Tag: paul

Summary: The book of Acts tells a story about two traveling evangelists, Paul and Silas, as they encounter severe resistance in Philippi, a Roman colony. After the pair are dubiously accused, savagely beaten, and shamefully incarcerated, an earthquake miraculously frees them from their chains and cells. What might look like a story of supernaturally aided escape is really a story about vindication, a means of God exposing the futility of Roman attempts to obstruct the preaching of the gospel. The whole scene has a burlesque quality to it, for its aim is to expose the powerlessness and peevishness of an imperial culture that sets itself up to resist God’s presence, with violence if necessary. The passage speaks about more than ancient Roman realities, however, for its portrait of imperial abuses looks uncomfortably similar to the ways in which modern societies protect their interests and prerogatives. In the end, the story suggests that God offers a different reality, one beyond our ways of suppressing outsiders and clinging desperately onto our attempts at self-preservation.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: Political campaigns and commencement ceremonies seem designed to rouse feelings of hope from within us, giving us the energy and courage to move toward a better future. But when the Apostle Paul speaks about hope, he anchors it solely in God’s determination to deliver us from the decay and oppression wrought by sin and death. We know this divine determination because of what God has done through Jesus Christ and because God continues to be among us in the Holy Spirit, restlessly groaning in concert with all creation to express dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience

Summary: In this biblical passage, the Acts of the Apostles describes a difference of opinion that emerges when Paul is traveling back to Jerusalem, believing that he does so in obedience to God’s intentions for him. A group of Christians in the city of Tyre implores him “through the Spirit” not to follow through on his plans. The difference of opinion does not result in a fight or a sense of failure. It reminds us that disagreements can prompt us to reexamine our perceptions together and perhaps to recommit ourselves to the well-being of those with whom we disagree.

Read the full article, and listen to an accompanying podcast, in the “Everything You Wanted to Know about the Bible but Were Afraid to Ask” section of Enter the Bible.

Bible commentary: general audience

Summary: This biblical passage asserts that Timothy’s faithfulness finally depends on God. As the Second Letter to Timothy comes to a close, we’re reminded that it’s not about Timothy’s resolve or the effectiveness of Paul and other people’s example.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: In this biblical passage, once again the letter’s addressee, Timothy, is encouraged to persist in his faithfulness and carry out his ministry. Remembering where he came from and who formed him will help.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: In this biblical passage, the Second Letter to Timothy poses the question of how we best carry old convictions and confessions into new, uncertain, and sometimes unsettling settings. It answers: remember Jesus Christ.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: With this biblical passage, 2 Timothy opens, giving attention to the letter’s central themes: imitate Paul’s example in enduring suffering and shame, and preserve the faith.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: In this biblical passage, which concludes the discussion of Romans 9-11, Paul declares that God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable. God therefore has certainly not rejected the Jewish people. Paul cannot finally explain why the Jewish people have, for the most part, not turned to follow Jesus Christ. Still, he leaves the matter up to God and is confident that God will show mercy to all.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: In this biblical passage, as Paul continues a discussion that spans Romans 9-11, he enters into an abstruse conversation with biblical texts to argue that God’s salvation is near and available to all through Jesus Christ.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: In this biblical passage, set in Athens, Paul preaches in front of the city leaders (the Areopagite Council). His sermon draws on understandings he shares with them before turning to an issue many in his audience find incredible: the idea of God raising someone from the dead.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary