Notes for NTG716

Acts & Pauline Epistles






Robert C. Newman

Biblical Seminary
                                                  CONTENTS & OUTLINE FOR

                                           NTG716 ACTS & PAULINE EPISTLES


I. Mediterranean Geography                                                                                                             6

            A. Physical Features                                                                                                             6    

                        1. Bodies of Water (6)

                        2. Principal Islands (6)

            B. Political Features                                                                                                              7    

                        1. Provinces of Roman Empire (7)

                        2. Cities (8)

                        3. Roman Road System (8)


II. The Chronology of the New Testament                                                                                        9

            A. Origin of the Christian Era                                                                                               9    

                        1. Problems of Ancient Chronology (9)

                        2. Various Ancient Eras (9)

                        3. The Christian Era (9)

            B. Gospel Chronology                                                                                                        10    

                        1. The Roman Emperors (10)

                        2. Beginning of Jesus' Ministry (10)

                        3. Length of Jesus' Ministry (11)

                        4. Birth of Jesus (11)

            C. Apostolic Chronology                                                                                                    11    

                        1. Relative Chronology of Acts & Galatians (11)

                        2. Some Connections with Secular History (13)

                        3. Suggested Absolute Chronology (13)


III. Introduction to Acts                                                                                                                  15

            A. Title of Acts                                                                                                                   15    

            B. Text of Acts                                                                                                                    15    

            C. Authorship of Acts                                                                                                         17    

                        1. External Evidence (17)

                        2. Internal Evidence (19)

            D. Destination of Acts                                                                                                        21    

            E. Date of Acts                                                                                                                    22    

                        1. Various Suggestions (22)

                        2. Positive Evidence (24)

            F. Historical Accuracy of Acts                                                                                            25    

                        1. History of Opinion (25)

                        2. Testable Data (27)

            G. Purpose of Acts                                                                                                             30     

            H. Sketch Outline of Acts                                                                                                   31    


IV. Exegesis of Historical Passages                                                                                                32

            A. Preparation for Exegesis                                                                                                32    

            B. Genres in Acts & Epistles                                                                                              32    

            C. Historical Passages & the Genre "Narrative"                                                                 33    


V. Paul's Early Epistles and Eschatology                                                                                        35

            A. The Early Epistles: 1-2 Thess and Gal                                                                           35    

                        1. Letters of the Hellenistic Period (35)

                        2. Thessalonian Epistles (39)

                        3. Galatians (43)

            B. Pauline Eschatology                                                                                                       50    

                        1. Downpayment (50)

                        2. Nearness of the End (50)

                        3. Death & Intermediate State (50)

                        4. Israel (51)

                        5. Man of Lawlessness (51)

                        6. Rapture (51)

                        7. Parousia (52)

                        8. Resurrection (52)

                        9. Millennium (52)

                      10. Judgment (52)

                      11. Eternal State (52)


VI. Exegesis of Theological Passages                                                                                             53

            A. What is a "Theological Passage"?                                                                                  53    

            B. Recognizing a Theological Passage                                                                                53    

            C. Exegeting a Theological Passage                                                                                    53    


VII. Mid-Term Test                                                                                                                        55

            A. How to Study                                                                                                                 55    

            B. What to Study                                                                                                                 55    


VIII. Gentile Background to the New Testament                                                                            57

            A. Hellenism                                                                                                                       57    

                        1. The Greek Language (57)

                        2. Greek Religion (57)

                        3. Greek Philosophy (58)

                        4. The Greek City (58)

                        5. Greek Art, Rhetoric, Literature (59)

                        6. Greek Athletics (59)

            B. The Roman Empire                                                                                                         60    

                        1. The Emperor (60)

                        2. The Empire (60)

                        3. The Army (60)

                        4. Taxes (61)

                        5. The People (61)

                        6. Transportation (62)

                        7. Roman Coinage (62)


IX. Paul's Middle Epistles and Soteriology                                                                                     64

            A. 1 & 2 Corinthians                                                                                                           64    

                        1. The City of Corinth (1)

                        2. The Church in Corinth (2)

                        3. Background to 1 Corinthians (2)

                        4. Occasion of 1 Cornithians (2)

                        5. Sketch Outline of 1 Corinthians (3)

                        6. Background of 2 Corinthians (4)

                        7. Sketch Outline of 2 Corinthians (5)

                        8. Integrity of 2 Corinthians (6)

            B. Romans                                                                                                                          70    

                        1. Order in the New Testament (70)

                        2. The City of Rome (71)

                        3. The Church in Rome (71)

                        4. Date and Place of Writing (73)

                        5. Occasion of Romans (73)

                        6. Sketch Outline of Romans (74)

                        7. The Integrity of Romans (74)

            C. Pauline Soteriology                                                                                                        76    

                        1. Summary (76)

                                    a. Man's State

                                    b. Man's Salvation

                        2. Pictures of Salvation (77)

                                    a. Salvation

                                    b. Redemption

                                    c. Pardon

                                    d. Justification

                                    e. Cleansing

                                    f. Healing

                                    g. Reconciliation

                                    h. Adoption

                                    i. Regeneration

                                    j. Resurrection

                                    k. Creation

                        3. Some Additional Words re/ Salvation (79)

                                    a. Donation (Grace)

                                    b. Selection (Election)

                                    c. Propitiation

                                    d. Circumcision

                                    e. Baptism

                                    f. Lord's Supper


X. Exegesis of Controversy Passages                                                                                             81

            A. What is a Controversy Passage?                                                                                    81     

            B. Identifying a Controversy Passage                                                                                 81    

            C. Exegeting a Controversy Passage                                                                                   81    


XI. Paul's Prison Epistles and Christology                                                                                     83

            A. Prison Epistles                                                                                                               83    

                        1. Introduction (83)

                        2. Ephesians (87)

                        3. Colossians (91)

                        4. Philemon (93)

                        5. Philippians (95)

            B. Pauline Christology                                                                                                        97    


XII. Exegesis of Exhortation Passages                                                                                           99

            A. What is an Exhortation Passage                                                                                     99     

            B. Recognizing an Exhortation Passage                                                                              99     

            C. Exegeting an Exhortation Passage                                                                                  99     

            D. Word Studies                                                                                                               100     


XIII. The Pastoral Epistles & Last Days of Paul                                                                           102

            A. The Pastoral Epistles                                                                                                    102    

                        1. Recipients (102)

                        2. Authenticity (104)

                        3. Paul's Activities after Close of Acts (110)

                        4. Dates for Pastoral Epistles (111)

                        5. Outlines (112)

            B. The Death of Paul and the Other Apostles                                                                   112    

                        1. Scriptural Information (112)

                        2. Extra-Scriptural Information (114)


I. Mediterranean Geography


A. Physical Features



   1. Bodies of Water


      a. Mediterranean Sea

called "Great Sea" in OT, not named in NT, called "Mare Internum" by Romans

      b. Black Sea

N of Asia Minor

      c. Aegean Sea

between Greece and Asia Minor

      d. Adriatic Sea

today restricted to area betw Italy and Greece; in NT times, sometimes viewed extending to Central Med (Acts 27:27)

      e. Ionian Sea

sometimes lower part of Adriatic is so named

      f. Tyrrhenian Sea

triangular sea betw Italian boot, Sicilian football, Corsica and Sardinia



   2. Principal Islands


      a. Cyprus

NE corner of Med; Metal copper named for island; evangelized by Paul & Barnabas on 1st mj, Acts 13

      b. Crete

S of Aegean Sea, below Greece and Asia Minor; home of ancient Minoan civilization before 1400 BC;  Titus put in charge of Xn work here by Paul (Tit 1:5)

      c. Sicily

football being kicked by Italian boot

      d. Malta 

S of Sicily; very small, but famous for Paul's shipwreck, Acts 27

      e. Patmos

about 50 mi SW of Ephesus; even smaller, hundreds of islands in Med this big; site of John's banishment when he wrote Revelation


B. Political Features (1st cen AD)




   1. Provinces of Roman Empire


      a. Syria

            Palestine included for miltary purposes

      b. Egypt (Aegyptus)

            almost a private preserve of Emperor, to guarantee supply of grain for Rome and its dole

            to poor

      c. Cilicia

           Paul's native province

      d. Galatia

           central Asia Minor

           Paul's 1st mj in S part of province

      e. Asia

           not continent, but western Asia Minor

      f. Macedonia

           N of Greece

           Paul visited on 2nd mj

      g. Achaia

           Greece proper

      h. Other Provinces

           Brittania, Gallia, Hispania, Mauretania, Africa,

           Cyrenaica, Italia, Illyricum, Moesia, Bithynia,

           Pontus, Cappadocia


   2. Cities of Roman Empire

        NOTE: 1,2,3 are largest cities; A,B,C mark famous schools

        a. Jerusalem                     k. Miletus

        b. Caesarea                      l. Ephesus

        c. Tyre                             m. Troas

        d. Damascus                    n. Philippi

        e. Antioch (Syria)(3)       o. Thessalonica

        f. Tarsus (C)                    p. Athens (A)

        g. Pisidian Antioch          q. Corinth

        h. Iconium                       r. Rome (1)

        i. Lystra                           s. Alexandria (2,B)

        J. Derbe               


   3. Roman Road System (see Yamauchi, NT World, 117)

        eventually a 1/4 million mi system of paved roads!



      a. Via Appia

from Rome E to heel of boot

      b. Via Egnatia

across Macedo­nia, sort of ex­ten­sion of Via Appia

      c. Old Route across

cen­tral Asia Minor; used by Paul from Antioch to Ephesus

      d. Palestinian Roads

many upgraded to Roman quality in 2nd cen AD





II. The Chronology of the New Testament


A. Origin of the Christian Era


   1. Problems of Ancient Chronology

        Destruction of records

        Use of differing calendars

        Use of regnal years of various rulers


   2. Various Ancient Eras

several attempts to solve problem of regnal years by using systems spanning centuries


       a. Olympic Era (Ol)

            by olympiads (units of 4 years), then numbering years w/in olympiad

            started approx July 1, 776 BC

            used by many Greek & Hellenistic historians


       b. Roman Era (AUC)

            from year of founding of Rome (ab urbe condita)

            some disagreement on starting year until 1st cen BC

              finally settled on starting January 1, 753 BC

            used by most Roman historians


       c. Seleucid Era (AS - anno Seleucidae)

            from year of founding of Seleucid dynasty

            started Oct 7, 312 BC (Macedonian calendar)

              or Apr 3, 311 BC (Babylonian calendar)

            most widely used ancient era: used in 1 & 2 Macc,

                Josephus, Eusebius


       d. Jewish Eras

           (1) Destruction of 2nd Temple

                occurred Aug 5, AD 70

                used in Palestine & some medieval Heb works

           (2) Era of World (AM ‑ anno mundi)

                measured from creation of world

                using Masoretic Text, no gaps, some guesswork

                starts Sept 21, 3761 BC


        e. Era of Diocletian

            from accession of Diocletian as Roman emperor; starts Aug 29, AD 284



3. The Christian Era (AD ‑ anno Domini)


        a. Dionysius the Little

            monastic scholar who devised AD system

            using information avail at his time (525 AD)

              identified AD 1 with AUC 754

            Xn era uses Roman calendar, year beginning Jan 1


        b. Resulting Synchronisms

            AD 1 = AUC 754 = Ol 194,4/195,1 = c312 AS


B. Gospel Chronology


   1. The Roman Emperors

            In practice, most inscriptions, coins, etc dated by rule of emperors, etc., rather than by AUC

              era; w/ thousands of such items, most Roman events can be dated closely


        EMPEROR         DATE                       BIBLICAL OR OTHER EVENT


        Augustus             30 BC ‑ AD 14           birth of Christ

        Tiberius               AD 14‑37                    death & resurrection of X

        Gaius                   37‑41                           statue to temple

        Claudius              41‑54                           famine in East, Ac 11:28

                                                                        expels Jews, Ac 18:2

        Nero                    54‑68                           persecutes Xy; death of Peter & Paul


        Galba, Otho,                                                        69: year of the 4

          Vitellius             68‑69                             emperors


        Vespasian            69‑79                           destruction of Jerusalem

        Titus                    79‑81

        Domitian             81‑96                           2nd major persecution


        Nerva                  96‑98

        Trajan                  98‑117                         death of John

        Hadrian               117‑138                       Bar-Kochba revolt


   2. Beginning of Jesus' Ministry:  AD 26/27 or 28/29


       a. In reign of Tiberius (14‑37) and Pilate (26‑36)


       b. John B's ministry dated by Luke 3:1 as beginnning in 5th yr of Tiberius:

              AD 28/29 if from beginning of sole reign

              AD 26/27 if from beginning of coregency


       c. Jesus cast out moneychangers early in ministry, when temple had been 46 yr in rebuilding:

            Josephus, Ant 15.11.1 gives starting date as 19/18 BC, so 46 yrs later = 26/27

              or if measured from completion of naos = 28/29


       d. Summary

            two choices; most presently favor earlier of two as better fitting accepted date for Jesus' birth


   3. Length of Jesus' Ministry


        for us who accept biblical data, choices are 2+ and 3+ years, depending on interpretation of

            John 4:35 and John 5:1

        results range from AD 29 to 33 for crucifixion & resurrection; commonest view is AD 30


   4. Birth of Jesus: about 5 BC (or possibly 2 BC)


        a. Reign of Augustus (Luke 2:1), so betw 30 BC and AD 14

        b. Herod still alive, so no later than 4 BC by standard view; eclipse of moon mentioned by

             Josephus (Ant 17.6.4) calc for 12 Mar 4 BC; but Ernest L.Martin argues for a later eclipse

             in 1 BC

        c. Census of Quirinius (Lk 2:2): a point of much debate, as only recorded census in AD 6;

              prob Lk refers to an earlier ("first") census

        d. Jesus about 30 years old at beginning of ministry (Lk 3:23):  works nicely for birth shortly

              before Herod's death: e.g., if born Dec, 5 BC, would have been 30 on Dec, AD 26; need to

              rework chron of Herod or take 30 yrs rather loosely to get later dates for Jesus' public



C. Apostolic Chronology


   1. Relative Chronology of Acts and Galatians


        a. Chronological References in Acts


            1:3         Jesus appeared to disciples for 40 days

                          betw resurrection & ascension


           11:26        Paul & Barnabas in Antioch for 1 year

                          before famine visit to Jerusalem


           18:2         Prisc & Aquila recently from Rome because

                          Claudius forced Jews to leave


           18:11        Paul taught in Corinth 1‑1/2 years


                [2nd miss journey at least 2 years]


           19:8         Paul preached in Ephesus synagogue 3 mo


           19:10        Paul taught in sch of Tyrannus 2 years


           20:31        Paul's summary to Ephesian elders: 3 yr


           20:3         Paul in Achaia 3 months


                [3rd miss journey at least 3 or 4 years]


           24:27        Paul in prison Caesarea 2 years


           28:11        Paul's group shipwrecked on Malta 3 mo


           28:30        Paul under house arrest in Rome 2 years


                [dates dense near end of Acts, rare at beginning]


        b. Chronological References in Galatians


            1:18        Paul's 1st visit to Jerusalem after

                          conversion was 3 yr after


            2:1         Paul made another visit 14 yr later


                [ambiguity: 14 yr from when? what visit is this?]


        c. Attempting a Relative Chronology from Close of Acts


                   EVENT                RELATIVE YEAR


                Close of Acts                    0

                Paul reaches Rome          ‑2

                Paul leaves Caesarea       ‑3

                Paul arrested in Temple   ‑5

                3rd m.j. ends                    ‑6

                         begins                      ‑9?

