Old Testament: Ezekiel 42–44 Ezekiel 42–44 (Listen) The Temple's Chambers 42 Then he led me out into the outer court, toward the north, and he brought me to the chambers that were opposite the separate yard and opposite the building on the north. 2 The length of the building whose door faced north was a hundred cubits,1 and the breadth fifty cubits. 3 Facing the twenty cubits that belonged to the inner court, and facing the pavement that belonged to the outer court, was gallery2 against gallery in three stories. 4 And before the chambers was a passage inward, ten cubits wide and a hundred cubits long,3 and their doors were on the north. 5 Now the upper chambers were narrower, for the galleries took more away from them than from the lower and middle chambers of the building. 6 For they were in three stories, and they had no pillars like the pillars of the courts. Thus the upper chambers were set back from the ground more than the lower and the middle ones. 7 And there was a wall outside parallel to the chambers, toward the outer court, opposite the chambers, fifty cubits long. 8 For the chambers on the outer court were fifty cubits long, while those opposite the nave4 were a hundred cubits long. 9 Below these chambers was an entrance on the east side, as one enters them from the outer court. 10 In the thickness of the wall of the court, on the south5 also, opposite the yard and opposite the building, there were chambers 11 with a passage in front of them. They were similar to the chambers on the north, of the same length and breadth, with the same exits6 and arrangements and doors, 12 as were the entrances of the chambers on the south. There was an entrance at the beginning of the passage, the passage before the corresponding wall on the east as one enters them.7 13 Then he said to me, “The north chambers and the south chambers opposite the yard are the holy chambers, where the priests who approach the LORD shall eat the most holy offerings. There they shall put the most holy offerings—the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering—for the place is holy. 14 When the priests enter the Holy Place, they shall not go out of it into the outer court without laying there the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They shall put on other garments before they go near to that which is for the people.” 15 Now when he had finished measuring the interior of the temple area, he led me out by the gate that faced east, and measured the temple area all around. 16 He measured the east side with the measuring reed, 500 cubits by the measuring reed all around. 17 He measured the north side, 500 cubits by the measuring reed all around. 18 He measured the south side, 500 cubits by the measuring reed. 19 Then he turned to the west side and measured, 500 cubits by the measuring reed. 20 He measured it on the four sides. It had a wall around it, 500 cubits long and 500 cubits broad, to make a separation between the holy and the common. The Glory of the Lord Fills the Temple 43 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he8 came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4 As the glory of the LORD entered the temple by the gate facing east, 5 the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 6 While the man was standing beside me, I heard one speaking to me out of the temple, 7 and he said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoring and by the dead bodies9 of their kings at their high places,10 8 by setting their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them. They have defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed, so I have consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them put away their whoring and the dead bodies of their kings far from me, and I will dwell in their midst forever. 10 “As for you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and they shall measure the plan. 11 And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, that is, its whole design; and make known to them as well all its statutes and its whole design and all its laws, and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe all its laws and all its statutes and carry them out. 12 This is the law of the temple: the whole territory on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple. The Altar 13 “These are the measurements of the altar by cubits (the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth):11 its base shall be one cubit high12 and one cubit broad, with a rim of one span13 around its edge. And this shall be the height of the altar: 14 from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, two cubits, with a breadth of one cubit; and from the smaller ledge to the larger ledge, four cubits, with a breadth of one cubit; 15 and the altar hearth, four cubits; and from the altar hearth projecting upward, four horns. 16 The altar hearth shall be square, twelve cubits long by twelve broad. 17 The ledge also shall be square, fourteen cubits long by fourteen broad, with a rim around it half a cubit broad, and its base one cubit all around. The steps of the altar shall face east.” 18 And he said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: These are the ordinances for the altar: On the day when it is erected for offering burnt offerings upon it and for throwing blood against it, 19 you shall give to the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok, who draw near to me to minister to me, declares the Lord GOD, a bull from the herd for a sin offering. 20 And you shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the ledge and upon the rim all around. Thus you shall purify the altar and make atonement for it. 21 You shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and it shall be burned in the appointed place belonging to the temple, outside the sacred area. 22 And on the second day you shall offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering; and the altar shall be purified, as it was purified with the bull. 23 When you have finished purifying it, you shall offer a bull from the herd without blemish and a ram from the flock without blemish. 24 You shall present them before the LORD, and the priests shall sprinkle salt on them and offer them up as a burnt offering to the LORD. 25 For seven days you shall provide daily a male goat for a sin offering; also, a bull from the herd and a ram from the flock, without blemish, shall be provided. 26 Seven days shall they make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, and so consecrate it.14 27 And when they have completed these days, then from the eighth day onward the priests shall offer on the altar your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, and I will accept you, declares the Lord GOD.” The Gate for the Prince 44 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. 2 And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut. 3 Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the LORD. He shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.” 4 Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. And I fell on my face. 5 And the LORD said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the LORD and all its laws. And mark well the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary. 6 And say to the rebellious house,15 to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: O house of Israel, enough of all your abominations, 7 in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You16 have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. 8 And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary. 9 “Thus says the Lord GOD: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. 10 But the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment.17 11 They shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people, to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn concerning them, declares the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their punishment. 13 They shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed. 14 Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, to do all its service and all that is to be done in it. Rules for Levitical Priests 15 “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the Lord GOD. 16 They shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge. 17 When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear linen garments. They shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within. 18 They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and linen undergarments around their waists. They shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat. 19 And when they go out into the outer court to the people, they shall put off the garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers. And they shall put on other garments, lest they transmit holiness to the people with their garments. 20 They shall not shave their heads or let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads. 21 No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court. 22 They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. 24 In a dispute, they shall act as judges, and they shall judge it according to my judgments. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts, and they shall keep my Sabbaths holy. 25 They shall not defile themselves by going near to a dead person. However, for father or mother, for son or daughter, for brother or unmarried sister they may defile themselves. 26 After he18 has become clean, they shall count seven days for him. 27 And on the day that he goes into the Holy Place, into the inner court, to minister in the Holy Place, he shall offer his sin offering, declares the Lord GOD. 28 “This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession. 29 They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30 And the first of all the firstfruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests. You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, that a blessing may rest on your house. 31 The priests shall not eat of anything, whether bird or beast, that has died of itself or is torn by wild animals. Footnotes  42:2 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters  42:3 The meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown; also verse 5  42:4 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew and a way of one cubit  42:8 Or temple  42:10 Septuagint; Hebrew east  42:11 Hebrew and all their exits  42:12 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain  43:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts when I  43:7 Or the monuments; also verse 9  43:7 Or at their deaths  43:13 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters; a handbreadth was about 3 inches or 7.5 centimeters  43:13 Or its gutter shall be one cubit deep  43:13 A span was about 9 inches or 22 centimeters  43:26 Hebrew fill its hand  44:6 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks house  44:7 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew They  44:10 Or iniquity; also verse 12  44:26 That is, a priest (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 126 Psalm 126 (Listen) Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord A Song of Ascents. 126 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. (ESV) New Testament: Philemon Philemon (Listen) Greeting 1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philemon's Love and Faith 4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.1 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Paul's Plea for Onesimus 8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,2 whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant3 but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. Final Greetings 23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Footnotes  1:6 Or for Christ's service  1:10 Onesimus means useful (see verse 11) or beneficial (see verse 20)  1:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; twice in this verse (ESV)
We hope you enjoy today's Scripture reading and devotional aimed at equipping you for moral and spiritual transformation. Today's Bible reading is Philemon. To read along with the podcast, grab a print copy of the devotional. Browse other resources from Sam Crabtree. Follow us on social media to stay up to date: Instagram Facebook Twitter
We hope you enjoy today's Scripture reading and devotional aimed at motivating you to apply God's word while strengthening your heart and nurturing your soul. Today's Bible reading is Philemon. To read along with the podcast, grab a print copy of the devotional. Browse other resources from Elyse Fitzpatrick. ESV Bible narration read by Kristyn Getty. Follow us on social media to stay up to date: Instagram Facebook Twitter
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Ezekiel 43-44; Psalms 136-137; Titus 2-3; Philemon
26 Ezekiel 44-45; 19 Psalms 130-134; 56 Titus 2-3; 57 Philemon
20 Minutes a day in The Word and You'll have read or listened to the entire Bible in a year. Take a piece of that passage each day to meditate on and you'll become like a tree; planted by streams of living water… Psalm 1 This Year We Are Using The NKJV We would LOVE to hear from you! (Submit your comments @ https://allenwood.church/podcasts ) Support Our Ministry @ www.Allenwood.Church Social: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pastordaveberkey Email: PastorDave@Allenwood.Church Don't forget to subscribe and share with friends so we can journey together! Allenwood Sundays: Every Next Step @ www.Allenwood.Church One. Authentic. Family. On Mission. “We Are Following Jesus Together” www.youtube.com/@allenwoodchurch www.youtube.com/@pastordaveberkey www.youtube.com/@sowhatthepodcast www.youtube.com/@kingdommindedmen --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/bibleinayear2023/message
ABOUT THE EPISODEThe book of Philemon points us directly to the forgiveness of our heavenly Father. We see parallels between Paul's plea to Philemon and the amazing grace of Jesus for every child of God. Forgiveness is a necessary ingredient in the heart of every follower of Jesus. First and foremost, it aligns our hearts with God. But it also releases the debt of those who wrong us–without condoning the sin. We're left to experience freedom and grace from God when we forgive. WHAT IS NEUE THING?Neue Thing is a non-profit ministry, founded by Cherie Wagner, that exists to equip women with the Word of God. Cherie's life-long passion is two-fold: knowing Jesus Christ and making Him known. Author of Found On My Knees, Awake O Sleeper, Rest, Hope, Psalms for Life, and Knowing Your Name, Cherie writes Bible studies for women that will encourage them to know and believe God's Word, equip them to live it, and empower them to take it and transform this generation for Jesus Christ.CONNECT WITH NEUE THINGWebsite: https://neuething.org/Email Subscription link:https://neuething.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neuethinginc/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neuethingGive to Neue Thing: https://neuething.org/give/RESOURCESKnowing Your NameFound On My Knees: The Journey from Brokenness to BlessingAwake O Sleeper: EphesiansRest: 30 Days of Exploring God's Invitation to RestHope: Tethered to an Unwavering GodPsalms for Life
Jesus in Matthew 5:9 said the peacemakers will be called the sons of God. Sons in the ancient world inherited from their fathers; daughters didn't. So Jesus wasn't excluding female peacemakers; He was promising that everyone who does the work of making peace will receive the blessing of sons. There's a wonderful, little-known story in the New Testament of peacemaking. Paul gets involved in a dispute between Onesimus and Philemon when he didn't have to. The impact of this action is bigger than anyone then could have foreseen. learn more about First Baptist Conroe at fbcconroe.org/getconnected
Thank you for listening! Here are some ways to learn more and stay connected! New To Faith? Visit our New To Faith page! Learn more about Pastor Derek Neider Follow Derek on Instagram or Facebook Subscribe to email. Subscribe to the daily devotional Explore recent messages This podcast was created by Pastor Derek Neider as a ministry of Awaken Las Vegas (formerly Calvary Chapel Las Vegas) find our website We are located at 7175 W. Oquendo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89113. Our gathering times are 9am & 11am Sundays and 6:30pm Thursdays.
