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Tag Archives: Peter

The Testimonies of Jesus and Peter

(From Google Images)

(From Google Images)

One of the problems of a local flood is that it doesn’t seem to have an adequate argument in reply to how the Genesis Flood is treated in the New Testament. One can understand an argument that all mankind or all the animals and birds may be understood in terms less than universal, just like all in Matthew 3:5 couldn’t mean every last person in Judea. The Bible often uses superlative terms as a literary exaggeration, and is meant to be taken as a metaphor—something like what we would say today when we wish to express the importance of an upcoming event, namely: “Everyone is going to be there!” Certainly every last person in the neighborhood, city, work location, school or to whatever the context of our statement refers, is not going to be there. Most or many will be there, but not all. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Genesis Flood, Noahic Flood

 

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Where Did All the Water Come From?

If we could somehow squeeze all the moisture out of the air and made it water on the face of the earth, it would cover the continents only up to 2-3 centimeters or about an inch, according to one estimate.[1] So, how can we account for the Genesis flood? One thing is certain, if there had been a worldwide flood the conditions that existed before such a flood would necessarily have been different from what we would have seen immediately afterward, and even that would change over the next few centuries, as the earth settled back into a more peaceful state. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Genesis Flood, naturalism, Noahic Flood

 

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The Jerusalem Council’s Verdict

Luke’s placement of the Jerusalem Council at about the center of his thesis tells us how important this event is. It is also only here that we find Paul, Barnabas, James and Peter together in one place at the same time. While Paul did visit with Peter and James on his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion in Acts 9, Luke doesn’t put them all together in one place until here, and according to Paul (Galatians 2:9), the apostle, John, was there too. So, what was done here was of key importance to the Gospel afterward. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Gospel, Jerusalem Council

 

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The Council’s Sequence of Events

We know that the Jerusalem Council was convened as a result of the heated debate in Antioch by Barnabas and Paul with the men from James (Acts 15:1). I hardly believe that a few Sunday school teachers (like me) could create such a controversy in our denomination of Christianity, just because we disagree with our pastor or the pastor of another body of believers in our denomination. However, if several leading men in my denomination had a disagreement with other leading men, such a conference would inevitably occur to avert a schism within our denomination. Would this be a logical conclusion? If so, shouldn’t we see the men from James as high ranking men at the Jerusalem church as well? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Gospel, Jerusalem Council

 

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Circumcision ~ What’s at Stake?

Jews were not the only people who practiced circumcision. Some of the men in Arabia practiced it as well. They were among Abraham’s sons, and circumcision was among their traditional customs, just as it was for the Jew, but only the Jews took it so seriously as to draw their identity from its practice. Anyone among the Jews who was not circumcised was cut off from his people. Eventually, the practice of circumcision came to include the whole Mosaic Law. So, to be circumcised, according to Judaism, meant that one embraced the Torah, as well. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2012 in circumcision, Jerusalem Council

 

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The Peter-Paul Faceoff at Antioch

Many Biblical scholars seem to think Paul’s conflict with Peter at Antioch occurred after the Jerusalem Council. I don’t believe that reasoning is correct. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul claimed that he visited Jerusalem twice before he wrote his epistle—once three years after his conversion (Galatians 1:18), and a second time fourteen years after he met Jesus on the Damascus road (Galatians 2:1). Some scholars conclude that Paul either missed a visit (Acts 11:28-30; 12:25), or Paul’s visit fourteen years later occurred during the famine, and the Jerusalem Council visit occurred sometime later, perhaps after he left Corinth in Acts 18. Nevertheless, the ‘two’ are the same visit. That is, the Famine-Relief visit and the Jerusalem Council visit were one and the same visit, and occurred cir. 49 CE. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in circumcision, Textual Criticism

 

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The ‘Men from James’

Awhile back (HERE), I wrote about these men from James who came to Antioch claiming the gentiles there couldn’t be saved, unless they were circumcised (Acts 15:1). In the next few blog posts I wish to offer a slightly different but a more dangerous perspective on the efforts of these men. First of all, their argument made logical sense, and this only made the danger of their scheme more difficult to detect. Nevertheless, logic is only as good as the knowledge upon which it is based. Think about it, the Jewish religion was the only religion on the face of the earth that was begun by God. Why shouldn’t the Jews believe gentiles needed to become Jews to be saved? Isn’t that similar to what is believed by Christians today? Don’t we believe one must become a Christian to be saved? If we believe this way, why would it be so unreasonable for Jews to believe that way too? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Jerusalem Council, Paul

 

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Paul’s Fourteen Year Journey

