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Understanding the language of the Bible is critical. The language of the N.T. is written in the later Greek, and the writers applied the Greek to subjects on which it had never been used by native Greek writers. The things concerning Jewish affairs, their theology, and rituals. I have committed the work of the Greek dictionary found within, to assist in your personal study, and in repelling those who choose to distort the word. Acquaint yourself with the language of the Greek N.T., you will find it to be of an indispensable importance.
The author of these articles and features quotes verses from the King James Version. We investigate the Bible's original text, examine the Greek, Hebrew, text, context, symbols, and terminologies. We will continue to make every effort to aid readers to grow in their individual faith. We will also make every effort to assist, and to support those who have vowed to honor our Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work.
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Paul the apostle, Part 11.
Paul found certain disciples, -- about twelve in number – of whom he inquired, he asked, “Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed? They answered, No, we did not even hear of there being a Holy Ghost. Unto what, then asked Paul, were ye baptized? And they said, unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who was coming after him; that is, on Jesus. Hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; and when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy” Acts 19:1-7.
It is obvious to compare this incident with the apostolic act of Peter and John in Semaria, and to see in it an assertion of the full dignity of Paul’s apostleship. But besides Paul bearing it, we see in it indications which suggest more than they express as to the spiritual movements of that period. These twelve disciples are mentioned immediately after Apollos who also had been at Ephesus just before Paul’s arrival, and who had taught diligently concerning Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John.
What the exact belief of Apollos and these twelve “disciples” was concerning the character and work of Jesus, there is no mention, the apostle entered again into his usual work. He went into the synagogue, and for three months spoke openly, disputing and persuading the Jews concerning “the kingdom of God.”
At the end of this time, the obstinacy and opposition of some of the Jews led him to give up going to the synagogue; so he established the believers as a separate society, meeting “in the school of Tyrannus,” he continued this for two years. During this time, many things occurred, of which the Acts of the Apostles chooses several examples; the triumph over magical arts; the great disturbance raised by the silversmiths who made shrines for Artomis; and among which we are to note the writing of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
While Paul was at Ephesus his communications with the Church in Achaia were not altogether suspended. There is strong reason to believe that a personal visit to Corinth was made by him, and a letter sent, neither of which is mentioned in Acts, but the visit is inferred from several allusions made in 2 Cor.12:14, and in 13:1. The visit he is contemplating is plainly mentioned in Acts 20:2, which took place when he finally left Ephesus. If that was the third, he must have paid a second during the time of his residence at Ephesus. The primi facie sense of 2 Cor.2:1 and 12:21, 13:2, implies a short visit, which we should place in the first half of the stay at Ephesus. And there are no reasons why we should not accept that primi facie sense.
Whether the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians was written before or after the turmoil started by Demetrius cannot be positively shown. He makes an allusion, in the Epistle, to a “battle with wild beasts” fought at Ephesus 1 Cor.15:32 which can be understood figuratively, and which is by many connected with that commotion. But this connection is arbitrary, and without reasonable proof. And it would seem from Acts 20:1, that Paul had departed immediately after the tumult, and most likely the Epistle was written before, though not long before, the raising of this disturbance by Demetrius.
There were two special reasons for writing the Epistle to the Corinthians.
1. Paul had received information from members of Chloe’s household 1 Cor. 1:11 concerning the state of the Church at Corinth.
2. That Church had written him a letter, of which the bearers were Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus, they asking for his judgment upon various points which were submitted to him, 1 Cor.7:1, 16:17. For a detailed description of the Epistles you can read for yourselves.
But it belongs to the history of Paul to notice the personal characteristics which appear in that history. We must remember to observe in this Epistle, how loyally he had represented Jesus Christ Crucified as the Lord of men; that Jesus is the Head of the body having many members; that he is the Center of Unity; and the Bond of all who come to him with the Father. We should note how invariably he connects the power of the Holy Spirit with the name of the Lord Jesus. He meets all the evils of the Corinthian Church, the intellectual pride, the party (denominational) spirit they had, the loose morality, the disregard of decency and order, and the false belief about the Resurrection.
Paul recalling their thoughts back to the Person of Christ and to the Spirit of God as the Breath of a common life to the whole body. We may also observe more than elsewhere, the tact, universally recognized and admired, with which the apostle discusses the practical problems brought before him. Paul speaks of his own doings and movements, he refers chiefly to the nature of his preaching at Corinth 1 Cor.1:2; to the hardships and danger’s of the apostolic life 1 Cor.4:9-13; to his cherished custom of working for his own living; to the direct revelations he had received 1 Cor. 11:23, 15:8; and to his present plans, 1 Cor.16.
Paul asks the Corinthians to raise a collection for the Church at Jerusalem on the first day of the week, just as he had directed the churches in Galatia to do. He writes that he shall stay at Ephesus until Pentecost, and then set out on a journey towards Corinth, through Macedonia, so perhaps to spend the winter with them. He expresses his joy at the coming of Stephanas and his companions, and commends them to the Church. Having dispatched this Epistle, he remained on at Ephesus, where “a great door and effectual was opened to him, as there he would encounter many adversaries.”
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