Presentation on theme: "Early Christianity in Jerusalem. The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) Pentecost One of three major festivals of the Jews (Lev. 23:15-22) Also known as."— Presentation transcript:
Early Christianity in Jerusalem
The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) Pentecost One of three major festivals of the Jews (Lev. 23:15-22) Also known as the Festival of Weeks A Harvest Festival Special cereal offering Two loaves of bread
The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) Tongues of Fire Tongues: Real Languages or Ecstatic Speech? Here actual languages Luke lists 14 different nationalities Pentecost a reverse of Babel
The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) Peter’s Sermon “New wine”: Cheap, but took a lot to get drunk on Peter’s sermon shows the Spirit’s power Peter’s sermon points to Jesus The result: 3,000 baptized Are the numbers credible? Jerusalem’s population swelled during major festivals Nero said there were a “vast multitude” about thirty years later
Problems with the Sanhedrin (Acts 3-5) The charges The response: prayer for boldness! Rabbi Gamaliel
The First Church Argument (Acts 6) It’s over…money! Hellenists—Jews who spoke only Greek, possibly Gentiles who became Jews Aramaic Jews—Jews who grew up in Jerusalem The Answer: Elect seven to do the job Suggested, the church decided All Seven had Greek names and were probably Greek speaking Jews.
Stephen (Acts 7) Argued with Hellenistic Jews in their synagogues One synagogue consisted of Jews from Cilicia Could Saul/Paul have been among them? Stephen’s argument: The Jews have consistently rejected God’s plan, right up to that day This led to the first general persecution—but the Church grew!
The First Non-Jewish Christians (Acts 8-11) The Samaritans A major step in the Church Why the delay in the Holy Spirit?
The First Non-Jewish Christians (Acts 8-11) The Ethiopian Eunuch Would not have been allowed in the OT people: Deuteronomy 23:1
The First Non-Jewish Christians (Acts 8-11) Cornelius and the Romans A Gentile God-fearer—not a Jew Peter’s Vision Peter’s Sermon The gift of the Spirit Water baptism Report back to the Jewish Christians
Peter’s Arrest (Acts 12) Herod = Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great Ruler over his grandfather’s kingdom Deferred to the Jewish rulers, so he killed James and wanted to kill Peter Peter’s release Agrippa’s death—Recorded by Josephus
Life and Ministry of St. Paul
Introducing St. Paul Various clues to Paul’s life are spread throughout the Epistles and Acts Hebrew born of Hebrews (Philippians 3:6) Member of the tribe of Benjamin. Named after Israel’s first king, Saul. Father was a Pharisee Had at least one sister (Acts 23:16) Born in Tarsus, raised in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3)
Introducing St. Paul Trained by Gamaliel Candor and honesty in judgment A willingness to study and use Greek authors A keen enthusiasm for Jewish law
Introducing St. Paul A Roman citizen Born a Citizen In the year 171 B.C. Jews were promised Roman citizenship if they moved to Tarsus. This could be where his citizenship originated Had the right to: A fair trial Exemption from certain forms of punishment (e.g. crucifixion) Protection against summary execution Not to be beaten without trial
Introducing St. Paul Was Paul Married? Bachelorhood was very rare among Jews; even rarer among Pharisees like Paul. But did happen. Divorced for becoming Christian? (Drane’s theory; cf. 1 Cor. 7) Widowed?
Paul’s Conversion Recorded three times: Acts 9:1-9; 22:3-16; 26:9-18 Each retelling is slightly different; focused on different audiences Took place at mid-day. Struck down, heard a loud voice Spent three days in fasting and prayer
Paul’s Conversion Sanhedrin claimed absolute religious power over all Jews Ananais a heroic person Left with eye troubles? Gal. 4:15; 6:11 Jesus’ appearance made Paul an apostle
Paul’s Next 13 Years Leaves Damascus for Arabia for three years (Gal. 1:17) Returns to Damascus and preaches. Escapes by basket (Acts 9:25; 2 Cor. 11:32 ff.) Goes to Jerusalem (Gal. 1:18) Barnabas intercedes Meets Peter and James, the Lord’s brother
Paul’s Next 13 Years Went to Tarsus and preached (Gal. 1:21-23, Acts 9:30) Barnabas recruits him to teach in Antioch (Acts 11:25ff.). Agabus announces the famine. Sent to Jerusalem with a gift (Acts 11:30; Gal. 2:1-10)
Paul's First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14)
Paul’s First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14) Barnabas and Saul called during a time of worship Took with them John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas
Paul’s First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14) Cyprus Home of Barnabas Conversion of Sergius Paulus Governor of the island Formerly in charge of flood control in Rome Had a Jewish sorcerer, Bar-Jesus, for an advisor Name is now changed from Saul to Paul Most likely had two names: a Jewish name and a Roman name
Paul’s First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14) Phrygia Mark leaves them there Weak or scared? Young and homesick? Time of Paul’s illness? (Gal. 4:13-14) Jealousy for his Uncle Barnabas?