Paul identifies something which delights an apostle's heart, something which Philemon does, and something in which we can all engage.--The great work is that of refreshing the souls of the saints. It is done by brothers, motivated by love. It may be done by all, with gospel inventiveness. It produces great joy and consolation when we see the progress of Christian love and labour in the hearts and hands of God's people.a
“Christ's power is more than sufficient to enable every believer to live the transformed Christ-filled life and help us deal with every situation in life.” – Pastor Jeff CranstonWe are walking through every book in the Bible, discovering the theological context, themes, and application contained in each book. In this episode, Pastor Jeff and Tiffany cover the letter of Paul to the Colossians and what we can learn about the preeminence of Christ, His sufficiency, and our identity in Him. [00:01 - 11:18] An Introduction to Colossians The letter to the Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul around 62 AD during his imprisonment in Rome, alongside Ephesians and Philemon.The letters were sent to their destinations with Tychicus and Onesimus.An unexcavated site near modern Honas in Turkey, Colossae is mentioned only once in the Bible (Colossians 1:2), and Paul likely never visited it.Paul was informed by Epaphras, believed to be the leader of the Colossian church, about dangerous teachings diminishing Christ's role and undermining believers' identity in Christ. Paul wrote to warn against this false teaching and to encourage Christian growth and maturity.[11:19 - 19:06] Theological Themes of ColossiansThe preeminence and sufficiency of Christ. Paul presents Christ as the center of the universe, the active creator, and the recipient of creation, embodying the fullness of the Godhead.Christ's sufficiency. Christ's power is more than sufficient for any situation believers face.Christ is the source of all spiritual wisdom and understanding.Paul often expresses thanksgiving in his letters, appreciating the faith, hope, and love within the Christian community. Faith, Hope, and Love.Pay special attention to the words faith, love, and hope. Paul was a huge fan of this Trinity of superlatives, and they appear often in his writings.[19:07 -21:13] Closing Up Next week we will be learning about 1 Chronicles! Quotes:"Paul presents Christ as the center of the universe, not only as the active creator but also as the recipient of creation." – Pastor Jeff Cranston"Christ is the source of all knowledge, of all spiritual wisdom, and of all understanding." – Pastor Jeff CranstonResources MentionedMichael Trainor: Colossae—Colossal in Name Only?Join the ConversationWe love your feedback! If you enjoyed this episode, leave us a review. If you have any questions or comments on today's episode, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit my website https://www.jeffcranston.com and subscribe to my newsletter. Join me on Sunday mornings at LowCountry Community Church. Check-in with us on Facebook or Instagram @pastorjeffcranstonRemember, the real power of theology is not only knowing it but applying it. Thanks for listening!
O.S. Hawkins, author of The Connection Code, joins Wayne Shepherd in conversation about the relationships learned from a study of the book of Philemon in the Bible. Send your support for FIRST PERSON to the Far East Broadcasting Company:FEBC National Processing Center Far East Broadcasting CompanyP.O. Box 6020 Albert Lea, MN 56007Please mention FIRST PERSON when you give. Thank you!
Bro. Doug Foster presents "Hard Things Made Simple" from Philemon, during a worship service at Immanuel Baptist Church, Florence, Ky. Please visit us at 7183 Pleasant Valley Road Florence KY 41042, or call us at (859) 586-6829. Church links: Website: https://www.ibcflorence.com Daily Devotions: https://ibcflorenceky.wordpress.com/follow/ Free App: http://www.ibcflorence.com/ibc-app Our entire list of recent sermons: https://www.ibcflorence.com/recent-sermons Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/ibcflorence Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ibcflorenceky Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ibcflorence/ Podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/user-658781358 Live Stream: https://www.youtube.com/ibcflorence/live Instant Message: https://m.me/ibcflorenceky We would love to know how to pray for you! Romans 10:9
Thank you for listening! Here are some ways to learn more and stay connected! New To Faith? Visit our New To Faith page! Learn more about Pastor Derek Neider Follow Derek on Instagram or Facebook Subscribe to email. Subscribe to the daily devotional Explore recent messages This podcast was created by Pastor Derek Neider as a ministry of Awaken Las Vegas (formerly Calvary Chapel Las Vegas) find our website We are located at 7175 W. Oquendo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89113. Our gathering times are 9am & 11am Sundays and 6:30pm Thursdays.
Jonathan, Matt, Matthew, Tim, Brian, Jim, David, and Paul continue their discussion of the book of Philemon, comparing it to Giorgio Agamben's notion of homo sacer, and Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and contrasting it to the letter from Pliny the Younger. Philemon as a worked example of revolutionary subordination is the Gospel in synopsis, and we discuss the practical way to apply the letter. Become a Patron! If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider donating to support our work.
In the books of Titus and Philemon, Paul writes to his friends and ministry partners to encourage them as they spread and share the Gospel in their cities and gives advice for issues they are facing. This teaching is part of our 2023 series, "Dwell: Abiding in the Shelter of the Most High.” In 2023, we will take another journey through the Scriptures, looking for the God-sightings in each book and seeing how we can learn to dwell in God's presence. This episode was recorded on November 02, 2023, during our 10:30am worship service. Today's speaker: Diana Nelson Audio Engineer: Oliver Kaufmann Theme Music by: Giancarlo Cordon Produced by: William Hartz ========== Christ Fellowship of Elizabeth is a Christian community whose mission is to love God, make disciples, and change the world. We hope you enjoyed this week's message. Make sure you subscribe in Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcatcher so you never miss an episode. Follow us online: Website: https://cfofelizabeth.com Instagram: https://instagram.com/cfofelizabeth Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfofelizabeth Facebook: https://facebook.com/cfofelizabeth YouTube: https://youtube.com/ChristFellowshipofElizabeth Subscribe to our other podcasts at: https://cfofelizabeth.com/podcasts You can join us in person every Sunday. We gather for worship at 10:30am at The Liberty Center at 1121 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth, NJ. You can also join us virtually on our livestream by visiting cfofellizabeth.com/live or visiting our YouTube page. To give your tithe or gift online, you can visit: https://tithe.ly/give_new/www/#/tithe or text "Give" to 856-317-6679. To contact the church by phone, call 908-289-6322. If this is your first time with us or you just want to learn more about our church, please visit: http://www.cfofelizabeth.com/im-new ========== ©2023 Christ Fellowship of Elizabeth Love God. Make Disciples. Change the World.
We've all experienced it - being the one who hurts, getting hurt, or aiding hurting people. What does God guide us to do in those moments? Join us in the ongoing series, One Chapter Wonders, as Connor leads us through the book of Philemon. Discover insights on navigating situations where you've caused hurt, been hurt, or are assisting those facing hurt. Scripture Used: Philemon 1, John 17:23, Colossians 3:12-13,
Thursday, November 16, 2023 Today's program is hosted by Kerby Anderson. His first guest is O.S. Hawkins. Dr. Hawkins joins Kerby in studio. They will be talking about his wonderful new book, “The Connection Code” which explores Philemon. Kerby's other guest is another long time friend, Robert Knight. They'll discuss Robert's “Signs of Hope for […]
Chancellor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and President Emeritus of GuideStone Financial Resources, O.S. Hawkins, discussed how the book of Philemon, written by Paul to an individual, addresses relationships, a topic he relates in the book, The Connection Code: Relationship Advice from Philemon. His website address is oshawkins.com.
