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Tuesday: Thessalonica and Berea — 6 Comments

  1. These [the Bereans] were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Acts 17: 11

    Paul continued his practice of going to the synagogue in each city that he visited. There was a very practical reason for this. The synagogue would usually be the only place where a reasonably full collection of Scriptures would be available. In New Testament times, Paul did not have the luxury of a book-sized Bible that he could carry with him on his travels. The Old Testament was typically only available as a fairly large collection of carefully hand-written scrolls and would have held a place of honor in those synagogues that were able to afford them.

    It is worth noting too that Jewish education was often centered on the synagogue and would have comprised largely of rote learning of Scripture. The paucity of books meant that remembering what you had learned was not only a useful but necessary skill.

    With this background, we can understand the significance of the rejection of Christianity by the Jewish community. Christian converts would no longer be able to access the Scriptures held in the synagogue and would have to rely on their memories.

  2. Jews in general at the preaching of Paul
    Did not receive the word; therefore were led into jealousy
    Daily worked to undermine the message
    Destruction of the message giver was the ultimate outcome.

    They received with all readiness
    They Searched scriptures daily
    They Believed and there is no indication of envy or rivalry against the truth.

  3. "Lesson's thought question: When was the last time you diligently searched the Scriptures in order to find out “whether these things [whatever they were] were so”?"

    My question is: When last did we hear something new that needed to be checked?
    Everything we hear has been check and re-checked and been written about again and again.

    • Shirley, that's not quite so in my experience. Of course, in a local small congregation that may be so. But what about sermons and videos of them on the internet. There are many voices claiming to have the best angle on "the truth." many of them criticizing others who do not see things the same way. So there's plenty of reason to check things out, whether they be so. Just like the people of Paul's time, those who truly check things out are relatively rare, while too many just accept a "convincing" presentation.

      Come to think of it, even some very prominent and highly placed evangelists have preached some weird things with no real biblical backing - including one of my favorite preachers. When a younger preacher essentially preached the same sermon, I tried to point him to the biblical evidence which had been distorted to say something that wasn't there, and he replied to me, But Elder Xxxxxxx preached the very same thing!" I still like both preachers. But they're only human, and humans make mistakes.

  4. To the law and to the prophet of they speak not according to the scriptures then there is no truth or there is no light in them

    It is very important to sit down and reflect after each sermon or presentation

  5. What I read from Paul's evangelism is the Parable of the Sower that Jesus told. There are people who receive and are excited and die quickly too, Others do not even want to hear the gospel, while a different group gets chocked by the people around them, but there is always a special group that takes time to read and find out more and flourish in God's word.
    The times we live in are more complex several times than when Paul preached on this earth. We cannot just listen without us taking the extra step to seek the truth and be bound to Christ for he is the way, the truth and life. When faced with situations like Paul did, it requires tact, knowledge and grounding in the Lord to tell it successfully in this modern times.


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