Acts of the Apostles Audio Commentary with Text

William Finck's Christogenea Internet Radio Commentary on the Book of Acts, broadcast over 35 programs in 2013 and early 2014 is now available as a two-disc CD set containing all of the podcasts and notes presented here. See Christogenea.com for more information.

Book of Acts Chapter 1, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 04-12-2013

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The Book of Acts, Chapter 1 – Christogenea Internet Radio, April 11th, 2013

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, as it is fully called, is a book of transition. It records a transition of the legitimate faith in Yahweh God, as decreed by His Word, from the tenets of Hebraism to the constructs of Christianity; from the rituals of the laws of the Old Covenant to a faith in the Word of God in Christ which was promised by the prophets of the Old Covenant, and which was recorded in the Gospel of the New Covenant. This faith in Christ would include the Christian recognition of a need for conformance to the commandments of Christ, found in those original ten commandments and the admonition to love one's brother. It records a transition of the primary subject of the Word of God from the remnant of Jerusalem to the dispersion of the children of Israel, the “lost sheep” of the ancient dispersions. That is what the New Testament is, it is the record of the Gospel of the New Covenant between Yahweh God and His people Israel, which was explicitly promised in the prophets at Jeremiah 31:31, Ezekiel 37:26 and Daniel 9:27. It was implicitly promised in many of the other writings of the prophets. We know that these Gospels do indeed represent the promised New Covenant since they came at the appropriate time, which was outlined in the 70 weeks vision of Daniel chapter 9.

Book of Acts Chapter 1, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 04-19-2013

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The opening remarks to this podcast, entitled What Is Universalism?, are found here on the Christogenea Forum.

The Book of Acts, Chapter 1 Part 2 – Christogenea Internet Radio, April 19th, 2013

Discussing Amos chapter 3 here last month, we presented a lengthy dissertation concerning the Biblical phrase “all the families of the earth”, and from many scriptures found in both the Old and New Testaments it was demonstrated that within the Biblical context, the use of the phrase can only be applied to that group of White Adamic Nations which is listed in Genesis chapter 10. It can not be applied to anyone outside of that group. As Genesis 5:1 says, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” The listing of those generations (which is the Hebrew word toledah, Strong's number 8435, meaning descendants) found in Genesis chapter 10 are a part of that book, and none of the promises made to those people, families and nations - such as those made to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 - can ever justly be applied to anyone else.

Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-03-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-03-2013

There is something which I forestalled discussing in the opening segments of this series, and that is an exposition of the ancient manuscripts which attest to the antiquity and the content of the Book of Acts. For the translations found in the Christogenea New Testament, only manuscripts which are dated to the 6th century and earlier were even considered in the reading. Of these, there are eleven ancient papyri, and 6 of these (those listed below in bold type) are dated by archaeologists to the 3rd century AD. [The manuscript numbers employed here are those of the Gregory-Aland system employed in the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece.]

P8, P29, P33, P38, P45, P48, P50, P53, P56, P57, and P91.

Many of the papyri represent only fragments containing portions of the text of Acts. While the uncials were produced with more durable material, many of them are also incomplete or even represent mere fragments. For examples among the papyri, P8 contains all or part of about 28 verses from Acts chapters 4, 5 and 6. P29 contains parts of 3 verses from Acts chapter 26. P45, which dates to the 3rd century, contains larger portions of 13 different chapters of Acts, from chapters 4 through 17, as well as large portions of each of the Gospels. P45 is part of a collection of manuscripts called the Chester Beatty Papyri. A companion manuscript, P46, contains large portions of nine of Paul's epistles, and it is esteemed to date to about 200 AD.

Those of the Great Uncials which date to the 6th century and earlier and which attest to the Book of Acts are also numerous. These are the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), and Ephraemi Syri (C), Bezae (D), 048, 057, 066, 076, 077, 0165, 0166, 0175, 0189, 0236, and 0244. Of these, the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), and possibly 057 all date to the 4th century, and 0189 is dated to the 2nd or 3rd. Most of the others employed here date to the 5th century.

Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-10-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-10-2013

In the last segment of our presentation on the Book of Acts, we left off our discussion with Peter's quote from Joel chapter 2, and how we believe that James and Paul saw that prophecy of Pentecost in relation to the history of the ekklesia of God: that the endowment of the Spirit in the apostolic age was merely a deposit of that which all Christians should now expect: a greater outpouring of the Spirit of Yahweh culminating in the restoration of our race to the glorified state of our first parents which was also evident at the Transfiguration on the Mount as attested to in the Gospels. James referred to these two outpourings of the Spirit with his mention of the early and the latter rain. Paul tells us what to expect in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 where he says: “51 Behold I tell you a mystery, we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed. 52 In an instant, in a dart of an eye, with the last trumpet; for it shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 This decay wants to be clothed in incorruptibility, and this mortal to be clothed in immortality. 54 And when this decay shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then the word that has been written shall come to pass: 'Death has been swallowed in victory.' 55 'Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?' 56 Now the sting of death is guilt, and the power of guilt is the law; 57 but gratitude is to Yahweh, in whom we [the children of Israel] are being given the victory through our Prince, Yahshua Christ.” Here in the next part of his discourse, we continue Peter's appeal to the multitude at Judaea, to consider all of the things which had recently transpired there in connection with Yahshua Christ.

Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 3, and Acts Chapter 3 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-17-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 2, Part 3, and Acts Chapter 3 - Christogenea Internet Radio 05-17-2013

This is our fifth installment on the Book of Acts, and we are not quite through Chapter 2. To this point in this chapter of Acts, we have seen that the outpouring of the Spirit which occurred at this first Pentecost was in fulfillment of the prophecy found in Joel chapter 2, which Peter quotes. However it was also the beginning of a fulfillment of a prophecy found in Isaiah chapter 44, where Yahweh says to the dispersed children of Israel “3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.” Furthermore, it was the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Ezekiel chapter 37, where it says in part “9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” The children of Israel are the “slain”, because they were under the penalty of death in the law when Yahweh cast them off from His presence. Of course, all these things were only promised to the children of Israel, and cannot be applied outside of that context with any justice. We have also seen that this deposit of the Spirit at the first Pentecost and thereafter was only a beginning, a deposit, as Paul called it, and the early rain which James referred to. Now we await the fulfillment, the redemption of our bodies, the latter rain that brings the fruit to its perfection.

Book of Acts Chapter 4 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-07-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 4 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-07-2013

We are going to begin this presentation by reading a passage from Josephus, from Antiquities Book 14, where Josephus also quotes some passages from Strabo and accepts Strabo's remarks with approbation. Strabo died about 12 years before Josephus was born, and Josephus was very much acquainted with his writings. We are doing this so that the scope of the political power held by the leaders of the temple in Judaea may be understood, and so that the size of the diaspora of Judaeans (which is not to be confused with the much earlier and much larger dispersions of Israel) may be more accurately perceived. By this we shall understand the daunting challenge which the apostles had in presenting the Gospel, which was indeed controversial and threatened the credibility of a long-established and very powerful political and religious institution:

Book of Acts Chapter 5 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-14-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 5 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-14-2013

In our presentation of the last chapter of Acts, chapter 4, along with some appropriate passages from the historical works of Flavius Josephus, it was demonstrated that twelve members of a certain family, all of them of the sect of the Sadducees, had held the high priesthood for most of the time – perhaps as much as three-quarters of it, from about 6 AD up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This was the family of Annas and his son-in-law, Caiaphas, who were the high priests known from the accounts of the Gospel. An argument was also presented, contrasting two statements in Acts chapter 4, that these men were most probably Edomites rather than Israelites. Those two statements are found at verses 6 and 23. In verse 6 speaking of those opposed to the apostles and listing their leaders the account adds that they were joined by “... as many as were of the race of the high priest”. Later in the chapter, in verse 23, in contrast to those who persecuted the apostles we read that upon the release of the apostles “...they went to their own countrymen and reported as much as the high priests and the elders said to them. ” It was established that in other writings of Scripture the apostles considered all Israelites to be of their own race, yet in Acts chapter 4 we see that such was not true of the high priests, whom the apostles considered to be of a distinct race. Therefore it seems that the high priests of the time, while they were certainly Sadducees, were also very probably Edomites.

Book of Acts Chapters 6 and 7 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-21-2013

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Book of Acts Chapters 6 and 7 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-21-2013

VI 1 And in those days with the multiplying of students, there was a murmuring among the Hellenists towards the Hebrews, because in the daily administration their widows were neglected.

The phrase “in those days” tells us only that what is transpiring is some time after the first Pentecost. It is evident that a functioning Christian community has been established. Many of those who have come to this community since that Pentecost have sold farms and estates, things which usually take some time to accomplish. As it was established here in the very first segment of our presentation of Acts, and as we hope to explain again when we arrive at the appropriate portions of the narrative, the chronological details left to us in Acts and in the epistles of Paul, when compared to what we know from history, tell us that Paul's conversion must have most likely taken place in 34 AD, and therefore the events related in these earlier chapters of Acts all transpired over the two year period which began with the Pentecost of 32 AD.

Book of Acts Chapter 7 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-28-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 7 - Christogenea Internet Radio 06-28-2013

As it is recorded in Acts chapter 7, before his stoning the martyr Stephen offered an apology (which is a defense) of his Christian beliefs, where he attempts to demonstrate to the council and to the people that the hope of Israel rests upon the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which were perpetuated and transmitted through Moses to Israel, and which had nothing to do with the temple or the works of the hands of men, and everything to do with kinship, brotherhood, and the counsel of God which men have perpetually rejected. Since the authority of the high priests was connected to the institution of the temple, and the allegiance of the people had long been to the institution of the temple, rather than to the Word of God, Stephen was slain for his profession of the Christian message which was unpopular with these traditionalists of the time, and which was hated most of all by the Canaanite-Edomite aliens among the chief people of the city. In the last segment of this series, we began our presentation of Stephen's apology by discussing certain of the events of the Scriptures which he cites from a historical viewpoint. Among other things, we discussed the dating of the Exodus and the reckoning of the years of Israel's captivity in Egypt. Here we will continue our discussion from where we left off last week, at Acts 7:23, and the call of Moses is still Stephen's topic:

Book of Acts Chapter 8 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-05-2013

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For technical reasons beyond our control, we found it necessary to splice our recording onto the end of the Talkshoe recording at the point where Talkshoe interrupted our program this evening. This podcast is of somewhat better quality in the last fifteen minutes, after the Talkshoe interruption. The transition, at 1:08:19-20, is sudden however there is nothing missing from our intended presentation. We connect to Talkshoe via Skype, and now that we know that the new version of Skype is inhibiting our own recording, we shall make corrections for that in the future. Thank you, and praise Christ! - WRF

Book of Acts Chapter 8 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-05-2013

