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Passionate Paul 25 March 2009 Dr. Ann T. Orlando.

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Presentation on theme: "Passionate Paul 25 March 2009 Dr. Ann T. Orlando."— Presentation transcript:

1 Passionate Paul 25 March 2009 Dr. Ann T. Orlando

2 Outline Paul’s Life Paul’s Letters (Epistles) Angry Paul: Galatians Joyful Paul: Philippians Interpreting Paul and Scripture

3 Paul’s Early Life All information is gleaned from Paul’s Letters, Acts by Luke, early Christian literature –Saul Hebrew name –Paul Greek and Latin name Born c. 10 AD –Tarsus, Asia Minor –Pharisee (Jewish group with special devotion to Law or Torah) –Roman citizen Young man –Tent maker –Jewish Missionary –Persecuted those who opposed Law

4 Paul’s ‘Call’ or Conversion 36 AD, On his way to persecute Christians, he has an encounter with the risen Jesus As a result he becomes zealous for Christianity He contacts the apostles in Jerusalem and receives a commission to evangelize the Gentiles (non-Jews)

5 Paul’s Missionary Activities Sent by Apostles to evangelize around Asia Minor and the northern Mediterranean Paul reaches out to the Gentiles through the Jewish synagogues where he visits –Synagogue was a meeting place for Diaspora Jews scattered around the Mediterranean –Some Gentiles or ‘God fearers’ are associated with the synagogues Paul is arrested, taken to Rome –Executed by Nero c. 65

6 Paul’s Missionary Journeys

7 Paul’s Letters Once Paul established a new Christian community, he kept in touch with them They wrote to him –Letters of support, concern, problems He responded, that is, his letters are occasional –Advice, encouragement, teaching –Often his letters were very passionate All of Paul’s Letters (in fact all of New Testament) written in Greek Letters were read in a gathering (congregation) of friends Paul’s Letters are oldest parts of New Testament

8 Structure of Most of Paul’s Letters Opening formula –Greeting between sender and recipients Thanksgiving –Usually for health and well being of recipients Body –Address issues tht may have been raised by letters to Paul –Express concerns for erroneous doctrines –Teach proper theology, ethics, doctrine Conclusion –Final greetings –Benediction Note: our divisions into verses developed in the second and third century, not by Paul –Current division into Chapters and verses dates from 1205

9 Paul’s Letter to the Galatians Written c. 55; Paul is responding to one of the most critical issues in the early Church Must Genitle Christians become Jews before they become Christians? –Must they follow the Jewish Law? –Circumcision is mark of the Law. –Note: Paul clearly believed that if one was born a Jew (such as himslef), then even if a Christian the Law must be followed. Previously resolved at Council of Jerusalem (Acts 17) –Gentiles do not have to become Jews –But some groups of ‘Christians’ are still claiming that converts must be circumcised and follow Jewish Law Other important points in Galatians –Grace and justification –Relation between Old Testament and Jesus Christ (New Testament) –Paul’s ‘biography’

10 Outline of Galatians Opening formula 1:1-5 –Paul not sent by human commission or human authorities –Peace through Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins No Thanksgiving! Body 1:6 – 6:10 –I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel – not that there is a different gospel (1:6) –If justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing (2:21) –The law was our disciplinarian before Christ came (3:24) –There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. (3:28- 29) –You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. (5:13) Conclusion: 6:11-18 –May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a new creation is everything! (6:14)

11 Paul’s Passionate Language in Galatians If anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to the one you have received, let that one be accursed! (twice, 1:8 and 1:9) But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned (2:11) You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? (3:1) I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves! (5:12) See what large letters I make when I write in my own hand! (6:11) Note: Paul is much less passionate, more ’systematic’ on these same points in Romans

12 Paul’s Letter to Philippians Written c. 56; Paul is responding to a squabble among members of the congregation Paul reminds congregation that their minds must be in unity with Christ –Christ humbled himself Paul reminds them of his joy in them as they are living a truly Christian life

13 Outline of Philippians Opening Formula (1:1-2) –To the saints who are in Jesus Christ who are in Philippi (1:1) Thanksgiving (1:3-11) –I am confident that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion (1:6) Body (1:12-4:20) –What has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel (1:12) –For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. (1:21) –He (God) has graciously granted you the privilege of not only believing in Christ but of suffering for him as well (1:29) –Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourself. (2:3) –Let the same mind be in you as was in Christ Jesus (2:5) –I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (3:8) –Our citizenship is in heaven (3:20) Conclusion (4:21-23) –Greet every saint who is in Christ Jesus (4:21)

14 Paul’s Passionate Language in Philippians I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in everyone of my prayers for all of you because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. (1:3) This is my prayer that your love may overflow more and more (1:9) I will continue to rejoice (1:18) I am glad and rejoice in all of you, and in the same way you must be glad and rejoice with me. (2:17-18) Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! (3:2) My brothers and sisters whom I love and long for, my joy and crown (4:1) Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! (4:4)

15 How Did Paul’s Letters in the Canon of Scripture Lots of early Christian and pseudo-Christian literature in First and Second Century –How to determine what is inspired Holy Spirit works through early Church –Paul’s letters recognized by almost all Christian congregations as inspired –In fact some early Christian groups thought only Paul’s Letters were Scripture –Early bishops, successors of Apostles, specify what is canonical

16 Interpretation of Scripture Once canon is determined, how to interpret it (see CCC ) –Literal Letter of the Law –Allegorical Old Testament pre-figures Christ Spiritual understanding First use of allegory: Paul in Galatians –Paul does not abandon Law or Old Testament –Interprets it as prefiguring Jesus Christ and those who believe in Him –In Galatians uses it to show how Gentiles become heirs to Abraham

17 Conclusion Paul’s Letters include some of the most important theological statements of our faith –But often in very passionate language Be like the Philippians –Follow gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ –Be people of humility and love –Rejoice always in Christ Jesus! –Phil 4:8-9 Q&A


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