The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

Archive for the category “Paul’s Voyage to Rome”

Online Resources for the Apostle Paul [Updated]

Two Edged Sword

by Richard Mansel

I want to offer the diligent Bible student tools to use in their study of the Apostle Paul. We need to use discretion when doing research. Just because a scholar says it, doesn’t make it right.

Novelty can be appealing but Biblical authority is of much greater importance (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We must stay in the Word but never be afraid to study history to supplement what we learn from Scripture.

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Trust Luke’s Inspired Account

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by Richard Mansel

In the book of Acts, we find a remarkable account of history. Not only is Acts inspired from the mind of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it’s recorded by a very capable, attentive and skilled historian. We can trust the message from his pen.

Despite the veracity of the Word, people still smugly doubt Luke’s account. From our modern perspective, we look down at ancient people and discount their abilities and intellect as primitive and juvenile.

However,  when we study the accomplishments of antiquity, we cannot come away with anything but awe at their capabilities. We’re still helpless in our technologically superior age to grasp the true gift of invention among these so-called barbarians.

When ancient people had indoor plumbing and Americans were still in outhouses a few decades ago, we’re foolish to say a word against our forefathers. As our new buildings crumble, we glance at the timeless pyramids and hide our face in embarrassment.

Yet, in our enlightened age, we persevere in our childishness.

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Paul’s Amazing Voyage

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This thrilling story surpasses the greatest literature ever written because it’s completely true. A mass murderer finds himself both redeemed and hunted. No matter how much good he does, his past haunts him. Yet, he’s fearless against impossible forces.

Saul, who would become Paul, is a monster ravaging the Church (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-2). His bloodthirsty mission sends him to Damascus, where Saul stands with bloody hands before the only one who can remove the stain on his soul (1 John 1:7). Read more…

Biblical Historians Needed

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I am doing extensive research on the life of the Apostle Paul, his arrest, imprisonment and his voyage to Rome. It has captured my imagination, and I cannot help but talk about it.

Currently, I am gathering materials on Paul, ancient Meditteranean culture and travel and various aspects of the Roman world. Being generous by nature, I want to share some of the materials I find online with my readers who might find them interesting.

We need to be voracious students of God’s Word and develop a scholarly mindset to dig deep into the truth of God’s Word. God deserves our best, and we should never slack in study and sell short the seekers of Truth.

Churches of Christ need more quality historical research on a host of Biblical topics. I urge my brethren to consider such studies to enhance the learning of generations to come. I do not know of a single online resource in the brotherhood on Biblical history outside of restoration history.

The more we know about the world of the Bible, the better we are as students. “The Acts of the Apostles” offers opportunities for for such research on every page. These events happened within a cultural context, and we can open up new windows of insight to enhance the textual story while never compromising the truth of the Gospel.

The internet is, to an extent, the modern equivalent of the magisterial library in ancient Alexandria. The digital works available to the modern Biblical student are astounding. However, we must immerse ourselves in the truth of Scripture, so we can be discerning and wise when we read the works of men. We can cautiously pore over these texts, devouring the meat and dispensing with the bones to grow stronger and more vibrant with the world of the early church.

Preachers face a daunting task when they seek to find the time to do serious research. However, the work calls for us to sacrifice for Him. The online bounty allows us to dig deep into the accumulated studies of ages past without burdening our family with the excessive cost of purchasing materials.

May we ever study and bring glory to God in all we do (Ephesians 3:20-21).

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