In Acts chapter 7 we saw Stephen make an appeal to his fellow countrymen in defense of the new Christian creed. His appeal was based on the life of Moses, who was at this time, presumably next to Yahweh God Himself, the most venerated figure in the history of Israel. Stephen's appeal included a description which explains the reason why Moses was chosen for the mission which God provided him: because he displayed a greater care for the people of his own race than he did for his high station in life which was provided by the Egyptians. In fact, Moses' care for his own race exceeded any care that they may have had for themselves. Saying these things, Stephen explains that Moses risked his own station and his worldly comforts for his brethren even in spite of his brethren, and that for this reason it was by Moses that Yahweh God chose to have Israel delivered from Egypt. Stephen described how this Moses spoke of a prophet to come, which is Yahshua Christ. Note that the final commandment given by Christ to His students was to love their brethren. But Stephen also explained how the people rejected Moses in spite of their delivery from Egypt, and how even the success which Israel had from Joshua to David and the building of the first temple in Jerusalem was tainted by their apostasy, for Yahweh had already given them up to worshipping the “host of heaven”. The overall point that Stephen was making, is that the substance of God's people Israel should be revered, and not the form. The temple, it's adornments, the rituals and traditions connected to it, its manner of governance, those things are the form. The people of the nation, one's kindred, and seeking to follow the will of one's God, these things are the substance. Imagining that salvation may be obtained through the fulfilling of ordinances and rituals leads only to self-justification. The love of one's kindred leads to the edification of the kingdom of God and to the love of God, provided one abides in that love for his brethren.

Book of Acts Chapter 9 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-12-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 9 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-12-2013

IX 1 And Saulos, still breathing threats even of murder to the students of the Prince, going forth to the high priest 2 requested letters from him to Damaskos to the assembly halls, that if anyone should be found being of the Way, both men and women, being bound he would bring them to Jerusalem.

Paul was described by Luke at the end of Acts chapter 7 as a young man, a νεανίας (3494), and therefore it is unlikely that he had single-handedly taken a leadership role in persecuting these Christians on his own. It is much more unlikely that he could have done the things which he describes here on his own. In Paul's latter confessions, however, which are found in Acts chapters 22 and 26 and in his epistle to the Galatians, Paul only mentions himself when recounting these events. There are, evidently, two plausible reasons for this, and I would accept both of them as true. Firstly, Luke's endeavor here is to describe the acts of the apostles, and Paul having become an apostle, only his actions in connection with these events are critical to Luke's purpose. Secondly, with Paul's describing his role in these events in the first person only, neglecting to mention anybody else in connection with them although clearly others must have taken a part, he takes the entire blame upon himself, exhibiting a noble desire to be accountable for his own actions without deflecting any of that blame onto others.

Book of Acts Chapter 10, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-19-2013

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Unrelated to Acts chapter 10, the preliminary remarks for this evening's program are posted on the Christogenea Forum here: The Valid Christian Ministry

Book of Acts Chapter 10, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-19-2013

Once it is fully understood within the Biblical context, Acts chapter 10 above all other chapters of Scripture, exemplifies how so-called Judeo, or more properly Judaized Christians are willing to lift passages of Scripture out of their context and use them for the purposes of fulfilling an agenda. There are two agendas at stake here, both promoted from the account of Peter's vision by the mainstream churches, which are the acceptance of universalism and the discarding of Yahweh's food laws. Upon our examination of this chapter, both of those agendas will be deconstructed.

To begin with that deconstruction, we must note that there are several events described in the earlier chapters of the Book of Acts to which many Judeo-Christians point in order to maintain their support of universalism. Yet none of those events truly uphold universalism once they are scrutinized. The men “out of every nation under heaven” in Acts chapter 2 were all Judaeans, and although some of them were converts, meaning that they were circumcised, Peter in his address to these men only addressed the men of Israel in relation to the covenants and the promises, for which one may compare Acts 2:14 and 2:36 where Peter states that those things which transpired were for “all the house of Israel”. In Acts 3:12, regardless of who was present at the temple at the healing of the lame man, Peter again addressed Israelites specifically. While converts may have been considered Judaeans in a religious sense, neither Peter not the other apostles could have considered them to be Israelites.

Book of Acts Chapter 10, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-26-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 10, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 07-26-2013

In the first segment of our presentation of Acts chapter 10, we saw that non-Judaeans, meaning those who had not been circumcised into Judaism regardless of whether they were converts or had been born into it, had not yet been presented with the Gospel message by the apostles. We established this in several ways in our earlier presentation, and it is summarized in Acts chapter 11, at verse 19 where it says: “So then those who were scattered from the tribulation which happened after Stephanos had spread so far as Phoenicia and Kupros and Antiocheia speaking the Word to no one except only to Judaeans.” There is no better proof than this testimony in the Book of Acts itself, that the Ethiopian eunuch and all others to whom the Gospel was brought up to this point were indeed Judaeans dwelling in various places, but who were identified otherwise by citizenship or geography, as we have established from the evidence presented and from reading the accounts in context – rather than lifting a verse or a line or even a single word out of context and using it to support an agenda.

Book of Acts Chapter 11 - Christogenea Internet Radio 08-02-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 11 - Christogenea Internet Radio 08-02-2013

Discussing Acts Chapter 10 over these past few programs, there are several conclusions that I think we can draw with the utmost certainty. First, in spite of Peter's words in his initial reactions, we must interpret Peter's vision by the words of Yahweh God which Peter transmitted to us, and therefore while that vision had included all of the four-footed creatures, creeping things and birds, Peter was only beckoned not to consider profane, or common, the things which Yahweh had cleansed. Examining the words of the prophets in relation to this, we saw that Yahweh intended to cleanse the children of Israel, and only Israel, on the cross of Christ. Therefore Peter's vision can only apply to Israelites. Secondly, and in relation to this same thing, we saw the difference between the words unclean, and common, which is also often rendered as profane. Things deemed unclean by the law of God cannot ever be cleansed. However things which are clean by the law, but which have been soiled or defiled, are considered profane and can be cleansed. While we did not discuss it last week, we did read several prophecies which also told us that even the Name of Yahweh was profaned by the children of Israel in their many sins, but that He would sanctify His Name as well. Therefore, with the Gospel, we can deduct that sheep can indeed be cleansed, being clean under the law. However pigs and dogs can never be cleansed. Finally, we saw that it is the Cross of Christ by which the children of Israel were cleansed, and they sanctify themselves when they receive His Word through the Gospel, as He said in John 15:3: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Therefore once it was discovered by Peter that those of the Nations received the Holy Spirit without water baptism, which was the baptism of John, then water was never mentioned in connection with baptism again. In this regard Peter recalled the words of Christ, as we shall see here in Acts chapter 11, and which are also recorded in Acts chapter 1, that “Iohannes immersed in water, but you shall be immersed in the Holy Spirit after not many days hence.

