Why did Paul write to Philemon, and what did he ask him to do?
Its purpose was specific - to reconcile Philemon with his slave Onesimus; to intercede on behalf of Onesimus. The letter conveyed an important practical implication of the Messiahship of Jesus—the message is timeless.
Paul asked Philemon to treat the willingly returning slave humanely, recognizing that he was now a brother in Christ.
What was happening to the church in Colossae that caused Paul to write to it?
He received news, or a letter, delivered by Epaphras that a "false gospel" was hurting the church in Colosse. Paul was writing to to tell the church how to respond.
Paul warned the Colossians that if they went after this false gospel, they would not have hope.
How is Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus different from the one to the Colossians? Why?
Rather than correcting errors, Paulencouraged a congregation whose founding pastor was in prison for his faith by reviewing the Christian hope.
Paul anticipated the "false gospel" coming from the region of Colosse so he encouraged and exhorted their unity and holy lifestyles since he was the founding pastor in prison for his faith.
What were the key issues underlying Paul's letter to the Philippians?
First he used the occasion to thank the Philippians for their help financially and lending Epaphroditus to him. Paul addressed the concerns of Epaphroditus health, he encouraged that church to continue in its growth in love. He may have noted his anticipated release from prison.
What happened to Paul after he was released from prison?
He returned to Asia and Greece and then apparently mad it to Spain. Then he returned to Greece where he was arrested again.
Trace the key events in the lives of the remaining apostles.
Most of the remaining apostles were martyred under the command of Nero.
Peter: Was the early leader of the church and the first to leave Jerusalem; He went to Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea then back to Jerusalem; left after James, the brother of John, was executed; within five years he made it up to Antioch, then back to Jerusalem where he defended the incorporation of Gentiles into the church; then he travels to Corinth. In the late 50s he traveled east into Babylonia and finally made it to Rome where he was executed in 64 CE.
James Son of Zebedee: Brother of John, Jesus called them Boanerges: "Sons of Thunder" Peter, James and John constituted a special inner circle as they were there when Jesus was transfigured. Very little information on him after the Resurrection. He was part of the 11 in Jerusalem; after the stoning of Stephen he traveled to Spain. He and Peter were arrested in 44; Herod put him to death and an angel delivered Peter. James was the 1st of the apostles to be martyred.
John Son of Zebedee: Brother of James; the 3rd member of the inner circle—he was called "the disciple that Jesus loved." John took over the responsibilities of caring for Jesus' mother when he was on the cross. John and Peter had close ties to the early church activity and were involved in healing the lame man in the temple. He moved from Jerusalem to Ephesus. He took Paul and Timothy's place in supervising the church. He was exiled to Patmos. After the exile was over John returned to Ephesus and probably died of old age.
Andrew: Brother of Peter; Andrew followed Jesus 1st and brought his brother to Jesus. His role is not significant; he and his brother were fishermen. He was the one who brought the lad with the loaves and fishes to Jesus; He and Philip brought the Greeks to Jesus in the week before the crucifixion; After the resurrection, his life is obscure; He ministered as far as Asia Minor, traveling to Scythia near the Black Sea and to Greece and Macedonia. Tradition have him dying in Patro, Greece in 69.
Philip: Jesus found Philip the day after he met Peter and Andrew. From Bethsaida; Not to be confused with Philip the evangelist; He also traveled to Scythia where he preached for 20 years; Evidence he traveled to South France (Gaul); He then traveled to Asia Minor in Phrygia settling in Hieropolis. He apparently died in here as a martyr at the age of 87.
Bartholomew (Nathanael): Philip and Nathanael are associated in John's gospel it is believed that Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same. Other than this and a note that he and Peter went fishing, he isn't noted; Tradition holds that Bartholomew took the gospel to India; He took a Hebrew (or Aramaic) Gospel of matthew with him; After India he ministered in Armenia. Bartholomew was beheaded there in about 68.
Thomas (Didymus): Didymus means "twin"—no information about his sibling. He is most noted for his "questioning attitude—or doubting Thomas" After the resurrection he traveled east; Some accounts have him visiting Babylon w/Bartholomew and Judas Thaddaeus; Thomas continued to Malabar in south India in approx 50 CE; His life and ministry ended in martyrdom by a spear-thrust in Mylapore, near Madras on the coast of India, probably about 63
Matthew (Levi): Brother to James; Matthew was a writer of the gospel and originally a tax collector; he traveled abroad extensively. Matthew ministered in Ethiopia, Macedonia (Greece), Syria, and Persia (Iran); he probably died in Egypt, probably in Alexandria—date unknown.
James Son of Alpheus: Brother to Matthew; this James was described as "the less"—"the younger." Not the son of Zebedee. Ministered in Syria; little is known. He died by stoning—date unknown.
