The matter of circumcision became a contested issue as the early Christian church was finding its feet. To appreciate why, we first need to understand that this had grown to be a most important element within Judaism. Between the time of the Old and New Testament, Seleucid King Antiochus IV attempted to stamp out Judaism, in part by forbidding the practice of circumcision among the Jews. This rite had become so vital to the identity of God’s people that they chose to die rather than yield to this pagan order.
John wasn’t always known as “the disciple Jesus loved,” Jesus called him and his brother the “Son of Thunder” (Mark 3:17), likely because of their fiery tempers. Fits of temper occasionally landed John in trouble, such as the time he wanted to call down a fiery judgment from heaven on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome Jesus (Luke 9:51-56).
Created beings whose primary function is to serve and worship God. Though some interpret the “us” in Gen 1:26 as inclusive of God and His angelic court, the Bible does not comment as to when they were created. Unlike God they are not eternal or omniscient. The Hebrew word in the OT is mal’ak, and the NT Greek word is angelos. They both mean “messenger” and occasionally refer to human messengers.
The idea that one Israelite could permanently own another was completely ruled out; and though debt slavery was permitted, it was limited in duration to six years (Exod 21:1-4; Lev 25:39-55). What is more, each slave was invited to participate in the religious life of God’s people, including Passover and the Sabbath day of rest (Exod 12:43-44; 23:12). This took on an even more mature tone when Paul taught that slavery was not a barrier to becoming a
The excitement over a family event, whether a wedding or reunion, caused people to run for various reasons. Weddings were always an exciting time for families, and when a wedding was in the making, that excitement could manifest itself with an increase in people running (Gen 24:17, 20, 28, 29, 29:12-13). The excitement that surrounded a family reunion could also cause people to leave behind their normal gait and break into a full-fledged run (Gen 33:4; Luke 15:20).
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.
God’s plan for people who lived before Jesus involved salvation by faith-just as it does for the people who follow Jesus today. Jesus’ atonement for sin on the cross applies backward in history as well as forward.
In Paul’s time, slaves were branded with distinctive marks to show that they belonged to their masters, much as cattle are branded in modern times (Psa 40:6). Paul declared that his body bore marks from the persecution he had endured in Christ’s service. These showed the he belonged to the Lord Jesus.