Book of Acts Chapter 12 - Christogenea Internet Radio 08-09-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 12 - Christogenea Internet Radio 08-09-2013

We have said that the Book of Acts is a book of transition, and introducing the book in the first segment of this presentation we described some of the aspects of that transition. One of the things that we said is that it records a transition “from the rituals of the laws of the Old Covenant to a faith in the Word of God in Christ which was promised by the prophets of the Old Covenant, and which was recorded in the Gospel of the New Covenant”. Part of this transition is recorded in Acts chapters 10 and 11, where Peter witnessed and then acknowledged that the members of the household of Kornelios (Cornelius) had received the Holy Spirit upon hearing the Word of God, and ostensibly upon having accepted it, and it was specifically noted that this happened apart from a ritual of water baptism. Another of the things we said in our introduction is that Acts “records a transition of the primary subject of the Word of God from the remnant of Jerusalem to the dispersion of the children of Israel, the 'lost sheep' of the ancient dispersions.” The beginnings of this transition are also recorded in Acts chapters 10 and 11, where through Peter's vision the apostles had discovered that the Nations – which in a historical context refers to the Nations of the Adamic oikoumene – were to receive the Gospel of Christ.

Book of Acts Chapter 13, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-06-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 13 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-06-2013

It has been nearly a month since we presented Acts Chapter 12 here. In that chapter we saw the murder of the elder James, the son of Zebedee, and the arrest and miraculous escape of the apostle Peter. Both the murder of James and the arrest of Peter were on account of the political motives of Herod Agrippa. Upon the escape of Peter, we are also introduced to the apostle Mark. Towards the end of the chapter we see the death of Herod Agrippa, who did not deny himself when the people extolled him as a god, and the cause of his death as recorded here in Acts we also saw corroborated by the Judaean historian, Flavius Josephus.

XIII 1 And there were throughout the assembly which was in Antiocheia prophets and teachers, namely Barnabas and Sumeon who is called “Niger” and Loukios the Kurenaian, and Manaen a childhood companion of Herodas the tetrarch, and Saulos.

The Codex Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text have “certain prophets and teachers”; the Bezae (D) has “prophets and teachers among them”; the text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), and Vaticanus (B). Antioch was 300 miles north of Jerusalem. It was on the Orontes river and about 20 miles upriver from the Mediterranean coast of northern Syria. It was not far from the sites of ancient cities such as Arpad, Qarqar, Hamath and Carchemish. However it seems to have been a new city founded by Seleucus Nicator, a Greek king of the early Hellenic period, around 300 BC.

Book of Acts Chapter 13, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-13-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 13, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-13-2013

 

Last week presenting part one of Acts chapter 13, due to its great length we were impelled to leave off in the middle of Paul's address to an assembly of Judaeans in Pisidian Antioch. This address began in verse 16 of the chapter, and in it Paul's primary task was to explain that the ministry, death by crucifixion, and subsequent resurrection of Yahshua Christ was indeed the fulfillment of the scriptural promises of a Savior and King to the children of Israel. Presenting the beginning of Paul's discourse last week, we read from 2 Samuel, Jeremiah chapter 30, Hosea chapter 3, and Isaiah chapter 53 in order to show just some of the many scriptures which support Paul's assertions. Part of Paul's challenge was to convince the Judaeans dispersed throughout the oikoumene that this is true, that Yahshua Christ was indeed the fulfillment of these promises found in Scripture, and in every place which he visits, he uses the local assembly-halls of the Judaeans in order to introduce himself to the Judaeans and to the people.

Last week we saw that Paul of Tarsus had two names: Saul (or Saulos), and Paul (or Paulos). We promised to discuss the meaning of those names as they relate to Paul's ministry. Last week we also saw that Paul and Barnabas were distinguished by Yahweh God for a special mission, in verse 2 of this chapter where it says of the apostles in general “And upon their performing services for the Prince and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke: 'Now set apart for Me Barnabas and Saulos for the work which I have called them.'” This mission, we shall learn as the Book of Acts is further presented, and as we saw when we discussed that verse in relation to Paul's words at Galatians 2:8, was to bring the Gospel of Yahweh God to the nations of the children of Israel who were dispersed long before this time. Such is why Paul and Barnabas set out for the Mediterranean islands and the Greek regions of Anatolia and Europe.

Book of Acts Chapter 14 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-20-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 14 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-20-2013

 

XIV 1 And it happened in Ikonion that upon them entering into the assembly hall of the Judaeans and speaking thusly, that a great multitude of both the Judaeans and the Greeks were believing.

