Asian part of Turkey
Friends of the Rosary: Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas of Myra, one of the most popular saints in the Western world. He was born in Lycia in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and was a 4th century saint and Bishop of Myra. He was know for practicing spiritual and corporal works of mercy, helping the poor and disadvantaged, and working tirelessly to defend the faith. Popular legends has made St. Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, into today's Santa Claus, a jolly, white-bearded man from the North Pole who who captivates children with promises of gifts on Christmas Eve.The story of Saint Nicholas came to America in distorted fashion. The Dutch Protestants carried a popularized version of the saint's life to New Amsterdam, portraying Nicholas as a Nordic magician and wonder-worker. Our present-day conception of Santa Claus has grown from this version. We Catholic should think of Nicholas as a saint, a confessor of the faith and the bishop of Myra. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them. Ave Maria!Jesus, I Trust In You! To Jesus through Mary! + Mikel A. | RosaryNetwork.com, New York • December 6, 2023, Today's Rosary on YouTube | Daily broadcast at 7:30 pm ET
Full Text of ReadingsWednesday of the First Week of Advent Lectionary: 177The Saint of the day is Saint NicholasSaint Nicholas' Story The absence of the “hard facts” of history is not necessarily an obstacle to the popularity of saints, as the devotion to Saint Nicholas shows. Both the Eastern and Western Churches honor him, and it is claimed that after the Blessed Virgin, he is the saint most pictured by Christian artists. And yet historically, we can pinpoint only the fact that Nicholas was the fourth-century bishop of Myra, a city in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor. As with many of the saints, however, we are able to capture the relationship which Nicholas had with God through the admiration which Christians have had for him—an admiration expressed in the colorful stories which have been told and retold through the centuries. Perhaps the best-known story about Nicholas concerns his charity toward a poor man who was unable to provide dowries for his three daughters of marriageable age. Rather than see them forced into prostitution, Nicholas secretly tossed a bag of gold through the poor man's window on three separate occasions, thus enabling the daughters to be married. Over the centuries, this particular legend evolved into the custom of gift-giving on the saint's feast. In the English-speaking countries, Saint Nicholas became, by a twist of the tongue, Santa Claus—further expanding the example of generosity portrayed by this holy bishop. Reflection The critical eye of modern history makes us take a deeper look at the legends surrounding Saint Nicholas. But perhaps we can utilize the lesson taught by his legendary charity, look deeper at our approach to material goods in the Christmas season, and seek ways to extend our sharing to those in real need. Saint Nicholas is a Patron Saint of: BakersBrides and GroomsChildrenGreecePawnbrokersTravelers Click here for more on Saint Nicholas! Saint of the Day, Copyright Franciscan Media
Our beloved holy Father Nicholas is, along with St George (and second to the All-holy Theotokos), probably the best-loved Saint of the Church. His numberless miracles through the ages, on behalf of the countless Christians who have called on him, cannot be told. He was born in Lycia (in Asia Minor) around the end of the third century, to pious Christian parents. His love of virtue, and his zeal for observing the canons of the Church, were evident from his infancy, when he would abstain from his mother's breast every Wednesday and Friday until the evening. From early youth he was inclined to solitude and silence; in fact, not a single written or spoken word of the Saint has come down to us. Though ordained a priest by his uncle, Archbishop Nicholas, he attempted to withdraw to a hermit's life in the Holy Land; but he was told by revelation that he was to return home to serve the Church publicly and be the salvation of many souls. When his parents died, he gave away all of his inheritance to the needy, and thereafter almsgiving was his greatest glory. He always took particular care that his charity be done in secret. Perhaps the most famous story of his open-handedness concerns a debt-ridden man who had no money to provide dowries for his daughters, or even to support them, and in despair had resolved to give them into prostitution. On three successive nights the Saint threw a bag of gold into the window of the man's house, saving him and his daughters from sin and hopelessness. The man searched relentlessly to find and thank his benefactor; when at last he discovered that it was Nicholas, the Saint made him promise not to reveal the good deed until after he had died. (This story may be the thin thread that connects the Saint with the modern-day Santa Claus). God honored his faithfulness by granting him unparalleled gifts of healing and wonderworking. Several times he calmed storms by his prayers and saved the ship that he was sailing in. Through the centuries he has often done the same for sailors who call out to him, and is considered the patron of sailors and all who go to sea. He was elected Bishop of Myra not long before the great persecutions under Diocletian and Maximian (c. 305), and was put in prison, from which he continued to encourage his flock in the Faith. When the Arian heresy wracked the Church not long after Constantine came to the throne, St Nicholas was one of the 318 Bishops who gathered in Nicea in 325. There he was so incensed at the blasphemies of Arius that he struck him on the face. This put the other bishops in a quandary, since the canons require that any hierarch who strikes anyone must be deposed. Sadly, they prepared to depose the holy Nicholas; but in the night the Lord Jesus and the most Holy Theotokos appeared to them, telling them that the Saint had acted solely out of love for Truth, not from hatred or passion, and that they should not act against him. While still in the flesh, he sometimes miraculously appeared in distant places to save the lives of the faithful. He once saved the city of Myra from famine by appearing to the captain of a ship full of grain, telling him to take his cargo to the city. He appeared in a dream to Constantine to intercede for the lives of three Roman officers who had been falsely condemned; the three grateful soldiers later became monks. The holy bishop reposed in peace around 345. His holy relics were placed in a church built in his honor in Myra, where they were venerated by throngs of pilgrims every year. In 1087, after Myra was conquered by the Saracens, the Saint's relics were translated to Bari in southern Italy, where they are venerated today. Every year, quantities of fragrant myrrh are gathered from the casket containing his holy relics.
Friends of the Rosary: On November 30, Catholics worldwide celebrate the feast of St. Andrew, apostle and martyr. A fisherman from Bethsaida and brother of Simon Peter, St. Andrew spread Christianity in Russia and Asia Minor in the first century. He was crucified by the Romans in Greece on an X-shaped cross, which is now his distinctive symbol as well as the symbol of Scotland, of which he is the patron. St. Andrew demonstrated his love for his brother as well as his apostolic zeal when, convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, he sought out St. Peter. "Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘we have found the Messiah.' Then he brought him to Jesus." (Jn. 1:40-42) Ave Maria!Jesus, I Trust In You!St. Andrew, Pray for Us! To Jesus through Mary! + Mikel A. | RosaryNetwork.com, New York • November 30, 2023, Today's Rosary on YouTube | Daily broadcast at 7:30 pm ET
He was the brother of the Apostle Peter, from Bethsaida on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Andrew left his fisherman's trade to become a disciple of St John the Baptist. Soon after the Forerunner had baptized Jesus, he said to Andrew and his other disciple John the Theologian, "Behold the Lamb of God!" At this, both disciples followed after Jesus. After conversing with Christ, Andrew hurried home and told his brother Simon Peter, "We have found the Messiah." For being the first to recognize Jesus as the Christ, St Andrew is called the First-Called. After Pentecost, Andrew was appointed to preach the Gospel around the Black Sea and in Thrace and Macedonia, traveling as far as Lazica in the Caucasus. According to Slavic tradition his travels took him even further, into the land that was later to be called Russia. In later travels the Apostle preached throughout Asia Minor with St John the Theologian, then traveled to Mesopotamia, then back to Sinope on the Black Sea, and finally to Patras in the Peloponnese, where he soon established a large community of Christians. One of his converts was Maximilla, the wife of Aegeates, the Proconsul of that region. Aegeates was so angered by his wife's conversion that he had the Apostle arrested and crucified head downwards on a cross in the shape of an "X." The holy Apostle rejoiced to be allowed to suffer the same death as his Master. The holy relics of St Andrew, after various travels, were returned to Patras in 1964, where they are now venerated. In the West, St Andrew is venerated as the patron of Scotland: in the Middle Ages, more than eight hundred churches in Scotland were dedicated to him.
In his final letter to the 7 churches in Asia Minor, Jesus calls the church of Laodicea to repent of being lukewarm and pursue him with zeal. He invites to not be distracted by the riches and accolades of the world but to zealously grab hold of the spiritual power found in relationship with him.
Curious about the roots of synods and the role of the church's teaching office? Prepare to journey back in time with John and Fr. Stephen Sanchez. Through a fascinating exploration of the first recorded synodal gatherings, such as the initial synod in Asia Minor in 170 AD and the gathering in Gaul in 177 AD, they explore how the Apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, made key decisions, and you'll discover why it's vital for us to seek and educate ourselves in truth.They navigate the centuries-long transformation of the Synod of Bishops. Together, they revisit the critical junctures of the Synod of Sardica in 342 and the Synodus Endomusa in Constantinople. You'll learn about the impact these decisions had on the gathering of bishops by ecclesiastical leaders, and gain insights into the history and significant reforms brought about by notable ecumenical councils such as the First and Second Vatican Council. Lastly, they venture into the heart of Church hierarchy and teaching. With reverence for the Magisterium as educators, they examine the extraordinary and ordinary forms of Magisterium and the loyalty owed to each. You'll gain a deeper understanding of why obedience and assent in the face of disagreement are crucial, the role of theologians in exploring sensitive doctrinal areas, and the implications of the Second Vatican Council's instructions on the means of social communication. So, join us as we illuminate the tapestry of Catholic Church's history and teachings.Have something you'd love to hear Fr. Stephen and John talk about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here!
Suffering comes in many packages. And while we are aware of its existence, pain still catches us by surprise. We ask “Why?” and wish it away. As Oswald Chambers wrote: “No healthy Christian chooses suffering; he chooses God's will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.” Today's passage is part of an extended section in which Peter offers guidelines for particular relationships. In 1 Peter 2:13–17, he addressed how Christians should consider government, and he introduced the overarching biblical principle of submission (putting oneself under the authority of another). The primary motivation for submission was the Lord. Then Peter addressed servants, those people responsible for the most lowly service in society. He instructed servants to “submit [themselves] to [their] masters” (v. 18). This charge was not only applicable when masters were kind, however. Submission was also the expectation when masters were harsh, since such unjust suffering, done with “reverent fear,” was “commendable before God” (v. 20). Within this context, Peter added to our understanding of the believer's call. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (v. 21). Servants—and all followers of Jesus (4:12–19)—would suffer because in this way they would partake in the work of Christ. Jesus modeled suffering for us, both physically and spiritually. He sinlessly and humbly endured insults and physical pain. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross” (v. 24). He is our example, redeemer, and healer. Jesus trusted His own care to the Father, and the churches in Asia Minor—as helpless sheep—could rely on “the Shepherd and Overseer of [their] souls” (v. 25). >> We may be uncomfortable with the idea of suffering being a part of our calling. But we are reminded that Jesus showed us how to endure suffering, and He is our Good Shepherd through it all.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As God's children, we are called to repentance and salvation; confession and belief; belonging, obedience, and holiness. As we follow Jesus, we are all called to walk worthy, to be conformed to His likeness, and to focus on our future hope in Him. But in 1 Peter, we read about God's calling to the church as a whole. The Apostle Peter wrote this letter to several small churches scattered throughout Asia Minor, encouraging them in their salvation, the Christian life, and their communal identity. Peter compares the church to “living stones” and a “spiritual house.” He exhorts the faithful to draw close to the Lord (v. 4), the living Stone risen from the dead. Peter describes Jesus as “rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him,” a description to which his audience would relate. Peter then calls them “living stones” as well—a “spiritual house” and a “holy priesthood” with one identity and one purpose, built on the cornerstone of Christ. Peter draws on three Old Testament passages (Isa. 28:16, Ps. 118:22, and Isa. 8:14) that also used this metaphor. Those who believe in Jesus recognize Him as the precious Cornerstone, the foundation of the church upon whom our faith is built. But those who reject Him stumble and receive judgment. As a result of their unity as a single spiritual house, Peter identified these churches across Asia Minor as “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” They were to be a cohesive, collective temple, a place to gather and worship together, as well as a presence of light and praise in the world, “that you may declare the praises of him who called [kaleo] you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (v. 9). >> How does Peter's description of the church compare to what we experience today? Consider how Peter's description of the church's calling or purpose might change our own expectations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
He was born in Irenopolis, one of the "Ten Cities" of Asia Minor. Though his parents wanted him to marry, he entered monastic life as a young man, and struggled for many years, living in reclusion under the guidance of a wise spiritual father. One day, while in prayer, he was carried away to Paradise and experienced the blessedness that the redeemed will know at the general Resurrection. The vision seemed to him only to last for an hour, but he learned from his disciple that he had been in ecstasy for four days. Aware that the Enemy can appear as an angel of light, and that we should be suspicious of seeming revelations, he sought the counsel of his Abbot, who reassured him, and told him to give thanks to God by continuing in his ascetic labors. Soon, he was told by revelation that he was to go forth into the world, living without an earthly home, to uphold the Orthodox faith, which was then under attack by the Iconoclasts. He traveled through Ephesus, Constantinople, Corinth, Rome, Sicily, Thessalonica, and Constantinople again, laboring in defense of the Faith and working many miracles. Usually he would stay with poor people who welcomed him into their houses, though it was forbidden by law to receive an Orthodox monk (that is, one who defended the Icons). In his last few years, afflicted by illness, he settled in Constantinople, where he reposed in peace in 832, just before the end of iconoclasm and the restoration of Orthodoxy. Since 1490, his incorrupt relics have dwelt at the Monastery of Bistritsa in Romania, where they continue to be a source of miracles for the many pilgrims who come to venerate them.
“Cappadocia (in eastern Turkey) is virtually devoid of Christians now, but in 1840, when St Arsenios was born there, there were still vital Orthodox communities. He became a monk and was sent to his native town, Farasa, to serve the people. He became known as a mighty intercessor before God, praying for all who came to him, Muslims as well as Christians. His countless miracles of healing became known throughout Cappadocia; those who could not come to see him would sometimes send articles of clothing for him to pray over. He became known as Hadjiefendis, a Muslim term of honour for pilgrims, because he made pilgrimage to the Holy Land every ten years on foot. He never accepted any gifts in return for his prayers and healings, saying ‘Our faith is not for sale!' “He concealed his holiness as much as he could beneath a rough and sharp-tempered exterior. If anyone expressed admiration for him, he would reply "So you think I'm a saint? I'm only a sinner worse than you. Don't you see that I even lose my temper? The miracles you see are done by Christ. I do no more than lift up my hands and pray to him." But as the Scriptures say, the prayers of a righteous man avail much, and when St Arsenios lifted up his hands, wonders often followed. “He lived in a small cell with an earthen floor, fasted often and was in the habit of shutting himself in his cell for at least two whole days every week to devote himself entirely to prayer. “Father Arsenios predicted the expulsion of the Greeks from Asia Minor before it happened, and organized his flock for departure. When the expulsion order came in 1924, the aged Saint led his faithful on a 400-mile journey across Turkey on foot. He had foretold that he would only live forty days after reaching Greece, and this came to pass. His last words were "The soul, the soul, take care of it more than the flesh, which will return to earth and be eaten by worms!" Two days later, on November 10, 1924, he died in peace at the age of eighty-three. Since 1970, many apparitions and miracles have occurred near his holy relics, which reside in the Monastery of Souroti near Thessalonica. He was officially glorified by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1986.” — Source: Orthodox Parish of St John of Kronstadt (UK) The primary source for the life of St Arsenios is Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian, compiled by Elder Païsios of the Holy Mountain, who was baptized as an infant by the Saint.
