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The Anonymous Disciple

Road to Emmaus

from Google Images

Near the end of his Gospel narrative Luke tells us of an event whereby the resurrected Lord appeared to perhaps the first two male disciples (Luke 24:13-33). While it is possible that the Lord appeared first to Peter (Simon, cf. Luke 24:34), certainly Jesus’ appearance to the two in route to Emmaus came soon after he appeared to the women. One of the two was Cleopas (Luke 24:18), but the other remains anonymous. Therefore, the story of this appearance of Jesus comes from one of these two men. If we owe it to Clopas, it is odd that he doesn’t name the other disciple. If we owe this record to the unidentified disciple, it is odd that Luke doesn’t name his source. What can be said of these things? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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What about New Testament Slavery?

Slavery in New Testament - 2

from Google Images

The Roman world in the first century AD was completely different from what we find in the Mosaic Law and ancient Judaism. I don’t mean to imply that ANE nations surrounding Israel had no slavery. They did, but the New Testament reaches out to foreign nations—i.e. gentile nations, and is not only concerned with the Jews. Therefore, the social structures of the gentiles are laid bare and God through the preaching / writing of the New Testament begins to confront them, exposing the wrong and pointing to right behavior. Slavery in 1st century Rome is an institution, in fact, it is claimed that 85 to 95% of Rome’s population were slaves![1] Some Biblical critics seem to believe that, because Jesus didn’t equip his disciples with an opposing economic plan that he never said anything explicit against slavery, but they are wrong. From the very first day of his public ministry Jesus pointed out what he had set out to do; namely, “… to proclaim release for captives and …to set free the oppressed, (Luke 4:18 Moffatt; cf. Isaiah 61:1). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in apologetics

 

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Paul’s Theological Arguments

from Google Images

from Google Images

Up until this point in his epistle, Paul was trying to reestablish his credibility with the Galatians which had been damaged by the agitators from Jerusalem. They claimed Paul owed his knowledge of the Gospel to the Apostles and had no authority to preach anything except what they were teaching at Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Paul began by logically showing the Galatians that he couldn’t owe anything to the Apostles, since he had been evangelizing areas around Damascus for three years before he had even met Peter. Furthermore, he spent so little time in Jerusalem during his first visit there that he couldn’t have obtained much from them in the way of training for evangelism. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s Third Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

One of the biggest problems of the first century Church was, and it still is today, understanding how we become righteous before God. How is a just God able to justify sinners? In our world those who break the law must be punished in accordance with that law. Some are punished with their lives, while others receive community service for minor infractions, but most receive a jail sentence for greater crimes against society. Often, after they have paid their debt to society, former criminals are not trusted by those among us who have never committed a crime. Yet, we are told that all men, no matter how grave the sin or crime, can be forgiven and justified by God. What would such a thing look like? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s Second Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

Obviously, we cannot know who the men from James really were, but in another blog[1] I wrote some time ago I argue that they were probably very notable men, perhaps powerful Jews who worshiped with the brethren at Jerusalem. It is unlikely that either Peter or Barnabas would have been seduced doctrinally. That may have been a problem at Galatia with the new believers, as well as the new gentile believers at Antioch, but Peter and Barnabas were teachers of the word of God. Their seduction came by way of pleasing men. In other words, they were intimidated in the presence of men from James. They changed their behavior, not their doctrinal understanding. They acted hypocritically, that is, not according to what they knew to be correct. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s First Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

Paul tells us in Galatians 2 that, while Peter was staying at Antioch, Paul confronted him over an incident that developed over a visit from men sent by James. It may be that after the death of James, the brother of John, in Acts 12 that Peter fled to Antioch, a place out of the jurisdiction of King Herod Agrippa. While Peter was there he had no problem eating with his gentile brethren. However, everything changed, when the men from James arrived. Presumably, they had been sent to alert the Christian communities among the gentiles (viz. at Antioch and the churches in Galatia) that the predicted famine (cp. Acts 11:27-29) had arrived and Jerusalem’s reserves for the poor were dangerously low. They needed help. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul and the Men of Reputation

from Google Images

from Google Images

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[1] (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 »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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