Ikonion, or Iconium as it is popularly spelled in modern times, is the principle city of Lycaonia (Lukaonia). Diodorus Siculus says little concerning the Lukaonians, as does Strabo, who only says that they are “barbarians” (non-Greeks) and he tells us that neither they nor their country are mentioned by Homer (Geography 12.3.27 and 14.5.27). The name Lukaon from which it is apparently derived belonged to several early heroes of Greek writing, including a son of the Trojan King Priam, and the district may have been named for one of them. There is no mention of Lycaonia in Herodotus. The city of Iconium itself was a Greek city-state which was said in legend to be founded by Perseus, an early mythological figure of the Danaan Greeks who was also said to have vanquished the former population. However Xenophon, writing in the early 4th century BC, calls Iconium “the last city of Phrygia” in his Anabasis (1.2.19). In more ancient times, the land apparently belonged to the Phrygians, who were related in the ancient Greeks poets to the Lydians. The Lydians are mentioned as Lud, the son of Shem, in Genesis chapter 10, and again in Isaiah 66:19 as one of the places to which Yahweh would send the dispersed of the children of Israel. By the end of the 7th century BC, most of Phrygia had been destroyed by the Kimmerians, who were indeed a group of the dispersion of Israel. At the end of the 3rd century BC the area was settled by the Galatae, and Galatia was to its north. These were also descended from the dispersions of Israel, and Galatae was in early times a general name given to the Germans and Gauls by the Greeks. Trojans, Phrygians and Galatians would all have been considered as barbarians to Strabo, however the principle residents of the city itself appear to have been Greeks. Strabo calls Iconium “a town that is well settled and has a more prosperous territory than the” plateaus of the Lycaonians. We shall see later in this chapter that some of these “Barbarians” are found in Lystra, another city in which Paul preaches.

Book of Acts Chapter 15, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-27-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 15 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-27-2013

 

The end of Acts chapter 14 leaves us with Paul and Barnabas in Antioch in Syria after having returned from their first Christian missionary journey in Anatolia. On their first journey they did not venture far, travelling through the island of Cyprus and the Anatolian provinces of Pamphylia, Pisidia and Lycaonia. Western and Central Anatolia at this time was ruled by Romans, predominately settled by Greeks, and also contained populations of Phrygians, Phoenicians, Lydians, Galatians, and other White but non-Greek peoples.

Luke, the author of Acts, is said by the earliest Christian writers to have been a Greek from Antioch, which certainly seems to be true. Therefore he may have been with Paul on his first missionary journey, since the point of departure for that journey was Antioch, however it cannot be told from the accounts provided. It is even more likely that Luke was an actual eyewitness to the events described here in Acts chapter 15, since with all certainty Luke is in the company of Paul in Acts chapter 16, where he writes in the first person in Acts 16:10. That account describes Paul's second missionary journey, for which Antioch was the point of departure once again.

XV 1 And some had come down from Judaea teaching the brethren that if you would not be circumcised in the custom of Moses, you are not able to be saved.

The Codex Bezae (D) has “be circumcised and walk in the customs of Moses”, making the admonition to keep the Mosaic code which is given by these men even more complete. While this is certainly an interpolation, in verse 5 the fulness of the demand is manifest in all of the manuscripts.

Book of Acts Chapter 15, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-04-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 15, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-04-2013

 

In the first part of our presentation of Acts chapter 15, we saw that there was a dispute at Antioch between Paul and Barnabas, primarily, on the one side, and certain Judaizers who had come from Jerusalem on the other, who insisted that those who were turned to Christianity should be circumcised and instructed to keep the Mosaic Law. Disputing these things, Paul and Barnabas then agreed to bring their case before the elder apostles in Jerusalem for a decision concerning these matters.

Later, in Jerusalem, upon hearing their arguments the apostle Peter spoke, professing that the people of the Nations received the gift of the Holy Spirit apart from any rituals whatsoever, and therefore it was not necessary for those turned to Christianity to perform such things. For this reason, Peter's conclusion was that the Nations should not be compelled to submit to the yoke of the Mosaic Law, where he said “Therefore now why tempt Yahweh to place a yoke upon the necks of the students which neither our fathers nor us have been able to bear? While later in his epistles Paul gives even greater Scriptural reasons for the passing of the Mosaic Law, we can see that the Book of Acts records a religious transition, and Peter's conclusion is justified, since upon investigation it is indeed supported by the Law and the prophets.

Book of Acts Chapter 16, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-11-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 16, Part 1 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-11-2013

 

After the events recorded in Acts chapter 15, Paul of Tarsus is the central figure throughout the balance of the narrative of the book. This is not because the other apostles did not do anything, but rather simply, it is evident at this point that the lives and missions of the apostles diverged completely, and Luke may well have had no records concerning the others before finishing his work as we have it. In the rest of Acts, we have only one other appearance by the apostle James, where Paul meets with him in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 21.

[I had originally expressed the thought that perhaps the apostle Philip may have been the Philip mentioned in Acts chapter 21:8, however this cannot be the case. There the Philip mentioned is called “one of the seven, and therefore must be the Philip of Acts 6:5, not the apostle. I must apologize for the oversight. (WRF, 11-20-2013)]

Book of Acts Chapter 16, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-18-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 16, Part 2 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-18-2013

In the first part of Acts chapter 16, we saw that Paul of Tarsus departed from Antioch with his new companion Silas to embark on what would be his second recorded missionary journey. Ostensibly, however, it is really his third missionary journey, since when he departed from Jerusalem for Tarsus after the dispute with the Hellenists as it is recorded in Acts chapter 9, it is made manifest later that he had spent at least some portion of that time proselytizing in Tarsus and other places in Kilikia. This is made evident at Acts 15:41, where embarking on this journey with Silas it says there that “...they passed through Suria and Kilikia reinforcing the assemblies.The beginning of Acts chapter 16 brought Paul and his company once again through Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Then, being prevented by the Holy Spirit to enter either Asia Minor or Pamphylia, they traveled into the Troad and crossed into Makedonia. Here they are found in Philippi, which was a Roman colony.