                2nd m.j. ends                   ‑10?

                         begins                     ‑12?

                Jerusalem council           ‑13?



d. Attempting a Rel. Chron. from Conversion of Paul


                   EVENT                RELATIVE YEAR


                Paul's conversion                0

                1st Jerusalem visit             +3

                Jerusalem council         +14 or 17


   2. Some Connections with Secular History


        a. Death of Herod Agrippa I: AD 44

            narrated in Acts 12:23 and Josephus, Ant 19.18.1


        b. Edict of Claudius: 49

            mentioned in Acts 18:2 and Suetonius, Claudius 25

            but no date given until Orosius (c415)


        c. Gallio, Proconsul of Achaia: 51‑53

            Acts 18:12 and Delphi inscription


        d. Accession of Festus: 57‑60

            Acts 24:27; ref to by Josephus several times, but

              date of accesssion not given

            of possible range given above, 59‑60 seems more

              likely in view of Paul's remark to predecessor

              Felix in Acts 24:10


        e. Roman Fire: night of July 18/19, AD 64

            Nero later blames Xns, persecution begins


        f. Fall of Jerusalem: late Aug, 70


        g. Domitian persecution: AD 95‑96

            probably occasion of John's exile to Patmos


   3. Suggested Absolute Chronology of NT Events


        YEAR BC/AD      EVENT


           5 BC                 Birth of Jesus

          26/27 AD          Beginning of Jesus' Ministry

            30                    Resurrection of Jesus


           32‑37                Conversion of Paul

            44                    Death of James, son of Zebedee

           48‑50                1st Missionary Journey


            50                    Jerusalem Council


           51‑53                2nd Missionary Journey

           54‑58                3rd Missionary Journey


           58‑60                Paul imprisoned, Caesarea

           61‑63                Paul imprisoned, Rome

           63ff                  Paul's later travels


            64                    Roman fire; Xy becomes a crime


           64‑68                Deaths of Peter & Paul


            70                    Fall of Jerusalem to Romans


           95‑96                John on Patmos


         after 98               Death of John; end of apostolic age


III. Introduction to Acts


A. Title of Acts


   ‑Titles vary between manuscripts, as in Gospels also.


   ‑The shortest title occurs in Sinaiticus (!): ΠΡΑΞΕIΣ

    which means "activities" or "book of activities".

   ‑This is probably too short to be original; typically

    need another name in genitive to show whose acts narrated


   ‑A slightly longer form occurs in the subscription to !

    and also in the title of B, D, Ψ, and a few others:

                        ΠΡΑΞΕIΣ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ

    (like ancient titles for activities of indiv, city)

   ‑Some longer forms, adding ΤΩΝ and/or ΑΓIΩΝ, seem later.

   ‑The longest is "The Acts of the Holy Apostles (by) Luke

    the Evangelist."


   ‑Thus the title may not be original, but can hardly be

    later than 150 AD due to the divergence of text families.


B. Text of Acts


   ‑Manuscripts available about the same as for the Gospels,

    though some (e.g., p29, E) contain Acts only (see Metzger,

    Textual Commentary on the Greek NT).


   ‑The main peculiarity is the difference between

    the Alexandrian and Western texts:


   -The Alexandrian text (p45 p74 ! A B C Ψ 33 etc.) is shorter,

            less colorful, sometimes more obscure;


   ‑The Western text (p29 p38 p48 D syrh* ith Cyprian Augustine)

            is almost 1/10 longer, more picturesque, circumstantial:


Some examples:

            [N] = Nestle only lists variant; [U] = UBS also lists:


[N] 11:28 ‑ "WHEN WE WERE GATHERED TOGETHER, one of them said"


      ‑This extra we‑section occurs with Agabus the prophet in

       Antioch and may imply that Luke was from Antioch.

      ‑The Alex. and Byz. texts use "they" (3rd person) here.


[N] 12:10 ‑ "they went out AND DOWN SEVEN STEPS and ..."


      ‑As Peter is fleeing from the jail.  Alex. omits.

      ‑Western family adds a detail.


[N] 14:2  ‑ "the brethren, BUT THE LORD QUICKLY GAVE PEACE"


      ‑Alex. text does not explain how the stirred‑up crowd

       was calmed so that v.3 would make sense: "therefore

       they spent a long time ..."

      ‑Western addition smooths and adds detail.


[U] 15:20  ‑ substitutes golden rule for "things strangled"


      ‑This one affects the outcome of the Jerusalem council.

      ‑Alex. text has "strangled, blood" which looks more like

       the ceremonial law.

      ‑West. text has golden rule, blood (murder) which looks

       more like the moral law.


[U] 19:9  ‑ "from the 5th to the 10th hour" (11 AM to 4 PM)


      ‑Paul's teaching at the nearby school is specified to be

       during the time of day when the regular classes would

       not be in session.

      ‑The Greeks normally took a "siesta" during the hot part

       of the day.


  ‑Note the addition of historical details, smoothing, adding

   Luke's presence, and the golden rule substitute.


 Theories offered to explain these variations:


(1) Two editions by original author, Alex. later

                        Jean Leclerc, J.B. Lightfoot, developed by F. Blass

                        West - original, rough; Alex - refined


(2) Two eds. by original author, West. later

                        George Salmon

            Luke gave public readings, adding West material to explain, etc.


(3) Western text interpolates

                        Westcott & Hort, W.H.P. Hatch, F.G. Kenyon, M. Dibelius

                        Haphazard growth of text during 1st & 2nd centuries


(4) Alex. original, West. text a later revision (not by author)

                        J.H. Ropes, R.P.C. Hanson


(5) West. original, Alex. a revision

                        Albert C. Clark


Metzger, w/ HŠnchen, think West. text secondary, but both (3) and (4) above involved, plus peculiarities of D alone


UBS, Nestle committees not agreed on which theory correct, so eclectic; generally favor Alex., but feel some West. read­ings are factually accurate.


C. Authorship of Acts


 1. External Evidence:  unanimous for Luke


  a. Muratorian Canon ‑ Italy ‑ 170‑190 AD


"The Acts however of all the Apostles are written in one book.  Luke puts it shortly to the most excellent Theo­phil­us, that the several things were done in his own pres­ence, as he also plainly shows by leaving out the passion of Peter, and also the departure of Paul from town on his journey to Spain."


  ‑"All the Apostles" appears strange as most are not followed

   in Acts.  This term probably was used to distinguish Acts

   from the many heretical Acts of individual Apostles

   (Peter, Paul, etc.).


  ‑The further comments look like a guess for why the book

   ends where it does:  Luke wrote only what he saw.

  ‑But Luke does not claim that all things recorded were done

   in his presence, only the "we" passages.

  ‑Better to say Luke did not include the other events as

   they had not occurred yet.


  b. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon ‑ France ‑ c180 AD


"Now, that this Luke was inseparable from Paul and his   fellow‑worker in the Gospel, he himself made clear, not vaunting, but guided by truth itself.  For when both   Barnabas and John, who was called Mark, had departed from   Paul and had sailed to Cyprus, he says: 'We arrived at Troas.'  And when Paul had seen a Macedonian man in a dream   saying:  'Come over into Macedonia and help us, Paul,' he   says:  'Immediately we sought to proceed into Macedonia,   knowing that the Lord had called us to proclaim the Gospel   to them.'"

                                                                                                                      Against Heresies 3.14.1


  ‑Irenaeus student of Polycarp, student of John in Asia Minor.


  ‑"Not vaunting" means not advertising his own name (does not

            say "I, Luke" anywhere).


  ‑Refers to 2 of the we‑sections.


  ‑In Against Heresies he cites or mentions Acts over 50 times,

            referring to it as Scripture and as by Luke.



  c. Clement of Alexandria ‑ Egypt ‑ 150‑203 AD


"... even as Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, makes mention of Paul, who said:  'O men of Athens, in all things I per­ceive that you are very religious.'"


                                                                                                                             Miscellanies 5.82.4


  ‑Cites Luke as author, names the work, quotes from Acts 17.


  ‑In these 3 sources from before 200 AD, we find Luke called

   the author 3 times, the book's title given 2 times, and 3

   quotations or allusions made which identify the text with

   that which we have today.


  d. Tertullian  ‑ North Africa ‑ (c200 AD)


  ‑Many quotations as Scripture, says by Luke.


  e. Eusebius  ‑ Caesarea ‑  (c 270‑340 AD)


"But since we have reached this point, it is reasonable to sum up the said writings of the New Testament.  Indeed, the holy quaternion of the Gospels must be arranged among the    first books which the book of the Acts of the Apostles  follows...  Among the spurious must be placed also the book of the Acts of Paul...  All these would be among the disputed writings; but nevertheless of necessity we have made a catalogue of these also... in order that we should be able to know these same writings and those produced by the heretics indeed in the name of the Apostles, as if   containing the Gospels of Peter and Thomas and Matthias, or   beside these, even of some others, or as if containing the   Acts of Andrew and John and of the other Apostles; none of which anyone of successive generations of churchmen ever deemed worthy of mention in a treatise."


                                                                                                                           Church History 3.25


  ‑Eusebius had access to the largest Christian library in the

   world.  Was started by Origen, had the Hexapla, etc.


  ‑Notes there are no writings of early church fathers who

   mention as legitimate any Gospels or Acts beyond the canonical

   4 Gospels and Acts.


  ‑The unanimous testimony of the church at c200 AD is that the

   Acts we have today was written by Luke, Paul's companion.

   There is no external evidence pointing to anyone else.



2. Internal Evidence:  also points to Luke


   ‑Writer does not give his name, but the internal clues

    are stronger than for any other NT book which does not

    explicitly name its author.


 a. The "we" sections


   16:10‑17  Writer present with Paul on the journey from

             Troas to Philippi (2nd miss. journey, c51 AD).


   20:5‑15   Returning with Paul from Greece (end of the 3rd

             missionary journey, c57‑58 AD).

               [break for Paul's sermon to Ephesian elders].

   21:1‑18   Continuing on to Jerusalem.  Total trip is from

             Philippi to Jerusalem (3rd MJ).


   27:1‑28:16  Trip from Caesarea to Rome.  (c60 AD).


      ‑Luke may have spent the time in Palestine researching

       and writing the Gospel of Luke and early Acts.


   ‑These sections give the impression that the writer was

    present on these 3 trips, but did not want to intrude

    himself strongly into the narrative.

   ‑Liberals who want to avoid Luke as the author say some

    later editor used a diary.


   ‑But even if it is the diary of an eyewitness, it records

    miracles and early agreements among the Apostles about

    theology, which liberals don't like.


 b. As the writer was with Paul in Rome, we can look at the

    prison epistles we assume were written from there and

    see who was with Paul.


    Aristarchus     ‑All 4 are mentioned by name in Acts,

    Mark             but in the 3rd person, whereas author

    Timothy          refers to self in 1st person in

    Tychichus        prologue to Acts


    Demas           ‑Later deserted Paul so hard for him to

                     write Acts.


    Epaphras        ‑Delegates sent from Colosse and

    Epaphroditus     Philippi to Rome.  No evidence they

                     traveled there initially with Paul.


    Jesus Justus    ‑Has a mixed Jewish and Latin name,

                     implying he knew Latin and was probably

                     a Roman, but otherwise we know nothing

                     of him.  A possibility.


    Luke            ‑Is called a physician in Col. 4:14.


    ‑Can more or less eliminate all these but the last two.


 c. Linguistic argument


 ‑see William Kirk Hobart, Medical Language of St. Luke.


 ‑Finds that Luke‑Acts contains an unusual amount of medical

  terminology characteristic of the Hippocratic school of

  medicine known from writings of Hippocrates (300 BC) and Galen

  (200 AD).


 ‑The healing incidents show the use of more technical terms

  than the other Gospels.


 ‑Also see the natural use of medical terms in narratives

  which reflect a medical influence (just as scientific terms

  ["data base," "model," etc.] tend to occur naturally in

  these notes since they were produced by physicists).


 Conclusion:  Acts was written by a companion of Paul who

  had a detailed knowledge of NT-period medical terminology.

  As only one companion of Paul is called a physician, the

  author was most likely Luke.



D. The Destination (or recipient) of Acts


 ‑"Theophilus" is cited as the recipient in Acts 1:1.


 ‑Tho Luke probably wrote for a larger audience, he dedicated it

  to this person who might underwrite/encourage its publi­cation

  (common in secular literature; Josephus' Antiq­uities was

  dedicated to Epaphroditus).


 ‑Since Theophilus means "one who loves God," some take this

  as an allegorical name, like "Everyman" or "Christian"


 ‑This may seem plausible to us, as few names in our culture make

  sense in English.


 ‑But in Greek and Hebrew cultures, theophoric (deity‑carrying)

  names were common; the Greek ones usually involved obviously

  pagan deities (in 3 John: Gaius, Demetrius, Diotrephes).


 ‑Thus Theophilus is a valid Greek name, and such as might have

  been adopted by a Jew (since deity name not explicitly pagan).


 ‑Greeks would not expect a name like this to be allegorical.


 ‑Also the title κράτιστε (Luke 1:3) would hardly be used

  with an "everyman" figure, as it is a title of respect used

  for people with higher social status, governmental authority.

 ‑Luke uses it 3 times when referring to the procurators of

  Judea (Acts 23:26, 24:3, 26:25).


 ‑Since Luke does not use this title for Theophilus in Acts, some

  propose that Theophilus became a Christian between Luke & Acts;

  Christians didn't address each other with titles.


 ‑Can't prove this.


 ‑καηχέω in Luke 1:4, "so that you might know the exact truth

  about the things you have been taught," supports this idea, but

  Luke could be writing a further explanation to a non‑Christ­ian.


 ‑Can reasonably conclude that Theophilus was a real person

  in a governmental or high social position.  Luke may have known

  him from Antioch (Luke's probable home) or from one of the

  places he stayed.



E. Date of Acts


 1. Various suggestions


  a. 2nd century AD


   ‑This view was common in radical circles in the 19th cent.

    under F.C. Baur's influence.

    ‑Baur applied Hegel's thesis‑antithesis‑synthesis theory

     to church history.  Saw early conflict between Jewish and

     Gentile elements in James and Galatians; but since Acts

     has everything blended, it must be late => middle or end

     of the 2nd cent. AD, when the old catholic church formed.


   ‑Such a late 2nd cent. view has been weakened by later

    archaeological findings; still, many liberals would date

    Acts at around 100‑120 AD.


  b. 94‑100 AD


   ‑Proposed by A.S. Peake at Univ. of Manchester.

   ‑Noted common features in Acts and Josephus' Antiquities,

    so suggested that Luke borrowed from Josephus.

   ‑This would date Acts after the Antiq. (pre‑94 AD).


   ‑Peake's evidence comes from 2 overlapping passages:


    1)  Antiq. 20.5.1‑2 (20.97-100) and Acts 5:36‑37.


