has been brought into question by Richard Fellows (HERE, and HERE), and I cannot, legitimately disagree. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Paul, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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Jewish Missionaries and God-Fearers

It may surprise some today to learn that the Jews exercised an impressive missionary effort among the gentiles of the first century CE. Hillel is considered to be one of the most beloved Pharisees of ancient Judaism, and he advocated that the Jews would “love your fellow-creatures, and draw them near to the Torah” [Babylonian Talmud: Seder – Nezikin: Avoth, chapter 1, Mishna 12]. Jesus himself accused the Pharisees of proselytizing the world to find one single disciple and then made him twice the son of hell as themselves (Matthew 23:15). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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As the Leaders Go, So Goes the Nation

Sadly, but almost always true is the fact that the people follow the leadership of their nation even when the end is folly. It was not only true of the Jews, but it was so of the gentiles, as well that Christ was rejected. The Romans never embraced the Gospel, so why do we make a particular point in saying the Jews rejected it? Perhaps it is because they were God’s chosen people, but nevertheless, the scriptures show that when Jesus was given the Kingdom (Revelation 11:15-19), the kings or leaders of the earth were angry. None of the nations ever embraced the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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