Book of Acts Chapter 17 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-25-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 17 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-18-2013

As a youth, it is fully evident that Paul of Tarsus had a solid education in Scripture, or at least as good an education as could be obtained in first century Judaea, as he himself professed that he was educated “at the feet of Gamaliel”. However what is not explicitly confessed in his own words, but which is certainly manifest throughout his epistles, is that Paul also had a solid education in the profane writings of the Classical world. Paul quoted writers such as Aratus and Epimenides, and possibly also Euripides and Heraclitus, and he drew analogies from Homer and from Xenophon. However this education in the Classical literature did not merely assist his rhetorical skill or his writing ability.

More importantly, Paul understood the origins of the nations of Europe in a way that only those who have deeply studied both Scripture and the Classical literature can understand. A study of the Book of Acts and Paul's epistles demonstrates as much, but one can only see it if one has also studied the things which Paul had studied. While not all of the writings which Paul had available are also available to us, many of them are indeed, and with them, we find the proofs of the Christian Identity message. Here in Acts chapter 17, and in Paul's message to the Athenians, we shall see a good part of those proofs.

Book of Acts Chapter 18 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-01-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 18 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-1-2013

The end of Acts chapter 17 leaves off with Paul in Athens after his speech on the Hill of Ares. His words were mocked by many of the Athenians, but did not fall on entirely deaf ears, since Luke tells us that “some men joining themselves to him believed”, one of them being a jurist of the Areopagos, which was the famous court held on Ares' Hill, who must therefore have been an influential man.

Two elements of Paul's address to the Athenians are important enough to mention once again. The first is that the Athenians, mocking Paul for talking about a resurrection of the dead, were actually also denying many of their own most ancient beliefs, reflected in the early poetry and literature of Athens down through the Tragic Poets and the writings of men such as Apollodorus of Athens, who lived only two centuries before Paul.

More importantly is the substance of Paul's address to the Athenians. These men were Ionian Greeks, descended from the Japhethites of Scripture, the sons of Javan mentioned in Genesis chapter 10. The identification is certain when the Hebrew of the Old Testament, the Persian inscriptions mentioning the Yavana, or Ionian Greeks, and the ancient historical records are all compared.

For this reason, in Paul's address to these people we see none of the references to Moses, the Hebrew Law, the Hebrew patriarchs, or the ideas of sin or redemption or the other things which are only relevant to the children of Israel in their special relationship to Christ. Instead of accusing the Athenians of sin, he accused them of ignorance, because their fathers did not have the benefits of the knowledge of God transmitted to the Israelites and the Hebrew patriarchs!

Book of Acts Chapter 19 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-08-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 19 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-8-2013

XIX 1 And it came to pass, with Apollos being in Korinth, Paul had passed through the highlands to come down into Ephesos and finding certain students 2 then said to them “So believing have you received the Holy Spirit?”

The Codex Sinaiticus (א) has Apelles here rather than Apollos, as it alsoreads at 18:24. The phrase τὰ ἀνωτερικὰ μέρηis from ἀνωτερικός (510), “upper, inland” and μέρος (3313) “a part, share (Liddell & Scott) and in the plural here it is “the highlands”, butliterally either “the upper parts” or “the inland parts”, since in the Greek view of geography to go inland from the sea was to go up. The Codex Vaticanus (B) and the Majority Text want the word for “down”.

The Codex Bezae (D) has many readings not only in Acts, but throughout the New Testament, which diverge sharply from the other ancient manuscripts even if the differences are usually not very significant in their actual meanings. However evidently it was not alone. The papyrus P38, found in Cairo Egypt where it was purchased by the University of Michigan in 1924, is esteemed to date from about 300 AD and in it is preserved only small portions of Acts chapters 18 and 19. This papyrus has readings very similar to the Codex Bezae, and it agrees with the Codex Bezae here where they read verse 1 thus: “And Paul wishing by his own will to go into Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit said to him ‘Return to Asia’, and passing through the highlands he came into Ephesos...However this papyrus does not always agree with the Codex Bezae. They immediately diverge, where the Codex Bezae continues 2 with “and upon finding certain students” (as the Codex Laudianus and the Majority Text also have that clause) and then going into verse has “he said to them” (as the other manuscripts generally agree), after the word for Ephesos P38 has instead only “and” to finish verse 1, and then “he said to the students” to begin verse 2.

Book of Acts Chapter 20 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-15-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 20 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-15-2013

In Acts chapter 19 we saw that Paul of Tarsus had spent nearly three years in Ephesus, which was the capital city of the Roman province of Asia. Paul was the founder of the Christian assemblies in Asia, where we saw in both Acts chapters 18 and 19 that there were only adherents to the teachings of John the Baptist who preceded him at Ephesus. That also helps to establish that, like many other prophecies of Scripture, in some respects the prophecy concerning John also fulfilled itself as a process, over considerable time, and not only during the years of John's baptism ministry. As we have seen with both Apollos and with the men of Ephesus, the ministry of John was still paving the way for Christ, well over thirty years after his death.

Book of Acts Chapter 21 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-22-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 21 - Christogenea Internet Radio 11-22-2013

Presenting these last three chapters of Acts, chapters 18 through 20, we discussed where Paul had written each of the seven of those of his surviving epistles which were written while he was a free man. The first epistle to the Thessalonians was, no doubt, the earliest of Paul's surviving epistles and was written in Corinth (Acts 18, 1 Thessalonians 3:6). The second epistle to the Thessalonians followed the first in short time and was very likely also written from Corinth during Paul's long sojourn there. The epistle to the Galatians was written during Paul's stay in Antioch which is described in Acts 18:22-23, where he also had his final meeting with Peter described in Galatians chapter 2. It could not have been written before that time. Paul visited the Galatians soon thereafter, and his epistle reflects an anticipation to visit them in its fourth chapter (4:18, 20). The epistle which we know as 1 Corinthians was written from Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:8, 19), during the three-year period that Paul stayed in Ephesus described in Acts chapter 19. The second epistle to the Corinthians was written as Paul journeyed from Makedonia to visit Achaia for the last time, and before he reached Corinth for his final visit there. This was fully elucidated last week as we discussed the circumstances of Paul's travels in relation both to the circumstances of his ministry and to the things which he wrote to them in that epistle. The first epistle to Timothy was written from Greece around this same time, as the circumstances indicate in conjunction with Paul's own comment at 1 Timothy 1:3. Finally, the epistle to the Romans was written from the Troad, during Paul's stay there described at the beginning of Acts chapter 20, which is evident from both the lists of men who were with Paul provided in Acts 20 and Romans 16, and also from Paul's comments concerning his ministry and his plans to visit Rome which were made in Romans chapter 15 (15:22-28).