Pastor Jeremy | BFBC-Glendive | Wednesday Philemon 1-25 ● This is a letter from Paul to his friend and ministry partner Philemon ● In this letter Paul makes a request for reconciliation between his two “sons in the faith” ● It is clear that Onesimus had wronged, cheated, or even stolen from Philemon in the past while he was a slave in his home. ● It is also clear that Onesimus is not the same person he used to be and has spent an extended amount of time learning and helping the apostle Paul. ● Paul says he is totally up for keeping Onisimus to himself but thought that would be wrong of him...he was open to the idea of Philemon willingly allowing Onisimus to stay with Paul but wanted him to make that decision on his own. 3 Takeaways from this book when it comes to dealing w/ people: 1. Sometimes separation is necessary when dealing with people. 2. Reconciliation is something the Lord would ask of you if the “hoser” has indeed repented and proved themselves profitable again. 3. A reconciled relationship has to potential of exceeding it's previous state...you could say it this way...it could get gooder than it was ever before...or you could say it this way: New and Improved
ABOUT THE EPISODEWho wrote Philemon? PaulBefore becoming an Apostle, Paul was a religious terrorist. He actively worked to destroy Christianity and followers of Christ. (Acts 8-9) After encountering Jesus, his life changed forever.When was it written? AD 60-62Philemon was written about 30 years after Jesus' death and resurrection. Persecution was on the rise during this time–but the church was also growing and thriving!To whom was it written? PhilemonPhilemon was a friend of Paul's. Paul had the authority to command and exhort, but he writes as one friend to another on the basis of love.What is the purpose/theme? ForgivenessWhat Paul asked of Philemon (freeing and forgiving his runaway slave) was absurd in their cultural context. This parallels our right standing with God when we do not deserve it. WHAT IS NEUE THING?Neue Thing is a non-profit ministry, founded by Cherie Wagner, that exists to equip women with the Word of God. Cherie's life-long passion is two-fold: knowing Jesus Christ and making Him known. Author of Found On My Knees, Awake O Sleeper, Rest, Hope, Psalms for Life, and Knowing Your Name, Cherie writes Bible studies for women that will encourage them to know and believe God's Word, equip them to live it, and empower them to take it and transform this generation for Jesus Christ.CONNECT WITH NEUE THINGWebsite: https://neuething.org/Email Subscription link:https://neuething.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neuethinginc/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neuethingGive to Neue Thing: https://neuething.org/give/RESOURCESKnowing Your NameFound On My Knees: The Journey from Brokenness to BlessingAwake O Sleeper: EphesiansRest: 30 Days of Exploring God's Invitation to RestHope: Tethered to an Unwavering GodPsalms for Life
Daniel - Vision of the four beasts. The Son of Man presented. The vision interpreted. Vision of the ram and goat. Interpretation of the vision. The goat. Daniel's prayer for his people. Gabriel brings an answer. Seventy weeks and the Messiah. Philemon - Salutation. Philemon's love and faith. Plea for Onesimus, a free man.
Tim, Jonathan, Brian, Jim, David, Matt, and Paul discuss how it is that the tiny book of Philemon fills out the revolutionary nature of the gospel in its undermining of slavery and the institution of a new social order. Slavery is the motif defining sin, yet in the history of reception of Philemon, the revolutionary challenge of the gospel to slavery was ignored, downplayed, and denied. Implicit in this overlooking of Philemon is the failure to recognize the world changing revolution of the gospel in its defeat of the enslavement of sin and the inauguration of a new social order. Become a Patron! If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider donating to support our work.
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Listen to this episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts Let's face it the New Testament probably calls Jesus God (or god) a couple of times and so do early Christian authors in the second century. However, no one offers much of an explanation for what they mean by the title. Did early Christians think Jesus was God because he represented Yahweh? Did they think he was God because he shared the same eternal being as the Father? Did they think he was a god because that's just what they would call any immortalized human who lived in heaven? In this presentation I focus on the question from the perspective of Greco-Roman theology. Drawing on the work of David Litwa, Andrew Perriman, Barry Blackburn, and tons of ancient sources I seek to show how Mediterranean converts to Christianity would have perceived Jesus based on their cultural and religious assumptions. This presentation is from the 3rd Unitarian Christian Alliance Conference on October 20, 2023 in Springfield, OH. Here is the original pdf of this paper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Z3QbQ7dHc —— Links —— See more scholarly articles by Sean Finnegan Get the transcript of this episode 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 Introduction When early Christian authors called Jesus “god” (or “God”) what did they mean? Modern apologists routinely point to pre-Nicene quotations in order to prove that early Christians always believed in the deity of Christ, by which they mean that he is of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father. However, most historians agree that Christians before the fourth century simply didn't have the cognitive categories available yet to think of Christ in Nicene or Chalcedonian ways. If this consensus is correct, it behooves us to consider other options for defining what early Christian authors meant. The obvious place to go to get an answer to our initial question is the New Testament. However, as is well known, the handful of instances in which authors unambiguously applied god (θεός) to Christ are fraught with textual uncertainty, grammatical ambiguity, and hermeneutical elasticity. What's more, granting that these contested texts all call Jesus “god” provides little insight into what they might mean by that phrase. Turning to the second century, the earliest handful of texts that say Jesus is god are likewise textually uncertain or terse. We must wait until the second half of the second century and beyond to have more helpful material to examine. We know that in the meanwhile some Christians were saying Jesus was god. What did they mean? One promising approach is to analyze biblical texts that call others gods. We find helpful parallels with the word god (אֱלֹהִים) applied to Moses (Exod 7.1; 4.16), judges (Exod 21.6; 22.8-9), kings (Is 9.6; Ps 45.6), the divine council (Ps 82.1, 6), and angels (Ps 8.6). These are texts in which God imbues his agents with his authority to represent him in some way. This rare though significant way of calling a representative “god,” continues in the NT with Jesus' clever defense to his accusers in John 10.34-36. Lexicons have long recognized this “Hebraistic” usage and recent study tools such as the New English Translation (NET) and the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary also note this phenomenon. But, even if this agency perspective is the most natural reading of texts like Heb 1.8, later Christians, apart from one or two exceptions appear to be ignorant of this usage. This interpretation was likely a casualty of the so-called parting of the ways whereby Christianity transitioned from a second-temple-Jewish movement to a Gentile-majority religion. As such, to grasp what early postapostolic Christians believed, we must turn our attention elsewhere. Michael Bird is right when he says, “Christian discourses about deity belong incontrovertibly in the Greco-Roman context because it provided the cultural encyclopedia that, in diverse ways, shaped the early church's Christological conceptuality and vocabulary.” Learning Greco-Roman theology is not only important because that was the context in which early Christians wrote, but also because from the late first century onward, most of our Christian authors converted from that worldview. Rather than talking about the Hellenization of Christianity, we should begin by asking how Hellenists experienced Christianization. In other words, Greco-Roman beliefs about the gods were the default lens through which converts first saw Christ. In order to explore how Greco-Roman theology shaped what people believed about Jesus as god, we do well to begin by asking how they defined a god. Andrew Perriman offers a helpful starting point. “The gods,” he writes, “are mostly understood as corporeal beings, blessed with immortality, larger, more beautiful, and more powerful than their mortal analogues.” Furthermore, there were lots of them! The sublunar realm was, in the words of Paula Fredriksen, “a god-congested place.” What's more, “[S]harp lines and clearly demarcated boundaries between divinity and humanity were lacking." Gods could appear as people and people could ascend to become gods. Comprehending what Greco-Roman people believed about gods coming down and humans going up will occupy the first part of this paper. Only once we've adjusted our thinking to their culture, will we walk through key moments in the life of Jesus of Nazareth to hear the story with ancient Mediterranean ears. Lastly, we'll consider the evidence from sources that think of Jesus in Greco-Roman categories. Bringing this all together we'll enumerate the primary ways to interpret the phrase “Jesus is god” available to Christians in the pre-Nicene period. Gods Coming Down and Humans Going Up The idea that a god would visit someone is not as unusual as it first sounds. We find plenty of examples of Yahweh himself or non-human representatives visiting people in the Hebrew Bible. One psalmist even referred to angels or “heavenly beings” (ESV) as אֱלֹהִים (gods). The Greco-Roman world too told stories about divine entities coming down to interact with people. Euripides tells about the time Zeus forced the god Apollo to become a human servant in the house of Admetus, performing menial labor as punishment for killing the Cyclopes (Alcestis 1). Baucis and Philemon offered hospitality to Jupiter and Mercury when they appeared in human form (Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.26-34). In Homer's Odyssey onlookers warn Antinous for flinging a stool against a stranger since “the gods do take on the look of strangers dropping in from abroad” (17.534-9). Because they believed the boundary between the divine realm and the Earth was so permeable, Mediterranean people were always on guard for an encounter with a god in disguise. In addition to gods coming down, in special circumstances, humans could ascend and become gods too. Diodorus of Sicily demarcated two types of gods: those who are “eternal and imperishable, such as the sun and the moon” and “the other gods…terrestrial beings who attained to immortal honour” (The Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian 6.1). By some accounts, even the Olympian gods, including Kronos and Uranus were once mortal men. Among humans who could become divine, we find several distinguishable