Paul (or Saul, as he was also known) was a zealot, a staunch defender of the Jewish faith. He was especially zealous about exposing and punishing offshoots of Judaism that threatened to obscure its message.
He targeted the disciple of a rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth who were attempting to keep his message alive even after the rabbi himself had been crucified. They spread stories about seeing him risen form the dead. They claimed he was the Son of God and the way to everlasting life.
According to Matthew 4:18-20, “As [Jesus] was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen. ‘Follow Me,’ He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”
Words Jesus used to teach His followers to pray. Three forms of the Lord’s Prayer exist in early Christian literature-two in the NT (Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4) and the other in the Didache 8:2, a noncanonical Christian writing of the early second-century from northern Syria. Their similarities and difference may be seen if the three forms are set side by side.
NEW TESTAMENT – Paul and Peter insisted that Christian salves be obedient to their masters (Eph 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25; 1 Tim 6:1-2; 1 Pet 2:18-21) and not seek freedom just because of conversion (1 Cor 7:20-22). Masters were urged to be kind (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1). Slave trading was condemned (1 Tim 1:10). Paul claimed that in Christ human status was unimportant (Gal 3:28). But neither Jesus nor the apostles condemned slavery. Slavery was so much a part of their society that to call for abolition would have resulted in violence and bloodshed. Rather, Jesus and the apostles set forth principles of human dignity and equality that eventually led to abolition.
This verse refers to the ancient custom of casting lots to settle disputes or make important decisions (read Josh 1:7). We might compare the practice to flipping a coin or drawing straws in modern times. Continue reading MAKING DECISIONS BY LOT→
For all we know, Thomas may have been the boldest of Jesus 12 disciples-a paragon of courageous service and unshakable loyalty. The New Testament offers evidence to support the notion. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, some of the disciples were reluctant to return to Judea, where an attempt had been made of Jesus life. Thomas was the one who finally said, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him” (John 11:16) Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE “THOMAS: BELIEF INTERRUPTED”→
Today we know Matthew as the one of the four beloved writers whom God used to chronicle the life of Jesus so we would have it, could refer to it, and could be transformed by it. But Matthew wouldn’t have felt the love during his era. He was from Galilee, and while Rome occupied the area, collaborators like Matthew were the ones who collected taxes for them. Tax collectors were also known to becomes rich by charging more than was due. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (MATTHEW: TAX COLLECTOR TURNED EVANGELIST)→
That’s the answer Paul gives to critics who say he isn’t in the same league as Jesus’ disciples-a dozen men who share the highest office in the early church. The closest the Bible comes to defining apostle is when the word first shows up-when Jesus” 11 disciples search for someone to replace Judas. Candidates must come “from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus-from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us” (Acts 1:21-22). There’s no hint that Paul ever met Jesus during that time. Paul didn’t even convert until about five years after