Judas: 2 disciples shared this very common name; Judas Iscariot and Judas son of James; Matthew and Mark call this Judas "Thaddaeus" He asked Jesus during the Last Supper, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" Judas/Thaddaeus traveled through Armenia, Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Persia; he was martyred in Syria in about 66.
Simon the Zealot:
What is a Catholic epistle?
Also called General Epistles; Letter written to larger geographical regions to believers in general not to a specific individual or city. addressing issues of false teaching rather than lifestyle issues--Catholic or General Epistles.
What is the focus of 1 Peter?
suffering but does not seem to suggest martyrdom;
Peter wrote the letter to a church that was suffering persecution.
Peter explored a number issues: personal holiness, relational issues, persecution, and the issue of leadership in the church as well as church conduct.
How is 2 Peter different from 1 Peter? Why is this important?
Peter's 2 letters were written from different locations on different dates, about different subjects, probably to different audiences, using different scribes. This would explain stylistic variations and the difference in acceptance in the church through church history. 1 Peter addresses persecution, 2 Peter deals with false teachers
What is Gnosticism?
Derives from the Greek work gnosis meaning knowledge; Primarily an intellectual movement. They all had in common the concept that there were hidden secrets (knowledge) to which only the initiated could have access. There was a sharp distinction between spirit and matter called "dualism". Matter was considered evil and spirit good. Came from Greek philosophy.
What is a pastoral epistle?
1 & 2 Timothy and Titus; Letter written for pastors, not for the general public.
The last letters written by Paul;
How do 1 Timothy & Titus reinforce each other?
They reiterate teh guidelines Paul had given them as overseers. They are directives on church governance.
Practical aspects of ministry, specifically the development of leadership in the church.
How is 2 timothy different from 1 Timothy? Why is this important?
the primary purpose of the 2 Timothy was to either ask Timothy to visit or to give guidelines and convey a note of urgency regarding an already expected visit.
The tone of the letter is somber. Paul knew he was near the end and tried to keep upbeat.
The theme of the book is endurance.
Who are the possible authors of Hebrews? What are the arguments for each?
Suggested by early church: Paul, Barnabas
Modern scholars: Luke, Apollos, Silvanus (Silas), Philip, Priscilla, Clement of Rome.
What is the primary focus of the book of Hebrews?
The entire point of the book was a comparison between the Messiah (the "Christ" and thus Christianity) and the inferior aspects of Judaism; that in the Messiah, Judaism was fulfilled.
The overall theme of the book is "Jesus is better."
What important event happened in Judea in 70 CE?
Titus the son of the Roman General Vespasian, destroyed Jerusalem, because his father succeeded the throne.
What is the focus of the book of Jude?
He addressed false teacher, an even more organized form of gnostic thinking, and the certainty of the return of Jesus the Messiah.
How does it relate to 2 Peter? Why is this important?
Verses 17-18 are very similar to 2 Peter 3:2-3. Who referenced whom?
Why is John's gospel so significantly different from the Synoptic Gospels?
It is preeminently a thoughtful evaluation, after a half-century of contemplation, of the implications of all that Jesus said and did. Apparently in reaction to increasingly strong false teaching, John wrote to demonstrate the deity of Jesus.
He gave greater insight into some issues.
He was building on the Synoptics.
What is the focus of John's first letter?
An increasing manifestation of false teaching. Seems directed toward an encroaching Gnosticism.
How are John's 2nd and 3rd letters different from his 1st letter?
1st John is a general or circular letter
2nd & 3rd John are addressed to specific people.
What are the purposes of the book of Revelations?
Answer four key questions; when is the kingdom going to be est., what about the Lord's return, what about the situation of John, finally, what is happening in the world.
What are the 4 main schools of interpretation of Revelation?
Idealist (584), Preterist (585), Historicist (585), Futurist (586)
What is the key premise on which they disagree?
Literal or allegorical method of interpreting.
What is "the Millennium"? Why is it so important?
The time period for the rein of the Messiah on earth which is described as 1,000 years.
How one interprets that 1,000 and its relationship to the coming of Jesus determines how one views prophecy in general. 3 derivatives of the word are used to characterize a person's view on prophecy.
What are the three main sections of Revelation?
The things that John had seen (ch 1), the things that are (chs 2-3), and the things that are to follow or things that will take place after these things (chs 4-22).
( p. 588)
How is the ending of the Bible different from its beginning?
Beginings were addressed to 7 different churches. Endings were all the same.
What are some of the differences between the other apocalyptic literature mentioned in the chapter and Revelation?
What is the historical context of "the letter to the seven churches..." that John writes?
What has caused so much bad speculative interpretation of the book of Revelation?
The lack of sound exegetical principles.
T/F: In one of the many themes of the book, John is telling the original readers that the church and state are on a collision course and that the initial victory will appear to go to the state.