    ‑Gamaliel (Acts) mentions two revolts: by Theudas, and later by Judas of Galilee.

    ‑Josephus lists them in reverse chronological order.

             [Fadus, AD 44-46; Tiberius, 46-48]

     ‑Sufficient details of Judas are given in Acts and Antiq.

      to identify them as references to the same event.

     ‑Peake sees Theudas as a clear error by Acts.


    ‑Actually three possible explanations:


     a) Liberals say one author must be wrong, so it must be


      ‑Peake says Luke copied from Josephus sloppily here.


     b) But Luke as seen elsewhere is a careful historian, as

        was Josephus.

       ‑Is more reasonable that Josephus made the mistake, as

        Luke is writing closer to the event.


     c) There were two rebels named Theudas.

       ‑Many Jewish rebels were from the same families, so

        there could be a grandson relationship here.

       ‑The name "Theudas" was common enough that they could

        have been two independent men.


    ‑In any case, no evidence of literary dependence here.

     ‑Both refer to same names, but details are different.


  2)  Antiq. 19.8.2 (19.343-53) and Acts 12:19‑23


   ‑Death of Herod Agrippa I (c44 AD).

   ‑His death contributed to the instability which caused the

    Roman war in 66 AD.

   ‑He was a Jewish king (both a Herod and a Hasmonean) and

    liked by the Romans and most everyone.


   ‑Acts:  Was addressing the people of Tyre and Sidon at

    Caesarea, did not give glory to God; was struck by angel

    of the Lord, eaten by worms, and died.


   Antiq.:  Was at spectacle at Caesarea, addressing a crowd,

    did not rebuke men who called him divine; saw an owl (bad

    omen), was overcome with abdominal pains; died in 5 days.


   ‑As this event (death of a famous and pivotal Jewish leader)

    was rather well‑known, there is no need for literary

    dependence, especially due to the unique features in each.


  ‑These are very weak parallels to base a literary dependence

   theory upon.



  c. 70‑80 AD (after the fall of Jerusalem)


  ‑Many liberals and some "conservatives" hold this view

   (e.g., Sanday, Zahn).

  ‑Date Acts after Luke, but date Luke after the fall of

   Jerusalem in order to post‑date the prophecy of its

   destruction given in Luke 21:20.

  ‑Seems completely unnecessary, since God knows future.



  d. 62‑64 AD


  ‑This is the standard conservative position, and is based

   on the events narrated in Acts (see below).



2. Positive date evidence from the scope of the book


 a. Earliest date possible, c61 AD


  ‑The last procurator mentioned is Porcius Festus; Paul then

   travels to Rome, stays there c2 years (book ends).

  ‑The accession of Festus was not likely to have been before

   59 AD.


 b. Latest date likely


  1) Paul's death is not hinted at or mentioned.


   ‑Very strange if Acts was written after it.

    ‑Liberals say Luke stopped there because his audience knew

     the rest of the story.

    ‑But we don't know much.

    ‑Tradition from a century later: Paul was martyred near

     Rome under Nero, who committed suicide in 68 AD.

     ‑Eusebius dated Paul's death at about 67 AD.


   => Acts was written before 68 AD.


  2) Attitude of Roman Empire to Christianity is favorable or

     neutral in Acts.


   ‑Christianity was viewed as a sect of Judaism, so legal.

   ‑But after July 64 AD, the attitude changed drastically.

    ‑Disastrous 12‑day fire in Rome burned much of the city.

    ‑Nero's men were suspected of starting it.

    ‑Nero shifted the blame to Christians; put many to death.

    ‑Became illegal even to be a Christian (cf. Pliny's letter

     to Trajan) for the next 250 years.


   ‑No hint of this hostile atmosphere in Acts.

    ‑Luke does not react negatively to officials or vice versa.

    ‑Christians had freedom to live in peace and spread views.

    ‑How could hostile atmosphere not appear if Acts was

     written after these events?


  3) Abrupt ending of Acts ‑ suggests was brought up to date.


   ‑Gives full descriptions until the closing sentence.

   ‑Could be a summary sentence because he expected to write

    a 3rd volume (of which there is no known record).

    ‑Not sure what volume would include unless it was written

     much later (c95 AD as some suggest).

    ‑Zahn argues from Greek in Acts 1:1 that 3rd was planned.


      ¹ρωτov = first of several (in Classical Greek).

      ¹ρoτερov = first of two (like "former").


    ‑This holds for Classical Greek, but in Hellenistic Greek,

     ¹ρωτov can be used for either meaning.


    ‑Although Luke uses the most Classical style in the NT, he

     is still very Hellenistic in general usage.


  ‑Is most reasonable that Luke brings us up to date at the

   end of Acts and no time has elapsed between the last events

   and its writing.

  ‑Luke knows nothing of the disastrous events which are soon

   to befall Christianity at this time.

  ‑Thus the latest possible date for Acts would be c64 AD.


F. Historical Accuracy of Acts


 1. History of Opinion


  ‑Among Christians until the Enlightenment, Acts was

   considered very accurate historically.

  ‑During Renaissance, some began to cast doubt on all ancient


  ‑Continued trend away from Acts' historicity until recently.


  ‑Reached low point with work of F.C. Baur (c1850)

   Christian­ity and the Christian Church of the First Three

   Centuries (1853).

   ‑Baur thought Acts was a propaganda document which showed

    how the early church in the 2nd century liked to think of

    early Christianity: harmony between apostles, all enemies

    on the outside.  Baur claimed strong division within Xy.


  ‑But with the rise of archeology in these territories in

   the next generation, general opinion has risen greatly.


   William M. Ramsay ‑ Scots theologian trained in skeptical view of historicity.

    ‑Became interested in archeology of Asia Minor.

    ‑Studied inscriptions.

    ‑Realized Baur's view of unreliability of Acts was incorrect.

    ‑Became more and more conservative with time.


    Some of his books:


    The Historical Geography of Asia Minor, 1890.

    The Church in the Roman Empire Before A.D. 170, 1893.

    St. Paul, The Traveller and the Roman Citizen, 1895.

    A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistles to the Galatians, 1899.

    The Cities of St. Paul, 1907.

    The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915.   


    Ramsay concluded that "Luke was an historian of the first

    rank."  Not only was he an accurate chronicler (geography,

    places, names) but had a true historic sense (picked out

    significant events and important points for his purpose).


    ‑Ramsay's work has not been overturned.


   ‑Naturally, those who deny miraculous cannot concede that

    Luke is accurate in his reports of miracles, so there is

    still much suspicion concerning Acts.

    ‑Complaints against the history in Acts are not from the

     data, but from those who dislike its historicity.

   ‑Recent evangelical treatments:


    F.F. Bruce, New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?

    I.H. Marshall, Luke: The Historian and Theologian.

    A.N. Sherwin‑White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament.


    - Sherwin-White comments:


"As soon as Christ enters the Roman orbit at Jerusalem, the confirmation begins.  For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming.  Yet Acts is, in simple terms and judged externally, no less of a propaganda narrative than the Gospels, liable to similar distortions.  But any    attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of  detail must now appear absurd." (189)


    ‑Cannot discount historicity just because author was a



2. Testable data regarding historicity


 a. Official Titles


   ‑Roman Empire was a patchwork of governments because parts were acquired at different times:

    ‑Egypt: Emperor's private property.

    ‑Imperial provinces: controlled by emperor if area was in

      danger at the present for some reason: revolt, at edge

      of the empire, etc.

      ‑Emperor sent out rulers called procurators, propraetors,

       or prefects (name depended on the area).

    ‑Senatorial provinces: "safe" areas controlled by senate.

      ‑Senate sent out proconsuls.


    ‑A province could (and did) switch back and forth

     between the two types.

    ‑Significant to find Acts having the right title at the right time, since control sometimes switched.

    ‑Acts is always right.


  1) vθύ¹ατoς = proconsul (Greek equivalent to Latin term)

               = head Roman official of senatorial province.

                 ‑was a common term.

                        derivation: Greek translation of Latin t.t.

                           z = previously, formerly (pro).  

                           ˆ¹ατoς = consul.



Acts 13:7,8,12 ‑ Sergius Paulus, proconsul at Cyprus.

      ‑confirmed by inscription found in 1865 in Cyprus with his

              name, called it senatorial province.


Acts 18:12 ‑ "Gallio was proconsul of Achaia"

       ‑Achaia had switched: senatorial (27 BC ‑ 15 AD)

                             ‑> imperial (15‑44 AD)

                             ‑> senatorial (after 44 AD)

       ‑Gallio was proconsul c51‑53 (have inscription).


 Rest of titles were not so well known from antiquity, as rarer.

 ‑Some once suspected that Luke invented these names as general

  descriptive titles.  Now seen to be technical terms.


  2) ¹oλιτάρχης = "city ruler"


     Acts 17:6,8 ‑ city authorities at Thessalonica.

                 ‑Now known from 19 inscriptions to be the

                   proper technical title for leaders in

                   Macedonian cities.


  3) σιάρχης = "leaders of Asia" (province of Empire)


     Acts 19:31 ‑ Asiarchs befriended Paul at Ephesus.


     ‑Technical term for leading men in Asia, several at

      Ephesus, elected by citizens from wealthiest and most

      aristocratic, in expectation they would personally finance

             public games and festivals; later were high priests of

             imperial religion, but not in 1st century (McRay,

             Archaelo­logy & the NT, 255); friendship with Paul is

             evidence of early date of Acts (Bruce, NT History, 319).


  4) ¹ρŠτoς = "chief" or "first" man


     Acts 28:7 ‑ leading man of the island Malta, Publius.

               ‑Both Greek and Latin inscriptions show this

                was the proper title for the ruler of Malta.



b. Geographical References


 ‑Numerous and accurate: 32 countries, 54 cities, 9 islands in the Mediterranean Sea ‑ all put in the right place.


 ‑For example: Paul's voyage and shipwreck, Acts 27.


  James Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, gives a very sophisticated account, including Greek and Latin inscriptions from various locations.


  ‑Sailed the whole route and was amazed at Luke's accuracy.

   ‑Shows it was consistent with the weather, the way the wind blows and how ancient ships were handled (to prevent being blown into North Africa).

   ‑Felt he could fix the very spot on which the wreck at Malta occurred.


  ‑Concluded Luke was not a sailor (as he didn't use technical terms), but was an experienced traveller, acquainted with seamanship, and able to convey details to common people.


  ‑Is considered one of the most detailed and accurate accounts of a sea voyage from antiquity.



c. Problem passages: not claiming we know answer to everything.


 1) Reconciliation of Luke and Paul concerning Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 and Gal. 2.


  -Events are clearly similar, but differ on some details.  E.g.,

            private vs. public meeting,

            didn't add anything to Paul vs. Jerusalem decision re/ Gentiles to abstain from food

                        offered to idols, blood, etc.


  ‑Evangelicals disagree whether Gal. 2 refers to Jerus Council.

            (Newman, et al, think it does; Bruce, et al, don't).


  ‑Suggest Paul is writing to those who are already familiar with the Council and its letter (his

            opponents certainly knew of  it) so he does not need to go over it again but just deals

            with particular problems, perhaps in answer to their claims.


 2) Luke (Acts 12:20-23) and Josephus (Ant. 19:343ff) concerning the death of Herod Agrippa I.


"(343) Now, when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the city Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower; and there he exhibited shows in honor of Caesar, upon his being informed that there was a certain festival celebrated to make vows for his safety.  At which festival, a great multitude was gotten together of the principal persons, and such as were of dignity through his province. (344) On the second day of which shows he put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contex­ture truly wonderful, and came into the theatre early in the morning; at which time the silver of his garment being illuminat­ed by the fresh reflection of the sun's rays upon it, shone out after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those that looked intently upon him; (345) and presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from another (though not for his good), that he was a god; and they added, "Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we hence­forth own thee as superior to mortal nature." (346) Upon this the king did neither rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery.  But, as he presently afterwards looked up, he saw an owl sitting on a certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this bird was the messenger of ill tidings, as it had once been the messenger of good tidings to him; and fell into the deepest sorrow. A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a most violent manner. (347) He therefore looked upon his friends, and said, "I whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life; while Providence thus reproves the lying words you just now said to me; and I, who was by you called immortal,am immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept of what Providence allots as it pleases God; for we have by no means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner." (348) When he said this, his pain was become violent. Accordingly he was carried into the palace; and the rumor went abroad everywhere, that he would certainly die in a little time. (349) But the multitude presently sat in sackcloth, with their wives and children, after the law of their country, and besought God for the king's recovery. All places were also full of mourn­ing and lamentation. Now the king rested in a high chamber, and as he saw them below lying prostrate on the ground, he could not himself forbear weeping. (350) And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days, he departed this life, being in the fifty‑fourth year of his age, and in the seventh year of his reign."


                                                                        Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 19.8.1-2 (343-350)


  ‑Details vary: angel; owl, etc.; but no indication that Luke is mistaken on any point



G. Purpose of Acts:  Why did Luke write it?


  ‑Key verses in introduction give hints:


   1:1 - former work "about all that Jesus began to do and teach".

       ‑implies a theme of what Jesus continued to do and teach through the Holy Spirit and by

            means of the apostles.


   1:8  Outlines the book, describing the progress of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Rome.

        ‑Empowering by the Holy Spirit is seen as continuing the ministry of Jesus after He was

            taken up.


  ‑By extension from Luke 1:1‑4: so Theophilus might know the certainty of the history of the

            early Christian church.

   ‑i.e., this purpose of Luke is continued into Acts.


H. Sketch Outline of Acts



       Scale: "|" = approximately 1 chapter.


  ‑Structure appears consciously to follow Acts 1:8:


     Outline Verse:      1:8 ‑|----------------------------------|

                                          |                                            |

                                          |     The Gospel spreads        |

                                          |           in Jerusalem             |

     At end of each              |                                            |

     section are                    |                                            |

     Summary/             6:7 ‑|‑-------‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑|

     Transition                     |                                            |

     Verses:                         |       Through Palestine        |

                                          |                                            |

                                9:31 ‑|‑-------‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑|

                                          |                                            |

                                          |              To Antioch            |

                                          |                                            |

                              12:24 ‑|‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑-------‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑|

                                          |                                            |

                                          |         To Asia (Minor)         |

                                          |                                            |

                                16:5 ‑|‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑-------‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑|

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |      To Europe (Greece)      |

                                          |                                            |

                              19:20 ‑|‑‑‑‑‑‑‑-------‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑|

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |              To Rome               |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                                          |                                            |

                              28:31 ‑|‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑-------‑|

                                (also a summary at close)

‑Some of these transition verses are quite brief

  -The idea common to all references is the increasing growth of    the church.