In Part 3 of "Revelation: All Things New," Dr. Jeff and Rev. Brad return to the Book of Revelation, offering profound insights from the perspective of its original audience, the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, who often faced persecution. In this episode, they unveil the symbolism woven throughout the text, shedding light on what these symbols represented and what they continue to signify as we navigate the book's narrative.**Key Symbols and Their Probable Meanings:**1. **Seven Churches (Revelation 1:4):** These were real, historical churches in Asia Minor. The number seven signifies completeness or perfection, suggesting that Revelation's message is intended for the entire Church, extending beyond these specific congregations.2. **Seven Lampstands (Revelation 1:12-13):** These symbolize the seven churches. Lampstands emit light, representing the churches' role in spreading the illumination of Christ within their communities.3. **Son of Man (Revelation 1:13):** This title, attributed to Jesus, draws from the book of Daniel (Daniel 7:13-14) and emphasizes Jesus' divinity and supreme authority.4. **Seven Stars (Revelation 1:16):** These represent the angels or messengers of the seven churches. These "angels" likely served as leaders or messengers responsible for conveying and reading John's letter to each congregation.5. **White Robes (Revelation 3:4-5):** White symbolizes purity and victory. Those who triumph over trials and tribulations are promised white robes, signifying their righteousness and ultimate success.6. **Candlesticks (Revelation 2:5):** Jesus warns that the lampstand will be removed from the church in Ephesus if they do not repent. This symbolizes the potential loss of their spiritual influence unless they return to their initial fervor for Christ.7. **Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6, 2:15):** The Nicolaitans were a heretical group within the church, and their actions and teachings were condemned. The origin and details of their beliefs remain unclear.8. **Throne of Satan (Revelation 2:13):** In Pergamum, this likely referred to the city's connection with emperor worship and various pagan cults, highlighting the spiritual challenges faced by the church there.9. **Jezebel (Revelation 2:20):** This symbolizes a woman in the church of Thyatira who led others into idolatry and sexual immorality, reminiscent of the biblical Jezebel in the Old Testament.10. **New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2):** This represents the future heavenly abode of the redeemed, embodying the hope of a renewed and perfected world where God dwells with His people.11. **The Dragon (Revelation 12:3-9):** The dragon represents Satan, who seeks to persecute and oppose the Church. This imagery may have been understood in the context of Roman oppression and persecution.12. **The Beast (Revelation 13:1-10):** The beast often symbolizes oppressive political powers or rulers, potentially representing the Roman Empire or other tyrannical regimes.13. **666 (Revelation 13:18):** This enigmatic number is associated with the beast and has sparked much speculation. It may have held a specific meaning understood by the original audience, potentially related to numerical codes denoting certain names or titles. Additionally, the use of the number six, juxtaposed with the number seven symbolizing completeness, could undermine claims of divine authority, challenging the emperor's insistence on god-like status.These examples illustrate the rich tapestry of symbolism in Revelation. Interpretations of these symbols may vary among scholars and theologians, but grounding our understanding in the historical and cultural context of the original seven churches provides invaluable insights into their likely meanings.
The apostle Peter writes to the churches in Asia Minor encouraging them to stand fast in the midst of suffering. They are to follow the way of their saviour who suffered in the flesh. God uses suffering to produce fruit in their lives and although they may be reviled for their way of life, God will finally bring about their vindication in the judgement to come. And as it was for them, so it is for us.
In Part 2 of our series, Dr. Jeffrey D. Skinner and Rev. Brad Bellomy continue their insightful discussion and responsible reading of the Book of Revelation.**Episode 2: Context - The Seven Churches - Impact of Constantine**In this episode, we delve into the historical context of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Situated in Asia Minor, which corresponds to modern-day Turkey, these churches played a significant role in early Christianity. However, their context was marked by unique challenges:**1. Roman Occupation:** During the time of the book's writing, around 95-96 AD, the Roman Empire held sway over Asia Minor. The seven churches were scattered across this province, and their existence was intertwined with the broader Roman rule.**2. Persecution:** The early Christians faced periods of persecution within the Roman Empire. Emperor Domitian, known for his authoritarian rule, demanded unwavering loyalty to the Roman state, even to the extent of being worshiped as divine. This created a hostile environment for Christians who refused to bow to the emperor's demands, resulting in their persecution.The emergence of Constantine, a pivotal figure in Roman history, would later bring about significant changes. Prior to his reign, Christianity existed as a fringe religion, embraced mainly by the marginalized and oppressed. However, as Constantine embraced Christianity, it transformed from a faith of the few to a religion of the masses. This shift had profound implications for the future of Christianity.**3. Unveiling the Meaning of "Apocalypse"**Before we proceed, let's clarify the meaning of "apocalypse." In contemporary language, the term is often associated with visions of the end of the world—meteors, global warfare, or even the potential demise of humanity and the planet. However, the original Greek word, "apokalypsis," from which "apocalypse" is derived, carries a different connotation."Apocalypse" signifies an unveiling or revealing, and it can also denote the disclosure of hidden knowledge or secrets. In the context of the seven churches in Asia Minor, John's message to them was akin to saying, "Hey, there's a secret message meant for you. Get your 'decoder ring'!" (with a touch of humor).As we explore the historical and theological landscape of the seven churches and their place within the Roman Empire, we gain valuable insights into the early Christian experience. Join us in Episode 2 as we uncover the layers of history and meaning behind the Book of Revelation.
Unexpected developments have led to a change in our scheduled episode. Instead, I am thrilled to announce that I share my viewpoint on the main challenges faced in the international recognition of the Pontic Greek genocide, its profound importance to Hellenism throughout history, and the impactful consequences of denial. Stay tuned for updates on the rescheduled date of the "Journey Through Genocide: Unveiling Denial, Fascination, and Recognition" episode with Professor Stefan Ihrig! You can catch up with past episodes of the Global Greek Influence podcast dedicated to the Pontic Greeks and the genocide of this ancient Greek population of Asia Minor in the list below: Strengthening history- the European Pontic Greek Youth Agility on Eradication - A Special Episode on Agile Leadership and Averting Eradication The Internationalisation of the Pontic Greeks' Genocide Medicine, Culture, and History: From Pontus to the World 19 May 2020 - Remembrance Day of the Pontic (Greek) Genocide Additionally, you can enjoy a preview of next week's episode, "Predictive Medicine in Endocrinology: Genetic Signatures to Cracking the Genetic Code of Hormonal Health", with Dr. Constantine Stratakis. Join us as we discuss the latest advancements in genetic markers, emerging technologies, and diagnostic tools that can help predict disease progression and identify individuals at higher risk. Dr. Stratakis has previously spoken on the Global Greek Influence podcast in episodes titled "Advancing Future Precision Medicine" and "Precision Medicine and Circular Healthcare". Stay tuned for updates on the rescheduling of this episode, and in the meantime, enjoy our exploration of advancements in predictive medicine in endocrinology next week. Thank you for your understanding and continued support. You can follow the Global Greek Influence podcast on Facebook, X (Twitter), and LinkedIn for more insights on topics covered in the weekly episodes. Subscribe to the podcast's YouTube channel to not miss upcoming live interviews where you can ask your questions to our guests. Also, giving your review on your favorite podcasting platform gives me strength to bring you more dedicated content. To stay in the loop with biweekly newsletters or becoming a guest, visit the podcast's website at www.global-greek-influence.com. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/panagiota-pimenidou/message
In the call to crusade that ignited the idea of holy war in the minds of the western European populace, Pope Urban II painted a picture of evil “infidels” torturing and massacring the Christians of the Holy Land. However, when the armed pilgrims of the First Crusade crossed over into Asia Minor, the situation was not as they had been led to believe – not least because they found a Christian population living alongside their supposed mortal enemies. Speaking to a range of expert historians in this third episode of our latest HistoryExtra podcast series, we follow the crusaders from hardship to hardship, as they face their first conflict and struggle across Asia Minor en route to the Levant. The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Brad is the Laed Pastor of Mosaic Atlanta. To learn more about the church goto MosaicAtlanta.netFor far too long, the Book of Revelation has been a source of confusion and even fear within the Christian community. Many have been left with a sense of dread and hopelessness when confronted with its enigmatic passages. Whenever conflict or instability arises in the Middle East, there's a chorus of individuals exploiting the situation, proclaiming their own version of "The Sky is Falling." They become the modern-day sidewalk prophets, declaring that the End is Near.Reverend Brad Bellomy joins Dr. Jeffrey D. Skinner in a quest for a responsible and enlightened reading of Revelation. It's crucial to remember that Revelation is a book filled with immense hope. Even more importantly, the scroll was originally intended for the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, who had faced persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. While this series was planned long before the recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, its timeliness cannot be overstated. Once again, various factions are emerging, offering doom and gloom, and warning of the world's end. While it is true that Jesus will return one day, it is also true that "only the Father in Heaven knows the day and hour." Any attempts to predict impending disaster and doom are, at best, misguided and, at worst, manipulative.Our commitment to "responsible scripture interpretation" is rooted in several key principles:1. **Clarity of Interpretation:** We aim to provide a clear and well-founded interpretation of Revelation. This is essential because the book has often been subjected to various and sometimes extreme interpretations.2. **Avoiding an Elitist Attitude:** We approach the text with humility, recognizing that ours is not the only correct interpretation. We seek to present the information in an approachable and relatable manner, avoiding an elitist "academic" stance.3. **Teaching in Line with Original Context and Generally Accepted Theology:** Our approach respects the original audience and context of Revelation while adhering to generally accepted theological principles. This ensures a balanced interpretation that doesn't distort the symbolism out of context.4. **Providing Historical Context:** We shed light on the historical backdrop in which Revelation was written, including the challenges faced by the Seven Churches in Asia Minor under a hostile empire. Understanding this context is crucial for appreciating the message's significance.5. **Openness to Diverse Interpretations:** We encourage open dialogue and acknowledge that differing interpretations are possible without branding them as heretical. Our aim is to foster inclusive and constructive discussions.6. **Focus on Hope and Salvation:** Throughout our exploration of Revelation, we emphasize that it conveys a message of hope and serves as a testimony to Jesus' work on the cross. This stands in stark contrast to the oppressive tactics of empires, highlighting God's love and salvation through Jesus.In essence, our approach to a "responsible" interpretation of Revelation seeks to be balanced, respectful of diverse viewpoints, and centered on the book's message of hope and salvation. We hope it provides valuable context for understanding the significance of Revelation within its historical and theological framework. Join us on Echoes through Eternity for a journey of discovery and enlightenment.
Acts 19 is more than just a stop in Ephesus for Paul! It's full of demons, idols, bonfires, training future leaders, and ministering through letters to important churches in the Roman Empire. Whether he deals with church division in Corinth or a riot where he stands in Ephesus, this Actstension is sure to give you some amazing insight into what was taking place in Asia Minor and beyond from 51-57 AD. Stick around to experience all that Luke records in this chapter that makes for a powerful ending and a beautiful beginning. Watch all of the Keep Us Dangerous Volumes here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiJ9XC6fOOmYsDPuj69uR4RTPpNZ6nSFr CONTENT FROM ACTS 19: Watch Souls & Scrolls: https://youtube.com/live/NUEe8xKHL2s?feature=share Bonfire Moment: https://www.instagram.com/p/CyovhR-OfZ7/ Bonfire Pictures: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cyl2GPLRaP3/ MORE ON THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Product of Power: https://youtu.be/R58cSQJ9d3Q?si=j-6un7ZNKmqATIez Even the Gentiles: https://youtu.be/ovdGL5MR-XE?si=pPIXHoKIT-5T9WQM MORE ON GODS MADE WITH HUMAN HANDS: Following Jes(us): https://youtu.be/JkmTlj4dS20 ---------- Join the We Are One Fam: WEB: https://weareoneyouth.com FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/waoyouth INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/waoyouth TIKTOK: https://vm.tiktok.com/tGmCPB/ #weareoneyouth #Acts #theology
1 Peter 1 - 1:11 . 1 Peter 2 - 5:56 . 1 Peter 3 - 11:30 . 1 Peter 4 - 15:38 . 1 Peter 5 - 19:00 . Psalm 128 - 21:41 . Psalm 129 - 22:29 . Psalm 130 - 23:23 . The apostle whom Jesus named “Peter,” the rock upon whom Jesus would build his church, is now writing to encourage the churches who are scattered across northern Asia Minor. The churches were suffering under persecution from those who lived around them, and Peter reminds them of the Savior whom they are called to follow, for he suffered for our sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us God. It follows, then, that as strangers and exiles, we should be willing to be subject to those human authorities who have been placed over us by God. :::Christian Standard Bible translation.All music written and produced by John Burgess Ross.Co-produced by Bobby Brown, Katelyn Pridgen, Eric Williamson & the Christian Standard Biblefacebook.com/commuterbibleinstagram.com/commuter_bibletwitter.com/CommuterPodpatreon.email@example.com
Series: A living Hope in a dying worldTitle: We love because we liveScripture: 1 Peter 1:22-2:3Bottom line: We love God & people because we live forever.SERMON OUTLINENOTESDISCUSSION QUESTIONSOUTLINESMAIN REFERENCES USEDSERMON OUTLINEIntroduction“He Loves Because He Lives” by David HelmsThe Vietnam War was mercifully drawing to a close during my middle-school years. And that meant that young men who had been sent over to fight were now returning to the States. Each one needed a fresh start on life. For one man that meant enrolling at Judson College. I never knew the man by name, but I regularly saw him from a distance of a hundred yards.Judson College is on the Fox River in Illinois; my dad's office in the Athletic Department was a wedge shot from its banks. I could see the river from the gym. During the frigid winter months the man stood alone along the river's frozen edge, tending a covey of ducks. He fed them. He cut through the ice to open up an area of water for them. In short, he met their every need during the cold season. Every day.I asked my dad why the man cared so much about the ducks. I will never forget the story he told: "He has just returned from the war in Vietnam. The story is that ducks saved his life. His unit had been ambushed. Many of his friends had been killed, and while he hadn't been shot, he lay down to look like he had. He hoped they would go away.But they didn't. The enemy kept coming. Through the fields they came. They'd put one more shot in every fallen man to ensure that he was dead.But suddenly a covey of ducks flew overhead, and the attention of the soldiers was diverted. In their excitement they began running after the ducks to shoot at them instead. In the end, they stopped checking the field for men and left. That's how the man down by the river escaped. And now he has a special love for ducks. He loves because he lives." The call of our text conveys something similar. —David Helms, p. 65“A sincere and earnest love, a life given over to the genuine care of others, is the natural result of being born again. To highlight the command in the text simply notice the phrase, ‘love one another earnestly.' To see why we love simply note, ‘since you have been born again.' To put the force of Peter's thought as clearly as possible: when you get a fresh start on life (see 1:3 and its connection to 1:23), love should happen (1:22-2:3).” -Helms, p. 66OutlineI. The Logic of Love 1:22-23“The mark of the Christian life is love.” -Helms, p. 66Sincere, earnest, deep = genuine (not fake)Love resulting from being born again is like when someone gets a fresh start on life, love happens. Peter's Logic of Love:Love one another deeply, from the heart…For you have been born againThrough the living and enduring word of GodJust ask Chris and Amy Karpus. His love is greater than ever because God gave him new life miraculously after cardiac arrest and being brain dead for 40+ minutes. Yet he lives. So he loves. Full testimony a little later with details:https://youtu.be/7wHiUm_sAWs?si=En53b5WdW43D0ZNtPeter essentially says, we love because we live. We live by the grace and mercy of God so we love. He first loved us so we “love others deeply, from the heart.”Peter is preaching to Christians who are a minority within a minority (Christians>Jews>Romans) who are being persecuted for it. They need encouragement and reminders of who they are and why they persevere and how they love.Have been purified (v. 22) by obeying the truth. We're cleansed/purified/forgiven by obeying God's word. That can be heard in 2 opposing ways:If you obey God's words, he will forgive you. If you obey God's words SO THAT he will forgive you, that's not a biblical way to understand salvation. If you obey God's words, he will forgive you. If you obey God's words BECAUSE he forgave you already (because you believe and trust him), that a biblical understanding of salvation.We don't have a works-salvation. A salvation that we can earn by doing good things. We have a salvation that works. A salvation that leads us to want to do good works out of gratitude for our forgiveness.Why did God do this? For many reasons. Here are 2 in our text:First, “So that you have sincere love for each other.” God's plan is for the world to see a diversity of Christ-followers love one another deeply despite their differences. “They will know you are Christians by our love.” (V. 22)Second, “For you have been born again.” (V. 23)What is “born again?”Born from above. Second birth after our physical birth. Born of the Spirit of the living God.It's the only way to enter the kingdom of God. (Cf. John 3)This birth isn't temporary (perishable seed) like physical birth.This birth is eternal (imperishable seed), the second birth.Are you born again?Peter refers to “truth,” “the word that was preached to you,” and “spiritual milk” all referring to God's word to us. His word that lasts forever.