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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

ACTS 19. PAUL AT EPHESUS

2021-03-27T08:27:56+00:00

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 [...]

ACTS 19. PAUL AT EPHESUS2021-03-27T08:27:56+00:00

ACTS 18. PAUL AT CORINTH. THEN, BEGIN OF THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY

2021-03-22T15:36:26+00:00

[18:1-22]. Paul at Corinth. By now we have outlined Luke’s "filigree drawing", so we will focus on some new details. At Corinth the usual pattern repeats itself, with the variation that the head of the synagogue Crispus gets converted (v. 8), but is not followed by the majority of the Jews who indeed, after a year and a half (v. 11) tried in vain to have Paul arrested, and went to beat the new ruler of the synagogue Sosthenes (v. 17); evidently he too had become a believer and had kept the charge in the synagogue. The Lord told Paul in a [...]

ACTS 18. PAUL AT CORINTH. THEN, BEGIN OF THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY2021-03-22T15:36:26+00:00

CLASH WITH THE PHARISEES OF JERUSALEM ON TRADITION (15:1-20)

2021-03-13T09:16:55+00:00

4. CLASH WITH THE PHARISEES OF JERUSALEM ON TRADITION (15:1-20)   A. For Boyarin it was the Pharisees who went beyond Moses, not Jesus. My conviction about the continuity between the Old and New Testament goes back several years and has always been based on the ‘text itself’ of the Bible. I must admit, however, that reading a book by the Jew Daniel Boyarin has strengthened and enriched a conclusion I had already reached (‘The Jewish Gospels’, Castelvecchi, 2012). In the ‘Foreword’ by Jack Miles, Boyarin is defined as “one of the two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world” [...]

CLASH WITH THE PHARISEES OF JERUSALEM ON TRADITION (15:1-20)2021-03-13T09:16:55+00:00

PARADISE WITHOUT RESURRECTION: AN “ACTUAL HERESY”

2021-03-22T15:38:39+00:00

Further Insight n. 17 (from Acts 17). PARADISE WITHOUT RESURRECTION: AN "ACTUAL HERESY" 1) Introduction. The resurrection is a common thread that permeates and connects the whole book of Acts: it begins with the risen and therefore living Jesus (1:1-3), with the apostles’ preaching that focuses on Jesus’ resurrection and the final resurrection of the dead (1:22; 2:24,31;3:15;4:2,10,33;5:30; 9:3-5; 10:39-40; 13:28-37;17:3,18,31; 22:6-8; 23:6; 24:15-16,21; 26:6-8,23). Significantly, the word "Paradise" is entirely missing from the Book of Acts, while today’s Christianity makes it the centre of its hope, mostly neglecting the resurrection, so much so as to sometimes even be confused between [...]

PARADISE WITHOUT RESURRECTION: AN “ACTUAL HERESY”2021-03-22T15:38:39+00:00
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