IV. Exegesis of Historical Passages


A. Preparation for Exegesis:

            Some features we need to continually build


            1. English (native language) Bible Knowledge

                        OT has 929 chapters, NT has 260, total 1189

                        Need to read several chapters/day

                                    Once thru per year: 3.26 chs/day

                                    4 chs/day: thru OT once, NT twice


            2. Biblical Language Competency

                        Keep up via regular translation, vocab review,

                                    grammar (Pastor Al Jackson: thru Metzger yearly)

                        TVT recommends verse/day from each testament


            3. Bible Background

                        Special study for specific passages

                                    commentaries, encyclopedias

                                    be realistic: don't overkill & then give up

                        Wide reading:

                                    have read over 50 books/yr since 1968

                                                over 100 for six of these

                                    usually over 50 in religion


            4. Spiritual Insight

                        Gained thru experience w/ own problems, plus learning

                                    via helping others with theirs

                        Crucial to have a close communion, love for Lord


B. Genres in Acts & Epistles


Genre: a type of literature

            may be as broad as distinction between prose/poetry

            may be as narrow as limerick, parable


Genres covered in class exegesis:


            1. Narrative:

                        Acts 15:22-29 combines both (1) and (2)

                        TP: Acts 10:34-46 combines (1) and Sermon

                        Frequent in Acts


            2. Letter:

                        see above

                        some subgenres below in next major section


            3. Diatribe:

                        1 Cor 15:12-28 (eschatological)

                        TP: Rom 4:1-11 (soteriological)

                        James uses this genre


            4. Controversy/Polemic:

                        Col 2:8-23 (Christological/soteriological)

                        TP: Gal 3:6-14 (soteriological)


            5. Exhortation:

                        1 Tim 6:11-21            


Genres not covered in class:


            6. Miracle Account:

                        Frequent in Acts: covered in Synoptics


            7. Hymn, Poem:         

                        TP: Col 1:15-20 may be such (Christological)


            8. Sermon:

                        evangelistic in Acts

                        some think 1 John and Hebrews belong here


            9. Discourse:

                        TP: Col 1:15-20 (Christological)

                        TP: 2 Thess 2:1-12 (eschatological)


            10. Doxology:

                        Frequent at end of epistles

                                    e.g., Rom 16:25-27


            11. Thanksgiving:

                        Frequent at beginning of epistles

                                    e.g., 1 Cor 1:4-9


            12. Prayer (Report):

                        Frequent near beginning of epistle

                                    e.g., Eph 1:15-23


C. Historical Passages and the Genre "Narrative"


Not all historical passages are in the narrative genre, and not all narratives need be historical.  Due to inspiration of Scripture, non-historical narratives would only be found in parables, etc.  But a historical passage might be a letter (as in Acts 15, above), or part of a hymn (Pss 105-06), or such.


1. Use the standard newpaper reporter's questions to sketch out what is happening:  who? what? when? where? why? how? etc.


2. Be on the lookout for major terms, especially ones which are puzzling or ambiguous.  Here we must look for the ambiguity of the word in the Greek, as translators into English or whatever can hardly be expected to preserve the ambiguities of the original language.  Do each of the various possible meanings of the Greek word make any sense in this passage?  If so, does it make any difference?


3. How does the event fit into the overall flow of salvation history?  How does it fit into the immediate context that the author has given it?  Does this help us to understand what is going on?


4. Check over some commentaries to see if the historical background sheds any light on the passage.  If some particular activity, custom, etc., seems to be impor­tant in the passage, see if you can find out more about this in a Bible encyclopedia or such.


5. What features of the narrative does the author seem to be emphasizing?  Look for repetition, positioning, etc.


6. Historical narratives are generally the easiest parts of the Bible to understand (with some definite excep­tions!) but they are often the hardest to use for preaching and teaching.  Some directions in which to  investigate: 


            Exemplary (1 Cor 10:6):  Are we to imitate or avoid imitating particular persons, actions, attitudes?


            Salvation Historical (Acts 1:1):  What does the narra­tive tell us about what God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, apos­tles, are doing in God's redemptive program?


            Theological (Rom 1:21-2:16):  What does the narrative show us about human nature, about wickedness, righteousness, and what sorts of things can happen in a fallen world which is yet in the process of being redeemed?


            Typological (Heb 2:13-14):  For OT narratives, how do they prefigure major themes in redemption, partic­ularly the work of Christ?


V. Paul's Early Epistles and His Eschatology


A. The Early Epistles: 1-2 Thessalonians, Galatians


  ‑About 1/2 of the NT is in the form (genre) of letters (including Revelation)

  -1 John and Hebrews may be sermonic form, though sent as letters.


 1. Letters of the Hellenistic Period and Paul's Letters


  a. Normal format of an ancient letter


   1) Sender(s) ‑‑ nominative case.    Like modern letterhead.


   2) Recipient(s)  ‑‑ dative case.    To so-and-so.


   3) Greeting  ‑‑ infinitive (usually χαίρειv)

                       ‑Meaning:  Rejoice!

                       ‑Usually translated as "Greetings."

                ‑‑ may involve comments about health of either sender or recipient


   4) Text of letter.


   5) Closing ‑‑ takes various forms.


         ‑In a business letter, may be omitted, or be

            "Farewell                     ¤ρρωσo - 2s perf. m/p impv.

            (be healthy)"                ¤ρρωσθε - 2p  from ρώvvυμαι

         ‑An informal letter may include greetings from

            friends, etc. ‑ σ¹άζoμαι.


Biblical Examples:

  ‑In the NT, we have 2 letters besides NT books themselves:


    (1) Acts 23:26ff  Letter sent with Paul from the Tribune to the governor at Caesarea.


   Sender    ‑‑ "Claudius Lysias"


   Recipient ‑‑ "To the most excellent governor Felix"

                  (Note: same title as Theophilus has)


   Greeting  ‑‑ "Greetings"  (χαίρειv)




   Closing   ‑‑ "Farewell" (in some manuscripts).


    (2) Acts 15:23ff  Letter sent by the Jerusalem Council.


   Sender    ‑‑ "The Apostles and brothers who are elders"


   Recipient ‑‑ "To the brethren in Antioch and Syria ..."


   Greeting  ‑‑ "Greetings"  (χαίρειv)




   Closing   ‑‑ "Farewell" (¤ρρωσθε).


    ‑Note this is also a business letter format.


Extra-biblical examples:


  Loeb CL, Selected Papyri, 3 vol. set of secular materials:

   v.1 Private ‑ agreements, receipts, wills, letters, prayers.

   v.2 Public documents.

   v.3 Literary papyri. 


  We are interested in vol. 1. (#266 in LCL series)


  ‑Same format in these letters, but sometimes give date also.

  ‑Recipient's name was on the outside of the scroll.

  ‑Remarks about health are common here (not so much in Paul):

            e.g., 1:91, 93, 96, 104

  ‑Letter no. 1:107 has personal closing salutations,

            as do 1:110, 111, 112, 113.

  -¤ρρωσo/θε occurs in 1:89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 96.


b. Paul's modifications of standard letter format


 1) Longer letters; all sections tend to be longer.


   ‑Philemon is the exception, and is typical of the length of

    letters in Loeb.

   ‑Example: Romans:

            sender     6 vv.

            recipient  lengthened slightly

            greetings  lengthened slightly

            text       15 chapters

            closing    27 vv. with greetings


 2) Greetings and closing were characteristically Christian.


   ‑χαίρειv is neutral term and is sometimes used by Xians (cf. the Jerusalem Council).


   ‑But Paul used χάρις (grace) and ε®ρήvη (peace, from Shalom)

            and sometimes he added "mercy".


   ‑Closing frequently has a benediction (a prayer for them or praise to God)

            instead of "be in good health."

    ‑cf. Romans 16:25‑27.


 3) Text is often divided into didactic and hortatory sections.


   ‑Could be a result of having a long letter.

   ‑Is used as an argument against Pauline authorship of Hebrews where doctrine and exhortation


    ‑Hebrews follows more of a sermon format, so this could explain the difference.


c. Dictation of Letters


 ‑Rom. 16:22 "I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle" indicates that Paul dictated some of his letters

            to a "secretary."

 ‑Some think this was because of an eyesight problem, but it was a common practice in this



 ‑Non-biblical letter papyri (being autographs) show that most letters were written by

            professional scribes: handwriting of the main part is very nice (=> professional writer)

            but shifts to less neat hand at the end when the actual author wrote a note or signed his

            name himself.


 ‑See R.N. Longenecker, "Ancient Amanuenses and the Pauline Epistles" in Longenecker and

            Tenney, New Dimensions in NT Study (1974) ‑ a Festschrift celebrating ETS's 25th year.


 ‑We know Paul often added a few words in his own hand,

   1 Cor. 16:21 "The greeting is in my own hand C Paul."

   2 Thess. 3:17 ‑ Paul says this is his regular practice, even if he does not always explicitly

            mention it.


 ‑Possibly done to guard against forgeries:

   2 Thess. 2:2 ‑ Don't be shaken by "letter as if from us."


 ‑Presumably also indicates Paul had proofread his letter.



d. Suggested Chronology of Paul's Letters


 1) 2nd Journey, 50‑53


     1 and 2 Thessalonians (written at Corinth, c52)

       ‑if any before this, not chosen to survive.


 2) Between 2nd and 3rd Journeys


     Galatians (Antioch, c53)


 3) 3rd Journey, 54‑58


     1 Corinthians (Ephesus, c55)

     2 Corinthians (Macedonia, 57)

     Romans (Corinth, winter 57‑58)


 4) 1st Imprisonment at Rome, 61‑63


     Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon


 5) Between Imprisonments, locations unknown, after 63


     1 Timothy, Titus  [Hebrews]


 6) 2nd Imprisonment at Rome, 64‑68, (date of death uncertain)


     2 Timothy  


e. Classification of Paul's Letters by Content


 1) Eschatological: 1‑2 Thessalonians


 2) Soteriological: Galatians, 1‑2 Corinthians, Romans


 3) Christological (or Prison): Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon


 4) Ecclesiological (or Pastoral): Titus, 1‑2 Timothy


  ‑Same as chronological order, but mainly a memory device

  -Some letters don't fit well into these categories:


            Soteriology is poor classification for 1‑2 Cor.

            Christology is poor classification for Philemon.


2. Thessalonian Epistles


 a. Background


  1) City of Thessalonica was renamed at the time of Alexander for his step‑sister.

    ‑Hellenizers often 1) founded a new city in a good location (like Alexandria) or

            2) renamed an existing city.


    ‑When Rome took over Macedonia in 146 BC, they made Thessalonica the capital.


    ‑It was strategically located on Via Egnatia, the major east‑west road from Rome to

            Asia Minor (w/ sea-links);

            see map of Roman Road system on p 8.


     ‑Romans really improved road quality so travel much easier ‑ nothing better till 20th century.



  2) First visited by Paul on 2nd miss. journey, Acts 17:1‑9.


    ‑Although only 3 synagogue services (=> 2+ weeks) are mentioned (17:2),

            Paul's letters suggest his total stay was longer than this:


     1 Thess. 2:9 "worked night and day" to set an example.

                 ‑ sounds longer than 2 weeks.


     Phil. 4:15‑16 ‑ they sent a gift to Paul more than once

                     while he was in Thessalonica.


      => at least 2 months.



  3) Also fits with converts, Acts 17:4, which included:


     ‑devout Greeks (ones who had contact with the synagogue but were not proselytes)

     ‑prominent women (probably Roman women, since Jews and Greeks had already been

            mentioned, but can't say for sure).


    1 Thess. 1:9 ‑ Apparently the majority of converts were pagans who came after Paul had

            preached in the synagogue, mostly former idolators.


    1 Thess. 4:1‑5 ‑ Still had problems with fornication.


    ‑Nucleus of church: Jews and Greeks from synagogue, some prominent women

            and many pagans.


    ‑Eventually unbelieving Jews raise a mob and Paul is forced to leave city.



 b. Place from which Paul Wrote


  ‑Paul was probably in the same place for both letters.

  ‑Corinth is most likely, although some late (400‑500 AD) manuscripts (as in KJV)

            have a subscription saying "from Athens by Timothy [i.e. carrier]."

   ‑Other texts say Corinth or Rome (?) instead of Athens.

   ‑Have similar problem in Titus, where internal evidence disagrees with late subscription.




















 ‑Paul went from Thessalonica to Berea (both in Macedonia), but was soon forced to leave there also (Acts 17:10‑15).  Paul is taken to Athens (v.15), leaving Timothy and Silas behind.     Paul requests them to come quickly while he waits in Athens.


  ‑Berea to Athens: 1 Thess. 3:1 implies Timothy came to Paul in Athens but was sent back to Thessalonica before 1 Thess. was written.  (Silas probably came also, but may have been    sent to another church, probably Berea or Philippi).


  ‑Athens to Corinth: In Acts 18:1, after little success in Athens, Paul goes to Corinth and meets Silas and Timothy from Macedonia (18:5).


   ‑1 Thess. 3:6 (with 3:1) implies Timothy has come from Thess. twice at the time 1 Thess. was written.


  ‑Since 2 Thess. deals with similar problems, it was probably written soon after 1 Thess.  As Paul was in Corinth for 18 months, probably 2 Thess. was written from there also, perhaps after Timothy and Silas returned from delivering 1st letter.


 c. Occasion of 1 Thessalonians


  ‑Paul had been run out of Thessalonica by the mob.

  ‑Jason was captured and forced to put up a bond (probably a peace bond, which he would forfeit

            if further violence over this matter occurred in the city).

  ‑On account of this bond on Jason, Paul probably feels he cannot return (cf. 1 Thess. 2:18).


  ‑Timothy (3:6) and Silas (infer from 1:1 and 3:1) came from  Thess. (perhaps with a delegation)

            with news of doctrinal confusion and persecution in the months‑old church.

  ‑Opponents apparently charging that Paul is an opportunist who has "abandoned ship" when

            things got rough.


  ‑Since Paul cannot go and deal with the problems in person, he sends a letter to the church.


 d. Contents of 1 Thessalonians:


   ‑Huddleston, Acrostic Bible:            -NIV Study Bible (Leon Morris)


    F = Faith of Thess. church             Thanksgiving for Thess (ch 1)

    A = Apostolic labors in Thess.       Defense of Apos actions (2-3)

    I = Investig. of ch's welfare             Exhortation to Thess (4:1-5:22)

    T = True love betw Christians         Concluding Prayer, Greetings,

    H = Hope in Christ's return                 Benediction (5:23-28)


  ‑The themes in 1 Thess. are scattered throughout the book, so this is a listing rather than

            an outline:


  1) Persecution:  Paul aware of their severe trials, exhorts them to remain steadfast, and is

            pleased with their endurance:  1:6, 2:14‑16, 3:3‑8.


  2) Holiness:  As many had come out of a pagan background, he encourages them against falling

            back into the pagan sins of immorality, fraud, laziness, etc.:  3:12‑4:12, 5:14‑23.


  3) Slander:  Paul defends self against charges raised by his enemies (the Jews?):

            a) That he sponged off his converts:  2:1‑12

                        (worked day and night to support himself, unlike the traveling                                                           philosopher‑teachers).


            b) That he abandoned them when things got hot:  2:14‑3:7

                        (says he does not want to be away and sent Timothy instead).


  4) Confusion regarding the 2nd Coming:


    ‑2nd coming mentioned in every chapter:  1:10, 2:19, 3:13, 5:23.

    ‑Paul deals with specific problem of those who die before the 2nd Coming in 4:13‑18.

    ‑The early church did not know when the 2nd Coming would occur, whether in their lifetimes

            or not (nor do we!).



 e. Occasion of 2 Thessalonians


  ‑Less information on the motivation for the letter, but is probably due to continued confusion

            regarding the 2nd Coming.


