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FINAL NOTES

2021-06-04T08:18:33+00:00

Wanting to follow Luke’s train of thought, we chose to place at the end the Further Insights and the Links that were more demanding, leaving the honour of closing to Stephen, since we believe that his work is generally underestimated. ------------------------------------------------------------ Further Insight n. 16 THE ACTS AS "PREFACE" TO ROMANS AND WRITTEN FOR THE ROMANS   It is a thesis matured during the drafting of these notes and that we’ll state reasons for schematically, summarising also something already considered in the Further Insight n. 10 (The binomial Acts-Romans) and elsewhere. It is well known that a book is first written [...]

FINAL NOTES2021-06-04T08:18:33+00:00

ACTS 28. THE END TO AN UNFINISHED STORY

2021-05-29T06:35:18+00:00

In the first part of the chapter (vv. 1-16) the journey to Rome reported in the previous chapter resumes and ends. The shipwreck survivors barely made it to the shores of Malta and the island’s inhabitants, evidently pagans, welcomed the survivors with «unusual kindness» (v. 2). Paul was bitten by a viper as he was gathering wood for the fire, but he remained unscathed; then God gave him the opportunity to work many healings. All this amazed the Maltese, who let the shipwrecked depart, providing them with «whatever [they] needed» (v. 10). After a few months they arrived by ship in Syracuse, then [...]

ACTS 28. THE END TO AN UNFINISHED STORY2021-05-29T06:35:18+00:00

ACTS 27. THE STORMY JOURNEY TO ROME

2021-05-22T17:06:16+00:00

Compared to the overall story outlined in Acts, it seems that this chapter has only to say that God wanted Paul to arrive in Rome and, therefore, saved him from the shipwreck: it seems little to justify this detailed story, we will therefore try to grasp other aspects of it. The story begins with: «When it was decided that we should sail for Italy». This means that there was also Luke on the ship, who presumably was there as Paul’s assistant, and since Luke saw God at work on that trip, this itself is a good reason to tell the story. The [...]

ACTS 27. THE STORMY JOURNEY TO ROME2021-05-22T17:06:16+00:00

ACTS 26. PAUL BEFORE KING AGRIPPA

2021-05-15T07:25:29+00:00

While the Jewish ruling classes met with a communal attitude and therefore sometimes vitally disordered, in this meeting at the presence of King Agrippa we perceive a hierarchical disposition; this reflected the Roman mentality, with the "landlord" Festus giving the first seat to those who, like Agrippa, are of higher rank (vv. 24-27). Agrippa thus takes over the presidency and it is, therefore, he who gives Paul the floor to speak (26:1) and whom Paul addresses first (v. 2). Paul’s choice to address Agrippa alone may seem inappropriate, but it will prove necessary, because the audience was of a composite nature [...]

ACTS 26. PAUL BEFORE KING AGRIPPA2021-05-15T07:25:29+00:00

ACTS 25. PAUL BEFORE FESTUS

2021-05-08T10:06:50+00:00

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 [...]

ACTS 25. PAUL BEFORE FESTUS2021-05-08T10:06:50+00:00

ACTS 24. ACCUSATIONS AGAINST PAUL AND HIS DEFENSE BEFORE FELIX

2021-05-01T07:54:20+00:00

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 [...]

ACTS 24. ACCUSATIONS AGAINST PAUL AND HIS DEFENSE BEFORE FELIX2021-05-01T07:54:20+00:00

ACTS 23. PAUL’S FAREWELL TO JERUSALEM

2021-04-23T20:18:10+00:00

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 [...]

ACTS 23. PAUL’S FAREWELL TO JERUSALEM2021-04-23T20:18:10+00:00

ACTS 22. PAUL’S DISCOURSE TO THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM. ARE CHRISTIANS THE “TRUE JEWS” AND THE “REMNANT OF ISRAEL”?

2021-04-16T13:01:27+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 22. PAUL’S DISCOURSE TO THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM. ARE CHRISTIANS THE “TRUE JEWS” AND THE “REMNANT OF ISRAEL”?2021-04-16T13:01:27+00:00

ACTS 21. THE FALSE ACCUSATION AGAINST PAUL, HOWEVER SUSTAINED BY CHRISTIANS

2021-04-10T10:57:33+00:00

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 21. THE FALSE ACCUSATION AGAINST PAUL, HOWEVER SUSTAINED BY CHRISTIANS2021-04-10T10:57:33+00:00

ACTS 20. PAUL HEADED FOR JERUSALEM. IS IT NECESSARY TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH OR THE SUNDAY?

2021-04-03T07:32:36+00:00

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 [...]

ACTS 20. PAUL HEADED FOR JERUSALEM. IS IT NECESSARY TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH OR THE SUNDAY?2021-04-03T07:32:36+00:00
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