categories, including heroes, miracle workers, and rulers. We'll look at each briefly before considering how the story of Jesus would resonate with those holding a Greco-Roman worldview. Deified Heroes Cornutus the Stoic said, “[T]he ancients called heroes those who were so strong in body and soul that they seemed to be part of a divine race.” (Greek Theology 31) At first this statement appears to be a mere simile, but he goes on to say of Heracles (Hercules), the Greek hero par excellence, “his services had earned him apotheosis” (ibid.). Apotheosis (or deification) is the process by which a human ascends into the divine realm. Beyond Heracles and his feats of strength, other exceptional individuals became deified for various reasons. Amphiarus was a seer who died in the battle at Thebes. After opening a chasm in the earth to swallow him in battle, “Zeus made him immortal” (Apollodorus, Library of Greek Mythology 3.6). Pausanias says the custom of the inhabitants of Oropos was to drop coins into Amphiarus' spring “because this is where they say Amphiarus rose up as a god” (Guide to Greece 1.34). Likewise, Strabo speaks about a shrine for Calchas, a deceased diviner from the Trojan war (Homer, Illiad 1.79-84), “where those consulting the oracle sacrifice a black ram to the dead and sleep in its hide” (Strabo, Geography 6.3.9). Though the great majority of the dead were locked away in the lower world of Hades, leading a shadowy pitiful existence, the exceptional few could visit or speak from beyond the grave. Lastly, there was Zoroaster the Persian prophet who, according to Dio Chrysostom, was enveloped by fire while he meditated upon a mountain. He was unharmed and gave advice on how to properly make offerings to the gods (Dio Chrysostom, Discourses 36.40). The Psuedo-Clementine Homilies include a story about a lightning bolt striking and killing Zoroaster. After his devotees buried his body, they built a temple on the site, thinking that “his soul had been sent for by lightning” and they “worshipped him as a god” (Homily 9.5.2). Thus, a hero could have extraordinary strength, foresight, or closeness to the gods resulting in apotheosis and ongoing worship and communication. Deified Miracle Workers Beyond heroes, Greco-Roman people loved to tell stories about deified miracle workers. Twice Orpheus rescued a ship from a storm by praying to the gods (Diodorus of Sicily 4.43.1f; 48.5f). After his death, surviving inscriptions indicate that he both received worship and was regarded as a god in several cities. Epimenides “fell asleep in a cave for fifty-seven years” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers 1.109). He also predicted a ten-year period of reprieve from Persian attack in Athens (Plato Laws 1.642D-E). Plato called him a divine man (θεῖος ἀνήρ) (ibid.) and Diogenes talked of Cretans sacrificing to him as a god (Diogenes, Lives 1.114). Iamblichus said Pythagoras was the son of Apollo and a mortal woman (Life of Pythagoras 2). Nonetheless, the soul of Pythagoras enjoyed multiple lives, having originally been “sent to mankind from the empire of Apollo” (Life 2). Diogenes and Lucian enumerate the lives the pre-existent Pythagoras led, including Aethalides, Euphorbus, Hermotimus, and Pyrrhus (Diogenes, Life of Pythagoras 4; Lucian, The Cock 16-20). Hermes had granted Pythagoras the gift of “perpetual transmigration of his soul” so he could remember his lives while living or dead (Diogenes, Life 4). Ancient sources are replete with Pythagorean miracle stories. Porphyry mentions several, including taming a bear, persuading an ox to stop eating beans, and accurately predicting a catch of fish (Life of Pythagoras 23-25). Porphyry said Pythagoras accurately predicted earthquakes and “chased away a pestilence, suppressed violent winds and hail, [and] calmed storms on rivers and on seas” (Life 29). Such miracles, argued the Pythagoreans made Pythagoras “a being superior to man, and not to a mere man” (Iamblichus, Life 28). Iamblichus lays out the views of Pythagoras' followers, including that he was a god, a philanthropic daemon, the Pythian, the Hyperborean Apollo, a Paeon, a daemon inhabiting the moon, or an Olympian god (Life 6). Another pre-Socratic philosopher was Empedocles who studied under Pythagoras. To him sources attribute several miracles, including stopping a damaging wind, restoring the wind, bringing dry weather, causing it to rain, and even bringing someone back from Hades (Diogenes, Lives 8.59). Diogenes records an incident in which Empedocles put a woman into a trance for thirty days before sending her away alive (8.61). He also includes a poem in which Empedocles says, “I am a deathless god, no longer mortal, I go among you honored by all, as is right” (8.62). Asclepius was a son of the god Apollo and a human woman (Cornutus, Greek Theology 33). He was known for healing people from diseases and injuries (Pindar, Pythian 3.47-50). “[H]e invented any medicine he wished for the sick, and raised up the dead” (Pausanias, Guide to Greece 2.26.4). However, as Diodorus relates, Hades complained to Zeus on account of Asclepius' diminishing his realm, which resulted in Zeus zapping Asclepius with a thunderbolt, killing him (4.71.2-3). Nevertheless, Asclepius later ascended into heaven to become a god (Hyginus, Fables 224; Cicero, Nature of the Gods 2.62). Apollonius of Tyana was a famous first century miracle worker. According to Philostratus' account, the locals of Tyana regard Apollonius to be the son of Zeus (Life 1.6). Apollonius predicted many events, interpreted dreams, and knew private facts about people. He rebuked and ridiculed a demon, causing it to flee, shrieking as it went (Life 2.4). He even once stopped a funeral procession and raised the deceased to life (Life 4.45). What's more he knew every human language (Life 1.19) and could understand what sparrows chirped to each other (Life 4.3). Once he instantaneously transported himself from Smyrna to Ephesus (Life 4.10). He claimed knowledge of his previous incarnation as the captain of an Egyptian ship (Life 3.23) and, in the end, Apollonius entered the temple of Athena and vanished, ascending from earth into heaven to the sound of a choir singing (Life 8.30). We have plenty of literary evidence that contemporaries and those who lived later regarded him as a divine man (Letters 48.3) or godlike (ἰσόθεος) (Letters 44.1) or even just a god (θεός) (Life 5.24). Deified Rulers Our last category of deified humans to consider before seeing how this all relates to Jesus is rulers. Egyptians, as indicated from the hieroglyphs left in the pyramids, believed their deceased kings to enjoy afterlives as gods. They could become star gods or even hunt and consume other gods to absorb their powers. The famous Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great, carried himself as a god towards the Persians though Plutarch opines, “[he] was not at all vain or deluded but rather used belief in his divinity to enslave others” (Life of Alexander 28). This worship continued after his death, especially in Alexandria where Ptolemy built a tomb and established a priesthood to conduct religious honors to the deified ruler. Even the emperor Trajan offered a sacrifice to the spirit of Alexander (Cassius Dio, Roman History 68.30). Another interesting example is Antiochus I of Comagene who called himself “Antiochus the just [and] manifest god, friend of the Romans [and] friend of the Greeks.” His tomb boasted four colossal figures seated on thrones: Zeus, Heracles, Apollo, and himself. The message was clear: Antiochus I wanted his subjects to recognize his place among the gods after death. Of course, the most relevant rulers for the Christian era were the Roman emperors. The first official Roman emperor Augustus deified his predecessor, Julius Caesar, celebrating his apotheosis with games (Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar 88). Only five years after Augustus died, eastern inhabitants of the Roman Empire at Priene happily declared “the birthday of the god Augustus” (ἡ γενέθλιος ἡμέρα τοῦ θεοῦ) to be the start of their provincial year. By the time of Tacitus, a century after Augustus died, the wealthy in Rome had statues of the first emperor in their gardens for worship (Annals 1.73). The Roman historian Appian explained that the Romans regularly deify emperors at death “provided he has not been a despot or a disgrace” (The Civil Wars 2.148). In other words, deification was the default setting for deceased emperors. Pliny the Younger lays it on pretty thick when he describes the process. He says Nero deified Claudius to expose him; Titus deified Vespasian and Domitian so he could be the son and brother of gods. However, Trajan deified Nerva because he genuinely believed him to be more than a human (Panegyric 11). In our little survey, we've seen three main categories of deified humans: heroes, miracle workers, and good rulers. These “conceptions of deity,” writes David Litwa, “were part of the “preunderstanding” of Hellenistic culture.” He continues: If actual cases of deification were rare, traditions of deification were not. They were the stuff of heroic epic, lyric song, ancient mythology, cultic hymns, Hellenistic novels, and popular plays all over the first-century Mediterranean world. Such discourses were part of mainstream, urban culture to which most early Christians belonged. If Christians were socialized in predominantly Greco-Roman environments, it is no surprise that they employed and adapted common traits of deities and deified men to exalt their lord to divine status. Now that we've attuned our thinking to Mediterranean sensibilities about gods coming down in the shape of humans and humans experiencing apotheosis to permanently dwell as gods in the divine realm, our ears are attuned to hear the story of Jesus with Greco-Roman ears. Hearing the Story of Jesus with Greco-Roman Ears How would second or third century inhabitants of the Roman empire have categorized Jesus? Taking my cue from Litwa's treatment in Iesus Deus, I'll briefly work through Jesus' conception, transfiguration, miracles, resurrection, and ascension. Miraculous Conception Although set within the context of Jewish messianism, Christ's miraculous birth would have resonated differently with Greco-Roman people. Stories of gods coming down and having intercourse with women are common in classical literature. That these stories made sense of why certain individuals were so exceptional is obvious. For example, Origen related a story about Apollo impregnating Amphictione who then gave birth to Plato (Against Celsus 1.37). Though Mary's conception did not come about through intercourse with a divine visitor, the fact that Jesus had no human father would call to mind divine sonship like Pythagoras or Asclepius. Celsus pointed out that the ancients “attributed a divine origin to Perseus, and Amphion, and Aeacus, and Minos” (Origen, Against Celsus 1.67). Philostratus records a story of the Egyptian god Proteus saying to Apollonius' mother that she would give birth to himself (Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1.4). Since people were primed to connect miraculous origins with divinity, typical hearers of the birth narratives of Matthew or Luke would likely think that this baby might be either be a descended god or a man destined to ascend to become a god. Miracles