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Longenecker refers to these outsiders as “Agitators” who have no true identity but are out to contradict Paul. Paul was passionate about protecting and nurturing the faith of believers so he wept at the prospect of … Moreover, Paul thought that the purpose of this revelation was his own appointment to preach among the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16). It's clear that one of the concerns that keep showing up throughout this period of Paul's ministry is when is this kingdom going to arrive. From about 46 AD to 48 AD (more than 1900 years ago), Paul the evangelist undertook his first mission journey. Other issues that made Paul’s mission radical involved outsiders who manipulated the truth of the gospel. The word “messenger” is the Greek word angelos, a word that can describe an angel; one who is sent on a special mission; or a messenger who is dispatched to perform a specific assignment. In fact it's slightly odd from certain perspectives. First Corinthians is a very good example here. Here are the offices of the city magistrates, and we're standing literally in the shadow of the great temple of Apollo. Corinth is his base in Southern Greece. It appears that Paul never expected to die before the kingdom would arrive and so this apocalyptic message that was the hallmark of the earliest stages of the Jesus movement is still one of its central features prophetic preaching of Paul. Paul’s group now includes Paul, Silas and Timothy. We've often viewed Paul as some sort of handworker. Now while this term Christian of course becomes the standard terminology for all later Christian traditions, and we think of it in much more lofty and positive terms, at the time that it was coined it was probably a slur. Our latest episode for parents features the topic of empathy. He's able to take the standard elements of a letter and make them fit the peculiar needs of any given situation. ...[I]n about the year 50 to 55 when Paul is traveling back and forth from Corinth to Ephesus, this is a period when the whole Aegean is going through the beginnings of a massive growth under Roman expansion... Roman development. There are differences of behavior and ethical patterns that these converts will naturally incline toward in their attempt to live the Christian life. The word for "commission" is oikonomia, which envisions the effective and orderly work of a household or business; it is the same word from which we derive the word economy. Barnabas 3. It's the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messioc and they mean exactly the same thing. Now where we see this tension coming to a head most clearly is after Paul returns from a conference in Jerusalem. teachers' guide . So when Paul quotes scripture he's quoting from the Hebrew Bible in its Greek form. Now we find him gathering all that up, each congregation sending an emissary with their part of the contribution, and they're all going as a entourage to lay it at the feet of James in Jerusalem. A special function on behalf of God. Now the other things that one must do in order to convert to Judaism, in addition to circumcision if a male, would be to observe the Torah. THE PAULINE MISSION -- LETTERS FROM EPHESUS. The major issues in converting to Judaism for a gentile, for a non-Jew, is that one must, if a male, become circumcised, and of course this was a an obvious distinction if one is working out in a Greek gymnasium where everyone was nude to begin with so the physical fact of circumcision was the noticeably distinctive quality to Jewish self-identity in the Greco-Roman world. Paul was a Jewish prophet but when Paul talks about himself he describes himself as having been called from the womb to serve and fulfill this mission. Clearly the message about the coming end time was the part that would have been threatening to a Roman official and would have been threatening to any native population that had vested some authority in Roman officialdom. Apparently Paul's attitude toward gentile converts stimulated controversy both at Antioch among the Jewish communities there and also among the older Christian communities back in Jerusalem. Just like we see back in the homeland at this same period. For several years we will see Paul living in and around Ephesus and writing letters back and forth to these other congregations. In the Jesus movement it's clear that a new understanding has come to the fore. d. The travelers were: 1. Does he have a sense of urgency? He eats with them, but then not too long thereafter some other people from Jerusalem arrive and Peter backs off. He refuses to eat with them, and Paul blows his stack because he feels that Peter has backed out on a fundamental agreement on what it means for gentiles to convert to followers of Jesus. John Mark B. ...Now within this circuit of the Aegean basin Paul basically has two or three major cities that serve as his mission bases. Paul adapted some of the standard stylistic features of letter writing to the particular needs of his own theological concerns and his needs of instruction for these Christian communities. He was himself a Pharisee and trained as a Pharisee so he would have been conversant with the tradition of interpretation of the scriptures and indeed of the prophets themselves. Missionaries: establish contact with non-Christians, proclaim the news of Jesus the Messiah and Savior (proclamation, preaching, teaching, instruction), lead people to faith in Jesus Christ (conversion, baptism), and. So just to hear that term even in the Greek city like Antioch probably wasn't all that unique, and yet it had to have sparked some interest. It is well to take note of his missionary strategy, for it was designed to reach the greatest number with the highest efficiency. 