Paul’s First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14) Pisidian Antioch 100 miles from the shore over a mountain range Paul begins with the Jews His sermon skims the OT to point to Jesus. Uses the word “justified” (Acts 13:39) God-fearers were especially touched by this message
Paul’s First Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14) Iconium Lystra Home of Timothy. Probably converted on this journey. “The gods have come down in human form!” Paul’s response: Worship the Creator! No OT references. Almost gets killed for his trouble Returns to the city Returns to Antioch
The Letter of James
“Spoken against” in the early Church Very Jewish understanding of Christianity (uses the word “synagogue” for worship) Date: AD by many. Probably written to the Jewish Christians scattered in Acts 8 James is a letter on practical Christianity
The Letter of James Author: “James” James, son of Zebedee, who was killed by Herod Agrippa II James, the brother of Jesus Would be one of the few who would be known throughout the churches Paul usually refers to him simply as James.
The Letter of James Author: “James” Arguments against authorship: Greek is too good Doesn’t state that he’s the Lord’s brother Takes an ethical view of faith If not James, the Lord’s brother, then who?
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
Galatians Author: Paul Date and destination are debated Northern Galatian theory (later date; 53 – 57 A.D.) “Galatia” is a northern province; named for the Gauls had invaded and settled in the 3rd Century B.C. Luke uses accurate terms in other places, why not here? Paul did not visit this area until his second missionary journey; this would be written on his 3rd journey
Galatians Date and destination are debated Southern Galatian theory (earlier date; 48 A.D.) Both a province and a broader area was popularly known by that name Paul was ill when he visited, it seems odd that he would travel to a remote area over many mountains Galatians mentions Barnabas three times, it is apparent that the people knew him If this was written after the Jerusalem Council why doesn’t the letter refer to it or to the letter the Council sent out which Paul took with him? (Acts 16:4) Northern Galatian theory is older. Since Galatians deals with the same issues as Acts 15, it would be a natural date.
Galatians Features This letter is intensely personal and very passionate The Judaizers argued that they did not come to stop Paul’s work but to complete it Judaizers had three arguments: Paul was not a true apostle Paul was omitting things that God has said Paul’s proclamation of grace alone would bring moral laxity Galatians was Martin Luther’s favorite letter in the NT
The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15)
This is one of the most important issues in the church’s history and life. The issue: Acts 15:1. Possibly the same group who had caused problems with Peter (Gal. 2:11-14). The result: no circumcision, no complete obedience to the laws of Moses. Three requests for the sake of peace: No fornication No meat sacrificed to idols No meat strangled or with blood in it
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22)
The Battle over John Mark Result: two missions, not one: Paul took Silas (a/k/a Silvanus); Barnabas took Mark Silas a pastor in Jerusalem One of those sent to give credence to the letter from the Council Paul and Mark did reconcile (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11)
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Lystra Decide to take Timothy with them Timothy a Jew; born of a Jewish mother In order to witness to Jews, Paul circumcises Timothy If Timothy was not circumcised, the Jews would have rejected him
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Paul not allowed to go to Asia and Bithynia Goes to Troas; has Macedonian vision First of “we” passages
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Philippi Not enough Jewish men for a synagogue Go to a “place of prayer”: women would meet to recite the appointed synagogue prayers and thanksgivings on the Sabbath. Leader was Lydia, a God-fearer who was the seller of purple cloth. Became the first Christian in Paul’s ministry to Europe
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Philippi The Jailer Fortune telling girl Beaten and jailed via a racist argument The earthquake Jailer’s repentance Death was the punishment for letting people escape By committing suicide, his family would have been able to keep their property. The entire “household” is baptized.