and Healing As we've seen, Jesus' miracles would not have sounded unbelievable or even unprecedent to Mediterranean people. Like Jesus, Orpheus and Empedocles calmed storms, rescuing ships. Though Jesus provided miraculous guidance on how to catch fish, Pythagoras foretold the number of fish in a great catch. After the fishermen painstakingly counted them all, they were astounded that when they threw them back in, they were still alive (Porphyry, Life 23-25). Jesus' ability to foretell the future, know people's thoughts, and cast out demons all find parallels in Apollonius of Tyana. As for resurrecting the dead, we have the stories of Empedocles, Asclepius, and Apollonius. The last of which even stopped a funeral procession to raise the dead, calling to mind Jesus' deeds in Luke 7.11-17. When Lycaonians witnessed Paul's healing of a man crippled from birth, they cried out, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men” (Acts 14.11). Another time when no harm befell Paul after a poisonous snake bit him on Malta, Gentile onlookers concluded “he was a god” (Acts 28.6). Barry Blackburn makes the following observation: [I]n view of the tendency, most clearly seen in the Epimenidean, Pythagorean, and Apollonian traditions, to correlate impressive miracle-working with divine status, one may justifiably conclude that the evangelical miracle traditions would have helped numerous gentile Christians to arrive at and maintain belief in Jesus' divine status. Transfiguration Ancient Mediterranean inhabitants believed that the gods occasionally came down disguised as people. Only when gods revealed their inner brilliant natures could people know that they weren't mere humans. After his ship grounded on the sands of Krisa, Apollo leaped from the ship emitting flashes of fire “like a star in the middle of day…his radiance shot to heaven” (Homeric Hymns, Hymn to Apollo 440). Likewise, Aphrodite appeared in shining garments, brighter than a fire and shimmering like the moon (Hymn to Aphrodite 85-89). When Demeter appeared to Metaneira, she initially looked like an old woman, but she transformed herself before her. “Casting old age away…a delightful perfume spread…a radiance shone out far from the goddess' immortal flesh…and the solid-made house was filled with a light like the lightning-flash” (Hymn to Demeter 275-280). Homer wrote about Odysseus' transformation at the golden wand of Athena in which his clothes became clean, he became taller, and his skin looked younger. His son, Telemachus cried out, “Surely you are some god who rules the vaulting skies” (Odyssey 16.206). Each time the observers conclude the transfigured person is a god. Resurrection & Ascension In defending the resurrection of Jesus, Theophilus of Antioch said, “[Y]ou believe that Hercules, who burned himself, lives; and that Aesculapius [Asclepius], who was struck with lightning, was raised” (Autolycus 1.13). Although Hercules' physical body burnt, his transformed pneumatic body continued on as the poet Callimachus said, “under a Phrygian oak his limbs had been deified” (Callimachus, Hymn to Artemis 159). Others thought Hercules ascended to heaven in his burnt body, which Asclepius subsequently healed (Lucian, Dialogue of the Gods 13). After his ascent, Diodorus relates how the people first sacrificed to him “as to a hero” then in Athens they began to honor him “with sacrifices like as to a god” (The Historical Library 4.39). As for Asclepius, his ascension resulted in his deification as Cyprian said, “Aesculapius is struck by lightning, that he may rise into a god” (On the Vanity of Idols 2). Romulus too “was torn to pieces by the hands of a hundred senators” and after death ascended into heaven and received worship (Arnobius, Against the Heathen 1.41). Livy tells of how Romulus was “carried up on high by a whirlwind” and that immediately afterward “every man present hailed him as a god and son of a god” (The Early History of Rome 1.16). As we can see from these three cases—Hercules, Asclepius, and Romulus—ascent into heaven was a common way of talking about deification. For Cicero, this was an obvious fact. People “who conferred outstanding benefits were translated to heaven through their fame and our gratitude” (Nature 2.62). Consequently, Jesus' own resurrection and ascension would have triggered Gentiles to intuit his divinity. Commenting on the appearance of the immortalized Christ to the eleven in Galilee, Wendy Cotter said, “It is fair to say that the scene found in [Mat] 28:16-20 would be understood by a Greco-Roman audience, Jew or Gentile, as an apotheosis of Jesus.” Although I beg to differ with Cotter's whole cloth inclusion of Jews here, it's hard to see how else non-Jews would have regarded the risen Christ. Litwa adds Rev 1.13-16 “[W]here he [Jesus] appears with all the accoutrements of the divine: a shining face, an overwhelming voice, luminescent clothing, and so on.” In this brief survey we've seen that several key events in the story of Jesus told in the Gospels would have caused Greco-Roman hearers to intuit deity, including his divine conception, miracles, healing ministry, transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension. In their original context of second temple Judaism, these very same incidents would have resonated quite differently. His divine conception authenticated Jesus as the second Adam (Luke 3.38; Rom 5.14; 1 Cor 15.45) and God's Davidic son (2 Sam 7.14; Ps 2.7; Lk 1.32, 35). If Matthew or Luke wanted readers to understand that Jesus was divine based on his conception and birth, they failed to make such intentions explicit in the text. Rather, the birth narratives appear to have a much more modest aim—to persuade readers that Jesus had a credible claim to be Israel's messiah. His miracles show that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power…for God was with him” (Acts 10.38; cf. Jn 3.2; 10.32, 38). Rather than concluding Jesus to be a god, Jewish witnesses to his healing of a paralyzed man “glorified God, who had given such authority to men” (Mat 9.8). Over and over, especially in the Gospel of John, Jesus directs people's attention to his Father who was doing the works in and through him (Jn 5.19, 30; 8.28; 12.49; 14.10). Seeing Jesus raise someone from the dead suggested to his original Jewish audience that “a great prophet has arisen among us” (Lk 7.16). The transfiguration, in its original setting, is an eschatological vision not a divine epiphany. Placement in the synoptic Gospels just after Jesus' promise that some there would not die before seeing the kingdom come sets the hermeneutical frame. “The transfiguration,” says William Lane, “was a momentary, but real (and witnessed) manifestation of Jesus' sovereign power which pointed beyond itself to the Parousia, when he will come ‘with power and glory.'” If eschatology is the foreground, the background for the transfiguration was Moses' ascent of Sinai when he also encountered God and became radiant. Viewed from the lenses of Moses' ascent and the eschaton, the transfiguration of Jesus is about his identity as God's definitive chosen ruler, not about any kind of innate divinity. Lastly, the resurrection and ascension validated Jesus' messianic claims to be the ruler of the age to come (Acts 17.31; Rom 1.4). Rather than concluding Jesus was deity, early Jewish Christians concluded these events showed that “God has made him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2.36). The interpretative backgrounds for Jesus' ascension were not stories about Heracles, Asclepius, or Romulus. No, the key oracle that framed the Israelite understanding was the messianic psalm in which Yahweh told David's Lord to “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool” (Psalm 110.1). The idea is of a temporary sojourn in heaven until exercising the authority of his scepter to rule over earth from Zion. Once again, the biblical texts remain completely silent about deification. But even if the original meanings of Jesus' birth, ministry, transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension have messianic overtones when interpreted within the Jewish milieu, these same stories began to communicate various ideas of deity to Gentile converts in the generations that followed. We find little snippets from historical sources beginning in the second century and growing with time. Evidence of Belief in Jesus' as a Greco-Roman Deity To begin with, we have two non-Christian instances where Romans regarded Jesus as a deity within typical Greco-Roman categories. The first comes to us from Tertullian and Eusebius who mention an intriguing story about Tiberius' request to the Roman senate to deify Christ. Convinced by “intelligence from Palestine of events which had clearly shown the truth of Christ's divinity” Tiberius proposed the matter to the senate (Apology 5). Eusebius adds that Tiberius learned that “many believed him to be a god in rising from the dead” (Church History 2.2). As expected, the senate rejected the proposal. I mention this story, not because I can establish its historicity, but because it portrays how Tiberius would have thought about Jesus if he had heard about his miracles and resurrection. Another important incident is from one of the governor Pliny the Younger's letters to the emperor Trajan. Having investigated some people accused of Christianity, he found “they had met regularly before dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately amongst themselves in honour of Christ as if to a god” (Letter 96). To an outside imperial observer like Pliny, the Christians believed in a man who had performed miracles, defeated death, and now lived in heaven. Calling him a god was just the natural way of talking about such a person. Pliny would not have thought Jesus was superior to the deified Roman emperors much less Zeus or the Olympic gods. If he believed in Jesus at all, he would have regarded him as another Mediterranean prophet who escaped Hades to enjoy apotheosis. Another interesting text to consider is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. This apocryphal text tells the story of Jesus' childhood between the ages of five and twelve. Jesus is impetuous, powerful, and brilliant. Unsure to conclude that Jesus was “either god or angel,” his teacher remands him to Joseph's custody (7). Later, a crowd of onlookers ponders whether the child is a god or a heavenly messenger after he raises an infant from the dead (17). A year later Jesus raised a construction man who had fallen to his death back to life (18). Once again, the crowd asked if the child was from heaven. Although some historians are quick to assume the lofty conceptions of Justin and his successors about the logos were commonplace in the early Christianity, Litwa points out, “The spell of the Logos could only bewitch a very small circle of Christian elites… In IGT, we find a Jesus who is divine according to different canons, the canons of popular Mediterranean theology.” Another important though often overlooked scholarly group of Christians in the second century was led by a certain Theodotus of Byzantium. Typically referred to by their heresiological label “Theodotians,” these dynamic monarchians lived in Rome and claimed that they held to the original Christology before it had been corrupted under Bishop Zephyrinus (Eusebius, Church History 