Book of Acts Chapter 22 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-06-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 22 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-6-2013

With Acts chapter 21, we left Paul in Jerusalem after having seen the apostle James, and undergoing a purification ritual in the Temple. Spotted in the Temple by certain Judaeans who knew Paul from his ministry in Asia, upon their having accused him of defiling the Temple Paul was arrested in the ensuing commotion. Given the violent climate in Judaea at the time, as we exhibited in the last segment of this presentation from the pages of Josephus, Paul's arrest more than likely saved his life. Here, upon his arrest, Paul is about to be brought into the Roman military encampment, under the custody of the commander, who is a chiliarch - a sort of lieutenant commander of a legion whom the Romans called a military tribune, as we would transliterate the title into English. We will begin with the last paragraph of Acts chapter 21, which we reserved for this presentation since it better fits the context of Acts 22.

Book of Acts Chapter 23 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-20-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 23 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-20-2013

In our presentation of Acts chapter 21, we illustrated just how politically volatile the Judaean population was at this time, which is 57 AD, and how prone they were to riot, especially in defense of their religious exclusivity. The Judaeans had been pressured by the Romans on several occasions over the decades from Tiberius to Nero, to add elements of Roman paganism and emperor-worship to their temple and religious life, and they had thus far avoided doing so, either by political means or by civil disobedience and threats of insurrection. From the pages of Josephus, we saw how not long before this very time of Paul's arrest in Jerusalem, ten thousand Judaeans were killed on a feast day in a tumult which was sparked by a single act of profanity on the part of one Roman soldier, an act which was seen by the masses as an insult to their nation and their religion. It is illustrative of the tensions which existed between the Judaeans and the Romans. Flavius Josephus later saw this as the signal event building up to the revolt against Rome and the beginning of the end for Jerusalem. Little did he know that it was long ago prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures that such a thing would happen, but for a different reason: it was truly the result of the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah of Israel. Yahweh God is indeed the author of history, although He uses means by which to accomplish His will that are not often perceived by men.

Book of Acts Chapter 24 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-27-2013

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Book of Acts Chapter 24 - Christogenea Internet Radio 12-27-2013

As we saw last week in Acts chapter 23, after a plot against Paul's life was revealed to the Roman military tribune, Paul is sent under arms and cloak of night to the residence of the Roman procurator in Caesareia. Upon his arrival there the procurator accepted Paul as his prisoner, when he declared that he would hear his case. This is in spite of the fact that Paul had not violated any Roman laws, but as the Roman commander had written to the governor, he found the Judaeans “accusing him concerning inquires of their law, and having not one accusation worthy of death or of bonds.

XXIV 1 And after five [A has “some”] days the high priest Hananias came down with some [the MT wants “some”] of the elders and a certain orator Tertullos, who appeared to the governor against Paul. 2 And upon his [B wants “his”] being called, Tertullos began to accuse him, saying: “Having obtained much peace on account of you, and reforms coming to this nation by your foresight, 3 in every way and in every place we approve, noble Phelix, with all gratitude.

Rather than reforms the Majority Text has accomplishments; or worthy deeds in the King James Version. The text of the Christogenea New Testament is in agreement with the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Laudianus (E).

Phelix, or Felix, is mentioned frequently by Josephus (i.e. Antiquities 20:137-196 [20:7-8], Wars 2:247-271), and he is also mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals of Imperial Rome, 12:53). He was the Roman procurator of Judaea from 52 until 59 AD, so the date here may be determined from Acts 24:27 to be about 57 A.D. As we explained briefly in our Acts chapter 23 presentation, Phelix, or by his full Latin name Marcus Antonius Felix, held this office until he was recalled to Rome before the end of his last term over a dispute between the Judaeans and the Syrians of Caesareia, whom Josephus also sometimes calls Greeks, in which Felix was accused of certain injustices.

The Roman historian Tacitus discusses the brother of this Felix, whose name was Marcus Antonius Pallas. Tacitus records certain proposals in the Roman Senate in the time of Claudius Caesar, which were made circa 52 AD, and attributes to Publius Scipio the remark that Pallas “should be given the nation's thanks because, though descended from Arcadian kings, he preferred the national interests to his antique lineage, and let himself be regarded as one of the emperor's servants” (Annals, 12:53) . So we see that Felix was indeed of noble lineage, however he was evidently not a very noble man.

Book of Acts Chapter 25 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-03-2014

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Book of Acts Chapter 25 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-03-2013

In Acts chapter 24 we saw that Paul was imprisoned in Caesareia for two years following his arrest in Jerusalem. The Roman procurator, Felix, was a man of noble Greek birth who was married to a Jewess not even half of his age, and he was a very corrupt man according to three historical witnesses: the Roman historian Tacitus, the Judaean historian Josephus, and Luke himself here in the Book of Acts. Felix's corrupt ways eventually cost him his long-held post as the procurator of Judaea, where he was succeeded by Porcius Festus. This Festus was procurator until 62 AD, when he died in office.