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Philippi Magistrates tell them to go They have beaten a Roman citizen! They come to apologize Paul clears his name of the sake of the Gospel This congregation became very special to Paul
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Berea Desire to study the Scriptures is legendary Repeat of Thessalonica Paul leaves Timothy and Silas. Sends Timothy to Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:1)
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Athens A free and allied city within the Roman empire Philosophical and cultural center Paul’s “distress”
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Athens Paul at the Areopagus The “Areopagus” was an Athenian institution Considered themselves to be the custodians of teachings that introduced new religions and other gods Paul molds his message to the audience Point of contact: “To an Unknown God” Does not quote the Old Testament; quotes Greek poets and authors Three points: God the creator God sustains today God will judge Some small success
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Corinth Spends 18 months; his longest stay to date The town Located on an isthmus Had log railroad to transport boats Cult center of Aphrodite Known for sexual laxity
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Corinth Aquila and Priscilla Jews expelled from Rome by Claudius Roman historian Suestonis says that the expulsion order was given because the Jews were constantly in fights that were started by a man named Chrestus. Paul worked with them making tents Paul began his preaching in the synagogue. One of the first men who believed was Crispus, the synagogue ruler Started preaching in house of Titius Justus
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Corinth “Trial” before Lucius Junius Gallio Brother of the philosopher Seneca Admired as a man of justice and fairness Only in this position for a year, from AD, so we know when Paul was in Corinth.
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Corinth “Trial” before Lucius Junius Gallio Gallio refused to listen to the charge and the synagogue ruler, Sosthesnes, was beaten Three theories as to who beat him: The Jews, because he failed to win the case The Greeks, because they were ticked off at the Jews The military commanders because he wouldn’t leave Sosthesnes mentioned in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) First and Second Thessalonians Date: 51/52 AD Reason Paul was very worried about this church and what was taking place there, especially since he had to leave so abruptly. Left the people with little support in face of persecution and paganism. Topics: Personal holiness, life in the church, second coming of Jesus
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) First and Second Thessalonians Second Thessalonians was written about six months later Some scholars argue that Paul did not write 2 Thessalonians No signs of the end in 1 Thessalonians; now a “man of lawlessness” More formal in tone Too similar to 1 Thessalonians Drane: “These problems are more apparent than real.” (p. 316) Main topic: the second coming of Jesus. Some thought the Second Coming had taken place. The most intriguing part—and the most highly debated—is who is the “Man of lawlessness” to whom Paul refers?
Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16-18:22) Paul sets sail for Jerusalem Cuts off his hair for a vow that he had made and needed to make a sacrifice Stops in Ephesus; Paul promises to return
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16)
Ephesus An impressive city Temple of Artemis located there; one of the 7 great wonders of the ancient world:. Much magic in the city. Sorcery scrolls often called “Ephesian writings.” Paul spends three years preaching, teaching, and training.
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16) Ephesus Ephesian “disciples.” Know only of John’s baptism. Have never heard of the Holy Spirit. Paul teaches them and baptizes them Preaches in the synagogue for three months. Moves to lecture hall of Tyrannus Western manuscripts state that Paul taught from11:00-4:00 each day, which was the hot part of the day.
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16) Ephesus Paul continued to work to support himself (Acts 20:34) Many unusual miracles Sons of Sceva Acts 19:21: Paul wants to go to Rome
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16) Ephesus Ephesian Riot Over…money! Christianity was often accused of ruining the economy Jews worried that it might become anti-Semtic. “Asiarchs” tell Paul not to go in. They promoted worship of the emperor! Secretary calmed them down and made them leave.
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16) Ephesus During this time, Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians. Ephesian dangers 1 Cor.15:32 and 2 Cor. 1:8-10, Paul notes some of the dangers that took place there. Ephesian imprisonment? Letter to Romans: Paul greets “Andronicus, a fellow prisoner” 2 Cor. 11:23-27 Paul mentions “many imprisonments”
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16) Through Macedonia to Corinth Paul stayed there during the winter months when ships did not travel. During this time, he wrote Romans.
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:16) Return to Jerusalem Takes a group of Gentiles with him to Jerusalem. Plans to take a direct route; finds out there is a plot on his life. Returns north. “We” passages begin again. Eutychus in Troas—Was he dead or just knocked out? Sermon to the Ephesian elders Warned not to go to Jerusalem, but believes he should.