5.28). Theodotus believed in the virgin birth, but not in his pre-existence or that he was god/God (Pseudo-Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 7.35.1-2; 10.23.1-2). He thought that Jesus was not able to perform any miracles until his baptism when he received the Christ/Spirit. Pseudo-Hippolytus goes on to say, “But they do not want him to have become a god when the Spirit descended. Others say that he became a god after he rose from the dead.” This last tantalizing remark implies that the Theodotians could affirm Jesus as a god after his resurrection though they denied his pre-existence. Although strict unitarians, they could regard Jesus as a god in that he was an ascended immortalized being who lived in heaven—not equal to the Father, but far superior to all humans on earth. Justin Martyr presents another interesting case to consider. Thoroughly acquainted with Greco-Roman literature and especially the philosophy of Plato, Justin sees Christ as a god whom the Father begot before all other creatures. He calls him “son, or wisdom, or angel, or god, or lord, or word” (Dialogue with Trypho 61). For Justin Christ is “at the same time angel and god and lord and man” (59). Jesus was “of old the Word, appearing at one time in the form of fire, at another under the guise of incorporeal beings, but now, at the will of God, after becoming man for mankind” (First Apology 63). In fact, Justin is quite comfortable to compare Christ to deified heroes and emperors. He says, “[W]e propose nothing new or different from that which you say about the so-called sons of Jupiter [Zeus] by your respected writers… And what about the emperors who die among you, whom you think worthy to be deified?” (21). He readily accepts the parallels with Mercury, Perseus, Asclepius, Bacchus, and Hercules, but argues that Jesus is superior to them (22). Nevertheless, he considered Jesus to be in “a place second to the unchanging and eternal God” (13). The Father is “the Most True God” whereas the Son is he “who came forth from Him” (6). Even as lates as Origen, Greco-Roman concepts of deity persist. In responding to Celsus' claim that no god or son of God has ever come down, Origen responds by stating such a statement would overthrow the stories of Pythian Apollo, Asclepius, and the other gods who descended (Against Celsus 5.2). My point here is not to say Origen believed in all the old myths, but to show how Origen reached for these stories as analogies to explain the incarnation of the logos. When Celsus argued that he would rather believe in the deity of Asclepius, Dionysus, and Hercules than Christ, Origen responded with a moral rather than ontological argument (3.42). He asks how these gods have improved the characters of anyone. Origen admits Celsus' argument “which places the forenamed individuals upon an equality with Jesus” might have force, however in light of the disreputable behavior of these gods, “how could you any longer say, with any show of reason, that these men, on putting aside their mortal body, became gods rather than Jesus?” (3.42). Origen's Christology is far too broad and complicated to cover here. Undoubtedly, his work on eternal generation laid the foundation on which fourth century Christians could build homoousion Christology. Nevertheless, he retained some of the earlier subordinationist impulses of his forebearers. In his book On Prayer, he rebukes praying to Jesus as a crude error, instead advocating prayer to God alone (10). In his Commentary on John he repeatedly asserts that the Father is greater than his logos (1.40; 2.6; 6.23). Thus, Origen is a theologian on the seam of the times. He's both a subordinationist and a believer in the Son's eternal and divine ontology. Now, I want to be careful here. I'm not saying that all early Christians believed Jesus was a deified man like Asclepius or a descended god like Apollo or a reincarnated soul like Pythagoras. More often than not, thinking Christians whose works survive until today tended to eschew the parallels, simultaneously elevating Christ as high as possible while demoting the gods to mere demons. Still, Litwa is inciteful when he writes: It seems likely that early Christians shared the widespread cultural assumption that a resurrected, immortalized being was worthy of worship and thus divine. …Nonetheless there is a difference…Jesus, it appears, was never honored as an independent deity. Rather, he was always worshiped as Yahweh's subordinate. Naturally Heracles and Asclepius were Zeus' subordinates, but they were also members of a larger divine family. Jesus does not enter a pantheon but assumes a distinctive status as God's chief agent and plenipotentiary. It is this status that, to Christian insiders, placed Jesus in a category far above the likes of Heracles, Romulus, and Asclepius who were in turn demoted to the rank of δαίμονες [daimons]. Conclusion I began by asking the question, "What did early Christians mean by saying Jesus is god?" We noted that the ancient idea of agency (Jesus is God/god because he represents Yahweh), though present in Hebrew and Christian scripture, didn't play much of a role in how Gentile Christians thought about Jesus. Or if it did, those texts did not survive. By the time we enter the postapostolic era, a majority of Christianity was Gentile and little communication occurred with the Jewish Christians that survived in the East. As such, we turned our attention to Greco-Roman theology to tune our ears to hear the story of Jesus the way they would have. We learned about their multifaceted array of divinities. We saw that gods can come down and take the form of humans and humans can go up and take the form of gods. We found evidence for this kind of thinking in both non-Christian and Christian sources in the second and third centuries. Now it is time to return to the question I began with: “When early Christian authors called Jesus “god” what did they mean?” We saw that the idea of a deified man was present in the non-Christian witnesses of Tiberius and Pliny but made scant appearance in our Christian literature except for the Theodotians. As for the idea that a god came down to become a man, we found evidence in The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Justin, and Origen. Of course, we find a spectrum within this view, from Justin's designation of Jesus as a second god to Origen's more philosophically nuanced understanding. Still, it's worth noting as R. P. C. Hanson observed that, “With the exception of Athanasius virtually every theologian, East and West, accepted some form of subordinationism at least up to the year 355.” Whether any Christians before Alexander and Athanasius of Alexandria held to the sophisticated idea of consubstantiality depends on showing evidence of the belief that the Son was coequal, coeternal, and coessential with the Father prior to Nicea. (Readers interested in the case for this view should consult Michael Bird's Jesus among the Gods in which he attempted the extraordinary feat of finding proto-Nicene Christology in the first two centuries, a task typically associated with maverick apologists not peer-reviewed historians.) In conclusion, the answer to our driving question about the meaning of “Jesus as god” is that the answer depends on whom we ask. If we ask the Theodotians, Jesus is a god because that's just what one calls an immortalized man who lives in heaven. If we ask those holding a docetic Christology, the answer is that a god came down in appearance as a man. If we ask a logos subordinationist, they'll tell us that Jesus existed as the god through whom the supreme God created the universe before he became a human being. If we ask Tertullian, Jesus is god because he derives his substance from the Father, though he has a lesser portion of divinity. If we ask Athanasius, he'll wax eloquent about how Jesus is of the same substance as the Father equal in status and eternality. The bottom line is that there was not one answer to this question prior to the fourth century. Answers depend on whom we ask and when they lived. Still, we can't help but wonder about the more tantalizing question of development. Which Christology was first and which ones evolved under social, intellectual, and political pressures? In the quest to specify the various stages of development in the Christologies of the ante-Nicene period, this Greco-Roman perspective may just provide the missing link between the reserved and limited way that the NT applies theos to Jesus in the first century and the homoousian view that eventually garnered imperial support in the fourth century. How easy would it have been for fresh converts from the Greco-Roman world to unintentionally mishear the story of Jesus? How easy would it have been for them to fit Jesus into their own categories of descended gods and ascended humans? With the unmooring of Gentile Christianity from its Jewish heritage, is it any wonder that Christologies began to drift out to sea? Now I'm not suggesting that all Christians went through a steady development from a human Jesus to a pre-existent Christ, to an eternal God the Son, to the Chalcedonian hypostatic union. As I mentioned above, plenty of other options were around and every church had its conservatives in addition to its innovators. The story is messy and uneven with competing views spread across huge geographic distances. Furthermore, many Christians probably were content to leave such theological nuances fuzzy, rather than seeking doctrinal precision on Christ's relation to his God and Father. Whatever the case may be, we dare not ignore the influence of Greco-Roman theology in our accounts of Christological development in the Mediterranean world of the first three centuries. Bibliography The Homeric Hymns. Translated by Michael Crudden. New York, NY: Oxford, 2008. Antioch, Theophilus of. To Autolycus. Translated by Marcus Dods. Vol. 2. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001. Aphrahat. The Demonstrations. Translated by Ellen Muehlberger. Vol. 3. The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings. Edited by Mark DelCogliano. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge, 2022. Apollodorus. The Library of Greek Mythology. Translated by Robin Hard. Oxford, UK: Oxford, 1998. Appian. The Civil Wars. Translated by John Carter. London, UK: Penguin, 1996. Arnobius. Against the Heathen. Translated by Hamilton Bryce and Hugh Campbell. Vol. 6. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995. Arrian. The Campaigns of Alexander. Translated by Aubrey De Sélincourt. London, UK: Penguin, 1971. Bird, Michael F. Jesus among the Gods. Waco, TX: Baylor, 2022. Blackburn, Barry. Theios Aner and the Markan Miracle Traditions. Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr, 1991. Callimachus. Hymn to Artemis. Translated by Susan A. Stephens. Callimachus: The Hymns. New York, NY: Oxford, 2015. Cicero. The Nature of the Gods. Translated by Patrick Gerard Walsh. Oxford, UK: Oxford, 2008. Cornutus, Lucius Annaeus. Greek Theology. Translated by George Boys-Stones. Greek Theology, Fragments, and Testimonia. Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2018. Cotter, Wendy. "Greco-Roman Apotheosis Traditions and the Resurrection Appearances in Matthew." In The Gospel of Matthew in Current Study. Edited by David E. Aune. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001. Cyprian. Treatise 6: On the Vanity of Idols. Translated by Ernest Wallis. Vol. 5. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995. Dittenberger, W. Orientis Graecae Inscriptiones Selectae. Vol. 2. Hildesheim: Olms, 1960. Eusebius. The Church History. Translated by Paul L. Maier. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007. Fredriksen, Paula. "How High Can Early High Christology Be?" In Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity. Edited by Matthew V. Novenson. Vol. 180.vol. Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Leiden: Brill, 2020. Hanson, R. P. C. Search for a Christian Doctrine of God. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007. Hart, George. The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2005. Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles. New York, NY: Penguin, 1997. Iamblichus. Life of Pythagoras. Translated by Thomas Taylor. Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras. Delhi, IN: Zinc Read, 2023. Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho. Translated by Thomas B. Falls. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2003. Laertius, Diogenes. Life of Pythagoras. Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. Edited by David R. Fideler. Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1988. Laertius, Diogenes. Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. Translated by Pamela Mensch. Edited by James Miller. New York, NY: Oxford, 2020. Lane, William L. The Gospel of Mark. Nicnt, edited by F. F. Bruce Ned B. Stonehouse, and Gordon D. Fee. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974. Litwa, M. David. Iesus Deus. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. Livy. The Early History of Rome. Translated by Aubrey De Sélincourt. London, UK: Penguin, 2002. Origen. Against Celsus. Translated by Frederick Crombie. Vol. 4. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003. Pausanias. Guide to Greece. Translated by Peter Levi. London, UK: Penguin, 1979. Perriman, Andrew. In the Form of a God. Studies in Early Christology, edited by David Capes Michael Bird, and Scott Harrower. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2022. Philostratus. Letters of Apollonius. Vol. 458. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 2006. Plutarch. Life of Alexander. Translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert and Timothy E. Duff. The Age of Alexander. London, UK: Penguin, 2011. Porphyry. Life of Pythagoras. Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. Edited by David Fideler. Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1988. Pseudo-Clement. Recognitions. Translated by Thomas Smith. Vol. 8. Ante Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003. Pseudo-Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies. Translated by David Litwa. Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2016. Pseudo-Thomas. Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Translated by James Orr. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1903. Psuedo-Clement. Homilies. Translated by Peter Peterson. Vol. 8. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1897. Siculus, Diodorus. The Historical Library. Translated by Charles Henry Oldfather. Vol. 1. Edited by Giles Laurén: Sophron Editor, 2017. Strabo. The Geography. Translated by Duane W. Roller. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge, 2020. Tertullian. Against Praxeas. Translated by Holmes. Vol. 3. Ante Nice Fathers. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003. Tertullian. Apology. Translated by S. Thelwall. Vol. 3. Ante-Nicene Fathers, edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003. Younger, Pliny the. The Letters of the Younger Pliny. Translated by Betty Radice. London: Penguin, 1969. End Notes  For the remainder of this paper, I will use the lower case “god” for all references to deity outside of Yahweh, the Father of Christ. I do this because all our ancient texts lack capitalization and our modern capitalization rules imply a theology that is anachronistic and unhelpful for the present inquiry.  Christopher Kaiser wrote, “Explicit references to Jesus as ‘God' in the New Testament are very few, and even those few are generally plagued with uncertainties of either text or interpretation.” Christopher B. Kaiser, The Doctrine of God: A Historical Survey (London: Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1982), 29. Other scholars such as Raymond Brown (Jesus: God and Man), Jason David BeDuhn (Truth in Translation), and Brian Wright (“Jesus as θεός: A Textual Examination” in Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament) have expressed similar sentiments.  John 20.28; Hebrews 1.8; Titus 2.13; 2 Peter 1.1; Romans 9.5; and 1 John 5.20.  See Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians 12.2 where a manuscript difference determines whether or not Polycarp called Jesus god or lord. Textual corruption is most acute in Igantius' corpus. Although it's been common to dismiss the long recension as an “Arian” corruption, claiming the middle recension to be as pure and uncontaminated as freshly fallen snow upon which a foot has never trodden, such an uncritical view is beginning to give way to more honest analysis. See Paul Gilliam III's Ignatius of Antioch and the Arian Controversy (Leiden: Brill, 2017) for a recent treatment of Christological corruption in the middle recension.  See the entries for אֱלֹהִיםand θεός in the Hebrew Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT), the Brown Driver Briggs Lexicon (BDB), Eerdmans Dictionary, Kohlenberger/Mounce Concise Hebrew-Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament, the Bauer Danker Arndt Gingrich Lexicon (BDAG), Friberg Greek Lexicon, and Thayer's Greek Lexicon.  See notes on Is 9.6 and Ps 45.6.  ZIBBC: “In what sense can the king be called “god”? By virtue of his divine appointment, the king in the ancient Near East stood before his subjects as a representative of the divine realm. …In fact, the term “gods“ (ʾelōhı̂m) is used of priests who functioned as judges in the Israelite temple judicial system (Ex. 21:6; 22:8-9; see comments on 58:1; 82:6-7).” John W. Hilber, “Psalms,” in The Minor Prophets, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 5 of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament. ed. John H. Walton (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 358.  Around a.d. 340, Aphrahat of Persia advised his fellow Christians to reply to Jewish critics who questioned why “You call a human being ‘God'” (Demonstrations 17.1). He said, “For the honored name of the divinity is granted event ot rightoues human beings, when they are worthy of being called by it…[W]hen he chose Moses, his friend and his beloved…he called him “god.” …We call him God, just as he named Moses with his own name…The name of the divinity was granted for great honor in the world. To whom he wishes, God appoints it” (17.3, 4, 5). Aphrahat, The Demonstrations, trans., Ellen Muehlberger, vol. 3, The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge, 2022), 213-15. In the Clementine Recognitions we find a brief mention of the concept: “Therefore the name God is applied in three ways: either because he to whom it is given is truly God, or because he is the servant of him who is truly; and for the honour of the sender, that his authority may be full, he that is sent is called by the name of him who sends, as is often done in respect of angels: for when they appear to a man, if he is a wise and intelligent man, he asks the name of him who appears to him, that he may acknowledge at once the honour of the sent, and the authority of the sender” (2.42). Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions, trans., Thomas Smith, vol. 8, Ante Nicene Fathers (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003).  Michael F. Bird, Jesus among the Gods (Waco, TX: Baylor, 2022), 13.  Andrew Perriman, In the Form of a God, Studies in Early Christology, ed. David Capes Michael Bird, and Scott Harrower (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2022), 130.  Paula Fredriksen, "How High Can Early High Christology Be?," in Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, ed. Matthew V. Novenson, vol. 180 (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 296, 99.  ibid.  See Gen 18.1; Ex 3.2; 24.11; Is 6.1; Ezk 1.28.  Compare the Masoretic Text of Psalm 8.6 to the Septuagint and Hebrews 2.7.  Homer, The Odyssey, trans., Robert Fagles (New York, NY: Penguin, 1997), 370.  Diodorus Siculus, The Historical Library, trans., Charles Henry Oldfather, vol. 1 (Sophron Editor, 2017), 340.  Uranus met death at the brutal hands of his own son, Kronos who emasculated him and let bleed out, resulting in his deification (Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel 1.10). Later on, after suffering a fatal disease, Kronos himself experienced deification, becoming the planet Saturn (ibid.). Zeus married Hera and they produced Osiris (Dionysus), Isis (Demeter), Typhon, Apollo, and Aphrodite (ibid. 2.1).  Lucius Annaeus Cornutus, Greek Theology, trans., George Boys-Stones, Greek Theology, Fragments, and Testimonia (Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2018), 123.  Apollodorus, The Library of Greek Mythology, trans., Robin Hard (Oxford, UK: Oxford, 1998), 111.  Pausanias, Guide to Greece, trans., Peter Levi (London, UK: Penguin, 1979), 98.  Strabo, The Geography, trans., Duane W. Roller (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge, 2020), 281.  Psuedo-Clement, Homilies, trans., Peter Peterson, vol. 8, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1897). Greek: “αὐτὸν δὲ ὡς θεὸν ἐθρήσκευσαν” from Jacques Paul Migne, Patrologia Graeca, taken from Accordance (PSCLEMH-T), OakTree Software, Inc., 2018, Version 1.1.  See Barry Blackburn, Theios Aner and the Markan Miracle Traditions (Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr, 1991), 32.  Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, trans., Pamela Mensch (New York, NY: Oxford, 2020), 39.  Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, trans., Thomas Taylor, Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras (Delhi, IN: Zinc Read, 2023), 2.  Diogenes Laertius, Life of Pythagoras, trans., Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1988), 142.  See the list in Blackburn, 39. He corroborates miracle stories from Diogenus Laertius, Iamblichus, Apollonius, Nicomachus, and Philostratus.  Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras, trans., Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1988), 128-9.  Iamblichus, 68.  What I call “resurrection” refers to the phrase, “Thou shalt bring back from Hades a dead man's strength.” Diogenes Laertius 8.2.59, trans. R. D. Hicks.  Laertius, "Lives of the Eminent Philosophers," 306. Two stories of his deification survive: in one Empedocles disappears in the middle of the night after hearing an extremely loud voice calling his name. After this the people concluded that they should sacrifice to him since he had become a god (8.68). In the other account, Empedocles climbs Etna and leaps into the fiery volcanic crater “to strengthen the rumor that he had become a god” (8.69).  Pausanias, 192. Sextus Empiricus says Asclepius raised up people who had died at Thebes as well as raising up the dead body of Tyndaros (Against the Professors 1.261).  