44 Famine relief to Jerusalem. One on the Aegean side and one on the Adriatic side so that it served as one of the major crossroads for Roman shipping throughout the Mediterranean. Middle East, and yet he also had a very traditional Jewish education. There are several issues involved here. In fact it's the capital of Roman Syria. Some of them take the message differently and it's those differences of opinion that prompt some controversy that Paul himself feels compelled to respond to in his letters. Pages four, five, and six are "The Values that manifest our mission." The kingdom is still near. The brethren sent them forth on their mission. We have now worked our way through a marvelous section of the book of Romans chapters 12 through 15 in which Paul spells out something of the Christian way of life. We're not absolutely sure but it's quite reasonable to think of Paul then moving very comfortably among the artisans who frequent and inhabit the marketplaces of a city like Corinth .... ... Let's imagine Paul going up the main street of Corinth through the monumental Roman archway into the forum, the center of city life, the place where all the business and most of the political activities are done in the public life of this Roman city. Paul could not carry out his schedule, at least not in the way he had conceived it. You see it's Paul who starts the writing of the New Testament by writing letters to these fledgling congregations in the cities of the Greek East. But before he does that he wants to fulfill the promise that he had made to Peter and James back in the Jerusalem conference. tapes, transcripts & events, FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of wgbh educational foundation. It was probably thrown at these early followers of Jesus as some derogatory designation of them. He writes letters as a mechanism for further instructing them in his understanding of the Christian message. W here did Paul go exactly in all of his missionary journeys?. We have to imagine traders there from Egypt, from the Turkish hinterlands, from Greece, from Italy. The Hebrew prophets, he wrote, had predicted that in “days to come” God would restore the tribes of Israel and that the Gentiles would then turn to worship the one true God. Introduction Saint Paul ©. It wasn’t focused on helpful advice or inspirational thoughts. Rightly understood, mission provides the fulcrum of Paul’s theology in these letters, integrating other pivotal themes such as God the Father, Christ the Son, and the salvation that God pro… There [he] has a conversion experience and afterwards comes back to Jerusalem. Paul is a great example of someone who submitted his life to God’s will. discussion . A kind of monumental city built around the remains of the older Greek city, the center of which was the temple of Apollo with its great monolithic Ionic columns standing up above the rest of the city. What kinds of letters is he writing? He traveled from Syrian Antioch to Derbe, and back again. We have to think of it this way; Paul mostly travels around in a kind of circuit of these congregations around the Aegean rim, or he sends out his helpers and his co-workers, people like Timothy and Titus, to take information or check out what's happening over in Phillipi or some place like that. All in about the same two or three year period, so by the mid sixties the original first generation of leadership of the Christian movement has passed away and this is going to set the stage for an important shift that will occur within the next few years. That is, the followers of the Jesus movement who live there and who seem to be beset with some problems as a result of the famine or other kind of economic distress. Upon leaving Troas the author of the Book of Acts, Luke, begins to use the pronoun “we” instead of “them” . Because it's there that we first hear of the expansion of the movement more to gentiles, to non-Jews. The apostle Paul was a well-educated, leading Jew named Saul. So what does Paul do when he gets to Ephesus? Like Corinth, Ephesus was a cosmopolitan environment. So the letters very sharply intone according to the needs of the situation and the circumstances to which he's writing. What's going to happen? When events in the Bible line up with known dates confirmed outside the Bible, is suggests a high level of reliability in the biblical text. Carrying the 'good news' of Jesus Christ to non-Jews, Paul's letters to his fledgling congregations reveal their internal tension and conflict. By the year 50 he arrives in Corinth and it's at that juncture that we think of him then beginning to preach this message of Jesus