Sabbath School

Jesus (and?) the Archangel

In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian church, Paul responds in 4:13-17 to their deep concern about those in their midst who had died.  Just as Jesus died and was resurrected, Paul argues, so also would believers from their community who had died be resurrected.  In fact, Paul asserts that at Jesus’ second coming, first the dead in Christ would rise to meet Jesus (4:16), and then those who were still alive would be “caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air,”[1] with the joyous result that all believers

“The Rabble-rouser Preaches Peace”

Astonishing. The rabble-rouser argues for peace. That’s what Paul does in his first letter to the believers at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 4:10-12).

Paul's Achilles Heel

Paul of Tarsus was not only a malleable instrument in the hands of God, but was most admirable because of the richness of his personality. On the one hand, he was a well educated member of both the Hebrew and the Hellenistic cultures. He was able to build cogent arguments and to analyze what others argue with critical acumen (2 Cor. 3: 4 – 18); Gal. 3: 15; 4: 21 – 31; Rom. 5: 10, 15, 17). He trusted the intelligence of his audience and their capacity to evaluate what he said or wrote.

Do As I Do

The summer after I graduated from college (now more than 35 years ago), I volunteered at an Adventist Hospital as a chaplain while auditing the chaplaincy training course. I became good friends with two young Roman Catholics who were preparing for the priesthood and in the program. It was my first opportunity to discuss theological issues with one of “them” and I enjoyed it very much. I quickly took on the role of protector assuming they would face a hostile Adventist environment.

Faith, Hope and Love

 

It might be easy to skip past the first several verses of 1 Thessalonians. Paul often begins his letters with grateful praise to the people to whom he’s writing. (The one notable exception being the Galatians, proving that, if necessary, he can take a more confrontational approach. In Galatians, Paul demonstrates that he won’t use an introduction of thankfulness if it is not deserved.)

The Thessalonian Letters: The Greco-Roman Context

Two weeks ago I “promised” my wife, “this won’t take long.” This is more in-depth than planned, with generous endnotes for the source-hungry. Take time to read and think, look some things up. If what follows is disconcerting, welcome to reading the New Testament in the world of its initial audience, instead of ours. In doing so, we gain a deeper, multi-dimensional and more complete picture of the context of Paul’s messages.

2 Thessalonians - An Introduction

The commentary for this week is taken from the Introduction to Thessalonians in the Bible Commentary prepared by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871. Last week we looked at 1 Thessalonians, and this week at 2 Thessalonians.

2 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians - An Introduction

The commentary for this week is taken from the Introduction to Thessalonians in the Bible Commentary prepared by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871. This week we will look at 1 Thessalonians, and next week at 2 Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians

"A perpetual ministry"

 

"And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning" (John 15:27)

The lesson of this week focuses on the “need to stay involved in witnessing and evangelism ministries . . . as long as we have breath” (Section for Saturday 23 June).

Towards a Biblical Theology of Mission Evaluation

Editor's Note: This is a work in progress, and is part one of a longer work that seeks to establish a Biblical basis for evaluating the effectiveness of Christian mission (in a Seventh-day Adventist context). Increasingly, Adventists recognise the need to stop and take a look at ourselves, to see how we are doing, whether we are doing it as effectively as we might, and whether we have made the best use of resources, whether of money or people.





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