Cicero adds that the Arcadians worship Asclepius (Nature 3.57).  In another instance, he confronted and cast out a demon from a licentious young man (Life 4.20).  The phrase is “περὶ ἐμοῦ καὶ θεοῖς εἴρηται ὡς περὶ θείου ἀνδρὸς.” Philostratus, Letters of Apollonius, vol. 458, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 2006).  See George Hart, The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, 2nd ed. (Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2005), 3.  Plutarch, Life of Alexander, trans., Ian Scott-Kilvert and Timothy E. Duff, The Age of Alexander (London, UK: Penguin, 2011), 311. Arrian includes a story about Anaxarchus advocating paying divine honors to Alexander through prostration. The Macedonians refused but the Persian members of his entourage “rose from their seats and one by one grovelled on the floor before the King.” Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, trans., Aubrey De Sélincourt (London, UK: Penguin, 1971), 222.  Translation my own from “Ἀντίοχος ὁ Θεὸς Δίκαιος Ἐπιφανὴς Φιλορωμαῖος Φιλέλλην.” Inscription at Nemrut Dağ, accessible at https://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/mithras/display.php?page=cimrm32. See also https://zeugma.packhum.org/pdfs/v1ch09.pdf.  Greek taken from W. Dittenberger, Orientis Graecae Inscriptiones Selectae, vol. 2 (Hildesheim: Olms, 1960), 48-60. Of particular note is the definite article before θεός. They didn't celebrate the birthday of a god, but the birthday of the god.  Appian, The Civil Wars, trans., John Carter (London, UK: Penguin, 1996), 149.  M. David Litwa, Iesus Deus (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014), 20.  ibid.  Blackburn, 92-3.  The Homeric Hymns, trans., Michael Crudden (New York, NY: Oxford, 2008), 38.  "The Homeric Hymns," 14.  Homer, 344.  Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, trans., Marcus Dods, vol. 2, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001).  Callimachus, Hymn to Artemis, trans., Susan A. Stephens, Callimachus: The Hymns (New York, NY: Oxford, 2015), 119.  Siculus, 234.  Cyprian, Treatise 6: On the Vanity of Idols, trans., Ernest Wallis, vol. 5, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995).  Arnobius, Against the Heathen, trans., Hamilton Bryce and Hugh Campbell, vol. 6, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995).  Livy, The Early History of Rome, trans., Aubrey De Sélincourt (London, UK: Penguin, 2002), 49.  Cicero, The Nature of the Gods, trans., Patrick Gerard Walsh (Oxford, UK: Oxford, 2008), 69.  Wendy Cotter, "Greco-Roman Apotheosis Traditions and the Resurrection Appearances in Matthew," in The Gospel of Matthew in Current Study, ed. David E. Aune (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001), 149.  Litwa, 170.  William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark, Nicnt, ed. F. F. Bruce Ned B. Stonehouse, and Gordon D. Fee (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974).  “Recent commentators have stressed that the best background for understanding the Markan transfiguration is the story of Moses' ascent up Mount Sinai (Exod. 24 and 34).” Litwa, 123.  Tertullian, Apology, trans. S. Thelwall, vol. 3, Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003).  Eusebius, The Church History, trans. Paul L. Maier (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007), 54.  Pliny the Younger, The Letters of the Younger Pliny, trans., Betty Radice (London: Penguin, 1969), 294.  Pseudo-Thomas, Infancy Gospel of Thomas, trans., James Orr (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1903), 25.  Litwa, 83.  For sources on Theodotus, see Pseduo-Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 7.35.1-2; 10.23.1-2; Pseudo-Tertullian, Against All Heresies 8.2; Eusebius, Church History 5.28.  Pseudo-Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, trans., David Litwa (Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2016), 571.  I took the liberty to decapitalize these appellatives. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, trans. Thomas B. Falls (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2003), 244.  Justin Martyr, 241. (Altered, see previous footnote.)  Justin Martyr, 102.  Justin Martyr, 56-7.  Arnobius makes a similar argument in Against the Heathen 1.38-39 “Is he not worthy to be called a god by us and felt to be a god on account of the favor or such great benefits? For if you have enrolled Liber among the gods because he discovered the use of wine, and Ceres the use of bread, Aesculapius the use of medicines, Minerva the use of oil, Triptolemus plowing, and Hercules because he conquered and restrained beasts, thieves, and the many-headed hydra…So then, ought we not to consider Christ a god, and to bestow upon him all the worship due to his divinity?” Translation from Litwa, 105.  Justin Martyr, 46.  Justin Martyr, 39.  Origen, Against Celsus, trans. Frederick Crombie, vol. 4, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003).  Litwa, 173.  I could easily multiply examples of this by looking at Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and many others.  The obvious exception to Hanson's statement were thinkers like Sabellius and Praxeas who believed that the Father himself came down as a human being. R. P. C. Hanson, Search for a Christian Doctrine of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), xix.  Interestingly, even some of the biblical unitarians of the period were comfortable with calling Jesus god, though they limited his divinity to his post-resurrection life.  Tertullian writes, “[T]he Father is not the same as the Son, since they differ one from the other in the mode of their being. For the Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole, as He Himself acknowledges: “My Father is greater than I.” In the Psalm His inferiority is described as being “a little lower than the angels.” Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son” (Against Praxeas 9). Tertullian, Against Praxeas, trans., Holmes, vol. 3, Ante Nice Fathers (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003).
Gwyn is going over this short book in the New Testament on today's episode. ----- Email Gwyn at email@example.com ----- Find us on Facebook and Instagram Sign up for our newsletter here Send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
With family: 2 Kings 18; Philemon 2 Kings 18 (Listen) Hezekiah Reigns in Judah 18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).1 5 He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the LORD. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses. 7 And the LORD was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. 8 He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. 9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, 10 and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed. Sennacherib Attacks Judah 13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents2 of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king's house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer's Field. 18 And when they called for the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. 19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 20 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? 23 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”'” 26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?” 28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my3 hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.' 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me4 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'” 36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh. Footnotes  18:4 Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew for both bronze and serpent  18:14 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms  18:29 Hebrew his  18:31 Hebrew Make a blessing with me (ESV) Philemon (Listen) Greeting 1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philemon's Love and Faith 4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.1 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Paul's Plea for Onesimus 8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,2 whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant3 but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. Final Greetings 23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Footnotes  1:6 Or for Christ's service  1:10 Onesimus means useful (see verse 11) or beneficial (see verse 20)  1:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; twice in this verse (ESV) In private: Psalms 132–134; Hosea 11 Psalms 132–134 (Listen) The Lord Has Chosen Zion A Song of Ascents. 132 Remember, O LORD, in David's favor, all the hardships he endured,2 how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed,4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,5 until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” 6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!” 8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.10 For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one. 11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body1 I will set on your throne.12 If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.” 13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place:14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.15 I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.” When Brothers Dwell in Unity A Song of Ascents. Of David. 133 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!22 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. Come, Bless the Lord A Song of Ascents. 134 Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD! 3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth! Footnotes  132:11 Hebrew of your fruit of the womb  133:1 Or dwell together (ESV) Hosea 11 (Listen) The Lord's Love for Israel 11 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.2 The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols. 3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.4 I led them with cords of kindness,1 with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. 5 They shall not2 return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.6 The sword shall rage against their cities, consume the bars of their gates, and devour them because of their own counsels.7 My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all. 8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.9 I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.3 10 They shall go after the LORD; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;11 they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria, and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD.12 4 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit, but Judah still walks with God and is faithful to the Holy One. Footnotes  11:4 Or humaneness; Hebrew man  11:5 Or surely  11:9 Or into the city  11:12 Ch 12:1 in Hebrew (ESV)
This episode is about being an example of the believers. Here is a link to the lesson in the manual. For episode notes and more information, please visit https://melaniewstroud.com/ and click on podcasts. If you're interested in buying my book, "Feasting on the Words of Christ," you can get it in both paperback and Audible versions here.