“Therefore” - whenever you see the word “therefore” you always ask the question, “What's the ‘therefore' there for?”“Therefore” is there for us to look back and remember what was just said/written. That context matters a lot.That context is summarized in v. 21 where it says, “Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” Also, v. 3 where he tells us we have a “living hope.”Since this living hope is eternal and not temporary, we're to respond to this gracious and merciful gift by living and loving others well. (Like the man and the ducks)Therefore, we “Rid ourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” These are not loving.In addition, we crave the word of God (truth) “Like newborn babies crave pure” milk. “Pure spiritual milk” = word of God.Milk is a rich source of several valuable nutrients, including:1. Calcium: Essential for strong bones and teeth.2. Vitamin D: Helps the body absorb and use calcium.3. Protein: Important for muscle growth and repair.4. Vitamin B12: Necessary for nerve function and the production of red blood cells.5. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Aids in energy metabolism.6. Phosphorus: Contributes to bone and teeth health.7. Potassium: Regulates blood pressure and fluid balance.8. Vitamin A: Important for vision and immune function.9. Magnesium: Supports muscle and nerve function.10. Zinc: Necessary for immune system health.Milk is a well-rounded source of these nutrients, making it a valuable part of a balanced diet.This causes us to grow in maturity even in the midst of trials and tribulations like these Christians were going through. Having “tasted” of the Lord's goodness and truth, we should remember the blessings that flow from growing by grace through faith in the word of God even in the midst of trials.ConclusionWe love because we live. Therefore,Go love deeply, from the heart,Get rid of your dirty ways, and Grow in your desire to know, trust and obey the word of God.Have you been born again?Have you tasted that the Lord is good?Do you crave his pure spiritual milk like a newborn baby?Do you need to repent of your sins?Then pray right now and ask him to forgive you for your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)Pray for him to give you a hunger and thirst for him and his words so that you can obey them out of gratitude for what he's already done for you. He's done the work for salvation. Now we get to do the work of gratitude that flows from our salvation. GoGet rid ofGrowPrayNOTESAcorns and gospel conversations about Jesus.Peter's aim in 1 Peter 1 so far is holy living in the midst of trials by these Christians.Holy living flows from being born again by the living and enduring word of God.Holy living flows to being holy by loving one another deeply, from the heart.Love like this comes from a pure heart. A heart purified by believing the good news preached to you. How are we purified?By obeying the truth. Does that mean that we obey the law so that we're purified? We obey the word trying harder and pushing out sin from our lives? No. That's the work of the flesh or “perishable seed.”Perishable seed = seed of Adam through the flesh which includes our sin nature (which is why we sin)Imperishable seed = the word of God, which is living and enduring and eternal. It's alive!Like an acorn caries within its dead shell potential life, the seed of the gospel carries with it the potential for life as well. But instead of trying to obey God's laws in our own strength (flesh), we lay down our lives and trust him by obeying his words because that trust (faith, hope) leads to life abundant and eternal.This is good news!Gospel = good news = truth = word that was preached to youWe don't obey our way into purity unless by obey you mean we obey the command of scripture to trust and follow Jesus. (John 3:16, Matthew 16:24)The way of the flesh is dead and fleeting.The way of the word is living and enduring. Arguments forBecause in v. 22 love is the overflow of this obedience to the truth. (1 John 1:9; Gal 5:6; 1 Tim 1:5)“For you have been born again” also results in obedience to the truth. (1:23-25)“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV“So your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying…” v. 21-222:1-3Piper, Pt. 1 “Spiritual growth is not optional”“Therefore” - because of what he just wrote (that we're born again), through the living and enduring word of God (good news), we are a new person!Therefore, we get rid of all that isn't good in our attitudes, feelings, thoughts and actions.Action and effort are required! New born infants are not just new Christians. We're all made new forever!We are all new people, andCrave/Desire (taste) pure spiritual milk (word) like a baby desires/craves physical milkTaste (Ps 34:8)Anyone can read the word. But when you taste the goodness or kindness of God when in the word, that's evidence that you are born again.Drinking this milk causes us to grow up spiritually. I.e. sanctificationPeter thinks of salvation as future a lot in this letter. (I.e. hope to be fulfilled)It's a process: We are born again (passive; it's by God)We eat/drink the word (active) tasting his goodnessWe grow/mature spirituallyWe arrive (eventually) at full salvationEating/drinking and growing are not optional—they are evidences that you're the real dealGod keeps his own and evidence is seen in your maturingBorn again: What effect does it have on our lives?Loving one anotherGetting rid of that which hurts other peopleDrinking spiritual milk is a strategy for loving and getting rid of evilMalice (feeling) — desire to hurt people; mean-spiritedDeceit (feeling) — leading people to believe what's not true about usHypocrisy (feeling) — feeling about me; play-acting instead of being who I really amEnvy (feeling) — feelings about you and your successes; we want it but we don't want you to have itSlander (action) — frustrations are about us and you. Lack of contentment in God that leads us to say things about you that tear you down and hurt you and are untrue.Helms' notes“We love because of the imperishable nature of God's word…How exactly is sincere love the natural consequence of the living and abiding word of God?”The Logic of Love ExploredSeeds possess the power to bring new lifeSeeds possess within themselves the power to bring forth life. For ex.A perishable seed of an oak tree (an acorn), after falling to the ground and dying as a result, possesses the power to bring forth new life.The sapling emerges because all of the necessary life-giving properties were present in the seed from the beginning. So it is with God's word. Like a seed, the Bible is alive. It contains within itself everything necessary for life. Dr. Lanier at SEBTS.edu used to tell his students every semester how he came to know Christ by just reading the New Testament. The word is alive! The word brings forth life!The word of God contains within itself all the properties necessary for life. And that ought to revolutionize our understanding about the power of God's word to bring forth life.Seeds come with fullness of purposeLife isn't the only natural result of God's word. Love is as well. How is it that the gospel brings forth both life and love?Isaiah 55:10-11 It is God's purpose that when it goes out it accomplishes all that God purposes it to.And what's his purpose? That God would be known in all his fullness.God is love.Therefore, God's word gives us life and love.Therefore, within God's word, we gain Jesus Christ who is—life and love.Therefore, the logic of love rests in this: God is life, and God is love. Thus, if God sent his Word in to our hearts to give us life, then we have tasted of his fullness nad will make manifest the fruit of his character. It is for this reason Peter says:Love one another earnestly/deeplySince you have been born againThrough the living and enduring word of God.II. The Brevity of LifeIII. The Look of LoveCross references““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”” John 13:34-35 NIV“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 13:1 NIV“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIVOutline Bible (1 PETER 2)Peter speaks of renouncing, relationships, respect, and a role model.I. THE RENOUNCING (2:1-3, 11)A. What we are to renounce (2:1, 11b): We are to rid ourselves of deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander, and worldliness.B. What we are to receive (2:2-3): We are to crave pure spiritual milk.II. THE RELATIONSHIPS (2:4-12)dedratitresA. What Christians are (2:5, 9a, 10-11a)1. We are living stones (2:5a).2. We are royal priests (2:5b).3. We are a chosen people (2:9a, 10).4. We are strangers on earth (2:11a).B. What Christ is (2:4, 6-8, 9b, 12)1. He is the living foundation (2:4a).a. He is a precious foundation for believers (2:4, 7a).b. He is a stumbling block for unbelievers (2:8).2. He is the cornerstone (2:6, 7b).3. He is the chosen one (2:4c).4. He is the judge (2:12).5. He is the light (2:9b).III. THE RESPECT (2:13-20): For the Lord's sake, we are to show respect(and submission) to the following parties:A. Civil authorities (2:13-16)B. Employers (2:18-20)C. Everyone (2:17)IV. THE ROLE MODEL (2:21-25)A. Who he is (2:21-22): He is our sinless Savior, Jesus Christ.B. What he did (2:23-24a): He died on Calvary's cross.C. Why he did it (2:24b-25)1. That his wounds might heal ours (2:24b)2. That we might turn to the Shepherd (2:25)DISCUSSION QUESTIONSDiscovery Bible Study process:Retell the story in your own words.Discovery the storyWhat does this story tell me about God?What does this story tell me about people?If this is really God's word, what changes would I have to make in my life?Who am I going to tell about this?Final Questions (optional or in place of above)What is God saying to you right now? What are you going to do about it?Find our sermons, podcasts, discussion questions and notes at https://www.gracetoday.net/podcastQ. What do I want them to know?A. We love one another deeply because we live by his mercy and grace.Q. Why do I want them to know it?A. It leads us to actually love each other deeply, from the heart.Q. What do I want them to do about it?A. Love one another deeply from the heart, rid ourselves of the evil that we're still wearing, and grow in Christ together.Q. Why do I want them to do it?A. Because it's life-giving and leads to blessing.Q. How can they begin to do this?A. Repent. Believe. Love. Live.OUTLINESThe Visual Word - 1 Peter“Paradoxes fill 1 Peter. It is a letter written to encourage a slandered and marginalized minority living in the midst of the Roman Empire. They live in the world but are not of the world. They dwell in the cities, but as sojourners. They look, speak, and dress like everyone, but they pass their days on earth as exiles waiting for their inheritance.” (See the Epistle to Diognetus 5)Peter seeks to encourage believers in Asia Minor in the midst of suffering to stand firm as they consider the blessings of being in Christ, who is the primary example of one who suffered well and now has received glory and honor. If they also continue in their good conduct, become the true household of God, and don't revert to their old idolatrous practices, they too will receive the crown of life. They need to have hope as exiles (1:3-2:10), live faithfully as exiles in the world (2:11-4:11), and stand firm until the end (4:12-5:11). Their ultimate enemy, that roaring lion, stands ready to devour them, but they have the conquering, suffering Shepherd at their side. (P. Schreiner)Hope as Exiles 1-2Elect Exiles 1:1-2New future 1:3-12New family 1:13-2:10Exile Identity 2-4Submit 2:11-3:7Suffer well 3:8-4:11Stand Firm 4-5Suffer joyfully 4:12-19Resist the devil 5:1-11In Babylon 5:12-14I. They need to have hope as exiles (1:3-2:10)II. They need to live faithfully as exiles in the world (2:11-4:11)III. They need to stand firm until the end (4:12-5:11)“Their ultimate enemy, that roaring lion, stands ready to devour them, but they have the conquering, suffering Shepherd at their side.” - P SchreinerHope as Exiles - The church has hope amidst trials because of their new future and new family. (1-2)Elect exiles (1:1-2)New future - Their new birth grants them an inheritance that can never be taken away. (1:3-12)New family (and new calling) - Their new birth grants them the rights and responsibilities of God's people. (1:13-2:10)Exile Identity - In the midst of the world, they are to live as chosen exiles. (2-4)Submit - They are to submit to authority figures because this is how Christ acted. (2:11-3:7)Suffer well - Like Christ, they are to suffer for good because suffering leads to life. (3:8-4:11)Stand Firm - To keep their exile identity, they must stand firm to the end. (4-5)Suffer joyfully - They are to entrust themselves to God while doing good. (4:12-4:19)Resist the devil - The elders should shepherd the people, recognizing the danger they are in. (5:1-11)In Babylon (5:12-24)Elect Exiles (1:1-2)“Peter presents the paradox in the first two verses. The God, those in Asia Minor are chosen, but to the world, they are exiles and sojourners. This becomes the theme of the letter (1:17; 2:11; 5:13). It also ties their story to Abraham, who was chosen but also a sojourner on the earth (Gen. 15:13), and Israel, who were God's wandering people. These elect exiles are dispersed across Asia Minor and living in societies not friendly to the new Christian faith. They are elect exiles according to God's foreknowledge, but His sanctifying works, and chosen for obedience. This is God's wonderful plan for their lives.”Hope as Exiles (1-2)“After labeling them as elect exiles, Peter's first section bolsters their hope by praising God for their new future, new family and new calling. Those scattered have been born again and promised a new land. But this new hope cannot be taken away from them because it resides in heaven. Though they suffer now, they a re being guarded for this future (1:3-12). Not only do they have a new future but a new family and calling (1:3-2:10). They are the new exodus people, the new covenant people, and the new temple people. In all of these they have not only a new identity but a new vocation.”According to the New Testament of the Bible, what is the difference between faith and hope?“In the New Testament of the Bible, faith and hope are distinct but interconnected concepts. Faith is often described as a firm belief or trust in something, particularly in God or His promises. It involves having confidence in what is unseen or yet to be fulfilled. Hope, on the other hand, is the optimistic expectation or anticipation of something good. It involves looking forward to future blessings, both in this life and the next. While faith is focused on belief and trust, hope is centered around expectation and anticipation. Faith provides the foundation for a relationship with God and is essential for salvation, while hope sustains believers through trials and challenges, keeping their focus on the promises of God. Both faith and hope are important aspects of the Christian life, working together to inspire and strengthen believers in their journey of following Christ.” -ChatGPT SUMMARY SO FAR1 Peter, “Live Such Good Lives”Let's live such good lives in this world today that, though they think we're wrong, they'll see how we live and follow Jesus anyway because…They'll see who we are and that's we're different. A new identity: As chosen exiles scattered around the world until Jesus returns+ (1:13-2:10)ChosenExiles/Holy people in the wildernessNew people New covenant with GodNew temple/a peopleKingdom of priestsWhat else?They'll see us living for what matters even though it costs us. Suffering as a witness to Jesus multiplying and magnifying his kingdom (2:11-4:11)They'll see us willingly suffer because of our living hope in the future. Suffering in light of an unshakable hope in the future. (4:12-5:9)From Schreiner:“To encourage believers to persevere in their suffering as exiles and strangers because of their future eternal reward in Christ.”“Called to suffer (like Jesus) but suffering characterized by hope.”“Their lives would demonstrate that they belonged to another king and another kingdom.”Schreiner is thankful to God who has reminded him through 1, 2 Peter, & Jude of our “Unshakable hope in Christ, Of the grace poured out on his people, and Of the call to live holy and beautiful lives for the glory of his name.”Though “spiritual exiles” “recipients of a great salvation” “gave them a future hope and inheritance” “They were homeless spiritually, but they were also bound for a home and an inheritance from which they would never be displaced.”“As believers, most lived on the underside of society—under:the authority of RomeUnbelieving and cruel mastersUnbelieving husbandsFrom Helms:“Theme of Christian identity and conduct in light of a settled hope.”3 biblical correctives for why and how to respond to life's difficulties.God's plan for his followers: “We are (therefore, live as) the elect (chosen) exiles of the dispersion (scattering).”Peter's inversion theme: “the way up comes by going down.”Suffering always proceeds glory. Christ exemplified this.So, Peter calls these scattered Christians to live as God's chosen exiles/strangers/foreigners/sojourners with unshakable hope because of you great salvation through Jesus Christ. (My summary)Questions answered by Peter:How are Christians supposed to bear witness to Christ's glory?How are we to live in the wilderness world?Peter's answers to these questions center on the word “conduct” or “live” and it's various forms.THE BIBLE PROJECTI. Greeting (1:1-2)II. Song of praise (1:3-12)III. A New Family Identity (1:13-2:10)IV. Suffering as a Witness to Jesus (2:11-4:11)V. Suffering & Future Hope (4:12-5:9)We have a new family identity that propels us to bear witness to a living hope that leads us to live such good lives that we willingly suffer for his glory in light of our glorious future.We have a new family identity & future hope that compels us to live such a good life that it demands a gospel explanation.We have a new family identity & future hope that compels us to live like no one else because we will live like no one else in the future We have a new family identity & future hope that compels us to live a life that includes suffering but that leads to glory—for God and us.HELMSLife is hard even for Christians.3 biblical correctives for why and how to respond to life's difficulties.God's plan for his followers: “We are (therefore, live as) the elect (chosen) exiles of the dispersion (scattering).”So, Peter calls these scattered Christians to live as God's chosen exiles/strangers/foreigners/sojourners with unshakable hope because of you great salvation through Jesus Christ. (My summary)Peter's inversion theme: “the way up comes by going down.”Suffering always proceeds glory. Christ exemplified this.