Some questions about the Apostle Paul

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Pergamum, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Hello, I am rereading Acts and I have these questions:

    (1) Was Paul imprisoned once or twice? I favor the 2 times theory, but what do you think?

    (2) In what ways was Paul the "Apostle to the Gentiles" since he also regularly preached to Jews and in synagogues. He seemed to leave the synague and go to the Gentiles, but yet went into the synagogue at first in later places where he visited. Did he always seek out Jews first?

    (3) Acts 20:7, Luke the writer of Acts seems to count the day in the Roman way from midnight to midnight in many places, not the Jewish way of 6 to 6. But what is it here in Acts 20:7?

    (4) Acts 21:1, Paul was "gotten" from them... is this like "we tore ourselves away" from them? Is the sense of the text that they had to pull themselves away from these brothers, i.e., parting was a very hard thing?

    (5) Acts 23:5, did Paul really do anything wrong when he called Ananias a white-washed tomb, since Ananias did an illegal action by having Paul smitten before he was even charged?

    (6) Why did Paul walk the 20 or so miles instead of floating the 40 or so miles? Was there a reason he went on foot instead of ship in Acts 20:13,14?

    (7) When did Jesus say, "It is more blessed to give than to receive"? Acts 20:35. Since this quotation seems to only occur in Paul'sl writings.
  2. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    The answer for (2) (why Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles) is that it is because Paul preached in Gentile lands. Peter tended to stay in Jerusalem, but Paul was sent out to the Gentiles. There were Jews and Gentiles in both places, but Peter was in Jewish lands while Paul was in Gentile lands. I think. :)
  3. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    Yes esp. since Peter got the vision of clean and spoke to Gentiles too. Seems strange at first, but
    I think Paul was to go to so many lands, this is why; and that he knew it was still to the Jew first then to the Gentile.
    And hey, what better way to get a Gentile hearing in a town than be thrown out of a synagogue?
    Write this in your evangelistic methods book

    No because Jesus did this too.
    Teachers come under greater condemnation. You may not speak this way to an average person but Simon the Sorcerer got it pretty hard too.

    I think we have a PC correct and worldly view and too much emphasis on gentleness and not enough on rebuke and firmness and prophetic criticism.
    We should be a bit more balanced.


    John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    So you are saying that "To the Jew first" is a principle that Paul used...and went to the Jew first in every geographical locale he traveled to?

    Also, if Paul did no wrong in calling Ananias a white-washed tomb, why did he apologize for it?
  5. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    1. Mostly, I would not say it was an absolute rule if in God's providence he came upon others first, like at Malta.

    2. He may have apologized for many reasons. One that he did not know he was THE high priest, as he says. But it could have been a political move at that point.
    But He may have had a special regard for the office of high priest that he did not have for the average ruler or teacher.

    But would that have been Paul being a judaizer since there was no more temple or high priest after Christ?

    I think Paul knew he could be all things to all people, so in this confusing transition time, the true believers, many of whom were still Jews and had not fully shifted or left Judaism yet, he had to show some respect for the system.
    In a sense Paul was just teaching advanced Judaism. And so careful to not destroy Judaism in the process of helping them to see the Jewish Messiah had come.
  6. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    To 6, it can only be speculation, but I take it that he wanted to be alone. We see that Christ took times to retire from everyone, and Paul presumably also could use opportunities from time to time to think without distractions/

    To 7, we can't pin it down and must simply regard it as another one of those things where Christ did and said much more than we know. But we can learn that even if it didn't fit in with the plan of one of the four Gospels, the Holy Spirit did not permit anything vital to be lost. We can also learn, of course, that Paul knew more than is in the Gospels and had sources of information independent of them.
  7. tt1106

    tt1106 Puritan Board Freshman

    I think it fair to speculate that each apostle was given different insight. None of the other apostles were struck blind by Christ either, so his experience was unique to the Gospel writers. I often think that he must have had even more of a special revelation, simply because Christ's power was felt by him, and we know that he was resisting by Christ's chastisement of "kicking against the goads". Although Paul is the only one that captures the words, the idea is there and especially gratifying in Mark 10:45 where Christ humbles all of us stating, "45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    blessings friends

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