Perhaps due to Hollywood productions that depict early Christians in Roman arenas facing lions and the like, we have come to believe persecution means persecution to the death, but this is not so. We are told that, because Jesus healed the afflicted on the Sabbath, the Jewish authorities persecuted him (John 5:16). The idea that they also sought to slay him is added to the fact that they were already persecuting him in some way or another. In one instance they claimed he was mentally unstable and had a demon (Mark 3:21-22). At other times the authorities stalked him, hoping for an opportunity to take him into custody (cf. Luke 6:7; 14:1; 20:20). They sought out people who would lie about him (Matthew 26:59-61), and provide “evidence” they could use in their effort to have him executed in their courts (cf. John 7:20, 25; 11:49-50, 53). Finally, they paid a large sum of money to have one of his own to betray him (Mark 14:10-11). All this, although culminating in Jesus’ death, was persecution, and Jesus tells us: “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you (John 15:20). Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Jews
It has been claimed that Peter wasn’t writing specifically to believing Jews, because he mentions in 1Peter 2:10 that his readers were in the past “not a people (of God), but now are the people of God.” Paul even uses these words to denote gentiles who were never the people of God (cf. Romans 9:24-25). Paul claims God called the gentiles his people in order to provoke the Jews to jealousy (Romans 10:19; cf. Deuteronomy 32:21). The problem with comparing Peter with Paul and forcing Peter to say what Paul says is: that Paul was sent to the gentiles, but Peter to the Jews. There would, therefore, be obvious differences in their preaching of the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »
What does Peter mean by saying: “through him you believe in God” (1Peter 1:21)? If his intended readers were believing Jews of the Diaspora (1Peter 1:1), didn’t they already believe in God prior to the coming of Christ and their submission to him? I don’t think Peter meant for us to view his statement quite like that. For example, Jesus claimed in John 12:44 and 14:6 that believing in him is the same as believing in God. Moreover, no one (Jew or gentile) is able to come to the Father (God) except through Jesus. I believe this is what is behind Peter’s statement “through him you believe in God” (1Peter 1:21). It was Jesus who fully expressed the God whom no one had seen (John 1:18) or known (Luke 10:22), so Peter is correct in saying the Jews of the Diaspora believe in God through Jesus, because, prior to Jesus’ coming, the Jews had a poor understanding of God who is love. Read the rest of this entry »
As Paul sends greetings to the church at Rome from the prominent brethren with him at Chenchrea, Corinth’s eastern harbor in Achaia (Romans 16:1), he mentions Timothy, his fellow worker, and three kinsmen: Lucius, Jason and Sosipater (Romans 16:21). Does Paul mean that these men are simply Jews, or is he referring to his extended family, i.e. blood relatives? In other words, is Lucius related to Paul? If so, then Luke, as shown in previous blog-posts, the writer of the third Gospel is not only a Jew, but one of Paul’s extended family. Can this be logically deduced from the Scriptures? Read the rest of this entry »
Some would have us believe that God is actually seeking to enslave all mankind. The modern critic often abuses Scripture by force fitting ancient language attributed to a monarchy / theocracy into modern more democratic terminology. The servant of the king becomes the king’s slave, because under a democracy all citizens should be equal. Therefore, the word servant must be synonymous with slave. This is hardly true, because any holder of public office in a democracy is a public servant, but the Biblical critic hardly desires to let something like this spoil his point of view. Read the rest of this entry »
Who were the men of reputation, and why were they so called (Galatians 2:2; cp. verse-9 where they are called pillars)? Those named were James (the Lord’s brother), Peter and John, but there could have been others, but these three were specifically called ‘pillars’ in the Church community. They were called men of reputation, because they were the leaders of the Jerusalem Church. They were called pillars by Paul because they were the supporters and the guardians of the truth of the Gospel (cp. 1Timothy 3:15). Read the rest of this entry »
“I don’t think an all-powerful God would have a Chosen People. That idea shows the cultural influences and marketing techniques of religion.” ~ David G. McAfee
Comment by an admirer:
“In other words, whoever invented the god and whoever believes and follows the words of it has inherent racial superiority and bias.
“‘The Jews are the chosen people, and Israel is the holy land,’ say the Jews, who live in Israel.
“This has been my go to argument when asked to refute or disprove the god of Abraham. The super intelligent being that a creator deity would have to be in order to create the universe, would not resort to such unintelligent ideas such as a chosen people, or creating a place of infinite torment for the finite “crime” of simply not believing it exists, especially when it leaves no evidence in support of its existence, and all evidence points to the contrary. Can I help it if the bible paints god as a disgruntled 2 year old, prone to throwing extreme temper tantrums?”