  ‑The source of the confusion seems to be a forged letter claiming to be from Paul, which

            produced anxiety and perhaps idleness, since it claimed the 2nd Coming had already



               ‑Note 2 Thess. 2:2: "spirit" ‑ revelation

                   or "message" ‑ verbal report

                   or "letter"  ‑ written note "as if from us."


               ‑In 3:17 Paul says that he always writes the closing greeting himself, thus his

                        handwriting serves as a distinguishing feature in all genuine letters from him.



 f. Contents of 2 Thessalonians (Huddleston; NIV):


              D = Descrip. of Thess. faith              Introduction (1)

              A = Apostasy in last days                 Instruction (2)

              Y = Yield fruit through work            Injunctions (3)


  ‑The themes are quite similar to 1 Thess.


  1) Principally on the 2nd Coming.


    ‑1:6‑10 is related to the present persecution.

    ‑2:1‑12 Some say the Day already occurred.

          ‑In Rabbinic literature, persecutions were to be the "birth pangs of the [coming] Messiah."

    ‑But other events which must occur first:  apostasy and the appearance of "the man of



  2) Comfort to those who are troubled by:


        ‑Persecution:  1:4‑7, 3:3.

        ‑Confusion:  2:1‑3, 13‑17;  3:3, 16, 18.


  3) Rebuke to the lazy and disorderly:  3:6‑15.


     ‑It may be due to sinful habits, or to waiting for the Lord's return (quitting job, etc.).






3. Galatians


 a. Recipients.


    Two major views:


      North Galatian Theory


      South Galatian Theory





  1) North Galatian theory:  Paul's letter was sent to the northern, "ethnic,"

            region of the province.


   a) This region in North Central Asia Minor was invaded by

      Gauls from Europe in 278 BC.


     ‑Only "cities" in this area were: Ankyra, Pessinus, and Tavium.  These were not Hellenistic

            cities, but were more like fortified camps.


     ‑This region was little influenced by Hellenistic culture since Gauls entered the area after

            Alexander the Great had gone through planting Greek cities/culture.


     ‑Were being "Romanized" through influence of Empire.


  b) Paul may have visited here for the first time on the 2nd Missionary Journey (Acts 16:6 "and

            he passed through the Galatian region ...") and again on the 3rd journey (Acts 18:23 "he

            passed through the Galatian and Phrygian regions"), but this is uncertain. 

     ‑Note we have no accounts that indicate that he did any work there.  His earliest possible visit

            would have been on the 2nd MJ.


   c) Proponents:  The Northern theory has been the traditional view back to the 4‑5th century

            commentators (but by this time the provincial boundaries had been changed) up till

            the late 19th cent.  Lightfoot and Reicke are 2 moderns who hold this view.


 2) South Galatian theory:  Paul's letter was sent to the south­ern part of the Roman province,

            which was not ethnically Galatian.


   a) When the Romans broke up Asia Minor into provinces, they included the southern cities of

            Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe as well as the northern ethnic group in the

            province named Galatia.


   b) Paul visited these southern cities once or twice (counting his return over same route) on the

            1st MJ.  He visited them a third time at the beginning of his 2nd MJ.

      ‑These cities were all Hellenistic, having been under Greek culture and language for  about 4



   c) Proponents:  Since Ramsay (the first to do archaeology in Asia Minor) put forward his

            strong arguments, this view has been generally held.  It does not divide liberals and

            conservatives.  F.F. Bruce is a typical modern proponent.


3) Northern Arguments (Lightfoot):


  a) The style of Galatians is similar to Romans.


            ‑Paul is dealing with the same Jewish‑works problem, but is more polemic in Gal.

            ‑This may imply the two were written at about the same time on the same MJ (Ephesians

                        and Colossians are an example of a pair written closely together, dealing with the

                        same subject, where one is polemic and the other irenic).


  b) The title "Galatians" was more popular as an ethnic term than as a provincial term.


             ‑We would not call Scots "English."


  c) The Hellenistic natives of Pis. Antioch, Iconium, etc. would be offended to be called

            "Galatians" since the ethnic group was considered barbaric.


  d) Several comments in the epistle fit the known character of the ancient ethnic Galatians.


             ‑According to other ancient authors, they were: 

                    drunken (Gal. 5:21, but in a long list of other sins),

                    greedy (6:6‑8),

                    unstable (1:6‑7),

                    ritualistic (4:9‑10).


4) Southern Arguments:


  a) There were many more Jews in the southern region who would be nearer to and concerned

            (Acts 16:1‑4) or influenced by Judaizing tendencies (the Seleucid kings imported them as

            stable citizens for founding new cities).


  b) Paul uses provincial names elsewhere when he writes (Macedonia, Judea, etc.) to label

            people in those places.

            ‑Luke apparently does not.   (answer to 3b above)


  c) Ramsay notes that people of Antioch, etc., who were not Roman citizens derived their

            Roman benefits from inhabiting the Roman province, hence the title "Galatians"

            would not be an insult to them.  (answer to 3c above)


  d) Note that Paul is not trying to be polite in addressing  the Galatians: he omits the

            thanksgiving and calls them "fools" later.  If the title "Galatians" had bad 

            connotations, Paul might have used it anyway.  (answer to 3c above)


  e) The cultural allusions in Gal. fit the Hellenized cities of the south better.  (answer to 3d



            ‑The Gauls had only a tribal organization at this point.

            ‑Paul's comments regarding adoption laws, etc. presume a Hellenistic background.


  f) The Gauls were by now only a minority, even in northern areas, so the temperament evidence

            is not that significant (nor unique).


  g) The churches of Galatia were to be involved in the collection for the Jerusalem saints

            (1 Cor. 16:1).


            ‑In the list of people from local churches who went with Paul to Jerusalem, we find 2

                        from southern Galatia "Gaius of Derbe and Timothy [from Lystra]" in Acts 20:4,

                        and none mentioned from northern Galatia.

            ‑Could argue that the list is not complete or the N. Gal. group joined them later, though.


  h) Barnabas is mentioned in Gal. 2:13 as if the Gal. churches were familiar with him.


            ‑"Even Barnabas was carried away" would draw surprise from a group who had been

                        evangelized by Barnabas.

            ‑Yet Barnabas had only been on the 1st MJ in S. Gal.


  i) The "you" reference in Gal. 2:5 most naturally refers to the Galatians: "so that the truth of the

            Gospel might remain with you."


            ‑This reading presumes Gal. 2 is discussing the Jerusalem Council and implies that the

                        Gal. were believers before it occurred (c50 AD).  Thus the Gal. were saved during

                        the 1st MJ and before the 2nd.


            ‑But "you" could have a more general reference to "Gentiles" rather than to the Gal. in


            ‑Also, if Gal. 2 refers to the famine visit which preceded the 1st MJ, then the "you" would

                        also be general.



5) Conclusion on Recipients


   The evidence is hardly overwhelming, but the southern theory looks somewhat stronger.



b. Date of Galatians.


  ‑This, of course, depends on who the recipients were.


            If northern view, then we can't date the letter before Paul was in No. Galatia at least once

                        and probably twice (Gal 4:13).


            If southern view, then we have the following possibilities:


                         1) Before the Jerusalem Council (49‑50 AD).


                                    ‑Paul wrote from Antioch in c49 AD.

                                      ‑This view is held by F.F. Bruce.  His logic:


                                       ‑Paul returns from 1st MJ to Antioch to find trouble there (Acts 14). 

                                                Peter is there and Gal. 2 incident occurs.

                                       ‑Paul learns that the Judaizers have also been up in the Gal. region.

                                       ‑Paul writes this letter before he leaves for Jerusalem.

                                        (F.F. Bruce is trying to harmonize Gal. 2 and Acts 15 by seeing them as

                                                2 independent events.  This is quite possible).



                         2) Written on the 2nd MJ.


                                       ‑Paul wrote from Corinth in c51 AD.

                                       ‑This view is held by H. Ridderbos.  His logic:


                                        ‑Paul is spending 18 months in Corinth, after Jerus. C.

                                        ‑He has founded Gal. church, given them Jerus. decree.

                                        ‑Gets word that Judaizers are still making gains in Gal.

                                        ‑Writes letter as he is too tied up to go personally.


                                       ‑Ridderbos sees Gal. 2 and Acts 15 as different events at the Jerus.

                                                Council.  Acts 15 shows the formal proceedings, while Gal. 2

                                                shows some behind-the-scenes discussions.



                         3) Written between the 2nd and 3rd MJs.


                                       ‑Paul wrote from Antioch in c53‑54 AD.

                                       ‑This view is held by Ramsay.  His logic:


                                        ‑Paul has just returned from the 2nd MJ, hears of the problem but is not

                                                able to go immediately, so writes.

                                        ‑Also sees Gal. 2 and Acts 15 as both Jerus. Council.


                        ‑All 3 of these views date Galatians before Paul could have visited the northern

                                    regions twice (if we take the Acts passages to imply a northern visit at all).


                                     ‑Gal. 4:13 ‑‑ "the first time I visited you" is strong evidence that Paul had

                                                visited the recipients more than once.

                                     ‑This is not possible (if we limit ourselves to Acts data for N. Galatia)

                                                until the 3rd MJ for northern view.


                         4) Written on the 3rd MJ.


                                      ‑Earliest plausible date for No. view, but also possible for So. view.


                                      ‑Lightfoot places Paul in Greece, writing in c57 AD.

                                      ‑Most others place Paul in Ephesus, writing c55‑57 AD.


            Note: Views 2) through 4) all say Galatians 2 is describing same event as Acts 15.







30             40          [______]  50 [______]   [______] 60

        <‑c14 years ‑>  ^    1 MJ    ^    2 MJ       3 MJ

                                    |             |

                   Famine visit      Jerus. Council


 ‑Note that if Gal. 2 is the famine visit (44‑46 AD), then Paul is saved "too quickly" after the

            resurrection (30 AD).

  This weakens Bruce's model (see time-line in the appendix of LaSor's commentary Church



 ‑Newman feels that Ramsay's view is best, especially in light of the Gal. 1:1‑2 greeting:


              ‑The sender section says "Paul and all the brothers with me."

              ‑In Paul's other letters, the co‑senders have a connection with the recipient group in

                        some direct way.

              ‑The members of another mission church (Corinth or Ephesus) would not have this tie;

                        but Antioch C the "mother" church which sent Paul out and which witnessed the

                        Gal. 2 incident and the Jerusalem Council C would have this relationship.


  ‑Since Bruce's date is too early, the only other time Paul was in Antioch was between the 2nd

            and 3rd MJs.



 5) Summary of Factors Involved in determining a date for Galatian letter:

            a) Relation of Acts 15 and Gal. 2 - same or different?

            b) Relation of Romans and Galatians ‑ similar style.

            c) Identity of co‑senders in Gal. 1:2 - Antioch?

            d) "You" in Gal. 2:5 - Galatians or Gentiles in general?

            e) 2 visits? ‑ Gal. 4:13.



c. Occasion of Galatians


 ‑The Galatians had been strongly influenced by "Christian" teachers of a Jewish background

            who were demanding conformity to the OT ritual laws (2:12ff; 3:2‑5; 4:9‑11,17; 5:1‑6).

 ‑These Judaizers apparently also attacked Paul as not being a "real" Apostle (Paul answers this

            charge in 1:1,12,15‑16; 4:12‑17; 6:17).

  ‑Note that "apostle" meant "someone sent on a commission" in Greek and was not a special

            Christian term as yet.


 ‑At the time of Paul's writing, the Galatians have begun to keep Jewish holidays and festivals

             (4:10), but most have not yet been circumcised (5:2).


 ‑Since circumcision was such a big step (this made one a "Jew" in both Jewish and pagan eyes),

            perhaps the Gal. sent to Paul for his opinion before taking it.



d. Contents of Galatians


  Introduction (1:1‑10)


   ‑See the standard sender, recipient, greeting, but no thanksgiving (this is PaulÕs only church

            letter without one).

   ‑This probably indicates the seriousness of the danger in Paul's mind:  the Gal. may fall for a

            different religion.


  Historical Arguments (1:11‑2:14)


   ‑Apostleship (1:11-24):  Paul is a true apostle by direct and independent appointment by Christ

            (key verse 1:12).


   ‑Agreement (2:1-14):  Paul's gospel agrees with other Apostles' gospel (key verses: 2:6‑9,

            1:8‑9; also seen at the Jerusalem Council).  The Judaizers' "gospel" doesn't.


  Doctrinal Arguments (2:15‑4:11)


   ‑Justification (2:15-3:18) is by grace rather than by works (key verse 3:11).


   ‑Purpose of the Law (3:19-4:11) is to demonstrate man's predicament (key 3:21‑22). 

            The Law should make men aware of sin and despair of their own efforts to keep it.


  Exhortation (4:12‑6:18)


   -Sarah/Hagar illustration (4:21-31): based on Isa 54:1ff in addition to Gen 16-21.


   ‑Final charge (5:1‑4):  if you become circumcised, you are asking God to judge you by works.

            You will be condemned.


   ‑Motives of the Judaizers (6:12‑13):

        ‑Fear persecution (making converts to be Jewish prosyletes would avoid such).

        ‑Desire to have a large following (to boast).


   ‑Final sting:  Those who are circumcised don't even keep the Law themselves, because they are

            unable to (6:13).


B. Pauline Eschatology


             -The doctrines concerning death, second coming, eternal state, etc.; i.e., doctrines

                        relating to "last things."


             -See Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, chap 27

              and Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, chap II


             -Consider various topics of eschatology as sketched below:


1. Downpayment/Earnest ‑ Holy Spirit within believer as "al­ready" of glori­fied state


        2 Cor 5:5: HS as deposit, guaranteeing what is to come

        Rom 8:23: HS as firstfruits; waiting redemption of bodies

        2 Cor 3:18: being transformed into His likeness w/ ever‑increasing glory


2. Nearness of End ‑ difficult to understand


     On one hand: Soon


       Php 4:5: Lord is at hand

       1 Cor 7:29: time is short

       Rom 16:20: God will soon crush Satan


     On other hand: Time Unknown


       1 Th 5:1‑2: will come like thief

       Rom 11:12,25: when full number saved


     Yet: Signs and Specific Events Precede


       2 Th 2:2‑3: rebellion & man of lawlessness

       1 Th 5:3‑4: shouldn't surprise believers


This paradoxical presentation is often used by liberals to argue various strata in the NT, but it is present in both Gospels and epistles.