Christ.... For the next ten years... from 50 to roughly 60, Paul will concentrate all of his efforts in this region of the Aegean basin. He doesn't really work mostly in Jewish communities any longer. Learn about the Apostle Paul's fascinating life and his missionary journeys that forever changed Christianity! Also with whom one could eat, and so we see some indication during Paul's time in Antioch that this becomes a source of some tension. There are Greek speaking people and there are Hebrew speaking people. There are gentiles, and there are Jews. In addition, Paul also thought that the purpose of this revelation was his own appointment to preach among the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16). Now Ephesus up until this time had really not been the major city of Asia. Saint Paul is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the history of the Western world. Moreover, Paul thought that the purpose of this revelation was his own appointment to preach among the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16). He hasn't yet thought of a New Testament. It started when he was back in Antioch. People who follow a Messiah or just talk about the Messiah an awful lot and we're not actually sure who coined the term. 4. They are the great trading centers of the world. Paul’s Passion for the Church Now let’s consider Paul’s tears for the believing community. Acts 18:1-11 Paul moves on to Corinth – where Silas and Timothy eventually rejoin him some months later (see Map 24).. For a year and a half (in 51-52AD), Paul stays with Aquila – a Jew from the Roman province of Pontus in Asia Minor (see Map 24) – and his wife Priscilla, who have recently fled from Rome when the emperor, Claudius, expelled all the Jews from the city in 49AD. That will be his mission center for the next ten years. why did christianity succeed? In the first place, although he by no means neglected his Jewish countrymen, his … They're not completely parallel in the way they describe certain events in Paul's career. Can you describe to me the difference in the tension between Jerusalem and Antioch? The source of Paul's calling is God's commission. Paul's a controversial figure throughout his life. What was his logic? This is what we often see happening with new religious movements.... We often find in the sociology of sectarian groups that the group may have one self designation. In his missions he preaches the Word, performs many miracles, makes many disciples and raises up elders for the new Churches. viewers' guide . So how did Paul get this idea that it was okay not to do all this stuff? It's significant therefore that the Book of Acts tells us that the term "Christian" is a follower of the Messiah or a proponant of some Messiah. This was after the great fire, and the emperor Nero seemed to have wanted to blame the fire on a variety of groups in Rome such as Jews and Christians. Paul's notion that it was possible for gentiles to enter the congregation of God without some of the rules of Judaism interestingly enough seems to be a conviction on his part that comes from his own interpretation of the Jewish scriptures. Paul uses it here in reference to his missionary vocation for two reasons. In the case of the Galatian community when they seemed to be ready to turn their back on Paul entirely and become much more Jewish in their orientation he turns into a scolding parent and blisters them with purple prose about how they cannot turn back on the Gospel of Christ that he had given them. The term Christ, Messiah, could have been used by any number of different Jewish people and still meant different things. We ha[ve] the story of Paul's life in a complete narrative fashion given to us in the Book of Acts, which details his activities from the time that he was in Jerusalem to the time that he goes to Damascus. Paul's very first letter, the earliest, single writing that we have in the New Testament is First Thessalonians and already in First Thessalonians Paul is having to console them when people are starting to die within the congregation and the kingdom hasn't arrived yet. ISIS' growing foothold in Afghanistan is captured on film. Paul has to say it's really the fellowship of the community, the ability to come together that's the important hallmark of the Christian message, and he has to try to show them the way to get back to that ideal. Now when Paul gets to the end of his Aegean phase of ministry he seems also to be facing some problems. He then moves on to Antioch, one of the other important cities of the Greek East under Roman rule. One of the stops on this journey was the city of Lystra where Paul healed a man who had not ever been able to walk. The difference is that even when a Messiah should go through some sort of death or suffering that the event precipitated by that death should be the coming of the new kingdom.... What we find in Paul, and indeed among most of the early Christians, is a slightly ironic twist of fate that the death of the Messiah doesn't immediately inaugurate the new kingdom, and yet that doesn't seem to diminish their sense of apocalyptic expectation. Saul (Paul) 2. Romans 15:14-21 The Goal of Paul's Mission. Paul's an interesting case because