The Second Letter of Peter

The Second Letter of Peter

Whereas 1 Peter exhorts believers to stand in the true grace of God during the trial of suffering, 2 Peter warns believers that the coming peril is not an obvious, frontal attack coming from the world without, but rather a subtle danger coming from false prophets and...

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The First Letter of Peter

The First Letter of Peter

As to the historical background of Peter's first letter, Nero set Rome on fire in AD 64 but he insisted that Christians did it. With Christianity increasingly moving away from Judaism — a religion allowed in the Roman Empire (Tenney 1985:344-345) — Christians now...

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The Book of James

The Book of James

The book of James was probably written by the brother of Jesus (cf. Matthew 13:55) who became a believer in Christ only after Jesus’ resurrection (cf. John 7:2-5). James waited for Pentecost (Acts 1:14), saw the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 15:7), became an...

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Hebrews

Hebrews

The earliest manuscripts of this grand, majestic and sometimes puzzling sermon-epistle contain the title ‘To the Hebrews’. The original audience was Jewish, for it is ‘hard to imagine that a return to Levitical temple Judaism was a temptation for first-century Gentile...

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Philemon

Philemon

Onesimus, a slave from Colosse, not only ran away from his master (Philemon 11), but probably also stole from Philemon (18). The name “Onesimus” means ‘useful’ but, by running away, this slave became useless to his master. In the Roman Empire of 2 000 years ago, such...

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The Pastoral letters: 1 Timothy, Titus and 2 Timothy

The Pastoral letters: 1 Timothy, Titus and 2 Timothy

Paul's first imprisonment in Rome ended in AD 61-62 and the Lord strengthened Paul so that ‘through me the message might be fully proclaimed’ and that ‘all the Gentiles might hear it’ (2 Timothy 4:17). In AD 62-67 Paul visited at least the following places: Macedonia...

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The Letter to Titus

The Letter to Titus

After the apostle Paul's first imprisonment in Rome ended in about AD 61-62, the Lord strengthened the apostle to proclaim the message of the gospel so that all the Gentiles might hear it (cf. 2 Timothy 4:17). During the next five or so years (AD 62-67), Paul was very...

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1 & 2 Thessalonians

1 & 2 Thessalonians

Not long after the Jerusalem counsel, Paul’s second missionary journey commenced in about AD 49 (cf. Acts 15:36, 40-41), with the churches in Galatia visited first (Acts 16:1-6a). Forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia or Bithynia, a perplexed group of...

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The Epistle to the Colossians

The Epistle to the Colossians

Colossians is another of the four ‘prison epistles’ (cf. 1:24; 4:3, 10, 18) that Paul wrote (1:1, 23; 4:18) in about AD 60-61 during his first imprisonment in Rome (cf. Acts 28:30). The name “Colosse” is ‘possibly derived from Colossus, a large statue, which in turn...

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The Epistle to the Philippians

The Epistle to the Philippians

The church at Philippi started inauspiciously with a Gentile businesswoman, a Macedonian jailer and their households (Acts 16:12-40). This occurred in about AD 50 when, as part of Paul’s second missionary journey, he first brought the gospel to Europe (cf. Acts...

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Ephesians

Ephesians

Strategically located ‘on the west coast of Asia Minor, Ephesus possessed one of the few world-class harbours that existed in the Roman Empire, enabling it to serve as the intercontinental gateway linking Europe to Asia’ (Ger 2004:246). Ephesus was the capital city of...

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Galatians

Galatians

The early Church had mostly Jewish believers in Christ (Acts 2-7). As the great commission moved further from Jerusalem and Judea, Samaritans and Gentiles also came to faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 8-11; cf. 1:8). When Barnabas and Paul were set aside by the Holy Spirit...

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