3. Death & Intermediate State


     Death as Sleep


       1 Cor 11:30: believers misusing Lord's Supper

       1 Cor 15:6,18,20: believers who have died (but note context of v 18)


     Depart to Be w/ Christ


       Php 1:20‑26


     At Home w/ the Lord


       2 Cor 5:1‑10

         body as building, tent, garment (1‑4)

         intermediate state as unclothed? (3)


     Jesus Will Bring Dead Believers w/ Him


       1 Th 4:13‑15


4. Israel (Rom 11)


     At present only small remnant believes (5,17)

     Provides opportunity for salvation of Gentiles (11‑12,15)

     God able to restore Israel (23‑24) and will do so when full number of Gentiles saved



5. Man of Lawlessness (2 Thess 2)

     [Ridderbos makes considerable use of "apocalyptic imagery" to explain away detailed



     He arises before Day of Lord (3)

     Held back until proper time (6‑8), the apostasy? (3)

     Individual human (3) empowered by Satan (9)

     Misleads unbelievers (10) thru miraculous power & deception (9‑10)

     Opposes & exalts self above all Gods (4)

     Sets himself up in God's temple (4)

     Destined for destruction (3) at Jesus' coming (8)

     [Close parallels w/ Dan 11:36‑12:3 (esp 36‑37); 7:21‑27; Matt 24:15‑31 (esp 15);

            Rev 13:11‑17]


6. Rapture ‑ gathering of believers to be with Lord


     1 Cor 15:51‑52: at last trump, dead rise, living changed

     1 Th 4:13‑18: at coming of Lord

     [close parallels w/ Matt 24:26‑35; see Waterman, JETS 18 (1975): 105‑113]


7. Parousia ‑ 2nd coming of Christ


     Freq referred to as: parousia (coming), epiphany (appear­ance), revelation, or "the day"

     1 Th 4:15‑18: Jesus comes from heaven, loud command, voice of archangel, trumpet of God,

             resurrection & gathering of believers to meet Lord, be w/ Him forever

     2 Th 1:6‑10: punishment of persecutors & relief for persecuted when Jesus revealed from

            heaven in blazing fire w/ angels; unbelievers punished w/ everlasting destruction; Jesus

            glorified in & marvelled at by His people

     2 Th 2:8‑9: Jesus will destroy man of lawlessness by breath of mouth and glory of coming


8. Resurrection/Transformation


     Of believers at Jesus' coming (1 Th 4:14‑17; 1 Cor 15:51‑52); not all die, but all changed (51)

     Resurrection body (1 Cor 15:35‑49) glorious, spiritual (vs natural, not vs material)


9. Millennium ‑ 1,000 yr reign of Christ; not explicit in Paul


     Strongest passage is 1 Cor 15:22‑28, which appears to picture 3 resurrections:

                        [1] Christ's (23)

                        [2] believers at His coming (23)

                        [3] end‑resurrec­tion when death destroyed (24,26).

     [Fits most common Jewish eschatology at NT period; app based on Zech 14, Dan 7 and

            natural exegesis of Rev 19‑20]


10. Judgment


     Universal: Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1

     Impartial: Rom 2:1‑16

     Of Works: Rom 2:6‑10; 2 Cor 5:10

     Believers vindicated: 1 Th 1:10; 5:9; Rom 5:9


11. Eternal State


     Creation liberated from bondage: Rom 8:19‑22

     Death destroyed: 1 Cor 15:25‑26

     God all in all: 1 Cor 15:24‑28


       perish (Rom 2:12)

       everlasting destruction (2 Th 1:9)

       shut out from God's presence (2 Th 1:9)


       forever with the Lord: 1 Th 4:17; 1 Cor 13:12

       share His image: 1 Cor 15:49; 2 Cor 3:18

VI. Exegesis of Theological Passages


            A. What is a "Theological Passage"?


            1. Not really a genre, "theological passage" is a de­scription of the content of the passage.

            2. The genre might be a speech in Acts (or the Gos­pels), describing the person and work of Christ; or a letter like Romans, with a systematic argu­ment running many chapters; or a poetic passage like Col 1:15-20; or a controversy passage, as we will study in our next genre (Col 2:8-23); or even an exhorta­tion passage like 1 Cor 13, where love is de­scribed.

            3. A theological passage is one in which the main em­phasis is to describe for us one of the following:  what God is like (theology proper), what humans are like (anthro­pology), what Christ has done (soteriology), what the church should be (ecclesi­ology), what will happen when we die or at the end of the age (eschatology), etc.  Obviously combina­tions of these are theological passages also.


            B. Recognizing a Theological Passage


            1. In a typical NT letter, the letter genre is composed of several subunits (Ryken, Words of Life, 92):

                                    Opening (sender, adressee, greeting)




                                    Closing (final greetings, benediction)

            2. A theological passage is most likely to be located in the body of a letter, though Paul sometimes gets in some theological material even in the "sender" subunit! (Rom 1:2-6)

            3. Paul, especially, tends to organize his letters with a more theological emphasis in the body, separat­ing the practical material out into the exhorta­tion sec­tion.


            C. Exegeting a Theological Passage

                        see Fee, NT Exegesis, 25-50


            1. Items shared with any NT genre

                        a. Read the context.

                                    best to read the entire document in one sit­ting if possible

                        b. Try to figure out where the passage begins and ends.

                        c. Make an initial translation, noting ambiguities in key words, and variant readings in the Greek text.

                        d. How do the sentences fit together? 

                                    see the discussion in Fee, NT Exegesis, 60-77

                        e. Analyze the grammar and significant words.

                        f. Research the historical-cultural background.


            2. Items more specific to letters

                        a. Sender, receiver(s)

                        b. What part of letter is passage in?

                        c. What particular situation in view?

                                    (1) letter as a whole?

                                    (2) passage in particular?

                        d. What do the details and key words and phrases in our passage tell us about what the author is saying?

                        e. What seems to be the main point the author is making?

                        f. What is the logical flow of the author's argu­ment?  How is he going about making his main and secondary points?


            3. Back to more general items

                        a. How does all this fit into the broader biblical and theological context?

                        b. What do other commentators have to say about this passage?

                        c. Now that you've done all this, how does this amend your original translation?

                        d. What applications do you see for us today in this passage?

                        e. Pull all this together for your sermon, Bible study,

VII. Mid-Term Exam


No, this is not the exam.  But we will try to give you some information on what to study and how.  This material is especially designed for the mid-term, but should be helpful for the final exam as well (with suitable modifica­tions), and more generally for studying other courses.


A. How to Study


The following is a list of items which, if you do them, will surely improve your grade in this or any course.  They are taken from the October 1994 issue of The Teaching Profes­sor.  Even if (due to other responsibilities) you don't have time to do all of these, there are some that take no extra time (## 3-7) and will pay real dividends.


            1. I read the assigned reading before we cover that mate­rial in class.


            2. I allow enough time for reading the assigned material so that I can read it slowly and thoughtfully.


            3. I read to understand, because I really want to know the subject we are studying.


            4. I attend class regularly and am rarely or never late.


            5. I sit near the front of class, so that I feel like a partic­ipant, not merely an observer.


            6. I take notes on virtually everything said or discussed in class.


            7. I ask questions in class until the subject being cov­ered is clear in my mind.


            8. I get together with several others in the course to review readings and lecture notes 2 or 3 days prior to the exam.


            9. I get a good night's sleep (7 or 8 hours) prior to the day of the exam.


B. What to Study


            1. Study the "Contents & Outline" pages in the front of the printed notes (pp 2-5).  They were especially designed to give you an overview of the course.


            2. Study the headings in the notebook below the level of those in the "Contents & Outline" above.  They will help to fill in some detail on the framework provided by the outline.


            3. Read over the notebook (sections I through VI) at least a couple of times, using a highlighter to mark what appear to be significant points.  Don't mark every­thing; that just wastes time!


            4. About two-thirds of the exam points will be multiple-choice, short-answer, or matching, the other third will be essay.  Try to see what sorts of material would make a good essay, and what is more likely to be short-answer or such.  Here working with some other students in the class can be very profit­able.


            5. Regarding memorization, I don't think that is the best strategy for seminary-level courses.  Try to understand what is being talked about in each section of the notes.  Try to visualize the history, the arguments, etc.  But don't assume just having a general idea of what the course is about will identify dates or persons for you!

VIII.  Gentile Background to the New Testament


A. Hellenism


            1. The Greek Language


Traceable back to before 1400 BC, the Greek language was spread all over the Middle East by the conquests of Alexander the Great, 333-323 BC, and by the subsequent coloniza­tion started by him and continued by his suc­ces­sors, the Seleucids (Syria and Asia Minor) and the Ptolemies (Egypt).  Greek quickly became the language of international trade, and the language of the upward­ly mobile, since it was the Greek city-states in this area that had the wealth, power, and influence.


With the Greek language came Greek culture, as sketched below.  Since the Greek word for Greece is "Hellas," the Greek verb for "to live like a Greek" was "Helleni­zein."  "Hellenism" is the name for the Greek culture as it is appropriated by non-Greeks, and "Hellenist" is apparently the term used to designate non-Greeks who had adopted Greek culture to a significant extent.


            2. Greek Religion


The Greeks believed in and worshipped many gods and goddesses, of whom the best known are probably Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis and Poseidon.  The deities were viewed as immortal but not having always exist­ed; as powerful, but not omnipotent.  The gods knew everything about what humans were doing, but were capable of trick­ing and deceiving one another.  Though they ex­pected good behavior on the part of humans, they were also some­times cruel and brutal. 


Each god or goddess had cer­tain realms in which they were espe­cially power­ful.  Zeus was god of weather, Poseidon of the sea, Athena of wisdom and craftsman­ship, etc.  A human who has going to be involved in one of these realms had better be sure he was on the good side of the god or goddess who ruled it.  Sacrifice was the way to get a god on your side; as one Greek proverb said, "Gifts persuade the gods."  The various Greek city-states typically viewed one of the gods or god­desses as their own particular protector.  Athena (naturally) was so viewed by Athens, Poseidon by Cor­inth, Artemis by Ephesus.


Morality was not typically a strong point with the Greek deities, and this came to be viewed as something of a scandal by some of the Greek philosophers.  Given the sexual escapades reported of Zeus in Greek mytholo­gy, it is no wonder that the Greco-Roman world had such low standards of sexual behavior.  Most worshippers of the Greek gods and goddesses seem to have viewed them as forces to be placated in order to get on with one's own life, rather than as models for behavior and beings worthy of dedication of one's whole being.


Syncretism, the mixing of elements between religions, is common among polytheistic religions, and those of Greece and Rome were no exception.  The chief Greek god Zeus came to be identified with the Roman Jupiter (and the Syrian Baal), Aprodite with Venus, Artemis with Diana, etc.  Other deities were being imported from Egypt and the East even during the first century AD.


The mode of worship in Greece (and Rome) seems to be quite ancient, sharing some features with OT worship, and so probably going back to the Flood at least.  The temple is viewed as the god's or goddess' house; sacri­fice is food offered to the deity; a special priesthood is necessary to take care of the temple and to see that rituals are performed properly.


            3. Greek Philosophy


One of the unique features of Greek culture was their interest in philosophy, literally "love of wisdom."  In actual usage the term meant an attempt to understand ultimate reality without recourse to religion.  This activity may have had its roots in near eastern wisdom traditions, but the earliest known practitioners were the pre-Socratic philos­ophers in the Greek cities of Asia Minor (6th cen BC):  Thales, Anaxi­mander, Anaxime­nes and Anaxago­ras.


The best-known Greek philosophers are Socrates, his disciple Plato, and his disciple Aristotle (400s-300s BC).  Plato founded the Platonic school of philosophy and Aristotle the Peripatetic, but by NT times these had been eclipsed by two other schools, the Stoics and the Epicureans, mentioned in Acts 17:18.


The Stoics inclined toward belief in a single God, who filled the universe with purpose.  A spark of the divine existed in every person, so that all shared a common brotherhood, including barbarians, women and slaves.  The Stoic ideal was to live a life of virtue no matter what misfortune should come one's way.  Stoicism caught on at Rome, and became the dominant view among philosophically-inclined Romans.


The Epicureans were considered atheists by many of the ancients (though so were the Christians!).  They believed that matter was the ultimate reality; that the soul dies with the body; that the gods exist, but are made of a special sort of matter, and have no interest in the affairs of humanity.  The chief goal of Epicureans was to life a life untroubled by pain or worry, and they sought to achieve this by avoiding any desires that they could not satisfy. 


            4. The Greek City


Unlike most ancient societies, the basic political unit of the ancient Greeks was the city, each functioning as a separate state until the conquest of Greece by Philip and Alexan­der the Great.  This was apparently due to Greece having no large agricul­tural areas or unify­ing features like a major river and their having rejected kingship early in their history.  The upshot was that rule was local, sometimes by an aris­tocracy, later by democracies or a small clique.


The population of a city consisted of full citizens (whose adult males had a voice in local affairs), other residents (whether local or foreign), and slaves.  The idea of citizenship rights and responsibilities, and of local pride, became strong in such a context.  Many cities, as their population became too large to be supported by the surrounding croplands, sent out colo­nists to start new cities elsewhere, and the home city became the metropolis (mother city).


The idea of the Greek city was spread into the East with the conquests of Alexander.  The Seleucids, espe­cially, founded cities as control points to unify their empire, and these quickly became the dominant commer­cial sites.  With the Greek cities came numerous Hel­lenizing influences.


            5. Greek Art, Rhetoric, Literature


The Greek "golden age" is commonly associated with Athens in the period 450-400 BC.  Under the direction of the gifted ruler Peri­cles and with significant funds coming in from the Athe­nian-dominat­ed Delian League, the arts reached a height in Athens almost unprecedent­ed in world history.  Gifted sculptors and painters abounded; the marvelous architecture of the Acropolis was built; historians, poets, and dramatists wrote; orators developed their skills to a high level.  There work came to be considered classic by the Greeks in the following centuries, and had great influence among the Romans at NT times, and among Europeans even to this day.


            6. Greek Athletics


Greek athletics is somewhat familiar to most of us today as a result of the revival of the Olympic games at the end of the 19th century.  Though most soci­eties have used athletics as a way to train and main­tain physical strength for warfare, the Greeks devel­oped athletic contests to a high level. 


By NT times, there were four main competitive meets which had been in existence for several centuries, two of which met every four years (Olympic and Pythian games) and two every two years (Isthmian and Nemean games).  Besides these, most major cities held games every year or so, and there were many professional athletes who competed in them.


The main events were various types of footraces, rang­ing from a dash the length of the stadium (c200 yd) to a race of about 3 miles.  [The marathon was not an ancient event.]  Besides racing, there was the discus throw, the javelin, the broad jump, boxing (no gloves, more like brass knuckles!), (Greco-Roman) wrestling, the pankration (wrestling with hitting), and the pen­tathlon (fr, bj, d, j, w).  Paul on occasion makes use of figures drawn from athletics.


Rome developed the chariot race (see Ben Hur) and human combats (gladiators) as even more exciting spectator sports.


B. The Roman Empire


            1. The Emperor


The office of emperor as the chief executive officer of the Roman empire was developed by Augustus during his long reign (31 BC-AD 14).  It was a position of abso­lute authority, though nominally much of the rule was conducted with the approval of the Senate (the old ruling council of elders for the city).


The Latin word "imper­ator" means one who has power of life and death, but the emperor could also delegate this power to his governors in the provinces. 


Augustus was also called "Caesar," which at first meant nothing more than (adopted) son of Julius Caesar, but came to be one of the distinct titles of the emperor. 


"Augus­tus" was also a title (his original name was Octav­ian) meaning "revered one."  This came close to being a divine title, and the emperor was worshipped as a god in many of the provinces.


            The Roman emperor was by far the wealthiest person in the empire.