Josephus records the time of the great famine occurring during the terms of Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander. This would cause the worst season of the famine for Jews to occur during the Sabbatical Year of 48-49 CE (autumn to autumn). [Antiquities 20.5.2; compare 20.1.2 – Claudius Caesar in the year of his 4th time as consul, i.e. 47 CE, wrote a letter to Judea’s procurator, Cuspius Fadus before July of that year]. So, Fadus was still governor in 47 CE. A bad harvest season in autumn of 47 CE and spring of 48 CE would produce famine conditions for the poor in the Sabbatical year of autumn 48 CE to autumn 49 CE. These conditions began during the tenure of Cuspius Fadus, but famine conditions grew to its worst state during the term of Tiberius Alexander. The Jerusalem church would have been able to care for the poor for a few months, but as food reserves and funds grew low, they would have found it necessary to send to the gentile churches for help. Therefore, the famine-relief offering and the Jerusalem Council occurred at the same time, most likely in the spring of 49 CE. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Fourteen Years, Kingdom of God

 

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Agrippa Abode in Caesarea

According to Josephus, the Jewish historian in the 1st century CE, Herod Agrippa of Acts 12 “loved to live continually at Jerusalem” and each day offered the prescribed sacrifice of Israel’s king [Josephus: Antiquities 19.7.3]. If this is true, then his leaving for Caesarea should be taken as an indication of his embarrassment over Peter’s escape (cp. Acts 12:19). Certainly, it should be understood that Agrippa would leave Jerusalem from time to time to conduct civil business that needed personal attention that was impossible to accommodate from Jerusalem, but Josephus says his normal abode was in Jerusalem. Yet, Luke claims that Agrippa left Jerusalem and abode in Caesarea (Acts 12:19). Josephus says this occurred when Agrippa was three years into his reign over Jerusalem [Antiquities 19.8.2]. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Mary, the Mother of Mark

As soon as Peter understood that he was not having a vision but was actually delivered from Herod’s sword (Acts 12:11), he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12)! Something we notice, and it can be disconcerting, is that the Gospel writers, including Luke’s work in Acts, simply mention a name and often without further instruction that would help us identify them further. Who is Mary, the mother of Mark, and how does she seem so important that Peter’s first choice as he is about to flee Jerusalem is to go to her home, expecting that she could be trusted to tell James, the Lord’s brother, and anyone else that needed to know his whereabouts (Acts 12:13-17)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Kingdom of God, Persecution

 

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Herod’s Official Story about Peter?

After the death of James, Agrippa turned his attention toward Peter (Acts 12:3), the apparent leader of the Messianic movement in Jerusalem. Luke tells us that Agrippa realized that “the Jews” (read the powerful Annas family) were pleased with what he had done with John’s brother, James (Acts 12:1-3), and, being the man-pleaser that he was (see Antiquities 19.7.3),  Agrippa then made it his business to vex the Church of God and seized Peter, intending to execute him after the Passover feast days (Acts 12:3). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Herod Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Cornelius Answers Jerusalem’s Big Problem!

Luke makes no attempt to smooth out the abrupt change of people and places in Acts 11:19. In the first eighteen verses Luke records Peter’s interrogation by critics in Jerusalem, and his defense before them concerning his activities in Acts 10. Then, suddenly and without notice, Peter vanishes from the scene and Luke begins writing about the Hellenist Messianics who fled Jerusalem during the persecution surrounding Stephen’s death. It seems Luke simply picks up the story of the fleeing brethren at Acts 8:4 and tells us what they did in the remaining verses of chapter eleven, as if he wrote nothing about Philip, Paul or Peter and Cornelius. Then just as abruptly, he leaves the Hellenist Messianics again to speak of Peter in Jerusalem. What gives? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in circumcision, Cornelius

 

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The Interrogation of Peter

At times we Christians seem to believe that, as one of the apostles, Peter enjoyed an authority unprecedented in Church history. The Roman Catholics even elevate Peter to the position of first pope and Vicar (human deputy or substitute) of Christ on earth. However, in thinking this way, we abandon the natural flow and meaning of what Luke tells us, especially in Acts 11. Peter was actually called on the carpet, so to speak, and interrogated over what he had done concerning Cornelius (Acts 11:1-3). One doesn’t do this to one’s lord or master. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in circumcision, Peter and Cornelius

 

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Church Unity at Risk!

Sometimes we are completely unaware of the pressures we are under and how this translates into our walk with Christ. I think this was the issue that faced the believing community in this next phase of Luke’s work of recording the progress of the nascent Church of God. The first phase, remember, dealt with the believing community being the Body of Christ or the Temple of God. That is, the Temple that Jesus was building was not stationary but mobile, and it, therefore, did not reside only in Jerusalem but existed wherever believers in Jesus were found! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in circumcision, Temple of God

 

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Salvation–God Removes All Doubt

Before going on to Acts 11, I think I should consider Peter’s speech before Cornelius and his household and friends to highlight a few things that he mentions. We shall begin in Acts 10:34 and continue to the end of the chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in circumcision, salvation

 

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