Book Overviews · Philemon

Philemon Overview (yup, 2 books tomorrow)

Philemon

This one little book in the Bible may be only 25 verses but it completely encompasses the change Christ can have on us.  Have you ever read it?  ( I am not even sure I know how to pronounce it)

This book is about 2 things:

  1. Love
  2. Forgiveness

So if you struggle with either/both of those,  dig in.

  • Paul is in prison and comes to meet a man by the name of Onesimus.
  • Onesimus is a runaway slave to Paul’s friend Philemon in Colosse (a leader in the Church).
  • So, Onesimus,  who before meeting Paul was considered useless has come to be a Christ Follower (Christian), thus his name Onesimus actually means “useful” in Greek.

Paul writes a letter from the Love in his heart to Philemon to accept and forgive Onesimus for running away and the crimes he has committed.   Paul not only asks for forgiveness but also for his protection.

Enjoy this wonderful personal letter that Paul writes from Prison.  By the way, if you ever had to defend “Slavery” in the Bible, it is important to arm yourself with what God intended slavery to be and how slaves were to be treated.  Slavery was a vehicle for a poor person to work so that they could get on their feet again.  This book is a wonderful reflection of how God wanted slaves to be treated.  So if you were faced with “Well God supported slavery…” here is another tool in your apologetic toolbox.

Book Overviews · Colossians

Colossians overview for tomorrow

Colossians: The Supremacy & Sufficiency of Jesus — Immanuel Church

Collossians: Setting the Stage

Paul established a church in Colossae on his third missionary journey.  Today this area is in Turkey.  There were two prominent men in Colossae, Philemon, and Epaphus,  who became Christians and were spreading the message while Paul was in Prison.   Paul wrote them this letter to be read in the Church.

The trouble in Colossae was other ideas and philosophies from other religions were being introduced and put on the same level as Christianity.  (pertinent to today or what!).

  1. Syncretism- This idea of “there are many ways to God” has been since the beginning of the Church.  I have heard people say, “You have your way, and I have mine…it’s personal.” No, it is Doctrinal.  Syncretism does not abandon the idea of 1 God, but it adds in other supernatural forces such as astrology and puts cult-like practices equal with Christianity.
  2. Mysticismreliant on visions, angelic sightings, or supernatural experiences to improve your relationship with God was affecting the Colossians. Paul will use the terms “worship of angels” and “what he has seen” to identify this activity. 
  3. Gnottiscims– Colossians also believed in a “higher” knowledge (Gnosticism) such as so-called scientific, archaeological, or paleontological “facts” that contradict Scripture.
  4. Legalism: observance of laws to win God’s love (legalism).
  5. Asceticism– abstaining from things to earn merit with God. Some examples are: fasting to force God’s hand, living in isolation to avoid temptation, and self-mutilation to mortify the flesh

The book of Colossians describes Christ as superior to all other teachers, faiths, and philosophies.

Acts

Acts 27-28

The last chapters of Acts!!

Extra credit: Here is a cool video I stumbled upon.

This post is just for entertainment and visual support.  Just a fun one to look at.

I like this map too.

 

BibleTrack: Bible Commentary - Acts 27, 28

PAUL’S JOURNEY TO ROME
Acts 27:1-28:16
DEPARTURE > DESTINATION MILES
Jerusalem to Caesarea 65
Caesarea to Sidon 70
Sidon to Myra 500
Myra to Cnidus 130
Cnidus to Salmone 130
Salmone to Fair Havens 80
Fair Havens to Phoenix 40
Phoenix to Cauda 50
Cauda to Malta 500+
Malta to Syracuse 85
Syracuse to Rhegium 85
Rhegium to Puteoli 200
Puteoli to Forum of Appius 100
Forum of Appius to Three Taverns 10
Three Taverns to Rome 35
Approximate Distance Traveled 2,130

I hope these visuals help with the read.  If you read it slow you will pick up on some small details like “we”, meaning Luke traveled with him, or that Paul knew more about sailing than the sailors.  Just some fun details.


29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.

Why did Paul say this?  Because an angel of the Lord had told him ❤️


4 anchors were found off the coast of Malta at the exact depth Paul’s ship dropped theirs.  Is it from Paul’s ship? IDK, but they are dated from the 1st century.


This is an Alexandria Ship

Acts | DWELLING in the Word

11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island—it was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.

  • Now if you are a John Travolta fan, you may have thought of the movie Face-Off.  (Soooo good!!)
  • If you are a reader you may have recognized them from The Lightening Thief or The Mocking Jay
  • If you are a Gemini like me you might have recognized the names.  And no I do not read horoscopes (I did as a teen).  They are the Gemini constellation.
  • Why would a Greek boat have Castor and Pollux figureheads?
    • Castor was the mortal son of King Tyndareus, while Pollux was the immortal son of Zeus. Both Castor and Pollux, being identical twins, were inseparable in their looks and actions. Castor was a great horseman and Pollux was a great fighter. Together, they went with Jason on the Argo and saved the ship from a terrible storm. When Castor was killed in battle, Pollux pleaded with Zeus to bring him back. Zeus agreed to immortalize both Castor and Pollux if they spend half of their time on the Earth and the other half amongst the stars in the heavens. Since then, when sailors saw these two stars together, they knew their journey would be prosperous. However, seeing only one star foretold bad luck.

ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD: CASTOR AND POLLUX TWIN GODS OF HOMOSEXUALITY


Acts ends with…

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Why are these called the Prison Epistles ?