            2. The Empire


The empire consisted of Rome (the capital city), Italy (a rather privileged region), client states (that had allied themselves with Rome and were ruled by native rulers), and the provinces (literally, regions previ­ous­ly conquered).  The provinces were ruled by gover­nors sent out from Rome either by the emperor (if they were border regions or in danger of revolt) or by the Senate (if they were safe, interior provinces).  Egypt was virtually the private property of the emperor because a safe supply of grain was necessary to feed the poorer classes in Rome.


            3. The Army


The Roman army had originally been a citizen army, called up in emergencies to defend Rome.  By NT times it was a full-time professional army made up mostly of non-Romans.  But a veteran of 20 years' service was retired as a full Roman citizen, with a bonus of more than 10 years' pay and a plot of land.  His descen­dants would thereafter be Romans.


In AD 23, the Roman army consisted of 25 legions (4800 infantry and 120 cavalry each), for a total army of less than 125,000 men (plus auxiliary units), rather small for the size of the empire they controlled.  The disci­pline, training and organization of the army was superb and there were no armies that could match them during the first three centuries of the empire.


            4. Taxes


The Roman tax system consisted of both direct and indirect taxes.  The indirect taxes C e.g., sales, harbor and inheritance taxes C were paid by (virtually) all inhabitants of the empire.  Roman citizens, howev­er, were exempt from the direct taxes, which were paid by non-citizens who lived in the prov­inces.  These consisted of a land tax for those who owned land and a head tax for those who didn't.  Censuses established the population of a province and thus the amount of tax that the governor must collect.  In NT times the tax rates were not excessive (by modern standards), though they got worse and worse to the end of the empire.  During the 1st century AD the privilege of collec­ting taxes was sold to the highest bidders, who were given a rather free hand, leading to consider­able corruption and a strong hatred for tax collectors.


            5. The People


Outside of Rome, Roman citizenship was a high privi­lege, as we see in the exchange between Paul and the military commander in Acts 22:22-29.  It conferred exemp­tion from certain taxes and the right of appeal to Caesar.  Otherwise, non-citizens retained whatever class struc­ture existed in each particular region, with large disparities in wealth and influence between upper and lower classes, and a large underclass of slaves.


In Rome, many very poor people might yet be Roman citizens, as they had been born into the lower classes of the city.  Yet as citizens, they were exempt from direct taxes, eligible for the public dole of food given out by the emperor, and were entertained by the various public shows provided ("bread and circuses").  In principle they were far above the resident foreign­ers and slaves, though in practice this was not neces­sarily so, as the dole and entertainment tended to undercut any incentive to labor.


The upper classes of Rome consisted of the emper­or and his family on top, the Senatorial order next, and the Eques­trian order (also called Knights) below them.  The Knights often became very wealthy because they were permitted to engage in business but the Senators were not.


Slavery was widespread C perhaps 1/3 of the population of Rome was in slavery C and the slaves had virtually no civil rights.  In practice, some slaves were treated well, and the slaves of a wealthy family might easily have far more privilege and power than poorer citizens.  It was not uncommon for slaves to be freed, either at the death of their master, or by purchasing their freedom in one way or another. 


            6. Transportation


The empire made the Mediterranean and its connecting seas safe from piracy.  Transport by sea was far more convenient than land transport, but the technology of shipbuilding in the ancient world was such that sea travel was not safe during the winter months.


The Romans by the end of the 1st cen AD had built some ¼  million miles of paved roads, forming a network converging on Rome.  The roads were laid as straight as possible, cut­ting into hills and bridging over valleys.  The roads had curbs, with excellent pav­ing 3-5 feet thick, using stone and con­crete.  They were narrow by our stan­dards, with four "lanes" each about 8 feet wide.








Roman bridges were one of important uses of the arch, an archi­tectural device de­veloped by the Romans.


            7. Roman Coinage


                        usually dated by consulate of reigning emperor

                        obverse (front) usually ruling emperor

                        reverse usually a deity or personification

                        coin inscriptions rather standard, e.g.:












            Tiberius Caesar, Son of Divine Augustus, Augustus /

              Pontifex Maximus (chief priest of Roman religion)         


            Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus, Pontifex Maximus,

              Tribunican Power, Father of the Fatherland, 3rd Consulate / Judaea taken captive


                        coin samples:

                        denarius of Tiberius (obv: Tiberius; rev: Livia? Vestal Virgin?) (above); prob this is the trib­ute money of Matt 22:19

                        sestertius of Vespasian (obv: Vespasian; rev: Judaea, soldier?) (below)


IX. Paul's Middle Epistles and His Soteriology


A. 1 & 2 Corinthians


  1. The city of Corinth


   ‑Until c100 years ago, sailing technology did not enable

    boats to sail more than 5‑10 degrees into the wind.

   ‑Since the prevailing winds on the Mediterranean are from

    the west, it was quite difficult to sail west, especially

    near land (where tacking was dangerous).


   ‑Thus from pre‑classical times (c600 BC), ship traffic west

    often took the shortcut across the isthmus at Corinth,

    instead of sailing around the peninsula.




















   ‑Hence Corinth was a natural spot for a port city.

   ‑Corinth itself was at the center of the isthmus with

    satellite port cities on each side:  East ‑‑> Cenchraea

    (Acts 18:18; Rom 16:1); West ‑‑> Lechaeum.


   ‑Due to rebellion by Corinth, the Romans completely

    destroyed Corinth when they came through in 146 BC

    (making the city an example, like Carthage).

   ‑The city was rebuilt in 46 BC by the Romans and became

    a major prosperous city for eastern trade.

    ‑The present ruins show almost exclusively Roman

     inscriptions and architecture; only the temple of

     Apollo is left from before 146 BC.

   ‑Corinth became the capital of the province of Achaia.


   ‑Due to the mixing of cultures and its transient population,

    Corinthians saw differences in rules and concluded that

    none were absolute.  Corinth thus became famous for its

    immorality and loose living in a not very moral empire.

   ‑The temple to Aphrodite had "legalized" prostitution.


  2. The church in Corinth


   ‑Was founded by Paul on his 2nd MJ, after he came down from Athens (Acts 18:1‑18).

   ‑He began preaching in the synagogue (standard method).

   ‑When resistance reached a certain level (nonbelievers began blaspheming Jesus),

            Paul moved to the house of Justus next door (!).


   ‑God encourages him (18:9‑10).  Paul was probably worried about being run out of town as

            had happened often before.

    ‑Perhaps Paul at this time made a vow asking for God's protection (18:18).

   ‑The attempt of the Jews to have Paul punished by Gallio fails (18:12‑16).

   ‑Paul remains in Corinth 18 months, working and living with Aquila and Priscilla part of

            the time.


   ‑When Paul leaves to head for Jerusalem and Antioch, A & P accompany him to Ephesus;

            the follow up work at Corinth is continued by Apollos (18:24‑28).



  3. Background to 1 Corinthians


   ‑From Corinth, Paul goes to Ephesus ‑> Jerusalem ‑> Antioch, which ends the 2nd MJ.

   ‑After some time, begins 3rd MJ: revisits churches of 1st MJ (?) (i.e. Galatia, Phrygia),

            then to Ephesus for 3 years.


   ‑At Ephesus, Paul had contact with Corinth by sea travel, letters, delegations

            (apparently made a quick trip himself).


   ‑Paul apparently wrote a letter to Corinth before 1 Cor.: 1 Cor. 5:9  "I wrote you in my letter ..."

                ‑Appears to point back to an earlier letter (on Christians living immorally)

                        which we do not have.  Looks like they misunderstood this earlier reference.



4. Occasion of 1 Corinthians


   ‑Paul has received a letter from Corinth, is answering it.

    Starting in ch. 7, he turns from things he has heard about them (via delegations or messengers)

            to their letter:


    7:1  "Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a



    ‑The subsequent "now concerning" (¹ερί δ) markers which follow this one probably also

            relate to written questions:


    7:25             They asked about virgins in relationship to marriage.

    8:1               Probably asked about relation to idols.

    12:1             Deals with spiritual gifts.


    ‑Paul probably quotes their remarks in places and corrects them:  "'All things are lawful' .. but

            all do not edify."


   ‑Besides letter, Paul had received some people from Corinth.


                1:11  Chloe's people (slaves/employees from her household).

                      ‑1 Cor. 1‑5 app responds to their report.

                16:17 "the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus"

                      ‑May or may not be the same as "Chloe's people".


                      ‑Probably an official delegation since 16:15‑16 imply they are leaders

                        in the church.


                     ‑"Supplied" => gift, news, fellowship?


   ‑Paul had been in Ephesus for a while, Corinthians had problems so had sent a letter and at

            least one delegation to Paul, which he responded to.


5. Sketch Outline of 1 Corinthians  (scale: "|" = 1 chapter)



                                    |                                      |

                                    |                                      |

   Problems re/             |         Divisions              | 1‑4

                                    |                                      |


                                    |         Incest                    | 5


                                    |         Lawsuits               | 6


                                    |         Marriage               | 7


                                    |                                      |

                                    | Food offered to idols   | 8‑10

                                    |                                      |


   Misuses of                           |       Lord's Supper         | 11


                                    |                                      |

                                    |        Spiritual Gifts        | 12‑14

                                    |                                       |


   Heresy re/                 |        Resurrection          | 15


   Closing                     | Collect for Jerusalem    | 16



In both chapters 8‑10 and 12‑14, it looks like the middle chapters, 9 and 13, are discussing

            different topics, but they are actually making very relevant points regarding the main

            topic in view.


 ‑In ch 9, Paul gave up what was legally his in order not to offend anyone.  The Corinthians

            should do the same thing with respect to foods offered to idols and other matters.

 ‑In 13, love is the key spiritual gift, not tongues.



6. Background of 2 Corinthians


 Paul had intended to send Timothy to Corinth (1 Cor.16:10f).

 ‑Timothy was probably to check on things in Corinth, but Paul feared that Timothy was not up

            to it (timid, youthful).

 ‑We do not know if he got there or how he made out, but probably did not go well if he went.

 ‑In 2 Cor., Titus (not mentioned in Acts or 1 Cor., but apparently an older, more mature

            believer) is the liason and there are still troubles.


 Some difficulty has arisen in the church regarding an offender (2 Cor. 2:6‑7).

 ‑Possibly the same person in 1 Cor.5 concerning incest.

 ‑Perhaps the ringleader of an opposition group (Judaizers?) as in 2 Cor. 10‑13.  Don't know for



 Paul, to try to deal with problem, had sent a severe letter.

 ‑Then he sent Titus who does not come back when expected.

 ‑Then, being very concerned and restless, Paul goes to Macedonia to meet Titus halfway.

 ‑Titus has a favorable report, mentioned in 2 Cor. 2 and 7.


 2:5‑11 shows that problems have been basically cleared up by the time Paul wrote 2 Cor.

 ‑After writing 2 Cor., Paul goes down to Corinth, winters there (AD 57‑58) and writes Romans.

  ‑Paul having time to write, and the calm character of Romans suggests that the Corinthian

            situation had stablized.


Summary of Paul's letters (L) and visits (V) to Corinth.


51‑53   V 1   Founds church, spends 1.5 years there (Acts 18)


        L 1   Lost "separation" letter (1 Cor. 5:9)


        L 2   1 Corinthians


        V 2   Painful visit (largely unknown)

               ‑Appears to be personal visit to solve problem of offender, but without desired result.

                2 Cor. 2:1 "I would not come to you in sorrow again."

                2 Cor. 13:1‑2 "This is the third time I am coming to you."


        L 3   Letter of Many Tears

                2 Cor. 2:3‑4,9; 7:8 ‑ Paul wondered if he had been too strong, but was happy with


                ‑Some think this is 1 Cor., but it is not "many tears" (cf. 2 Cor. 2:1) or as "strong"

                        as 2 Cor.

                ‑So this letter is probably lost.


57      L 4   2 Corinthians, written in Macedonia.


57‑58   V 3   Winter visit, 3 months, 2 Cor.13:1‑2, Acts 20:2‑3 writes Romans.


Alternative arrangement identifying 1 Cor. as Letter of Tears:


               V 1 ‑ same                  

               L 1 ‑ same (lost)           

               V 2 ‑ same                   

               L 2 ‑ 1 Cor.

               L 3 ‑ 2 Cor.

               V 3 ‑ same

7. Sketch Outline of 2 Corinthians  (scale: "|" = 1 chapter)



    |                                      |

    |                                      |

    |      Paul's defense of      |

    |        his ministry            | 1‑6

    |                                      |

    |                                      |


    | Joy at their repentence  | 7    also in ch. 1 and 2


    |                                      |

    |  Collect for Jerusalem  | 8‑9


    |                                      |

    |  Judaizers Answered    | 10‑12  (note 11:22ff)

    |                                      |


    |       Coming Visit          | 13



Reason for collection: Apparently the Jerusalem Council had asked Paul not to forget the Jews

            when he ministered to the Gentiles.  He agreed to help the poor people in Jerusalem.

            Possibly they were poor due to economic persecution.


8. Integrity of 2 Corinthians


 This is not a question of authorship, but a matter of whether the form we have is the original

            form of the letter.

 ‑Few deny that 2 Cor. is by Paul (it is the most personal of his church letters).

 ‑But many liberals feel some sections are parts of the lost letters L1 and L3.


 a. 6:14‑7:1 is viewed as part of L1 mentioned in 1 Cor. 5:9.


   ‑Deals with separation, matching description in 1 Cor. 5:9.

   ‑Looks as if it interrupts the context of 6:11‑13 and 7:2 which refers to opening their hearts.

   ‑It must have been accidentally inserted.


   Problems with this view:


   1) No textual support: all texts have this passage in this place.

   2) No statements from antiquity (Jerome, Origen) that this passage was not in some


   3) Must assume that this got in so early that no church father outside of Corinth knew about it.

   4) Must assume some copyist was dumb enough to accidently insert a page/paragraph at this


      ‑Why the material would be placed here is not obvious.

   5) What we have of the content of the real separation letter does not fit with this passage.

      ‑1 Cor. 5:9 says not to associate with people who claim to be Christians, but their lives don't

            show it.

      ‑2 Cor. 6:14f says not to have religious associations with unbelievers who are involved in

            idolatry (false worship).

      ‑So these are not the same topic; thus only speculation that they refer to the same letter.


   ‑There are other Pauline digressions which can be omitted and a smooth, coherent discussion

            remains:  1 Cor. 12‑14 has a long digression about love (ch. 13).



 b. 2 Corinthians 10‑13


  ‑Paul here is speaking against his opponents (probably Judaizers).

  ‑The shift in tone between 1‑9 and 10‑13 is fairly sharp:

            1‑9 expresses relief and thanksgiving, 10‑13 is stern.

  ‑Thus some see 10‑13 as (part of) the "letter of many tears" (L3) mentioned in 2 Cor. 2:4,

            which was very severe.


  ‑However, Paul is a man of many moods; such tone changes can be detected elsewhere.  Since

            the letter is long, it probably was not dictated all at one sitting.

  ‑Perhaps Paul, reflecting over 1‑9, or receiving some fresh news from Corinth, may have

            realized that a stronger note was necessary as there were still problems to deal with.


  ‑There is no manuscript evidence or ancient witnesses which show that 2 Cor. 10‑13 was

            missing or added on later.

  ‑Have only the internal evidence of a tone change.


  ‑To propose that some dumb scribe dropped assorted pages and confused their order => neither

            he nor anyone else knew the correct order.