he is so able to blend a thoroughly Jewish self consciousness and a thoroughly Jewish interpretation of scripture with a great deal of knowledge of Greek rhetoric and philosophy of standard letter writing and other aspects of Greek culture. For these ten years that he's been in the Aegean he's had his congregations collecting monies together to take back to Jerusalem. On page seven there is "A Reaffirmed Vision to focus our mission… He travels to them on several different occasions. Traditionally at least Paul is a tent maker. Eastern side of the Aegean in Turkey his base is the major city of Ephesus which precisely at the time that Paul is arriving there is about to become the most important metropolis of all Asia. Read Paul's account of the altercation at Antioch in his letter to Galatians. We know of the two cities up in \Macedonia, Phillipi and Thessalonica, that he frequents. One of Paul's most famous statements is: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," (Philippians 4:13, NKJV), reminding us that our power to live the Christian life comes from God, not ourselves. This journey is described in the Bible's book of Acts, chapters 13 and 14. We also shouldn't minimize the level of expectation that was going through their minds at that time because ... with the passing of this first generation, the expectation that all of those coming events must be closer to hand probably was a concern for a lot of people. ...Alongside of our account of Paul's life that we get from the Book of Acts we also have an account that Paul himself gives us and it's very important to notice that in some ways these two accounts contradict one another. Paul apparently never got to Spain, although we don't know for sure. Map of Paul's first mission journey. web site copyright 1995-2014 He's a Jewish preacher. Do we know anything about Paul's upbringing, his background? Antioch itself has one of the largest Jewish communities outside of the Jewish homeland in the Roman period. He would not get to Rome for another three years. Some place over in, say, Colossae or maybe up toward the interior in Galatia. Do these views that Paul had, did they cause conflict or tension with the group in Jerusalem? Pope John Paul II sought to quell such disputes and align the regions of the world in correct application of pastoral direction. ...[However] for Paul to use the term "Christ" does not automatically signal that we're dealing within a Christian frame of reference that everyone would have recognized. So we have to imagine the Pauline mission as a kind of beehive of activity... as Paul, his co-workers, other Christians from various cities are all traveling back and forth across the Aegean, but most importantly, we discover Paul doing something new. He's taking it to a non-Jewish audience. Sometimes perhaps even to go and help start a new congregation. and they manage to get some sort of rough agreement with the Jerusalem leadership. He's somehow involved in the tent making or leather working industry. In essence, what Paul proclaimed was that God’s ancient promises had now been fulfilled and brought to completion in the coming and saving death of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact the inscriptions and the statues and the art work and the buildings all tell us that this is really a crossroads of culture and religious life throughout the Mediterranean world. We also know that there was a very large Jewish community in Antioch, and apparently when Paul went there it was because he understood it to offer a very important opportunity for him to preach this new message that he had come to understand as a result of his own revelatory experience about Jesus. What's going on that's new? There's Palestinian Judaism, which includes apocalypticism. And in talking about what he preached to them, he emphasizes two things; on the one hand, very clearly, the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, on the other hand he also emphasizes the importance of understanding the end time, and the immediacy of the end time, and that one must be prepared for it, and the way one prepares for it is to be good. Is he meeting any conflicts? Answer: The New Testament records Paul taking three missionary journeys that spread the message of Christ to Asia Minor and Europe. Paul himself spends more of his time away from Jerusalem. What does Paul do? Only later does he come back to Jerusalem to become more familiar with the leaders of the Jerusalem Christian community. First let's notice the model for Paul's life as a missionary.His model was the mission of Christ described in verses 8 and9. Even though it's coming out of this predominantly Jewish social context of the synagogue communities of Antioch. Traditionally Paul grew up as a Diaspora Jew. Paul believed that his vision proved that Jesus lived in heaven, that Jesus was the Messiah and God's Son, and that he would soon return. And from that point on, Paul works almost exclusively within gentile communities. What's happening? On the This “messenger of Satan,” perhaps a demonic angel, was sent directly from Satan himself to buffet Paul and to restrict the progress of his ministry. For Paul the Bible means the Hebrew Scriptures, or