“Peter begins his letter with these 2 seemingly incompatible truths:Our status in Christ ANDOur sufferings on earth.”Questions answered by Peter:How are Christians supposed to bear witness to Christ's glory?How are we to live in the wilderness world?Peter's answers to these questions center on the word “conduct” or “live” and it's various forms.Be holy (1:15)live out (1:17)Way of life (1:18)Live such good lives (2:12)Behavior (3:1)Your lives (3:2)Behavior (3:16)“Theme of Christian identity and conduct in light of a settled hope.”Turning point 2:11-12Peter continues to encourage through examples and exhortation.He appeals specifically to elders before the community.“God has Established our salvation,Given us our identity,Conformed our present-day calling,Secured our future inheritance by means of an inverted irony—namely, the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. Therefore, just as the exaltation of Jesus followed a season of humiliation, so too our share in his eternal glory will appear after we have learned to follow in his true and gracious ways.”Subtitle? How to live as God's fireproof children in this dumpster fire world.“We are the elect exiles of the dispersion.”As God's chosen, I am encouraged and reminded of his great love for me. And I need this as I live in this broken world.Elect = chosen, those whom God lovesIsrael was sent into exile by God because of their presumptuous sin. Exiles of a different sort? Peter doesn't mean it wrt Israel's ancient sin—or their own—for they were living faithful and fruitful lives at this time. Peter means this is simply “the normative state of any follower of Jesus, so long as he or she remains in this world.”CS Lewis quote, p. 26SchreinerOUTLINE OF 1 PETER1 Opening (1:1-2)2 Called to Salvation as Exiles (1:3-2:10)3 Living as Exiles to Bring Glory to God in a Hostile World (2:11-4:11)4 Persevering as Exiles in Suffering (4:12-5:11)5 Concluding Words (5:12-14)1 Opening (1:1-2)2 Called to Salvation as Exiles (1:3-2:10)2.1 Praise for Salvation (1:3-12)2.2 The Future Inheritance as an Incentive to Holiness (1:13-2.3 Living as the New People of God (1:22-2:10)3 Living as Exiles to Bring Glory to God in a Hostile World (2:11-4:11)3.1 The Christian Life as a Battle and Witness (2:11-12)3.2 Testifying to the Gospel in the Social Order (2:13-3:12)3.3 Responding in a Godly Way to Suffering (3:13-4:11)4 Persevering as Exiles in Suffering (4:12-5:11)4.1 Suffer Joyfully in Accord with God's Will (4:12-19)4.2 Exhortations to Elders and the Community (5:1-11)5 Concluding Words (5:12-14)SECTION OUTLINE2 Called to Salvation as Exiles (1:3-2:10)2.1 Praise for Salvation (1:3-12)2.1.1 A Promised Inheritance (1:3-5)2.1.2 Result: Joy in Suffering (1:6-9)2.1.3 The Privilege of Revelation (1:10-12)2.2 The Future Inheritance as an Incentive to Holiness (1:13-21)2.2.1 Setting One's Hope on the Inheritance (1:13-16)2.2.2 A Call to Fear (1:17-21)2.3 Living as the New People of God (1:22-2:10)2.3.1 A Call to Love (1:22-25)2.3.2 Longing for the Pure Milk (2:1-3)2.3.3 The Living Stone and Living Stones (2:4-10)Schreiner is thankful to God who has reminded him through 1, 2 Peter, & Jude of our “Unshakable hope in Christ, Of the grace poured out on his people, and Of the call to live holy and beautiful lives for the glory of his name.”1 Peter “sets forth what it means to be Christians in a hostile world, in a world where Christians were persecuted for their faith…”Though “spiritual exiles” “recipients of a great salvation” “gave them a future hope and inheritance” “They were homeless spiritually, but they were also bound for a home and an inheritance from which they would never be displaced.”“As believers, most lived on the underside of society—under:the authority of RomeUnbelieving and cruel mastersUnbelieving husbandsThey suffered both in:Every day lifeFrom imperial authority”IDENTITY“People of God” “The Lord's new temple” “priests”“They are exhorted not to live in fear of human beings but in fear of the Lord, and such fear, paradoxically, would give them confidence and hope.”“Called to suffer (like Jesus) but suffering characterized by hope.”“Obedient children”“Their lives would demonstrate that they belonged to another king and another kingdom.”“God's chose race” “royal priesthood” “holy nation”PURPOSE“To encourage believers to persevere in their suffering as exiles and strangers because of their future eternal reward in Christ. They demonstrate their hope in this future by standing firm despite injustice and persecution by living holy, blameless lives submitting to their authorities with patient endurance. This shows their belief that this is temporary and that they are citizens of another kingdom and see Jesus as their Lord and king.MAIN REFERENCES USED“1 - 2 Peter and Jude,” by David Helm, Preaching the Word Commentary, Edited by Kent Hughes“1 & 2 Peter ” by RC Sproul“1 & 2 Peter and Jude” by Thomas Schreiner“The Message of 1 Peter” by Edmund Clowney“Look at the Book” by John Piper, https://www.desiringgod.org/labs/we-cannot-love-without-hope “The Visual Word,” Patrick Schreiner“1 Peter: A living hope in Christ”, Jen Wilkin Bible study“The Bible Knowledge Commentary” by Walvoord, Zuck (BKC)“The Bible Exposition Commentary” by Warren Wiersbe (BEC)Outline Bible, D Willmington NIV Study Bible (NIVSB) https://www.biblica.com/resources/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/ESV Study Bible (ESVSB) https://www.esv.org“The Bible in One Year 2023 with Nicky Gumbel” bible reading plan on YouVersion appChatGPT https://openai.com/blog/chatgptAnswerThePublic.comWikipedia.com
He was bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia of Asia Minor, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a persecutor of Christians. During a pagan festival, Abercius was instructed by an Angel to throw down the idols of Apollo and other pagan gods. When his work was discovered, the people of the city were outraged; but instead of hiding, the bishop went to the marketplace and openly confessed the Christian faith. The people grew angrier still, but when Abercius healed three possessed men they were amazed and listened to him more closely. He preached the Faith with such power that the entire city and surrounding countryside became Christian. These miracles reached the ears of the Emperor, whose daughter was suffering from demonic possession. The Emperor summoned Abercius to Rome, where he was enabled to cast out the spirit and perform several other miracles. The Empress offered him a large reward of gold for healing her daughter, but he would not accept it. On his way home, he was instructed in a vision to travel to Syria. He travelled first to Antioch and surrounding cities, then as far as Mesopotamia, proclaiming Christ and teaching the faith everywhere he went. No other bishop of his time travelled so widely in the service of the Gospel; for this reason he is called Equal to the Apostles. After several years he returned to Phrygia, where he lived the remainder of his life in peace, shepherding his flock.
1 Peter 1:13-25. The first-century Church in Asia Minor lived in perilous times. The twenty-first century church around the world exists in dangerous times as well. It is a quagmire. How are Christians to respond when faced with hard trails? In this episode Dr. Michael Wright, President of Gospel in Real Life, will explain how believers in every age are instructed to live even in difficult circumstances. While the lost seek evil pleasures, Christians are to live in ways which give Christ Jesus honor, glory, and praise today and forever. Comments or questions? Reach out. Dr. Michael Wright Gospel in Real Life firstname.lastname@example.org gospelinreallife.org
The Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos had asked the pope for a small crack team of western knights to aid him with his struggles in Asia Minor – a plea for help which had set crusading wheels into motion. But, he was shocked when waves of unruly crusaders began arriving in waves outside the walls of his capital. In this second episode of our latest HistoryExtra podcast series, we'll reconstruct the journey that saw the crusaders end up outside Constantinople, dealing with logistical challenges and fraught relationships along the way. The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Full Text of ReadingsMemorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr Lectionary: 468The Saint of the day is Saint Ignatius of AntiochSaint Ignatius of Antioch's Story Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome. Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith. The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. “The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ.” Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus. Reflection Ignatius' great concern was for the unity and order of the Church. Even greater was his willingness to suffer martyrdom rather than deny Christ. He did not draw attention to his own suffering, but to the love of God which strengthened him. He knew the price of commitment and would not deny Christ, even to save his own life. Saint of the Day, Copyright Franciscan Media
Series: A living Hope in a dying worldTitle: How should we respond to this living hope?Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-25Bottom line: We respond to this living hope in 2 ways: Be Ready. Be Holy.SERMON OUTLINENOTESDISCUSSION QUESTIONSOUTLINESMAIN REFERENCES USEDSERMON OUTLINEIntroductionV FormationPicture the V formation of a flock of geese. V. 3 and v. 21 are the back and v. 13 is the point (pun intended). The point of this is to fully set your hope on the grace to be revealed through Jesus Christ. Context“Last week, we saw Peter open his letter by laying out the nature of our future hope, our imperishable and unfading inheritance. We marveled at the fact that we are able to understand the good news we have received in a way not even God's prophets and heaven's angels could comprehend.This week, Peter will transition from description to prescription. Having described our salvation, Peter will now tell us how we should respond to the good news of grace, even as we endure opposition and trial during our time of exile.” -Jen WilkinCrows NestSo the picture is of Peter up in the crow's nest of a large sailing vessel during a long, turbulent journey, where he can see land before anyone else. So he can shout down to the crew hope because land is near. This helps the crew persevere through the storms because they believe that land (hope) is near. So Peter is in the crow's nest. We've been at sea for months searching for a new land. We're nearly out of food and water. We're discouraged and on the edge of mutiny. The captain sends Peter up to the crow's nest to see if there's any sight of land. And sure enough Peter spots land. Land-ho!Immediately, hope springs from despair. Our circumstances have not changed at all. But our belief that Peter sees land changes everything about how we see life. The captain goes from enemy to hero. God is allowing trials and tribulations to come our way to test our faith and to make us better (not bitter) through persevering in a living hope. Verse 13 helps us persevere. Trials/tribulations“A picture from ancient Roman times shows the method by which grain was threshed. One man can be seen stirring up the sheaves, while another rides over them in a crude dray equipped with rollers instead of wheels.Attached to the rolling cylinders are sharp stones and rough bits of iron. As they grind over the recently tossed sheaves, the stones and iron help separate the husks from the grain. The simple cart was called a tribulum.This agrarian piece of farm machinery is the object from which we get our word tribulation. Do you ever feel as if you are under the inescapable weight and force of the tribulum? If so, Peter wants to remind you that no thresher ever operated his tribulum for the purpose of tearing up his sheaves.The thresher's intentions were far more elevated than that. The farmer only wanted to cull out the precious grain. And as it is with the ancient farmer, so it is with God.Understanding that God's purposes for us include various trials is important, for by them we are tempered. The extracts of this world are removed from us, and we are made fit for Heaven. A simple bar of iron ore, pulled from the earth, might be worth $5.00. However, that same bar, when made into horseshoes, would be worth $10.50. If the owner decided to make the bar into needles for sewing, it could be worth as much as $3,285. And if he turned it into springs for watches, its value could jump as high as $250,000.What made the difference? Simply the amount of heat by which the iron bar was tempered and honed.What Peter is saying is that our faith is far more precious to God than a bar of iron. According to the text it is even more precious than gold! So be encouraged. You may find yourself on the anvil of suffering, but God is at work. He is testing the genuineness of your faith. And for him, that faith has eternal value.” -Helms, p. 41OutlineLast 2 weeksI. The SOURCE of our Hope. (1:1-2)II. The GUARANTEE of our Hope. (1:3-5)III. The JOY of our Hope. (1:6-9)IV. The PROPHETS and our Hope. (1:10-12a)V. The ANGELS and our Hope. (1:12b)This weekVI. The RESPONSE to our Hope. (1:13-17) aka “The 2 Marks of a Decided Hope” (Helms)A. In regard to ourselves (1:13): We are to beAlert, andFully soberThe idea is the “gird up your loins of your mind” (literally)B. In regard to our Savior (1:14-17)We are to be holy before God. (1:14-16)We are to be respectful toward God. (1:17)VII. The COST of our Hope. (1:18-21)A. The price (1:18-19)Negative (1:18): It was not purchased with silver or gold.Positive (1:19): It was bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.B. The planning (1:20-21): Christ was chosen before the foundation of the world to do this.VIII. The VEHICLE of our Hope. (1:22-25)A. The new birth (1:22-23a): One must experience regeneration to be saved. B. The old book (1:23b-25): It is God's word that bring this about. ConclusionBottom line: We respond to this living hope in 2 ways: Be Ready. Be Holy.“Peter's cry from high above the ship's decks now comes to rest. He has finished his early call. He wants us to do one thing: set our hope on the grace that is to be brought to us at the revelation of Christ. He has shown us the two distinguishing marks of those who are doing so—a healthy mind and a holy life. And he put forward three reasons to motivate us to it—God's holy character demands it, his impartial judgment warns us to it, and Christ's sacrifice compels us in it.” -HelmSo Peter is in the crow's nest. We've been at sea for months searching for a new land. We're nearly out of food and water. We're discouraged and on the edge of mutiny. The captain sends Peter up to the crow's nest to see if there's any sight of land. And sure enough Peter spots land. Land-ho!Immediately, hope springs from despair. Our circumstances have not changed at all. But our belief that Peter sees land changes everything about how we see life. The captain goes from enemy to hero. God is allowing trials and tribulations to come our way to test our faith and to make us better (not bitter) through persevering in a living hope. Do you believe that Peter, in his letter, sees land? Do you believe that your circumstances, which haven't changed, can be seen and persevered through in a different light? The light of the living hope of God! I pray that right now you'd surrender your lives to Jesus Christ trusting him with your immediate future and your eternal future. He has risen from the dead. He has proven that he creates and sustains life. Rest in that truth today!PrayNOTESDISCUSSION QUESTIONSDiscovery Bible Study process:Retell the story in your own words.Discovery the storyWhat does this story tell me about God?What does this story tell me about people?If this is really God's word, what changes would I have to make in my life?Who am I going to tell about this?Final Questions (optional or in place of above)What is God saying to you right now? What are you going to do about it?Find our sermons, podcasts, discussion questions and notes at https://www.gracetoday.net/podcastQ. What do I want them to know?A. What 1 Peter is all about.Q. Why do I want them to know it?A. Because I want them to have a living hope in a dying world. Q. What do I want them to do about it?A. Stand firm in the grace of God and persevere through trials as they share the good news with those around them.Q. Why do I want them to do it?A. Because this will sustain them through any trial.Q. How can they begin to do this?A. Ask someone today, “How can I pray for you today?”OUTLINESThe Visual Word - 1 Peter“Paradoxes fill 1 Peter. It is a letter written to encourage a slandered and marginalized minority living in the midst of the Roman Empire. They live in the world but are not of the world. They dwell in the cities, but as sojourners. They look, speak, and dress like everyone, but they pass their days on earth as exiles waiting for their inheritance.” (See the Epistle to Diognetus 5)Peter seeks to encourage believers in Asia Minor in the midst of suffering to stand firm as they consider the blessings of being in Christ, who is the primary example of one who suffered well and now has received glory and honor. If they also continue in their good conduct, become the true household of God, and don't revert to their old idolatrous practices, they too will receive the crown of life. They need to have hope as exiles (1:3-2:10), live faithfully as exiles in the world (2:11-4:11), and stand firm until the end (4:12-5:11). Their ultimate enemy, that roaring lion, stands ready to devour them, but they have the conquering, suffering Shepherd at their side. (P. Schreiner)Hope as Exiles 1-2Elect Exiles 1:1-2New future 1:3-12New family 1:13-2:10Exile Identity 2-4Submit 2:11-3:7Suffer well 3:8-4:11Stand Firm 4-5Suffer joyfully 4:12-19Resist the devil 5:1-11In Babylon 5:12-14I. They need to have hope as exiles (1:3-2:10)II. They need to live faithfully as exiles in the world (2:11-4:11)III. They need to stand firm until the end (4:12-5:11)“Their ultimate enemy, that roaring lion, stands ready to devour them, but they have the conquering, suffering Shepherd at their side.” - P SchreinerHope as Exiles - The church has hope amidst trials because of their new future and new family. (1-2)Elect exiles (1:1-2)New future - Their new birth grants them an inheritance that can never be taken away. (1:3-12)New family (and new calling) - Their new birth grants them the rights and responsibilities of God's people. (1:13-2:10)Exile Identity - In the midst of the world, they are to live as chosen exiles. (2-4)Submit - They are to submit to authority figures because this is how Christ acted. (2:11-3:7)Suffer well - Like Christ, they are to suffer for good because suffering leads to life. (3:8-4:11)Stand Firm - To keep their exile identity, they must stand firm to the end. (4-5)Suffer joyfully - They are to entrust themselves to God while doing good. (4:12-4:19)Resist the devil - The elders should shepherd the people, recognizing the danger they are in. (5:1-11)In Babylon (5:12-24)Elect Exiles (1:1-2)“Peter presents the paradox in the first two verses. The God, those in Asia Minor are chosen, but to the world, they are exiles and sojourners. This becomes the theme of the letter (1:17; 2:11; 5:13). It also ties their story to Abraham, who was chosen but also a sojourner on the earth (Gen. 15:13), and Israel, who were God's wandering people. These elect exiles are dispersed across Asia Minor and living in societies not friendly to the new Christian faith. They are elect exiles according to God's foreknowledge, but His sanctifying works, and chosen for obedience. This is God's wonderful plan for their lives.”Hope as Exiles (1-2)“After labeling them as elect exiles, Peter's first section bolsters their hope by praising God for their new future, new family and new calling. Those scattered have been born again and promised a new land. But this new hope cannot be taken away from them because it resides in heaven. Though they suffer now, they a re being guarded for this future (1:3-12). Not only do they have a new future but a new family and calling (1:3-2:10). They are the new exodus people, the new covenant people, and the new temple people. In all of these they have not only a new identity but a new vocation.”According to the New Testament of the Bible, what is the difference between faith and hope?