  ‑Also, scrolls app were used until c100 AD, so the original and early copies would not likely

            have page problems.


B. Romans


 1. Order in the New Testament: first of the letters


  ‑The order of NT books is broadly chronological: 

            Gospels, Acts, Epistles (writings of Apostles), Revelation


  ‑The order within these subheadings is more elusive:

            Gospels: most to least like the OT, Jewish ideas.

                        Matt.: genealogies, Messiah;  John: implications for Xians

            Epistles:  Pauline to non‑Pauline, where Hebrews (disputed authorship regarding Paul)

                        is placed at boundary.


  -Within Pauline Epistles order is not chronological, perhaps topical:


    a. Are roughly ordered by length, tho letters to the same recipients kept together

            (Corinthians, Timothy).

       ‑p46 (Chester Beatty) has Hebrews within the Paul group in order of length: 

            Rom, Heb, Cor, Gal, ....


    b. Romans may be first as it gives the most systematic presentation of the Gospel,

            opening up the whole revelation.


    c. Romans is probably most important book of group, influencing:

            Luther (Reformation),

            Wesley (Great Awakening),

            Barth (partial restoration of gospel in liberalism).


 2. The City of Rome


  ‑Was the capital of the "world" (Roman Empire).

  ‑Its population of 1 million was about the most possible without better technology

            (sanitation, mass transit, water, etc.).

  ‑Empire had an excellent road system.

  ‑Capital was a parasite city.  In the previous century it had local farmland, but by NT times it

            had overgrown this and now relied on imports.

   ‑About half the population were slaves; the poorer citizens were on welfare

            (the emperor provided grain from Egypt and entertainment, "bread and circuses").


 3. The Church in Rome


  a. Origin


   ‑We don't know how or when the church was founded.  Various suggestions:


   1) by Jewish Christians returning from Pentecost (Acts 2:10‑11).


   2) by travelers before 50 AD (Suetonius re/ "Chrestus"; Priscilla and Aquila from Rome,

            with no indication that they were converted by Paul, Acts 18:2).

   3) by Peter, who went to Rome in 42‑43 AD.

      ‑This is the RC view, supported by Eusebius, Jerome (citing Acts 12:17);

            Irenaeus comments "Peter and Paul were in Rome founding the church ..."

        ‑In antiquity, "founding" could mean to reorganize, as well as to start from scratch

            (Alexander & successors founded many Greek cities in the East).


   ‑Clearly the church existed before Paul got there (cf. Romans), but we are not sure

            when Peter came.

   ‑Peter probably was at Rome, but not for 20 years as Bishop before Paul arrived. 

            Note following:

                ‑Paul does not greet Peter in Romans.

                ‑The nonchristian Jews in Rome have barely heard of Christianity, which is strange if

                        Peter has been there (cf. Acts 28:21‑22).


   Newman's view: Christians (from Pentecost and/or others who traveled there) started the

            church before 50 AD.  It was disrupted when Jews expelled (Acts 18:2),

            tho Gentile Xns may have remained.  It was apparently weak and spotty until Paul

            and Peter arrived.  Irenaeus' remark would refer to Peter and Paul getting the church

            organized again with officers, etc.


 b. Character of the church


  ‑Not much information.

  ‑Evidence from the catacombs shows there were many Jewish people in Rome, so the church

            could have any ratio of Jew and Gentile.

  ‑We estimate from letter to Romans that the church was mainly Gentile, but had a strong

            minority of influential Jewish Xians:


   1:13  "among the rest of the Gentiles" => mainly Gentile.


   11:13‑24  has many references to Gentiles.

   ‑Fits the usual procedure of branching out from synagogues.



   2:17‑25  aims at the Jews in or in contact with the church.

           ‑The Jews had been forced out of Rome in 49 AD, but probably started to return

            after 54 AD (when Claudius, who expelled them, died).


     ‑Several named in the greetings (ch 16) are Jewish:

            Priscilla, Aquila (v.3); Andronicus and Junias (v.7) and Herodion (v.11)

            are called Paul's kinsmen.


  -R.A. Peterson suggests weak/strong distinction of Rom 14 is Jew/Gentile distinction

            re/ non-kosher meat.


4. Date and Place of Writing Romans


 a. Place: From Corinth


  ‑Paul sketches his future plans in Rom 15:14ff.

  ‑Has finished work in the East (from Palestine to Greece and Macedonia) and is getting ready

            to head to Jerusalem with the collection at the end of the 3rd MJ.

  ‑Paul is aware of possible dangers in Judea.


  ‑Towards end of 3rd MJ, Paul was mainly in Ephesus, then went up and around to Corinth.

  ‑Concluding that Paul wrote from Corinth comes from names of 3 members of the Corinthian

            church in the greetings, Rom 15‑16:

                Phoebe (16:1), deaconess from Cenchrea, east port of Cor.;

                Gaius (16:23), mentioned in 1 Cor. 1:14;

                Erastus (16:23), the city treasurer (have evidence of  pavement in Corinth laid by

                        Erastus the aedile).


  ‑Have greetings to Priscilla and Aquila (16:3), who were known at Corinth.


 b. Date


  -During the winter months before taking the offering to Jerusalem.


  ‑Note references to a collection in Rom. 15:25‑26, 1 Cor 16 and 2 Cor 9.

  ‑This period is probably referred to in Acts 20:2‑3.

  ‑Probably written during the winter of 57‑58 AD.


5. Occasion of Romans


 a. Future visit.  Paul planned to pass through Rome on the way to Spain (15:22ff).  These plans

            were altered by his imprisonment, tho he finally reaches Rome in Acts 28.


 b. Phoebe is going.  A recommendation for her and a good opportunity to send a letter.


 c. Clarify Gospel.  Paul takes the opportunity to outline the fundamental doctrines of

            Christianity, perhaps in view of the possibility that he may not reach Rome (15:30‑32;

            cp. Acts 20:22‑24, 21:11‑14) due to the dangers in Jerusalem.


6. Sketch Outline of Romans  (scale: "|" = 1 chapter)

            adapted from Walter Wessel, NIV Study Bible:



   |       Intro & Theme     |  1:1‑17


   |                                    |

   | Unrighteousness of    |  1:18‑3:20

   |       All Mankind        |


   |                                    |

   | God's Righteousness  |  3:21‑5:21

   | Imputed: Justificatn   |


   |                                    | 

   | God's Righteousness  |  chs 6-8

   |Imparted: Sanctificatn | 


   | God's Righteousness  |

   | Vindicated: Prob of    |  9‑11

   |    Israel's Rejection     |


   |                                    |

   | God's Righteousness  |  12‑15:13

   | Practiced by Believrs |


   |       Conclusion           |  15:14-33


   |        Greetings             |  ch 16




7. The Integrity of Romans


 a. Omission of chs. 15‑16


   Origen says Marcion modified his NT so that it did not have Romans 15‑16.

   ‑We have no extant manuscripts without these chapters.

   ‑Not much attention would be given this except for:


 b. Variant locations of doxology, 16:25‑27


   1) Some mss omit doxology.


   2) Some include at end of ch. 14 (Byzantine lectionaries).


   3) p46 has it at end of ch. 15.


  ‑See Metzger's Textual Commentary at 14:23 for discussion.


 c. Theories of a Shorter Original


   1) Only chs. 1‑14 are original.


     ‑Not widely held, even by liberals, because the break between 14 and 15 is strange:

            the first half of ch. 15 is strongly tied to ch. 14.


     ‑There are some things in ch. 15 that Marcion would not like, so he might have removed both

            chapters. 15 and 16.


     ‑Most who support this view claim that Paul made 2 eds., adding chs. 15‑16 himself.


   2) Ch. 16 was originally part of an Ephesian letter.


     ‑Baur held that a version of Romans was sent to Ephesus and ch. 16 is a letter of

            commendation of Phoebe added to the Ephesus copy.


     ‑Baur argued that orthodox view had Paul knowing too many people in Rome (c25 by name)

            if he had never been there.

      ‑But given the importance of Rome and ease of travel, Paul could have known 25 people

            from his churches who had moved there.


     ‑Baur: Priscilla and Aquila were left in Ephesus in Acts and are also there in Timothy

            (2 Tim 4:19).  Why should we think they went to Rome in between?


  d. Suggested Solution


    1) Textual problem of doxology may reflect lectionary‑type practices.


     ‑Most lectionaries include the doxology at end of ch. 14.

     ‑Was Jewish and Christian practice to read scripture as part of the service.  Was important

            because people did not have their own copies.


     ‑Jewish practice: have passage end on positive note.

      e.g. For end of Malachi, went back and read a blessing from earlier in the book.

     ‑Perhaps there was a similar practice in Christian circles.

      Greetings and travel plans were omitted since they did not particularly edify those who did

            not know the people.


    2) Did Romans end at ch. 14?


     ‑Possibly a shorter version was circulating early, but more likely that Marcion shortened it

            (Origen) like he edited Luke's gospel.


     ‑No extant manuscripts lack chs. 15‑16.


    3) Paul's greetings to 25 people.


     ‑Paul's practice here is like that in Colossians where he greets those he knew.

      ‑This would be impractical in a church where he had ministered and knew nearly everyone.

      ‑Paul knew lots of people; many could have traveled or moved to Rome, just as many today

            move to NYC.


     ‑Priscilla and Aquila could have had business in Rome so they would have gone back and

            forth from Ephesus.



C. Pauline Soteriology


            -The doctrines concerning salvation

            -Helpful to see terminology (actually figures) under which Paul develops these matters


  1. Summary


     a. Man's State:


          Child of Adam/Satan ‑ not explicit in Paul, but see 1 Cor 15:22; 2 Cor 11:14

          Criminal ‑ Rom 5:16

          Darkened ‑ Eph 5:8

          Dead ‑ Eph 2:1

          Debtor ‑ rare in Paul, Col 2:14

          Diseased ‑ not in Paul, but elsewhere in OT, NT

          Enemy of God ‑ Rom 5:10

          Endangered ‑ Rom 1:18; 9:22

          Filthy ‑ 1 Cor 6:11

          Slave of sin ‑ Rom 7:14

          Unfit ‑ Tit 1:16


     b.  Man's Salvation: pictured as remedies to above problems:

            Salvation, Redemption, Pardon, Justification, Cleans­ing, Healing, Reconciliation, Adoption, Regener­ation,   Resurrection, Creation.


   2. Pictures of Salvation


a. Salvation: deliverance from danger


          delivered from enemies: Eph 5:23; Col 1:13

          delivered from wrath: Rom 1:16‑18; 5:9; 1 Th 1:10

          Christ takes God's wrath due us: Rom 4:25; 2 Cor 5:21


b. Redemption: purchase from slavery


          spiritual slavery: 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23

          Christ as ransom price: Eph 1:7; 1 Tim 2:6


c. Pardon: forgiveness of debt


          two debtors: Luke 7:41‑43

          unmerciful servant: Matt 18:21‑25

          cancelling debt: Col 2:14


d. Justification: declared innocent in court


          by law: Rom 2:1‑16, esp vv 2,11,13

          by grace: Rom 3:19‑31, esp vv 20,24,26


e. Cleansing: washing off dirt


          from guilt of sins: 1 Cor 6:9‑11

          as bride prepared for Christ: Eph 5:26‑27

          by washing of regeneration: Titus 3:5


f. Healing: from disease


          sin as disease: Ps 38:1‑8; Isa 1:1‑6; Jer 30:12‑15

          healing from sin: 2 Chron 7:14; Ps 41:4; Jer 30:15‑17

          Christ the healer: Isa 53:5; 1 Pet 2:24


g. Reconciliation: ceasing to be enemies


          sinners as enemies of God:

            Ps 2, esp vv 2‑3, 8‑9,10,12: they hate Him, Rom 8:7‑8

            Ps 11:5: He hates them

          reconciled by Christ: Rom 5:8‑11; 2 Cor 5:18‑20; Eph 2:12‑22; Col 1:20‑22


h. Adoption: of child into family


          sinners as someone else's children: Hos 1; Jn 8:31‑47; Eph 2:2‑3; 1 Jn 3:8‑10

          adopted by God: Gal 4:5‑7; Rom 8:14‑19,21,29


i. Regeneration: a second birth


          unfit by nature: Ps 14:1‑3; Jer 13:23; Rom 3:10‑18

          born again: Jer 31:33‑34; Ezk 11:19‑20; Jn 3:3‑8; Tit 3:5‑6


j. Resurrection: from death


          sin as death: Prov 2:18; 9:18; Lk 1:79; Rom 8:6; Eph 4:18

          raised from dead: Eph 2:1‑7; Col 2:8‑15


k. Creation: a new creature


          unfit by nature: see "Regeneration" above

          a new creation: Ps 51:10; see Jer 31 and Ezk 11 under ŅRegenerationÓ;

            2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Eph 2:10; 4:24; Col 3:9‑10

                                       KEY BIBLICAL WORDS OF SALVATION
















Delivered from danger

Enemies; coming wrath

Deliverer, rescuer

Deliverer, Ruler





Purchased from slavery

Slavery to sin & Satan

Purchase price



Freedman, slave



Forgiven a debt

Unpayable debt to God




Freedom from debt


Acquitted in court

Charged with crimes

Takes our punishment



Freedom fr punishment


Washed from dirt

Filthy from sin

His blood cleanses



Restored to cleanliness


Healed from disease

Diseased with sin

Physician, remedy



Restored to health


Made friends from enemies

Enmity with God




Restored to fellowship


Made son and heir

Child of Adam, Satan

Adoptive brother

Adoptive father

Adopted child

New status, new fami­ly


Born a sec­ond time

By nature unfit

Second Adam



New life (eternal)


Made alive tho dead

Dead in sin

Raised with Christ

Makes alive

Made alive

New life (restored)


Created anew

By nature unfit

Second Adam



New exist­encee

                                  SOME ADDITIONAL WORDS RE/ SALVATION
















Given what not earned

Sins earns death

Earner, gift



Life as gift


Chosen not on merit

Merit con­demnation

Merited Choice



Life as privilege


Accepted by sacri­fice

Separation from God




Restored to fellowship


Sinful flesh removed

Inherit sin thru flesh

Seed cut off






Washed from sin

Sin as filth

Jesus' bap­tism, death



Baptized w/ Holy Spirit


Fellowship meal

Enmity with God

Reconciler, food of meal

God, Host

Partaker, guest

Fellowship continued


X. Exgesis of Controversy Passages


            A. What is a Controversy Passage?


            1. Obviously, a passage in which some controversy is the major feature.  That is, some dispute is being argued for the benefit of the reader.


            2. In the Acts or Gospels, this might be a narrative, or a dialogue, or a speech.  In the Epistles, it will only rarely be narrative (e.g., Gal 2:11ff) because the NT letters have so little narrative material.  It may be an imaginary dialogue, where the writer is stating and responding to possible (or real) objections from opponents (e.g., Rom 6:1ff; 1 Cor 15:35ff; Jas 4:13ff).  Most commonly, though, in a letter, it will be an exposition or monologue responding to some error or threat from which the writer is concerned to protect his hear­ers.


            B. Identifying a Controversy Passage


            1. Controversy passages are commonly a subclass of theological passages.