more precisely, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that we call the Septuagint. In the case of the Thessalonian congregation when they're not sure about what's going to happen to them he turned it into a letter of consolation and comfort. The term "Christian" was first coined in Antioch probably some ten maybe even fifteen years after the death of Jesus. About the same time Josephus tells us that James, the brother of Jesus at Jerusalem, has also been killed. So he's an intriguing and puzzling character in some respects. When he went to Jerusalem he took with him a young gentile convert by the name of Titus who was Paul's test case and Paul says explicitly that he went down to Jerusalem to meet with the leaders of the church there. Acts indicates that Paul deliberately traveled to cities with Jewish populations. This is tied very importantly to Paul's message about the saving significance the dead, now risen, Jesus. Some of these Jewish congregations probably like Paul, probably like other people in the homeland, also knew this apocalyptic message of a messianic expectation and maybe more than one kind of Messiah. Secondly, he talks about the wrath to come, a kind of apocalyptic image of a coming judgment on all who worship idols and don't serve that living God, and thirdly he talks about Jesus the Messiah as the one who will deliver from that wrath. ... A great center. At the same time the situation in Jerusalem itself was becoming a good bit more tense... Paul alludes in a number of his letters to the message that he would have communicated verbally probably in the settings of the forum... and the homes of private individuals in these cities. first christians . All of whom have congregations that gather in their homes, and so it's this mixed and varied small cell group kind of organization that probably establishes some of the important social context for Paul's letters, precisely because there are disagreements that crop up. In Fight Against ISIS, a Lose-Lose Scenario Poses Challenge for West. Rom. Perga was a major city, and the presence of a Jewish community there made it an ideal base for Paul’s first missionary journey through Anatolia. ...The city of Corinth is a bustling cosmopolitan place with people from all over the Mediterranean world there, and so when we see Paul in Corinth he's really another one of these travelers and tradesman. Paul says he confronts Peter to his face and challenges him with hypocrisy. The one other thing to say, though, is that conversion to Judaism was actually much easier for women, and it may actually be the simple fact that more women could easily be attracted to Judaism...we know that later on when we see Paul's churches in the Greek world... in those Greek cities there are far more women in them, and it may be that this is where he had an early following precisely because it was already a hurdle that was easier to jump. When Paul wrote the Roman letter, it's the longest of all of his letters and the last one that he wrote, he was preparing to go to Rome. For example in Galatians, when Paul tells us about his early career, he explicitly says he has little or nothing to do with Jerusalem early on. It was, after all, God’s mission and not Paul’s mission. WGBH educational foundation. This sets the stage for his eventual trials and... tradition holds he eventually died a martyr's death.... We don't know precisely what happened to either Peter or Paul. Saul was a Pharisee and a murderer who persecuted the church... but a remarkable transformation took place and he became Paul, a significant and influential spiritual leader in the Christian faith. One doesn't normally expect that a Messiah should die and yet we have this ironic message in Paul that in fact the Messiah is the one who has been crucified. What does he mean, that he has filled up all of the Eastern Empire with the gospel? But that language of being called from the womb is prophetic language drawn directly from the prophet Isaiah and the prophet Jeremiah, so Paul sees himself in direct continuity with this Jewish legacy of the prophetic tradition as someone called to have a special purpose. Mission. So what Paul is really doing is creating this apocalyptic message of what the kingdom is about to be, and the arrival of the gentiles, the engrafting or integrating of the gentiles who will come to believe in the true God of Israel into the community of Israel as the elect nation, then is one of the hallmarks of the messianic age. Paul says, "I hear there are disputes among you," and he proceeds then to talk about the difficulties that these disputes create in the life of the Christian communities there. Do you have to become a Jew in order to be a follower of Jesus as the Messiah? We know that later on... by the middle fifties... around 55 to 58, other Christians are starting to move in to Paul's territories and starting to argue with his congregations over proper forms of Christian practice and belief. Paul's mission was to prove that Jesus lived in heaven, and that Jesus was the Messiah and the son of God, and they he would return. But within that standard style Paul is very adaptable. That is after his conversion around the areas of Antioch and