“In the New Testament of the Bible, faith and hope are distinct but interconnected concepts. Faith is often described as a firm belief or trust in something, particularly in God or His promises. It involves having confidence in what is unseen or yet to be fulfilled. Hope, on the other hand, is the optimistic expectation or anticipation of something good. It involves looking forward to future blessings, both in this life and the next. While faith is focused on belief and trust, hope is centered around expectation and anticipation. Faith provides the foundation for a relationship with God and is essential for salvation, while hope sustains believers through trials and challenges, keeping their focus on the promises of God. Both faith and hope are important aspects of the Christian life, working together to inspire and strengthen believers in their journey of following Christ.” -ChatGPT SUMMARY SO FAR1 Peter, “Live Such Good Lives”Let's live such good lives in this world today that, though they think we're wrong, they'll see how we live and follow Jesus anyway because…They'll see who we are and that's we're different. A new identity: As chosen exiles scattered around the world until Jesus returns+ (1:13-2:10)ChosenExiles/Holy people in the wildernessNew people New covenant with GodNew temple/a peopleKingdom of priestsWhat else?They'll see us living for what matters even though it costs us. Suffering as a witness to Jesus multiplying and magnifying his kingdom (2:11-4:11)They'll see us willingly suffer because of our living hope in the future. Suffering in light of an unshakable hope in the future. (4:12-5:9)From Schreiner:“To encourage believers to persevere in their suffering as exiles and strangers because of their future eternal reward in Christ.”“Called to suffer (like Jesus) but suffering characterized by hope.”“Their lives would demonstrate that they belonged to another king and another kingdom.”Schreiner is thankful to God who has reminded him through 1, 2 Peter, & Jude of our “Unshakable hope in Christ, Of the grace poured out on his people, and Of the call to live holy and beautiful lives for the glory of his name.”Though “spiritual exiles” “recipients of a great salvation” “gave them a future hope and inheritance” “They were homeless spiritually, but they were also bound for a home and an inheritance from which they would never be displaced.”“As believers, most lived on the underside of society—under:the authority of RomeUnbelieving and cruel mastersUnbelieving husbandsFrom Helms:“Theme of Christian identity and conduct in light of a settled hope.”3 biblical correctives for why and how to respond to life's difficulties.God's plan for his followers: “We are (therefore, live as) the elect (chosen) exiles of the dispersion (scattering).”Peter's inversion theme: “the way up comes by going down.”Suffering always proceeds glory. Christ exemplified this.So, Peter calls these scattered Christians to live as God's chosen exiles/strangers/foreigners/sojourners with unshakable hope because of you great salvation through Jesus Christ. (My summary)Questions answered by Peter:How are Christians supposed to bear witness to Christ's glory?How are we to live in the wilderness world?Peter's answers to these questions center on the word “conduct” or “live” and it's various forms.THE BIBLE PROJECTI. Greeting (1:1-2)II. Song of praise (1:3-12)III. A New Family Identity (1:13-2:10)IV. Suffering as a Witness to Jesus (2:11-4:11)V. Suffering & Future Hope (4:12-5:9)We have a new family identity that propels us to bear witness to a living hope that leads us to live such good lives that we willingly suffer for his glory in light of our glorious future.We have a new family identity & future hope that compels us to live such a good life that it demands a gospel explanation.We have a new family identity & future hope that compels us to live like no one else because we will live like no one else in the future We have a new family identity & future hope that compels us to live a life that includes suffering but that leads to glory—for God and us.HELMSLife is hard even for Christians.3 biblical correctives for why and how to respond to life's difficulties.God's plan for his followers: “We are (therefore, live as) the elect (chosen) exiles of the dispersion (scattering).”So, Peter calls these scattered Christians to live as God's chosen exiles/strangers/foreigners/sojourners with unshakable hope because of you great salvation through Jesus Christ. (My summary)Peter's inversion theme: “the way up comes by going down.”Suffering always proceeds glory. Christ exemplified this.“Peter begins his letter with these 2 seemingly incompatible truths:Our status in Christ ANDOur sufferings on earth.”Questions answered by Peter:How are Christians supposed to bear witness to Christ's glory?How are we to live in the wilderness world?Peter's answers to these questions center on the word “conduct” or “live” and it's various forms.Be holy (1:15)live out (1:17)Way of life (1:18)Live such good lives (2:12)Behavior (3:1)Your lives (3:2)Behavior (3:16)“Theme of Christian identity and conduct in light of a settled hope.”Turning point 2:11-12Peter continues to encourage through examples and exhortation.He appeals specifically to elders before the community.“God has Established our salvation,Given us our identity,Conformed our present-day calling,Secured our future inheritance by means of an inverted irony—namely, the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. Therefore, just as the exaltation of Jesus followed a season of humiliation, so too our share in his eternal glory will appear after we have learned to follow in his true and gracious ways.”Subtitle? How to live as God's fireproof children in this dumpster fire world.“We are the elect exiles of the dispersion.”As God's chosen, I am encouraged and reminded of his great love for me. And I need this as I live in this broken world.Elect = chosen, those whom God lovesIsrael was sent into exile by God because of their presumptuous sin. Exiles of a different sort? Peter doesn't mean it wrt Israel's ancient sin—or their own—for they were living faithful and fruitful lives at this time. Peter means this is simply “the normative state of any follower of Jesus, so long as he or she remains in this world.”CS Lewis quote, p. 26SchreinerOUTLINE OF 1 PETER1 Opening (1:1-2)2 Called to Salvation as Exiles (1:3-2:10)3 Living as Exiles to Bring Glory to God in a Hostile World (2:11-4:11)4 Persevering as Exiles in Suffering (4:12-5:11)5 Concluding Words (5:12-14)1 Opening (1:1-2)2 Called to Salvation as Exiles (1:3-2:10)2.1 Praise for Salvation (1:3-12)2.2 The Future Inheritance as an Incentive to Holiness (1:13-2.3 Living as the New People of God (1:22-2:10)3 Living as Exiles to Bring Glory to God in a Hostile World (2:11-4:11)3.1 The Christian Life as a Battle and Witness (2:11-12)3.2 Testifying to the Gospel in the Social Order (2:13-3:12)3.3 Responding in a Godly Way to Suffering (3:13-4:11)4 Persevering as Exiles in Suffering (4:12-5:11)4.1 Suffer Joyfully in Accord with God's Will (4:12-19)4.2 Exhortations to Elders and the Community (5:1-11)5 Concluding Words (5:12-14)SECTION OUTLINE2 Called to Salvation as Exiles (1:3-2:10)2.1 Praise for Salvation (1:3-12)2.1.1 A Promised Inheritance (1:3-5)2.1.2 Result: Joy in Suffering (1:6-9)2.1.3 The Privilege of Revelation (1:10-12)2.2 The Future Inheritance as an Incentive to Holiness (1:13-21)2.2.1 Setting One's Hope on the Inheritance (1:13-16)2.2.2 A Call to Fear (1:17-21)2.3 Living as the New People of God (1:22-2:10)2.3.1 A Call to Love (1:22-25)2.3.2 Longing for the Pure Milk (2:1-3)2.3.3 The Living Stone and Living Stones (2:4-10)Schreiner is thankful to God who has reminded him through 1, 2 Peter, & Jude of our “Unshakable hope in Christ, Of the grace poured out on his people, and Of the call to live holy and beautiful lives for the glory of his name.”1 Peter “sets forth what it means to be Christians in a hostile world, in a world where Christians were persecuted for their faith…”Though “spiritual exiles” “recipients of a great salvation” “gave them a future hope and inheritance” “They were homeless spiritually, but they were also bound for a home and an inheritance from which they would never be displaced.”“As believers, most lived on the underside of society—under:the authority of RomeUnbelieving and cruel mastersUnbelieving husbandsThey suffered both in:Every day lifeFrom imperial authority”IDENTITY“People of God” “The Lord's new temple” “priests”“They are exhorted not to live in fear of human beings but in fear of the Lord, and such fear, paradoxically, would give them confidence and hope.”“Called to suffer (like Jesus) but suffering characterized by hope.”“Obedient children”“Their lives would demonstrate that they belonged to another king and another kingdom.”“God's chose race” “royal priesthood” “holy nation”PURPOSE“To encourage believers to persevere in their suffering as exiles and strangers because of their future eternal reward in Christ. They demonstrate their hope in this future by standing firm despite injustice and persecution by living holy, blameless lives submitting to their authorities with patient endurance. This shows their belief that this is temporary and that they are citizens of another kingdom and see Jesus as their Lord and king.MAIN REFERENCES USED“1 - 2 Peter and Jude,” by David Helm, Preaching the Word Commentary, Edited by Kent Hughes“1 & 2 Peter ” by RC Sproul“1 & 2 Peter and Jude” by Thomas Schreiner“The Message of 1 Peter” by Edmund Clowney“The Visual Word,” Patrick Schreiner“1 Peter: A living hope in Christ”, Jen Wilkin Bible study“The Bible Knowledge Commentary” by Walvoord, Zuck (BKC)“The Bible Exposition Commentary” by Warren Wiersbe (BEC)Outline Bible, D Willmington NIV Study Bible (NIVSB) https://www.biblica.com/resources/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/ESV Study Bible (ESVSB) https://www.esv.org“The Bible in One Year 2023 with Nicky Gumbel” bible reading plan on YouVersion appChatGPT https://openai.com/blog/chatgptAnswerThePublic.comWikipedia.com
Listen to this episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts Recently Tom Huszti interviewed me for his YouTube channel, the Unitarian Anabaptist. We talked about the importance of geography, archeology, and Greco-Roman history for interpreting the bible, especially the New Testament. Next we delved into early church history, starting with the earliest forms of Jewish Christianity in the first and second centuries. We talked about the Jerusalem church, the Nazarenes, and the Ebionites. Next we considered the persecution many Christians faced at the hands of the Romans for their unwillingness to give their ultimate allegiance to Caesar. The conversation was wide ranging, but what came through over and over is the importance of studying the bible and history in order to restore authentic Christianity and live it out today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KefOimH6ZU —— Links —— For the trip to Greece and Turkey with Jerry Wierwille, see the itinerary here and the map here. Follow Huszti's YouTube Channel, the Unitarian Anabaptist Check out episode 478 Unitarian Anabaptist (Tom Huszti) Get the free class on Early Church History here. Support Restitutio by donating here Join our Restitutio Facebook Group and follow Sean Finnegan on Twitter @RestitutioSF Leave a voice message via SpeakPipe with questions or comments and we may play them out on the air Intro music: Good Vibes by MBB Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library. Who is Sean Finnegan? Read his bio here —— Transcript —— This transcript was auto-generated and only approximates the contents of this episode. Sean Finnegan:Hey there, I'm Sean Finnegan. And you are listening to restart studio podcast that seeks to recover authentic Christianity and live it out today. Tom Huszti: Sean Finnegan, welcome to Unitarian Anabaptist. Sean Finnegan: Thanks for having me. Tom Huszti: So this has been a long time in the waiting. I was interviewed by you about 8 months ago and now you're being interviewed by the Unitarian Anabaptist. What a privilege there is. A lot that you have to say today in the limited time that we're going to do this, you just came back from a trip of Italy and Greece. You finished a 500 year history of the early church. There's just so much interrelated and what I would like to do, as we discussed earlier is to relate these things back to the 1st century faith of our early Christian brethren. So to begin, could you give us a summary of the important highlights that you saw on your trip related to church history? Sean Finnegan: Yeah, we ended up going to a number of touristy spots in Greece like Santorini and Mykonos, but we also hit Athens and we came into the port of Piraeus and then got to the city of Athens and and the first thing that I will note. And anyone who's been to the Mediterranean in August will. We'll know what I'm about to say is. That it's hot. It's a very.SpeakerHot part of the. Sean Finnegan: World. So is the Middle East, so it's it's. It's interesting that, you know, like times I've been to Israel, times have been to Greece or Turkey. It is a very different climate than what I'm used to here in New York or you in Ohio there. Tom Huszti: Sure. Yes, yes, absolutely. Uh. Sean Finnegan: And you know that that. Brings to mind the importance of water. Hmm. And something that really stuck out to me in Israel I. Would have never. Gotten that from reading books, but going to Israel you go to these ancient sites and. These cisterns dug into the ground these huge caverns to store water because it doesn't rain that much water is is still a big deal in the 1st century in Rome in.SpeakerYes. Yeah. Sean Finnegan: Other cities Pompeii also got to visit Pompeii. Tom Huszti: A lot. Sean Finnegan: And they brought. The water in through aqueducts and this is. All part of. Their system of city structure, but the question. Who pays for the aqueducts? Who pays for the bath houses? You know, I got to see some bath houses in Pompeii where you had the the frigidarium, the tepidarium and the calidore. Yum, you know, and this is the really cold water, the tepid water and the hot water. And this is just what people did. These are these are public facilities. This actually ended up having a great deal of prestige. As wealthy people step forward and this happened in the 1st century, but also in the the 2nd century, was really the heyday of this period, where wealthy people would come forward and they would donate money to build these public works and they would build other great structures like theaters. And whatnot. And these would then be the ones who controlled the cities and won political office. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: And so it's a very different kind of world, you know, just like I don't think about water, I don't think. About wealthy people building bath houses or pools, right? It's just we, you know, we pay taxes and then, you know, we argue about the police. It's just a very different world. And that was really driven home to me on the trip, you know, in Athens, you're on the Acropolis and you're seeing the Parthenon and some of the other structures that still remain. Tom Huszti: Yes, yes. Sean Finnegan: It's just like this is an utterly different world, and it's just so helpful to remember that Tom because. We don't do that when we read the Bible, what we do is we just. We have what we. Understand the world to be, and then we encounter the scripture. We read the text and then we think to ourselves. How can I incorporate this new information? I'm reading about the book of acts or one of the church epistles. For example, how do I incorporate that into what? I know about the world. This is an automatic process and the problem is if you don't force yourself to stop and say wait, they lived in a different world where they had different. Different language, different politics, different weather, different everything. Then you can easily misunderstand so much of the New Testament I. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: Think that's a? Lot of what we as pastors do is we're trying to help people understand the scriptures. So the trip was really enlightening in that sense. Also, I'll make another quick point about it is that we did manage to go to the very edge of Mount Vesuvius. Now Mount Vesuvius blew in 79 AD 79, and that's what killed all the people in Pompeii and Herculaneum. And so they say it's still an active volcano. But you can take a.SpeakerOK. Sean Finnegan: Bus all the way up to the top and then you hike until. Tom Huszti: What's the way? Sean Finnegan: You get to the very crater. You can look down into the crater and it's just incredible. It's just dirt and some like grass and stuff. There's no like lava. Or anything cool but. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: It's just a weird experience to like, stand on the edge of an active volcano and think, wow. This thing blew. And you could kind of see why ancient people were like, ohh, the gods are angry, right? Because. Like who would it? Tom Huszti: Uh-huh. Well, yeah. Sean Finnegan: There's no one in living memory of seeing this thing blow the last time, and it's just such a otherworldly power, sure. Tom Huszti: How far is Pompeii from Rome? Sean Finnegan: I think about two hours. If I had to guess something like that, so we approached. Tom Huszti: Ohh that far OK. Sean Finnegan: Pompeii, from Naples, Naples, is on the. Coast came at it from the West to get to Pompeii in the east, and then you get to Vesuvius and. At the top. Of the Zeus, you can see everything you can see just miles and miles in different cities and. It's really incredible. Tom Huszti: My, my. So how far did the lava have to travel to make it to Pompeii from? Sean Finnegan: Well, wasn't it? They didn't get buried in lava, actually. Yeah, you, you. You would, I guess you would expect that, but it was, it was a I think it was a toxic gas. