The prophecy that Paul would bear the name of Jesus «before the Gentiles and kings and children of Israel» (9:15) had little effect on the political authorities, while it becomes central in this final part of Acts, where Paul has the opportunity to be face to face with two governors (Felix and Porcius Festus) and with King Agrippa: great opportunities to train in a task to be carried out then even in the capital of the empire. While in his witness «to the Gentiles» and «to the children of Israel» Paul always reaped some fruit of conversion, in his preaching to [...]
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Appunti per il dialogo con Daniele Salamone sul tema “Scienza e Fede”, visionabile online. Non sono sempre stato credente. Da bambino, non ho mai frequentato la chiesa, né le lezioni di religione a scuola (dalle medie in poi), nonostante sia cresciuto in una famiglia cristiana, almeno nominalmente. All’età di 17 anni mi convertii, e dopo un annetto iniziai a frequentare la chiesa di cui tutt’ora faccio parte. La mia conversione suscitò diverse reazioni nel mio gruppo di amici (tutti atei), e non potevo sopportare di non saper rispondere alle loro domande. Non potevo sopportare di non saper dare delle buone ragioni [...]
Paul’s accusers brought a lawyer to speak on their behalf, whom, as those who have no proof do, focused on flattering praise addressed to the governor Felix and on the invitation to immediately save time by condemning Paul, trusting the accusations as expressed by friends of the governor, as they were. Paul is defined as «a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world» (after all, a beautiful compliment!), being pointed at as «a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes» (v. 5). Paul, unperturbed, replied only at the governor’s request; by contrast to the pompous eloquence of [...]
Domanda C.F. (10/03/21): Un cristiano può avere rapporti sessuali prematrimoniali? Magari non rapporti completi, ma soltanto i preliminari. Il mio professore delle medie (prossimo a diventare prete) mi ha detto che si può anche fare, ma non con tante ragazze. Risposta: Per prima cosa è fondamentale chiarire che il cristianesimo non è un insieme di regole, che se ne infrangi una, Dio è subito pronto a fulminarti. Un cristiano segue gli insegnamenti della Bibbia perché sa che sono per il suo bene e per quello degli altri, non perché ha paura di essere fulminato da Dio, o perché vuole guadagnarsi la [...]
From the very beginning of his journey to Jerusalem, Paul knew that he would find great difficulty (20:22-25; 21:4-13). He also found there, however, a great intimacy with Jesus and just as he prayed in a place that, according to many Christians, a follower of Jesus should no longer attend: the Temple. Right there he was raptured in a trance, as we have already mentioned, and Jesus told him to hurry away from Jerusalem, because they would not receive his testimony (22:17-21). But Paul’s love for his people of Israel was extreme (Rom 9:3) and we saw that he did not want to [...]
«Or sappiamo che tutte le cose cooperano al bene di quelli che amano Dio, i quali sono chiamati secondo il suo disegno. Perché quelli che ha preconosciuti, li ha pure predestinati a essere conformi all'immagine del Figlio suo, affinché egli sia il primogenito tra molti fratelli; e quelli che ha predestinati li ha pure chiamati; e quelli che ha chiamati li ha pure giustificati; e quelli che ha giustificati li ha pure glorificati» (8:28-30). In questi tre versetti viene riassunto il senso di tutti i primi otto capitoli. È una conclusione che Paolo ribadisce tre volte, prima nei versi 28-30, poi [...]
ACTS 22. PAUL’S DISCOURSE TO THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM. ARE CHRISTIANS THE “TRUE JEWS” AND THE “REMNANT OF ISRAEL”?Christian Mancini2021-04-16T13:01:27+00:00
Acts 22 PAUL’S DISCOURSE TO THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM Paul spoke to the people in the Hebrew language, an indication that it was still understood (though probably with Aramaic variants), and chose not to make a theological discourse, as he did on other occasions (13:14ff), but to give his testimony. It began with a «Brothers and fathers [...] I am a Jew» (vv. 1-3). He does not say that ‘I was a Jew’, because for Paul to accept Jesus as Messiah was to remain a Jew in all aspects and, if anything, it was others who were no longer in line [...]
ACTS 21. PAUL’S ARRIVAL IN JERUSALEM AND HIS ARREST [21:1-20a]. Paul’s last dramatic journey to Jerusalem. Many tried in various ways to dissuade Paul from moving towards definite martyrdom (vv. 4 and 11-14), but Paul did not even consider such a possibility: «I do not account my life for any value [...] if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus» (20:24). «What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus» (21:13). It [...]
Acts 20. PAUL HEADED FOR JERUSALEM. DISCOURSE TO THE ELDERS OF EPHESUS Since waters at Ephesus were stirring, and since he had stayed there long enough, Paul went on his way to Macedonia and to actual Greece. He then wanted to sail to reach Antioch directly by sea, but the hostile Jews were waiting for him at the port and so he was forced to stretch the route, going by land to Macedonia (v. 3), with an unforeseen delay that he had to make up for later, in order to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost. Italian parents want to spend Christmas [...]
At that time, Asia was a coastal region of present-day western Turkey, with Ephesus as its capital. At the beginning of the second missionary journey, the Holy Spirit had forbidden to go to Asia at that time (16:6), while at the end of the same journey the apostle had happened to land there in passing and had found a good reception by the Jews, but he did not stay long, intending to return with more tranquillity (18:19-21), a purpose which he then accomplished with his third journey. At the beginning of the chapter (vv. 1-7), Paul describes his meeting with twelve disciples [...]