Porcius Festus, being of the Roman gens Porcia, was descended from a notable family. He was related to Marcus Porcius Cato, a plebeian farmer born about 234 BC, who became the Roman statesman commonly known as Cato the Elder, and his great-grandson, Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis who was born circa 95 BC, and became the Roman statesman commonly known as Cato the Younger. Cato the Younger's son, also named Marcus Porcius Cato, was a supporter of Brutus and Cassius, and he was one of Caesar's assassins. There were other politicians in the family.

Book of Acts Chapter 26 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-10-2014

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Book of Acts Chapter 26 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-10-2014

Discussing Acts chapter 25, we saw that upon the assumption to the office of procurator in Judaea by Porcius Festus, he reviewed the case of Paul of Tarsus whom Felix had left bound. Festus then admitted that Paul had done nothing worthy of death or bonds, but would not release him since he did not want to show the Judaeans any disfavor. Paul was therefore compelled to appeal to Caesar, since Festus only offered him a trial in Jerusalem which Paul, being a Roman citizen, could not be compelled to accept. Ostensibly, Paul was destined to go to Rome, as we had been informed by the account in Acts. But if Paul had submitted to the Judaeans then by no means would he have escaped with his life, since the Judaeans were desiring to kill him unlawfully if they could not have their way with him otherwise.

When Herod Agrippa II arrived in Caesareia, evidently to see the new procurator, Festus told Agrippa of Paul, and Agrippa is portrayed as having exclaimed that he had been wanting to hear Paul speak. Certainly, accounts of the episodes related to Paul's arrest and of his defenses before the Hebrews and before Felix must have been heard by Agrippa in Jerusalem. With Agrippa wanting to hear Paul, and with Festus being in need of an account of the charges against Paul so that he could write to Nero explaining why Paul had been sent to him, Paul is therefore given an opportunity to address not only Agrippa, but “the commanders and eminent men of the city”. Since Caesareia was a large city there must have been a considerable crowd present in addition to those whom Luke mentioned specifically. Further evidence of this is seen in Acts 25:23, where Luke says that Agrippa, who being the king of a neighboring country is actually a visiting dignitary, along with his sister (or perhaps his sister-wife) Bernika, had entered into the auditorium “with much fanfare”, as Luke described the event.

Book of Acts Chapter 27 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-17-2014

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Book of Acts Chapter 27 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-17-2014

In Acts chapter 26, Paul was afforded the opportunity to address a rather large crowd, at what Luke depicted as a rather festive gathering, concerning his Christian profession. As we discussed at length while presenting that chapter, Paul did not necessarily speak for the benefit of Herod Agrippa, who was an Edomite and certainly not a candidate for the Christian profession. Rather, Paul addressed Herod as a matter of protocol, and used the occasion in order to witness to the many hundreds of others who must have been present. We pointed out that Paul himself explained his philosophy in these matters in the first chapter of his epistle to the Philippians, where he attested “... that those things concerning me have gone still more to the advancement of the good message, so that my bonds in Christ have become manifest to the whole Praetorium and to all the rest; and most of the brethren among the number of the Prince, trusting in my bonds, venture more exceedingly to speak the word of Yahweh fearlessly. Some indeed even because of envy and strife, but some also by approval are proclaiming the Christ. Surely these out of love, knowing that I am set for a defense of the good message, but those out of contention are declaring the Christ not purely, supposing to stir up tribulation in my bonds. What then? That in every way, whether in pretext or in truth, Christ is declared, and in this I rejoice. And surely I will rejoice.”

Luke's record of Paul's defense of the faith in Acts chapter 26 most likely did not represent everything that Paul had said that day. Rather, it is evident that each time such an episode is related in Scripture, only particular points are recalled by the writer. We see this style throughout the Gospels, where Christ had spoken and where His words were recorded by more than one apostle, often one apostle recorded His words somewhat differently than the others, while all are clearly recalling the same account. One may have more or different details than the other, and having two or three accounts and compounding them we may see a fuller picture of what Christ had done or said. In the same manner, a fuller account of Paul's actions prior to his conversion, and the road to Damascus event itself, is brought to light once all three of the descriptions of those things which are found in Acts are compounded. Yet while we have only this one account of Paul's final address in Judaea, we do have a comprehensive witness of his Christian profession to the Judaeans, meaning of course, the Israelites of Judaea, and we have it in the epistle to the Hebrews. Here it may be appropriate to discuss that epistle.

Book of Acts Chapter 28 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-24-2014

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Book of Acts Chapter 28 - Christogenea Internet Radio 01-24-2014

The end of Acts chapter 27 left us at the end of a shipwreck, as after several weeks of struggling through apparently early Winter storms, the ship carrying Paul, Luke and Aristarchus is finally run aground on an island. The nature of the wreck indicates to us the size of the ship, as evidently it could not get very close to the shore since the men had to make a swim for it, and they were not certain whether they could all make it safely. One manuscript, the Codex Vaticanus, tells us that 76 people were on board, and the Codex Alexandrinus tells us 275, however the preponderance of the manuscripts tell us that there were 276 men on board the ship. Some of these were crewmen, and some were soldiers in the company of the centurion, Julius.

There were, ostensibly, more prisoners on board than the three which Luke names, which are himself, perhaps, and also Aristarchus and Paul. We can imagine the possibility that Luke was a prisoner, as some of his language indicates, since he never tells us explicitly that he is. While in his second epistle to Timothy Paul seems to infer that Luke's presence with him was voluntary, that is not necessarily the case. Although Rome certainly seems to have been much more liberal in its attitude concerning public contact with prisoners than the modern tyrannies are, it seems that Luke would never have been able to have been Paul's constant companion throughout this ordeal if he were not also a prisoner.