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: That swept through it well. Initially it was uh. Was launching projectiles and ash and rock straight up, and then that fell because of the wind onto the city and so that, you know, imagine like a hail storm, but with stones and bigger ones and smaller ones. But then a gas came from the mountain and. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: I believe that's what happened and it killed the people, but then it continued to rain. Ash, I think they said like 20 feet of ash, something crazy. Tom Huszti: Oh wow. OK.Speaker 5And it just. Sean Finnegan: Settled on the city and people just didn't have a reason to go there for anything or I'm. I'm not really sure why, but it just laid there. Century after century, and I'm not sure exactly when. Maybe in the 1700s eighteen, 100 something something around there, they're just like, hey, I think we found. A city over here, you know? Archaeology. Just finally gets started. And what happened, Tom, is they would come against these air pockets. So they're digging through. And they hit like a pocket of air and they're. Like this is so weird. What is this? And someone got the bright idea of. Of squeezing into it some plaster, yeah. Tom Huszti: plaster plaster. OK OK. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, if you have you seen these images? Tom Huszti: Yeah, I have. Yeah. That's what I was wondering. OK. Sean Finnegan: Yeah. Yeah. And so then they let it dry and harden, and then they chip around it and then they see the exact shape of a human being. Sometimes even with fine detail. Of like facial expressions and stuff. That's kind of become their customers when they hit an air cavity. They just do that and there there are lots of these casts of human beings in various positions. And what's crazy about them is it's. Just like a. Plaster, but inside the plaster are that person. 'S actual bones. Tom Huszti: Yeah. I was gonna ask. OK. I was gonna ask, you know, something that you mentioned to me back. Louisville, KY, was the length of time that bones. Yeah. And we were talking about resurrection and literal resurrection. And you mentioned that bones last a long time. That's something I really was impressed by something that Rabbi Tovia singer was speaking out against being cremated because. Because the bones are supposed to be the material that used for in part anyhow to reconstitute us as human beings in the resurrection. So that view is very Jewish in origin, as you well know. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, I tend to agree with Rabbi Tovia singer on that. I'm not a fan of cremation. I'm not going to say it's going to defeat God's ability to resurrect somebody, feel like that's a pretty extreme position to take. But I have learned a lot and I know you've been to Israel and you've stood on the Mount of olives and you see. Well, the the tombs there that are, I don't know why they're buried above ground, but they're all these stone rectangles and or stone boxes, really rectangular shaped boxes and inside are the bones. And it's like, well, what's the deal with this? Why are they so worried about bones or not worried but concerned about bones and focused and. Tom Huszti: Yes, yes. Sean Finnegan: About caring for the bones and you know they have these ossuaries where you know they they found Caiaphas ossuary. Tom Huszti: I know I saw it when I was in Israel. Sean Finnegan: Incredible ornate. Tom Huszti: In the Israel, yeah. In the Israel hit Natural History Museum of all places, back in 2004, I was shocked. Sean Finnegan: Isn't it beautiful? Tom Huszti: Well, well, it's a beautiful ossuary, but what was most shocking was the was the plaque beside it. The plaque, the plaque beside it, said this was the high priest in the days of Jesus that was responsible for his crucifixion. And I thought to see that advertised in the Israel. Sean Finnegan: Oh, what did it say? Tom Huszti: Natural History Museum was just shocking because it's a recognition that this thing happened and this is the man responsible to it. I was, yeah, that was the last thing I saw in the museum on my way out because we were we had a very short time frame and it was at the entrance of the. Museum so we saw it as we exited. Very cool. Fascinating, yes. Sean Finnegan: Very cool. And you see that stuff? You just say to yourself. These are real. These are true stories. This is history, you know. You see. The the litho what is that Lithos Stratos? You know that that street that is beneath Jerusalem, that was discovered where this is where Jesus was beaten or. He was. It's the layer that goes back to the 1st century. It's kind of underneath the city of Jerusalem. You see these things you say to yourself like I like. I've stood there, Tom. Like, I know for sure. Now. Vesuvius is a real volcano. I looked into the. Tom Huszti: Yes, yes. Crater. Yes, yes. Yeah, right, right.SpeakerIt's like not that. Sean Finnegan: I ever really doubted it, but like when you do it and you stand there and you see and you, you know, you see the cast and the horror on the faces of the. Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: People in Pompeii, you're like. OK, this is not a story, this is history. Tom Huszti: Yeah, no. Sean Finnegan: And it's very powerful. But back to your point about resurrection and bones. What really started me on this, this is going to be a really random source, is a Freakonomics podcast episode. They're talking about cremating animals. The guy was saying, when it comes to cremating animals, they it was, they were trying to do an investigation. The big question they had was. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: Do they actually give you the ashes for your animal? This is like a pet crematorium. Or are they just like scooping random ashes? And you know what? What's really going on here? Right. And they were talking it. So they got into the subject of cremation and bones. And they're like, well, you know, what really happens to the crematorium is they burn, you know, the human or the animal or whatever. And then the bones are there. Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: Their bones are not burnable, they just, they're just there. Tom Huszti: Right, right, right. Sean Finnegan: So what they do is they grind them. Tom Huszti: That's what Tovia said, too. Sean Finnegan: And after they grind them down, that's the ashes that you get. They're actually ground bones. Tom Huszti: Ohh, is that right? Sean Finnegan: That they return to you. At least, that's what this podcast episode was saying. It was talking about animals, but like, it also talked about humans, whatever. And it and it made me think to myself, like, wait a second. I always just assumed the bones desiccated. I assumed that they disintegrated over. Tom Huszti: OK. Ohh you did. OK. Sean Finnegan: Time and then it it it kind of informed my thinking about, you know, the James Ossuary and the Caiaphas archery and some of these other ossuary findings, like some of the more sensationalized ones said we think we found Jesus and all this, which has been pretty much not accepted by scholarship but anyhow.Speaker 5The idea of. Sean Finnegan: Bones lasting for centuries and centuries was just like common sense to ancient people because they didn't have this separation. Like we have from our dead. Like we don't, we don't. Know but like they would go. Sean Finnegan:A year later. Sean Finnegan: Back to the tomb and they would pick up the bones and put them in a. Little bone box. Space is limited and you want to fit as many ancestors, descendants, relatives in the same cave or tomb as possible. But you're not looking to, like, mix all the bones together. So yeah, it just kind of made sense to get a box the width of the skull and the length of a femur, and to use that to, you know, organize people and just scratch on the side, the person's name. And so I think this all goes back to whether we're talking about the amount of olives. Tom Huszti: Yeah, yeah. Tom Huszti: Oh, OK. Sean Finnegan: To this day in Jerusalem, or we're talking about the austrias in the 1st century this or or Tovia Singer's preferences. This all goes back to the same thing which is this. Really strong belief in resurrection and so burying your dead in a way that preserves the bones or cares for the bones is is in a sense, I think a an act of faith that the Jewish people have always had. Again, I'm not saying that cremation is a sin or that it's going to damn somebody to, you know, eternal judgment or, you know, that's not where I'm going here, but I think. Tom Huszti: Yes. No. Sean Finnegan: We should ask the question, is this really this is really fit as Christians like I know it's less expensive. OK, but like is it? Is that always the right course of action? Just cause something's less expensive. So I I think burial. Traditional burial it can be an act of faith because you're saying I'm going to Mark Toome. I'm going to rise. Out of this to. Him so. Tom Huszti: Let's get back to your your trip details. I'm trying to picture this, the framework of well picture this setting that the acts of the apostles was written in. Is Athens set on a hill? Sean Finnegan: Well, the Acropolis certainly is. Tom Huszti: The acropolises OK. Sean Finnegan: Yeah. So, yeah, there there are definitely hills there. The propolis is a very high point in the center of Athens and it is kind of steep. I don't know what you call like a plateau that just. Rises out of nowhere. In the old days, that would be the spot where you would retreat to if Athens were invaded, because it can be held much longer. Tom Huszti: Apostle Paul preached in that place. Sean Finnegan: Well, I think he preached. On Mars. So which is right next to it. So it's yeah, it's right. Right nearby. Tom Huszti: Can you imagine the possible Paul in that setting? Sean Finnegan: Yeah. Well, I mean, the interesting thing about the apostle Paul at the Areopagus or Mars Hill is that he is looking at all these statues. And I when I was in Athens, I got to go to the museum. Tom Huszti: Can you picture him there? Carry out this OK? Sean Finnegan: The Acropolis Museum, which is. Walk. We got there and we went inside and you see all these statues? These are all these statues that they found? Of course. The Acropolis had actual temples to gods on it and that wouldn't have been unusual. There would be temples and statues of gods all throughout the city. And that's not weird for Athens. All Greco-roman cities had statues to gods, shrines, little other ways of worshipping their gods, you know, depending on what gods we're talking about, they're all a little different. You know, there's Paul. He's not really from the West, you know, for and for his perspective as as somebody from. Horses and cilicia. Athens is the. West, we say Athens is east, but for him that's. Tom Huszti: OK, he's from us. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sean Finnegan: West and you know, so for Paul, he would have seen plenty of this throughout his travels and stuff. But for whatever reason, his heart was just so troubled in Athens, he saw that people just in the city just given to this in Act 17, he finds this altar to the unknown God and he's like. All right, well, here's. Here's someplace where I can hook on a gospel presentation. Really good speaking. But it's interesting too, going back to our former conversation about burial and resurrection, when it comes to the part where Paul says that God has furnished proof by raising that Jesus is the Messiah by raising him from the dead. The Athenians had no trouble hearing that Jesus would be the Messiah. I don't think that was like a really understood category to them. They wouldn't have a hang up about that as him being a king or whatever. But when he says. He has given proof by raising him from the dead. Suddenly they're just like this is ridiculous. Everybody knows you don't want your body back again. This is stupid. I'm out of here. And like the Greeks, the Greeks, they're standard approach to the afterlife. Tom Huszti: Ohh yeah yeah. Sean Finnegan:That's right. Sean Finnegan: Was to get rid of the body. It was not to keep the body or to get the body back. Restored and renewed. And so this. This was always a big issue between Jews and Christians. Agree on. Over against the the Greco-roman, whether the philosophers or just like the folk religion of like going down to Hades and you know all the stuff they, you know, they had stories about all that. Tom Huszti: Have you been to Cesarea Philippi in Israel? Sean Finnegan: Yeah, it's like they call it banya or. Tom Huszti: Something banyas. Yes, banyas. And actually, I guess you know why it's called banyas. Sean Finnegan: Well, there was a. Shrine to the God pan there. Tom Huszti: Right pan, right. So the original name was panyas. But the Arabs have a hard time pronouncing the sound, so they change it to bond. Yes, believe it or not. But yes, yes, yes. So now. Sean Finnegan: Well, that makes sense. Thank you. Tom Huszti: You learn something. From me for a change, right? OK. Sean Finnegan: There it is. There it is. Yeah. I have been there. It's a beautiful spot. And you know, again, talking about the heat and the the arid climate of Israel to have a place with a beautiful water supply. Tom Huszti: Oh my. Sean Finnegan: Like sensory flip by where you say, OK, this is it. This is going to be a big spot. This is going to be a place where people are going to want to go and build things and live because there's plenty of water. Tom Huszti: Yes. Yeah. Tom Huszti: Yeah, it's beautiful there, isn't it? Maybe the most beautiful place in Israel. In my my view, as far as the physicality of it, that's arguable, but. Sean Finnegan: I don't know. I loved Dengeki. I thought it was. Tom Huszti: And Betty was beautiful too. Yes. Also water the the shrine. So do you remember what the shrine of Pan looked like? And and with the details about what was happening there. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, yeah. No, no, remind me. Tom Huszti: OK, there's a a graven image of pan on the the wall of the the side of Mount Hermon, the base of Mount Hermon there. And there is a cave right next to it. And there would would have been an altar for a member, correct? There would have been an altar in front of The Cave, and they were doing sacrifices to the God pan, and they were throwing the sacrificed beast into The Cave and the Jordan River begins flowing from that area. So. There was some kind of a relationship to throwing the sacrifice into The Cave and and whether or not the blood came out at the Jordan River that cave. On the side of the mountain, Mount Hermon was supposed to be the gateway to the underworld. Sean Finnegan: It is certainly the case that the Greeks and the Jews looked very differently at the dead. The Jewish mindset was at the dead are resting and they had the term show all for that. The sort of realm of the dead where all the dead are they're they're awaiting, they're asleep, they use that language. Lot, even in the the Christian New Testament. Tons of references, a lot of our translations, just like get rid of it and they say died or. Something like that. But that it actually says fall asleep or fell asleep. Ohh which you know the a Greek person wouldn't say that they would say no, they're in a different realm. And they're in the underworld of Hades, and Hades is not just a realm. It's also the name of a God who's in charge of all of those shades or departed souls. And you know, so, like, these are very different views. You know what I mean? And it's sad to say, but Christianity has more often than not. Agree with the pagans over against the early Christian. Of view, which is a shame, right? Tom Huszti: Unfortunate indeed. Yes, it is in the the first conversation I had with Tovia Singer, we hit upon so many touch points that we agree upon resurrection life in the age to come. The term Messiah is something that we can talk freely about. There's so many things from my Christian view that actually are terms that you can talk to Jewish people in this present day about, especially those who are inclined to study the Old Testament. And that's a conversation that most nominal Orthodox kind of Christians cannot have with Jewish people. The the rule seems to be that Jews have to leave Judaism in order to come over to Christianity. But strangely enough, we received Christianity from the Jews. And so the context that you're you're seeing here is something that is is very interesting. In restoring Christianity to its 1st century foundations, which is your your big desire so. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, yeah, I mean, that's what, that's what I'm all about, is trying to clear away the accretions of the Middle Ages and the post Christian. Developments and getting back to that original earlier version of Apostolic Christianity, you know what? What would the church have thought about this in the 1st century rather than in the 2nd and following centuries? The the subsequent centuries? And, you know, I'm not against technology. Renovation. But I am against changing our beliefs from what the New Testament says and that has happened a lot and it happens very slowly. And I've had a a a desire to understand that development. For a long. Time and did my masters on the subject and was really surprised to see that, you know, people are just not asking this question. Like I'm I'm a member. Of the even to this day of the the Boston area patristic society. OK. And so I get emails and, you know, invitations to attend their meetings, which I attended when I lived out there. And, you know, they're held either at Harvard or at Brown University or sometimes at Providence College as well as three schools have good patristic good, early church history programs. And you know so. They they issue these papers a couple. Of times a year. I don't know like 3 or. Four to five times a year and you know you have lint chocolates and a little wine and a little cheese. And you know, you sit around and, you know, just kind of listen in with these, you know, somebody presents on some aspects some facet of. Early church history. Three, I've been a member of this for I don't know a decade they have never done. A doctrine not once. Not once. There's no interest at all in doctrinal development or this mindset that says, hey, let's get back to living out our faith the way they lived out there is, as far as how we treat people or how we think about the government or whatever practical area. There's zero interest in that. In the the more liberal side of the fence and then on the conservative side of the fence, you have the Catholics that really dominate. And not that there aren't liberal Catholics. I'm sure there's plenty of them too. But I'm talking about the more conservative minded ones and they're always just trying to show that what the church teaches now is really what Christians have always believed. So it's apologetic. It's not OK, let's see what happened. It's more like, alright, well, this person like, for example Ignatius of Antioch, there's going to be an amazing presentation on this. Tom Huszti: Come on. Sean Finnegan: At the Unitarian Christian Alliance Conference next month, Nathan Massey has done some cutting edge research on Ignatius of Antioch. But anyhow, people, Catholic scholars in particular love Ignatius, and they'll go to Ignatius and they say, well, see, Ignatius calls Jesus God. Therefore, the Trinity is true as we, you know, 20 centuries later. Teach it it. It's it's all true because Ignatius said Jesus is God, and there's just more problems with that than you can shake a stick at, which you know I won't get into unless you're interested. But like my my point is. There's very few scholars who are honestly going to the sources of ancient Christians. Whatever books have survived right, and saying what were they saying? And and just taking them on their own words, their own terms, giving them the credit that they knew what they. Were talking about even. If it disagrees with what the? First later said was the right way to think, right? So let me let me just give. You one example. So for example. Justin Martyr, Justin Martyr doesn't fit with anybody, right? I mean, he's just idiosyncratic. He has his own way of thinking and talking. About things, he will even call Jesus, the second God sometimes. And you know he doesn't. Think at all that. Jesus, even in his preincarnate state, was equal. With God the. Father ever, you know, at the same time he's he's sort of like very much like in mesh with the Jews and and like very much talking to the Jews and at. The same time, incredibly rude. And it, you know, by what I would say, it's totally inappropriate. You know, some of the ways he he talks to in in one of his books, the book against Trifle. So yeah. So anyhow, Justin Moorer, you know, a church historian will come along and say, Justin, Monta was just. Tom Huszti: Ohh trifle.Speaker 5You know, he was reaching in the dark for the doctrine of the Trinity. He just didn't quite have the language yet to express it, and it's like. Sean Finnegan: No, he wasn't. He had a he had a mature developed view of who he thought Jesus was. And it's just different than yours, man. Just just. Allow him to be him. Tom Huszti: He might have squeeze everybody into the. Sean Finnegan:You know. Tom Huszti: Same mold, huh?SpeakerHe's not. Sean Finnegan: Hinting at anything he thinks he knows what he's talking about. You're not. Tom Huszti: Right. Tom Huszti: He wore the philosopher's robe, didn't he? Sean Finnegan: He did, and he had a he had a a little meeting spot in Rome above a, you know, above a shop, you know, he had a little apartment or whatever, and he'd he'd meet with people and he'd teach him what he thought was the definitive understanding of the Christian religion, just because nobody else later on agrees with him doesn't mean he was just like. Undeveloped or something, you know, he he believes what he believed, and it's just different and that's OK. And what I see when I look at Justin or Irenaeus or, you know, a lot of these guys is I see development. And when I see development, I think to myself, let's rollback the tape and see the trajectory overtime. Yeah. What is the vector? Where is this heading? So if I see you know a couple of points on a line that go in One Direction, I could say OK, I make a measurement here, make a measurement here, connect those dots and trace it backwards. What's there in the? 1st century and that's that's what I love to do. That's what I want to know. That's my my research, my investigation to find. What's the earliest beliefs and practices and that I'm crazy enough to think we can live that out today? Tom Huszti: Yeah, you are a strange bird, but I agree with you I. Guess I am too so. Sean Finnegan: Well, and The thing is we both came to this from very different milieus, different backgrounds, denominations and so forth. But we both recognize that it makes logical sense that if the church has gotten off track. Then you know the best way to do it is to reform back to the, you know, whatever we can recover of the original version of Christian. Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: And you know, that's. Yeah, it makes sense to me. A lot of people don't. They don't believe in Restorationism. They they say, oh, that's you can't go back there. It's impossible and it's like. Tom Huszti: That's so true. Sean Finnegan: Well, well, why let? Tom Huszti: Me. Share you with you my thought on this. So the the 1st century church was waiting for the return of Jesus and it didn't happen in their age, but. We who claim to desire the return of Jesus need to be postured as they were. Like I'm I'm just. Wondering you know. Like if Christianity gets far enough away from their origins, it's an awful lot to ask Jesus to return when we've strayed so far from. What our forefathers believed so that the church that I was put out from is called the Apostolic Christian Church Nazarene. And the term Nazarene is a a term that is very, very honorable, I would say. But when you think in terms of the early church, the term Nazarene meant Jewish believers in Messiah. And I still call myself a Nazarene, even though my community has, for the by and large, has disfellowship. Hit me. I'd like to to trace my origins back to the the Nazarenes my my Jewish Brethren, believers in Jesus, and this is something that you touched upon in your. Your church history. You think you could fill us in a little bit about the views of different Jewish Christians, Abbey Knights and Nazarenes and. Any others that would kind of fit that category maybe give us a little summary. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, to do work on the Ebionites or the Nazarenes is to read late reports. By their enemies. I don't know of a single document that survives other. Than I would. Argue that, dedicate, I would say that dedicat is a Nazarene document. Tom Huszti: Oh wow. Sean Finnegan: It reads that way to me. It has a low Christology. It's very Jewish, you know, it's very Christian, you know. And it it just seems to kind of fit that that mindset. So I would argue that the dedicate would be a Nazarene document. Now these these terms, Nazarene, it's actually in the New Testament. The sect of the Nazarenes. Where was that? They said. Tom Huszti: Right, Paul Paul, was it? Yes, they did. That's correct. Yeah. Yes. Sean Finnegan: That about Paul, right? Yeah. So that's old school. Right. But what we can kind of gather is from these late reports and when I say late, I'm talking like from the year 375, we get this heresy hunter named Epiphanius of Salamis and he writes a book called The Panarion. You know, so this is this is riding 300 years after all the action and the excitement has already happened, right? Where's where's the action? Where's the parting of the ways? As James Dunn's famous book called it? Well, it's really in that post 70AD pre. Justin. So like between like 70 AD when the temple. Tom Huszti: Yeah, yeah. Sean Finnegan: Got destroyed and the Romans conquered Jerusalem to the time of Justin Mortar where, like he begins in, you know, maybe like 135 was the 2nd revolution. Right. So you have the the bar Copa revolt. Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: Actually, some people might call it a third revolution because there was another one in between the two, but whatever. It wasn't in. Jerusalem. But you know, in that period there, what is that like? Probably like 60-70 years something happened and there was a a splitting away and Gentile. Tom Huszti: Ohh there was OK Ohh. Sean Finnegan: Christians and Jewish Christians. Stops influencing each other. And it's a really murky period of time. Scholars have all kinds of theories from there was never a parting of the ways. What are you? Talking about to it. Tom Huszti: Uh-huh. Well. Sean Finnegan: It happened because of this or because of that. But let's just put it this way, the the the official Christian line on it has always been since. The time of Eusebius. That the followers of Jesus when they. Saw the Roman legions coming. Abandoned the city of Jerusalem. And if that's true and they, he says they went to power, they went to this other area. If that's true, then the native Jewish people who stayed and fought and died. And then many of them also survived. Would not very much like the Jewish Christians because. They didn't stay, they didn't like. Tom Huszti: So you're talking for 70, you're talking about from 70 AD that the Christians would have left. Sean Finnegan: Yeah. Yeah. So, like, after the city is conquered by the Romans, things kind of settle down politically. I mean, I guess the last holdouts are at Masada up until what, like 7370? Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: 4 but like. Then that OK, this period ends, the Romans have reasserted their dominance. But you know a lot of Jewish people survive and and. And they're not looking at the Jewish Christians positively, they're looking at them negatively. And we have this Birkat hominem. Yes. Are you familiar with that? It says for the apostates, let there be no hope and uproot the Kingdom of arrogance speedily. And in our days, may the Nazarenes and the sectarians perish, as in a moment let them be blotted out of the book of life. Tom Huszti: I am. Sean Finnegan: And and so forth. So it's like OK by the time of Justin, he makes mention of this and he says you. Know why? Why? You guys cursing us in your synagogues, right? So like Justin knows about it, so. It's got to be before 160 and it's. Probably after the month. Tom Huszti: So let me ask you this, would that curse? Be specific to Jewish believers in Messiah Jesus. She will. Or would it? That was specifically for them because they were thought they were thought to be created. Sean Finnegan: Well, they they would be the ones to go to the synagogue. So this is something. That would be spoken. Publicly in the synagogue, along with the other blessings and. Tom Huszti: OK. Ah. So that would discourage them from attending synagogue. Sean Finnegan: It would expose them as well because they wouldn't be able to recite that. Tom Huszti: Oh, they wouldn't be able to recite it, OK. Sean Finnegan: You can't curse yourself, you know. It's just awkward. Tom Huszti: Yes, so so so.SpeakerYou know, right. Tom Huszti: During the time of the Barkha revolt, the Jewish believers in Yeshua Miss Jesus would not have taken up arms against the Romans and this would have been a further offense against the. Against the revolution, revolutionaries against the Jews. Sean Finnegan: Well, you know. We we see we see rumblings even before in the I don't know if it's the Jewish war or the antiquity of the of the. Jews with Josephus. He talks about how there was a power vacuum just for a moment in Jerusalem and during that power vacuum when the old governor had, I don't know if he died or just had left or whatever happened to him. But the new governor, I think, was Albinus, was on his way then the non Christian. Jewish people were able to gang up on James, and when James was fairly old brother of Jesus and that they were able to more or less lynch him, you know, they just got a mob together and they they were able to to kill. Tom Huszti: A friend. Sean Finnegan: Him. So there was already animosity before the war. War starts in 66, you know it. It did blow up from time to time. We see it in the book of Acts. Right. There's a lot of animosity between the Jewish Christians, the non Christian Jews. OK, so this this continues. But after the war.SpeakerOK. Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: It it's it seems like there's not even much real space left for Jewish Christians to even go to a synagogue with this curse that's put there specifically against them. Again, the war is such a massive historical event. The Jewish War of Rome, 66 to 74, where I mean, how many kinds of Judaism. Do we know? About from the 1st century, you have your Sadducees, you have your Essenes, you have the rebellious types. They call the 4th philosophy and Josephus. You have your Pharisees, and then you have the Christian Jews. Tom Huszti: They would be the zealot. Would there be the zealots or the sikari? Sean Finnegan: Yeah, yeah, that would be the 4th philosophy. The Zealots, the sicari, all the revolutionary types. Right. So you have like, five types of Judaism. And so the Christian Jews. Tom Huszti: OK. OK. Sean Finnegan: Five and the Pharisaic Jews survive, but the Sadducees, the Essenes, and the revolutionaries. They're all gone, or completely disempowered. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: After the war, so now you have pharisaic Judaism, which eventually kind of develops into rabbinic Judaism, and you have the Jesus Jews. And they gave birth to the Christian movement, which is kind of like, it's almost like in a sense gone public like a like a corporation offers an IPO. And then, like, the, the company has kind of a life of its own, independent of what the founder, really. Tom Huszti: Yeah. OK.SpeakerHis vision was. Sean Finnegan: And maybe that's a good analogy for it, cause like Christianity goes pretty much Gentile and there it's Jew and Gentile together in the 1st century for sure. But like as we get into the 2nd century. The kinds of literature that survive from Christian pens. It's just like either ignorant of Jewish practices and interpretations of the Old Testament or outright antagonistic, where you get like documents from like the middle of the 2nd century. Like I'm thinking of the Epistle of Barnabas, and some of the other documents in the Apostolic Fathers, where like they're just like you, Jews are crazy because you kept the law. And it's like, how could you ever say that if you're if you're a little more aware of what the, you know, that that was the law that God gave to the Jewish people to keep, why would they be crazy to keep it? Right? So it seems like there's just a parting of the ways. And that's the term James Dunn used for it. And, you know, we just wish so much that we had. We have more information about it. We just kind of get these little bits and pieces. We don't know exactly how it happened. We just know that it happened.SpeakerOh yeah. Tom Huszti: Some hostile witnesses, of all places. Sean Finnegan: So now you've got. These Jewish Christians, Tom and they're kind of isolated in the east, they're not well loved by the Gentile Christians or they don't have access or I don't know, for whatever reason, there's just not a lot of interaction, which is tragic in my opinion. Tom Huszti: Yeah. Yes.SpeakerBut they're also. Sean Finnegan: Alienated from their own Jewish brothers and sisters because they're not allowed in the synagogue and you know, if you're in a little village and there's only one place putting shoes on horses. Or doing some other craft or trade. And they don't want to sell to you. Guess what? You're in trouble, you know, because you're one of the Nazarenes or. One of the Ebionites. Tom Huszti: Sure, sure. Sean Finnegan: So you know these people had a really tough go of it and you know, we hear about them later on and they may have survived pretty well. Outside the Roman Empire, in the east, in the Persian Empire. But we don't know much about that either, so it's really hard to do scholarship on them. There are more questions than answers, but my best guess, OK. And that's really what it is, is it's a guess is that the community of James, the brother of Jesus, they didn't really get on board. With what Paul? And Gentile Christianity was doing they got on board to a certain degree and and this we see this conflict in the book of. Acts 15 and then later. Tom Huszti: Yeah, 15. Sean Finnegan: On in .2 what happens is.SpeakerThey say all. Sean Finnegan: Right. Well, you you can have. Gentiles and they don't need to keep the law. Fine, but we Jews are going to keep the law. Still, I don't think Paul got on board with that. Paul would say Jews don't need to keep the law either. Obviously they can. Anybody can keep the law. Who wants to? But Jewish Christians, I should say I should be clear. I'm not talking about just Jews in general. I'm saying Jews who believe in Jesus because of a covenantal understanding expressed later. Tom Huszti: Yes, yes. Sean Finnegan: In the Book of Hebrews, whoever wrote Hebrews that it is clear that Jewish Christians don't need to keep the law. James and his group of Jewish Christians disagree with. That viewpoint, they say no. This is the covenant. We're Jewish Christians. We're going to continue to keep the law. So I think this James Community is what left during the war and survived north and east of Jerusalem. And that then this community had a doctrinal division where some of them. Accepted the Gospel of Matthew, which possibly was in Hebrew or Aramaic. You know some language that the people could readily read. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: There are lots of hints of that in the patristic literature. People talk about it quite a bit. They don't talk about any other writing. From the new. Testament, all the other books in the New Testament. They never mentioned as being in Hebrew, just Matthew. Tom Huszti: Wow, just Matthew cross. Sean Finnegan: It's the only one. Yeah. So why would you? Put it in Hebrew, whether it was written in Hebrew originally or translated into Hebrew. Why would why? Because you have Jewish people. Reading it. You read the Gospel of Matthew. What does it begin with? A genealogy? Who loves genealogies? The Greeks? No, they don't care about genealogies. The Jews love genealogies. So Matthew begins by making a convincing argument that this Jesus of Nazareth has a claim. And. Could possibly be the Messiah because of his ancestry. That's how it starts. So you've got this community and in. The Gospel of Matthew as well as. Luke, you have. The virgin birth. You have the virgin conception and you know this idea that in in some way Jesus is the son of God.Speaker 5Some of the. Sean Finnegan: Jewish Christians in this community don't believe that. And others do, and that is, and again, this is a reconstruction based on hostile sources like Epiphanius, and you siberius, and there are plenty of later ones too. Like Jerome mentions this stuff and it, and and it's even possible that these Jewish Christians survive. Arrived and they there was some interaction with them. It wasn't just all hearsay. OK, but it's possible for us to know today how reliable these reports are. But so you have the James, Jewish Christians. They go away from Jerusalem and they settle in north and east of of Jerusalem. And they have this difference. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: Among them the ones who? Believe in the virgin birth. Are Nazarenes the ones that do not? Are Ebionites both of them believe that Jesus is a human being? Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: Whom God anointed as a Messiah. They both believe in crucifixion. Both believe in resurrection. Both believe in Ascension. Both believe in the coming Kingdom. So the question is, you know whether he is biologically. Whatever that means, you know, like, if there was this miracle to get him started or if he was the son of Joseph. OK, so that's that seems to be the disagreement there between the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. And here's here's just one more thing to complicate it, make it worse is some Christians will call both groups of unites. Tom Huszti: Yeah, that's a mistake. Sean Finnegan: And they're saying, well, some of you guys believe this and some even nice believe. That it's like. Tom Huszti: Yes, right. Well, it seems to me the very, very important doctrines they agreed upon. And I know I noticed in the Apostle Paul's writing, he never mentions the virgin birth, he does emphasize. The authority that Jesus received through the resurrection, most notably in Romans chapter one, that's where. Sean Finnegan: Yeah. I mean, I think the closest pull comes is Galatians 4 four, where it says when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son born of a woman born under the law. Sort of like the closest. To it you. Can interpret that a number of different ways. Tom Huszti: So it's fascinating to understand that we've actually lost connection to a large extent to the original source of our our gospel message. And I suppose that makes that makes your challenge of restoring 1st century Christianity even a bit. Your task you're trying to recreate these things based on what you know and based on hostile witness accounts. Sean Finnegan: Here's the good news. We still have the Bible. We have the New Testament. You know, we can read it, we can see. And it's not like the New Testament is hiding or covering over any controversy like the The Paul. James, things is is is plain as day in Galatians like pull, yes, pull lays it out, you know, and I and. I'm going with Paul on. This I'm going to. I'm going to disagree with James. I think he was a great. And but I think he just didn't have the full understanding of how Jesus, through his actions, how he affected our relationship with God and and this whole understanding of covenant. So I'm going to go with Paul on that. What happened among Pauline Christianity is. A development that slowly moved away from the New Testament read from a Jewish perspective because I think Pauline Christianity basically got swamped by Gentiles. Tom Huszti: Yeah, I think so. Tom Huszti: Too and I. Sean Finnegan: Think the leaders. Of Pauline Christian. Probably not in his day, but maybe within a generation or two. Became highly educated intellectual gentiles who were financially well off enough to get an education because education costs them money. Otherwise you got a farm or you got to do a craft or a trade, right? So is that is that sort of movement occurred away from? Apostles and their appointed success. More towards these intellectuals. We get Christian doctrine shifting away from what's in the New Testament into these more Greek and Roman ways of thinking. And that's kind of an area where I've been doing a lot of work recently. Trying to understand. Especially on Christology, how would a a Greek or a Roman person? How would they hear the story of Jesus? What would that sound like to them? And so I've done a lot of work on that and I'm going to be presenting that in a month as well at the UCLA conference. Yeah. But that will be out later on YouTube as well. If you don't make. Tom Huszti: Ohh at the OK. But that should be very interesting. Sean Finnegan: It to the conference, you know. Tom Huszti: I bought my ticket already. Ohh, good. Yes. Yes. I'll look forward to that. I guess we probably shouldn't talk too much about it in advance because we have to. We don't want to. Take the the. Thunder out of your presentation. Sean Finnegan: Well, I I just mentioned, I'll just mention one thing, OK. So let's imagine you're a non believer, you're a Pagan. You've worshiped the gods all your life. You've heard stories about Apollo getting banished down to Earth and having to work as a servant. You've heard stories about Zeus coming down impregnating women. You've heard stories about. Tom Huszti: Hercules. Dad. Huh, Hercules. Dad. Sean Finnegan: You've heard stories about Hercules as well, and Asclepius was originally a human who got deified, and he got deified to such a level that he became essentially an Olympian God, that that level of. Elevation and exultation was possible. So you hear all these stories about these gods who come down to become men, or appear as men being made in appearance as a man, right? Like this is this. Is their vocabulary. That's their world. And then you hear lots of stories. Tom Huszti: Yes, yes, right. Sean Finnegan: Humans, who had a beginning normal humans, but were so exceptional that they got to skip Hades and instead go to Olympia or instead go to some heavenly realm like. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: You this is just your.Speaker 5World these are all your stories. Tom Huszti: OK. Uh-huh. Sean Finnegan: Now you're going to hear a story about a miracle worker, Jewish miracle worker. Who was executed came back to life. And now lives in heaven. And is immortalized. You have a category for that. Kind of a being. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: It's called a God. Tom Huszti: Yeah. Yes. Sean Finnegan: Like in our in our language. Today we would say a lower case G God, right? They didn't fuss with capital. A lowercase. You know, like everything's capital pretty much and all the inscriptions we have in the manuscripts from this period, right. So they would just say, oh, that yeah, we. I know, I know. Plenty of other beings that are like that too. Yeah, they're they're called. Gods. And so you're you're trying to say that Jesus is a man and now he's become. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: God. So like you could just imagine a like an evangelism encounter going like that. And if you don't have that Jewish sensibility to say, well, hold on a second.SpeakerThere's only. Sean Finnegan: One God, and that's the supreme God who created everything. You can just see like Christian saying well. Yeah, I guess so. Like in that way of thinking. Yeah, he's a God. So now people. Start calling Jesus God. And now the question becomes well, in what sense has he got? Does he have a beginning before he was a human, you know, and you're just operating in a totally foreign. World View, mindscape than the Jewish mode, which is the Jewish mode, sees Jesus doing miracles and they say how great it is that God has given such authority to men. Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: What do they say when they see a miracle in the book of acts, when Paul and Barnabas? Tom Huszti: Right. Sean Finnegan: You know, get that guy filled. Tom Huszti: The gods are come down to us, the gods. Sean Finnegan: Of course, that's what they. Said that's what they believe could happen, right? We really have two different thought worlds that are combining in in weird and innovative ways. And that's just like one step along the path that leads to the doctrine of the Trinity, which doesn't really get fully developed until the late 4th century. Tom Huszti: Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. Tom Huszti: So Paul is trying to emphasize that Jesus is a human being, a second Adam. So that has a different flavor to it, like you have to. Paula is using the first Adam story to introduce the second Adam. And this is a glorified human being who is residing in heaven until God sends him back. That's a different. Category isn't it? For the Greco Roman mine? Sean Finnegan: Yeah, they don't. They don't. That doesn't. That doesn't make sense to them. You know, it's just that's just weird. That's like resurrection. Like, why do you want your body back? And what did Christianity do with that one? We get rid of it. You go to any funeral like unless it's somebody from my own group of churches, network of churches, or maybe like one or one or two other denominations. Right. Like you go to a funeral. What 99% of the? Funerals you go to they. Say this person is now in heaven and their soul. Whatever you know, they make up all this stuff. You know, it sounds just like the Greco Roman stuff from the ancient times. It doesn't sound. Like the Bible. Tom Huszti: Right, yes. Can you imagine sitting in the audience when Paul was preaching from the Acropolis? Sean Finnegan: Not to me. Tom Huszti: Can you put yourself in the in the shoes of a a Greek sitting in the audience hearing this message for the first time? And you know the setting. What would have impressed you or what you already mentioned this earlier but like if you as an individual were doing this? What would be going through your mind? Given your background and context. Sean Finnegan: Well, I think. There's a lot of misunderstanding going on. And and that's just normal. We shouldn't be upset about that. We should expect that. I think we see the same thing today. In the 21st century, where you try to explain something and somebody just doesn't get it, who's not a Christian, and I think that's what was happening here. And what happened is Paul is is evangelizing people. He's talking to people in the marketplace, his Jewish sensibilities, I think, are offended by seeing a city full of idols. It's just as somebody who was raised with the 10 Commandments, it's offensive. I mean, it's offensive to most Christians. Well, I don't say most, but many Christians today are offended. By seeing idols and statues and seeing people actually worshiping them, Paul is very disturbed by this. He's trying to to help. He's reasoning in the synagogue. And also in the marketplace every day. You've got the Epicureans, you've got the Stoics there, and then they say this is act 1718, he says. He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities. Because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection and see the word resurrection, there is Anastasia. Tom Huszti: OK. It's a Greek. Sean Finnegan: Word it means resurrection. You know, stand up again, but it seems like. And I I think some translations might do it this way, that they're thinking that. Jesus is 1 divinity. And they think that Paul saying that Jesus is divine being, which is interesting, right in light of what I said just a minute ago. And then the other thing they think resurrection is is another divinity. Right. So there's just. Misunderstandings all over the place. They're. Like you know, it seems like he's bringing in some new gods. Let's go here. What these new gods have to say, he's kind of like you. Remember. Back in the old days, kids would collect baseball cards. Or like when my kids were little, it was Pokémon cards. And you know, you trade with each other. This one, it's like gods to the, to the Athenians. You know, they're like, oh, you've got that. Tell me about that. God, I let me tell you. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: The story about this. One you know, so they're. Tom Huszti: Yes, yes. Sean Finnegan: Interested. And they put them up there and they say, OK, what is this new teaching? Tell us what this is all. About and so we know. There's going to be misunderstanding. We know there's going to be confusion, but that's no reason not to get started. And so he does. He starts in a very friendly and flattering way. Tom Huszti: He used their own poets. Their own poetry. Yeah, yeah. Sean Finnegan: He's building the bridge as much as he can to their thought world, but at the same time. He's so disturbed. Buy the idolatry that like he just. He just wants to hit that, you know, like it's just and it's not. It's not out of sense of superiority. I don't think. I think it's a sense of empathy and compassion. And so it just starts in with, like, explaining who God is. And he's like there's a God above everything else that made everything else. And he doesn't need you. He doesn't need you to. To offer animals. And he believed in animal sacrifice. I don't know if he still believed in animal sacrifice or not, but he believed in it. At least most of his life. And still, he's just like, look, he doesn't need. He doesn't need anything. God is radically. What do they say? Ah, say he's not contingent or dependent on us for anything, and that's not. How they thought about their Greek gods. They thought their Greek gods needed to be cared for. They believed that the Greek gods created humans to do the work for them, so they didn't have to do the work all the time, including feeding them these sacrifices that nourish them.SpeakerRight. Tom Huszti: Right, right. Tom Huszti: A hutch. Sean Finnegan: You know it's a. Tom Huszti: Very the gods. They were very dependent. They're their gods, were very dependent. Sean Finnegan: They needed a bunch of slaves to do all the hard work of cultivating the lands, raising the animals, planting the vegetables, do all the things so that they could be properly cared for and fed. And if you didn't do that, then they messed with you. They stopped the rain, or they brought war or whatever, you know. So that's the kind of thing he's coming against here. And he says, look there the the God who made the world and everything in it, Lord of heaven and Earth, does not need temples. This is a radical message. I mean, it's just like. You're in a. City, now that I've been there, like I've literally seen the temples.SpeakerWith my or. Tom Huszti: Not they're still there. They're still there. Tom remnants. Amazing. Sean Finnegan: Wow, there's actually, when I was there was scaffolding all around it. You know, they're always restoring these things because of the weather erosion and what, you know, but. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: You know, massive, massive. Structures unquestionable. You don't go to a Greek ancient Greek city and say God doesn't need tempo. Tom Huszti: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sean Finnegan: You know that they. Would really get their attention, it's. Like, wow, what is this guy saying? Tom Huszti: Yeah, I can imagine. What would it like these temples were full of pillars and the structure would have been probably unprecedented structures. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, yeah. I mean, we're looking at structures that are so impressive that if you didn't live in a city. If you live somewhere out in the country, you can't in the city. It would just take your breath away and then going into the temple itself, seeing most cities, temples they have what's called an apps, which is kind of like the back curved area where they had the statue itself and to see, you know, this huge statue. The artistry was magnificent. And you know, I've seen this where I think I saw this in a museum in Ephesus, on site, they have a little Ephesus museum there. And they had the head of Domitian. Which is a Roman. And it looked like a baby head. The proportions were all wrong. You know, just you know how, like, baby heads look. Weird, I don't know really how to describe it like there. May be a little spot. Tom Huszti: Oh yeah, yeah. Compared to the rest. Of the body you mean? Sean Finnegan: No, no, it was just the head. It was just the head and it and it. It looked like a baby head. And I asked my team. I was a part of a class at Boston University. I asked my teacher. I'm like, what's the deal with this? Why does it look like a baby head? And he just kind of laughed a little bit. And he said. Tom Huszti: Or it was just a hat? A hat. OK, OK. Sean Finnegan: Get low. Imagine this being 20 feet up in the air. Change your perspective and look at it again and it was exactly right. If you got. Low and looked at that same head. Of the mission. From that angle that you would see it. From the ground. All the proportions were perfect. Tom Huszti: So it was designed to be looked up to right? Sean Finnegan: So we're looking at people that have the. Artistry of the skill. Well, to to you know to like factor in perspective and angle. You know what I mean? Like that's something I would never think of you.SpeakerOh yeah. Sean Finnegan: Know. Of course I'm. Not a sculptor, but you know. I mean, you come in and you and you're.Speaker 5Confronted by this? Sean Finnegan: Stone object that is beautifully done. You just takes your breath away. For anyone to question it. It would just be like. What are you talking about, man? Everybody believes in this. And then there's a parade where they bring the portable idols through the city, and then they end up out front of the temple and you get a big barbecue and everybody's rejoicing and you know, the Jews and the Christians are just like, we're not going, we're going to stay home free. Tom Huszti: Oh yeah. Tom Huszti: Neat, right? And they're they're. Sean Finnegan: Well, free meat. Tom Huszti: For the pagans, right? Yeah. For the pagans. Right. Right. Yeah. Do you happen to know this story about the Roman general? Was it Pompeii that when he came into Jerusalem? And he was going to go into the holiest of holies, and the priests were. Standing in the way. And he ordered several, several of them killed with a sword. He wanted to see what the God of Israel looked like, and and he entered in the Holy, Holy Holiest of Holies. After these priests gave their life and he found nothing. What a surprise, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, so the Paul is preaching the same unseen God, but he's preaching the Jewish Messiah, who was seen, who was raised from the dead. Exalted into heaven, and whom God made judge over the earth. So this is the Athenians are being told that this Jesus God gave authority to for judgment, and that the world will be judged by him. Sean Finnegan: Yeah, even before that, you know, just talking about how you mentioned that Paul quoted a couple of their poets. You know that in him we move and have our being, we live and move and have our being and the other statement for we indeed are his offspring. You know, there's a lot of depends on how deep you want to go in this town. But like, there's a lot going on. The schools of the philosophers. Tom Huszti: You know, delve into it? Sure. Sure. Please. Sean Finnegan: OK, so so you have the Epicureans. Founded by Epicurus, and then you have the Stoics founded by Zeno, and they are just. Like total opposites? Right. So the the goal of the Epicurean is to to seek pleasure. Tom Huszti: OK. Sean Finnegan: But not in a primitive like spring break frat party way. You know where, like you just go crazy, and then you you're in pain and suffering the next morning. That's amateur hour. For that, you'd be curious. Or maximizing pleasure over the course of your entire life. Tom Huszti: OK. OK. Sean Finnegan: What would maximize my pleasure, and the Epicureans tended to say that either the gods don't exist, or they exist, but they don't care about us. So you don't need to worry about the gods. There's a lot of precursors to modern atheism and agnosticism there, but the Stoics are saying, ohh pleasure is bad and you got to serve the gods. You have civil duty. The Stoics tended to be the ones in charge of the cities, and the Stoics are absolutely convinced pleasure is. Inherently sinful, like any kind of any kind of pursuit of bodily pleasure, is well, I would say, at least, question. Bowl, but probably like if you could really live without food that tastes really good, or beds that are nice and soft, or a woman's touch or a man's touch if you're. A woman, you. Know like that you would be happier, you would live the good life. So the philosophers are all all about Greek philosophers in particular, or all about how do you lead the good life? Then