My Youversion.com account • dennismpapp
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Last Sunday we filled everyone in on the Winter/Spring teaching plan. We're headed to Corinth for a season.
I started Cell Rule of Optina NT Reading Plan last fall and wrapped it up at the end of December. I wanted to do a dry run before asking others to sign on.
When I came to the Corinthian Epistles, I could not put them down. It's not the first time I read the book, but it hit me in a totally fresh way. At that time I started praying about plowing through this book together.
It is a departure from what we've been doing...basically taking a month or so on a single topic.
So, why the explanation. Because Acts 18 gives us the back-story on the church in Corinth.
I'd like you to post your comments, questions, and observations about Acts 18. We will actually be spending some time in this chapter on Sunday, so you are getting a head start on everyone else.
Why was it mentioned Aquila was born in Pontus? Is that important? Tentmakers? With Paul's background as a Pharisee is there relevance to tentmaking? What level of job was tentmaking, meaning did it require a lot of skill? He also stopped once Silas and Timothy got there to preach full time. I wonder what that was all about. It appears that Corinth was a culturally split society being that it was in Greece so you have native Gentiles (Greeks), but it's where the Jews that got kicked out of Rome fled to. I suspect this caused a lot of general unease in the population as the 2 cultures clashed. Now throw in 2 religions and BAM! mini holy war! It's no wonder Paul wanted to high tail it out of town.
Before answering your assignment, I wanted to share a few other things that hit me today. Matthew 9:36 - "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd". I've read this and other verses like it over the years but today, Jesus' love for us really struck me in this verse.
In Acts 17, I liked reading the exchange between Paul and the Greeks. Being the philosophers that they were, when Paul came to town they wanted to discuss these 'strange things' he was saying. They may or may not have been interested in a relationship with Jesus but they were definitely interested in discussing something new. And Paul used that to begin talking about Jesus which I think is a good example of adapting to your audience.
Now on to your assignment Dennis...
What I found interesting was that Gallio wouldn't judge Paul when the Jews brought him to be judged. It seems a precedent was being set that the Jews couldn't bring Christians to court just because they didn't like what was being said, and I thought that was great victory. But why was the leader of the synagogue beaten right there in the courtroom? And Gallio didn't do anything about it?! Instead of being someone seeing the injustice of persecuting Christians, Gallio was just lazy and didn't care.
18:6 - I see over and over again a very segregated community between the Jews and Gentiles in Acts. The Jews are obviously still waiting on the Messiah and worship God... Who (what) do the Gentiles worship? Greek gods? Idols?
18:14-17 - Separation of Church and State... even in Acts? Gallio kicks them out of the court, then does nothing as Sosthenes is publicly beat. And speaking of Sosthenes, why does the leader of the synagogue get beat by the Jews? Isn't their issue with Paul? Was Sosthenes being punished for allowing Paul to speak at the synagogue?
18:6 - The Jews become angry and abusive and Paul washes his hands of them. In 18:9 The Lord speaks to Paul in a vision and tells him to continue. Does this mean that Paul resumed teaching to the Jews, as they attack him again in 18:12? Do they turn on Sosthenes because they're angry there was no consequence for Paul? How did this affect subsequent teaching opportunities? Is he still teaching to both Jews and Greeks until he sails for Syria?