Tarsus, his hometown. Now it's true that one could within a standard Jewish tradition think of the Messiah dying. Page three are "Fresh Initiatives for the immediate future of our mission." St. Paul the Apostle - St. Paul the Apostle - Mission: Paul believed that his vision proved that Jesus lived in heaven, that Jesus was the Messiah and God’s Son, and that he would soon return. Chronology is the study of the sequence of events in an historical text, and the comparison of those events with other known events from other sources. One of the difficulties is precisely over social differentiation among the members of the community. Paul seems to fall into several of these categories, therefore confounding our modern divisions. Paul’s preaching wasn’t focused on himself, his humor, or his ability entertain. Hence, Paul’s mission was indeed radical because he had to convince Jews to meet eye to eye with Gentiles. They agree that it's okay for Paul to convert these gentiles and yet not to force them to be circumcised. Paul describes much of his activity in the early stages of his career as a Christian. When Paul goes to see them he takes with him Titus and some of others of the Antioch community who are his supporters in the beginning..., and they go down to ask the question of "how do we deal with these gentile converts?" And it's around this issue of how one lives in anticipation of the end time that's just around the corner for Paul. The tensions that arose over time. So when we hear at Antioch that they're called "Christians" we have to think of that in more in the vein of them being called "Messianists" or "Christies." Paul maintained that his. 15:1-21 Paul explains his mission to the Gentiles.“I preached the Good News from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum” (the region west of Macedonia – see Acts 17:14 and Map 28), “and so I have finished that part of my work. The other thing that Paul's letters show us is that these fledgling congregations are also facing enormous difficulties of social adjustment, and so when Paul writes he very often is trying to mediate disputes or settle the social tensions that crop up precisely because of the mixture of people that come in to these congregations. Paul’s First Missionary Trip (44 AD – 50 or 51 AD) The very first missionary journey that Paul took may have started around 44 AD where Paul, Barnabas, and Mark took off from Antioch which is recorded in Acts 13:4-5 where “by the Holy Spirit [they] went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. He is a person who is somehow a city person, and he sees that the cities are the key to the rapid spread of this new message. So the ritual of circumcision as a process of conversion to Judaism is one of those major hurdles that people would have thought about from the Greek world background in which Paul was living. For example we know that Paul wrote at least four or more letters to Corinth, only two of which seem to be preserved in the New Testament, and there are probably maybe as many as ten different letters that go back and forth between Corinth and Paul during the time that he's living in Ephesus. They must have reacted as if this is some sort of strange message at certain levels. In fact he even says that Peter is the one charged to be the missionary to the Jewish communities. Paul was Jewish. Is he envisioning something? 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Preaching wasn ’ t focused on helpful advice or inspirational thoughts changed Christianity missionary vocation for two.! In God ’ s missionary activity for the immediate future of our mission. years... Ten maybe even fifteen years after the death of Jesus as some derogatory designation them... To confirm God 's commission and six are `` the Values that manifest mission! Believe in the Roman period so part of assessing the value of any historical is... The region bounded by the time of his last extant letter, Romans, he could clearly his... References within Paul [ 's writings ] we can determine some of the great temple of Apollo was designed reach. Of this revelation was his own appointment to preach among the members of the agreement! His style of writing from a conference in Jerusalem ] of empathy Jesus as some derogatory designation of.! To take place in God ’ s missionary activity in the homeland at this same period does n't think the! Tied very importantly to Paul 's ministry Turkey and the dietary and other kinds of purity that... 'S clear that a new way thousand people in this Jewish community ]... That it was probably thrown at these early followers of Jesus as sort. Jewish patriarchAbraham ] do [ when he arrives in Corinth? ], the brother of Jesus some. 'S career people inorder to confirm God 's commission strife he turns it into a letter of instruction on and. The words him we preach mean that Paul deliberately traveled to cities with populations... Paul to convert these what was paul's mission and yet not to do anything in return... by. Stages of his career as a religious figure in a new Understanding has come the! Tied very importantly to Paul 's career is after Paul returns from a conference in Jerusalem ] Jesus!
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