Evolution of the New Testament First form was letters (fit with eschatology): Pauline –I Thessalonians, Galatians, Philemon, Philippians, I & II Corinthians, Romans By the mid-60s the first generation had mostly died, so letters took on a more enduring tone (Deutero-Pauline) –II Thessalonians: don’t focus too much on the Second Coming –Colossians/Ephesians: talks about “the Church” –I & II Timothy, Titus discuss bishops, priests, & deacons
Luke-Acts Originally one book –Luke: addressed to Theophilus (1:1-4) –Acts: “In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about al that Jesus did and taught.” (1:1) Two main characters –Peter (chapters 1-12) –Paul (chapters 13-28)
Life of Paul Year Event 36 Conversion to Christ 39 Visit to Jerusalem after Damascus 40-45 In Cilicia & Antioch 46-49 1 st Missionary Journey 49 Jerusalem Conference 50-52 2 nd Missionary Journey: I Thess 54-58 3 rd Missionary Journey: Gal, Phil, Phlm, I/II Cor, Romans 58-60 Arrested; imprisoned in Caesarea 60-61 Journey to Rome 61-63 Prisoner in Rome 64 Death in Rome
Paul’s First Missionary Journey (46-49) Antioch Cyprus –Confrontation with magician Pisidian Antioch (Asia Minor) –Many converted; proclamation of Gentile mission Galatia (Iconium, Lystra & Derbe) –Unbelieving Jews in Iconium try to stone Paul –People in Lystra & Derbe think he’s a Greek god –Jews from Iconium show up and do stone him Antioch
Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) Issue of Gentile Christians addressed in Acts 11 –Then it was a few Gentiles joining a large number of Jews –Now the question of big, mostly Gentile churches Peter and James agree to accept uncircumcised Gentiles –What argument is missing? –Some rules: abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, and from what is strangled; and from incestuous relationships But what of Galatians 2?
Paul’s 2 nd Missionary Journey (50-52) Philippi: dear to Paul’s heart, 1 st church in Europe –Conversion of Lydia, Paul and Silas freed from prison Thessalonica –Many converts, but Jews chased him out of town Athens, speaking on Mars Hill (Areopagus) –Acknowledges the people’s thirst for God –Quotes secular poets (Epimenides, Aratus) –Tells them Jesus is who they’ve always been looking for –Sends Timothy back to Thessalonica to check on converts Corinth –Origin of “tentmaker” –Came to focus exclusively on the Gentiles –Stayed there for 18 months (wrote 1 Thessalonians after receiving Timothy’s report)
1 Thessalonians Background –Indisputably Pauline –First NT book written (~51 CE) Style –Warm and welcoming (1:9-10) “Brothers” used 14 times –Affirming and encouraging (4:9-12) –Written to a Greek, Gentile community Only one reference to Judaism (2:14-16) No Old Testament reference
1 Thessalonians (cont’d) Content –Paul does not anticipate dying (4:15-18) Contrast Philippians 1:20-23 Influence on modern apocalyptic literature –Apocalyptic predictions (5:1-11)
Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (54-58) (Acts 18:23-21:26) Galatia/Phrygia –Education of Apollos, who followed John Ephesus (western Turkey) –Spoke for 3 months in the synagogue –Spoke for 2 years in lecture hall of Tyrannus –Power to cast out demons –Riot by idolatrous artisans –Wrote Galatians, Philemon, Philippians, 1 Corinthians
Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-21:26) Through Macedonia (northern Greece) –Encourages believers along the way –Wrote 2 Corinthians To Corinth (stayed 3 months [winter]) –Intended to go on to Jerusalem –Jewish plot forces him north and overland through Turkey (Asia Minor) –Resurrects Eutychus –Speech to Ephesian elders (only Christian audience) Jerusalem, where he is arrested in the Temple
Galatians “Most Pauline of Paul’s writings” –Basic message: 2:15-21 –“Law” used 32 times, “freedom” 11 times –Anger caused Paul to say what he really thought? 1:6-9; 3:1-5; 4:8-11 Galatians 2 vs. Acts 15 –Martin Luther’s “pet” epistle Written during his 3 year stay in Ephesus on his 3 rd (final) journey Context –After Paul left Galatia, Jewish preachers came from Jerusalem and told the people that they had to abide by the Law (i.e., be circumcised and observe Jewish feasts)
Paul’s Six Arguments about the Law 1.The Galatians originally received the Holy Spirit without observing the Law 2.God promised Abraham that all nations would be blessed (Gen. 12:3) 3.A ratified will cannot be annulled (i.e., the Law came 430 years after Abraham) 4.The Galatians were freed from slavery; why seek to be slaves again? 5.The Galatians treated Paul well; how could he have become their enemy? 6.Hagar doesn’t represent the Gentiles; she represents the enslaving Law given on Mt. Sinai.
Philippians Written from prison in Ephesus ~56 CE –Much reflection on suffering –More wonderings about death than 1 Thess –Extremely self-revelatory Reprimands 3 distinct attitudes –Dissension secondary to pride (chapter 2) –External opposition from non-Christians (1:28-29) –Workers of evil who demand circumcision (3:2-11)
Christological Hymn (Philippians 2:5-11) Most like a pre-Pauline hymn Two sections –Lowliness/abasement (vv. 6-8) –Exaltation (vv. 9-11) Christological dispute (vv. 6-7) –“In the form of God” Equivalent to God (as in John 1:1); or In the image of God (as in Genesis 1:27)? –Divine figure, or second Adam who chose the right course? –Is the movement downward (begin as God, then emptying) or upward (begin in God’s image, then exalted)?
Philemon Shortest Pauline letter (335 words) Written about Philemon’s escaped slave, Onesimus Paul’s request –Take Onesimus back without punishment –Free him –“Receive him as you would receive me.” (v. 17) Christianity and slavery –Positive: Paul asked a great deal of Philemon, and with Christ expected imminently, certain social structures can remain –Negative: Slavery as an institution not criticized
Corinth Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months, around 52 CE –Worked as a tentmaker –Wrote 1 Thessalonians Harbor city, known for its sexual immorality Written –I: from Ephesus (~56 CE) –II: from Macedonia (~57 CE)
Outline of 1 Corinthians 1:1 – 9 : Address and greetings 1:10 – 4:21 : The factions 5:1 – 11:34 : Problems of behavior 12:1 – 14:40 : Problems and charisms 15: Resurrection of Christ and Christians 16: Conclusion
Important Parts of 1 Corinthians Church unity (1:10-17; 3:1-23; 12:12-31) Instructions regarding marriage (7) Gift of love (13) Resurrection (15)
Outline of 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 : Introduction and greetings 1:12 – 7:16 : Paul’s relationship to Christians at Corinth –1:12 – 2:13 : Paul’s deferred visit and the “tearful” letter (which we have no record of) –2:14 – 7:16 : Paul’s ministry 8:1 – 9:15 : Collection for the church in Jerusalem 10:1 – 13:10 : Paul’s response to challenges to his apostolic authority 13:11-13 : Conclusion and blessings
To Read for Next Week Review –Christological hymn of Philippians 2:5-11 Romans
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