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Prof. M. M. Ninan


Acts 15:1 It was in Antioch that "certain from Jerusalem taught Gentile converts, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved'" (Acts 15:1).
(thus turning Christianity into a Jewish sect)

'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved'" (Acts 15:1).

Circumcision P and J Traditions
Circumcision was not unique to the Israelites, as this Egyptian tomb painting from sixth dynasty (23502000 B.C.E.) Saqqara demonstrates, but the Israelites invested it with unique significance by using it as the mark of the covenant. Priestly Tradition Circumcision established itself within Judaism as the
premiere mark of covenant commitment. Sealing the covenant by circumcising the organ of procreation with a knife, with its obvious threat of infertility, has the effect of symbolically handing over the possibility of offspring to the grace of God. By practicing the rite from generation to generation, the Israelites almost literally placed their future into the hands of the God of covenant.

Yahwite Tradition The covenant was primarily a convention whereby Yahweh
granted blessing in perpetuity. For the Yahwist, covenant took the form of a charter covenant given to Abraham with no required action in return, only a commitment of faith. By retaining both notions of covenant within the Abrahamic narrative, the final edition affirms that the two covenants complement each other.

The Law or Grace?



ACTS 15:2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

Jerusalem Council AD 50

Jerusalem Council AD 50

Paul Barnabáš





Peter supports Paul & Barnabas

Acts 15:7-11
"God is doing something new"

James, the Bishop of Jerusalem Rules

Acts 15:13-21

James, and not Peter, was the undisputed leader of the Jerusalem Church following the death of Jesus.

Apostolic Decree The four prohibitions:
1) Pollutions of idols (15:20) or things sacrificed to idols (15:29; 21:25). 2) Blood. This is a prohibition of eating or drinking blood. 3) Strangled things. 4) Sexual immorality (porneia).

Paul's Second Missionary Journey.

Prof. M. M. Ninan

Act 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being themselves also prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

Silas Silvanus One of the Elders of the Church at Jerusalem, “chief among the brethren” (Acts 15:22). His name may indicate him to have been a Hellenistic Jew. Roman citizen (Acts 16:37). Some of the early Fathers consider Silas to have been Bishop of Corinth,


PAUL AND BARNABAS SEPARATE... They disagree over whether to take John Mark – Ac 15:3738

Barnabas was determined to take John Mark

Paul insisted that he was not reliable Ac 13:13


Paul & Silas

Barnabas & Mark


Their contention required them to separate Ac 15:39 Barnabas took John Mark and went to Cyprus Where Barnabas was from, and which was visited


Paul selected Silas to accompany him - Ac 15:40

One of the two men sent by Jerusalemwith the letter regarding circumcision - Ac 15:22-23,27 Who himself was a prophet - Ac 15:32 Who had stayed in Antioch - Ac 15:34

They pass through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches - Ac 15:41 They pass through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches - Ac 15:41 * From which Paul was from - Ac 22:3 * Where he had spent time preaching before - Ga 1:21 * To whom Paul and Silas likely delivered the letter addressed to them - Ac


Where Paul healed a lame man, and was stoned, on his first journey Ac 14:6-20

IN DERBE AND LYSTRA... Paul desires Timothy to go with him - Ac 16:1-3 Timothy His mother was a Jew, his father a Greek - cf. 2 Ti 1:5; 3:15-16 Who had a good reputation among the brethren

Timothy Whom Paul had circumcised in deference to the Jews
Galatians 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

The decrees from the conference in Jerusalem were delivered - Ac 16:4-5


Ac 16:6



They were forbidden by the Spirit to preach the word in Asia, i.e., to head southwest toward Ephesus - Ac 16:7


Near Mysia they were not permitted by the Spirit to head north toward Bithynia - Ac They arrive in Alexandria Troas - Ac 16:8 16:9-10 Where Paul has a vision, a man of Macedonia asking him to help them. Understood as the Lord sending them in


Luke: Luke, author of Acts, now joins Paul and his company He was a physician (Co 4:14), author also of the gospel which bears his name, and was with Paul in his last days - 2 Ti 4:11 St. Luke was not a Jew. He was probably a native of Antioch

From Troas they cross over to Samothrace, and then to Neapolis (Ac16:11). They have now entered the

Neapolis is the Aegean seaport of Philippi where Paul landed on European soil on his second journey (Acts 16:11). He arrived here after sailing for two days from Alexandria Troas in Asia (Acts 16:11). Today Neapolis is called Kavala (from Latin for "horse" due to its horse trading history), a Greek city of about 60,000 people.

III. THE REGIONS OF MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA (52-53 A.D.)  PHILIPPI A chief city of Macedonia, and Roman colony - Ac 16:12

Paul from the port Neapolis (Kavalla) on the coast (Acts 16:11) reached Philippi by an ancient paved road over the steep range Symbolum in his second missionary journey, A.D. 51.

Paul crossed the mountains before entering Greece.

Greek countryside

The conversion of Lydia and her household - Ac 16:13-15

Paul and Lydia stained glass in Philippi Church of Lydia

the Purple Seller Acts 16:12-15, 40.

Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. Dyed goods were imported from Thyatira to the parent city Philippi, and were dispersed by pack animals among the mountaineers of Haemus and Pangaeus.

1. Part of the large rectangular agora at Philippi

2. Shops and storage jars at the agora in Philippi

3. Paving stones of the Via Egnatia in the agora at Philippi (in the upper right corner is the concrete embankment of the modern highway). Paul traveled about 9 miles on foot with a couple of companions along the Via Egnatia to Philippi.

4. Another view of the agora (the rectangular doorframe in the upper part of the photo, right of center, marks the site of the library).

5. Ruins of the unfinished "Basilica B" at the south side of the agora at Philippi.

6. Cross-shaped baptistery in the octagonal church at the east end of the agora dedicated to St. Paul.

7. Theater at Philippi, built against the east slope of the acropolis.

8. Acropolis of Philippi with remains of the bath house in the foreground.

9. The Gangetis River, west of the city walls of Philippi. The traditional "place of prayer" where Paul baptized Lydia from Thyatira.

10. Traditional prison of Paul.

11.Roman theater

Philipi today

Aquaduct built at the time of sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1521-1566)

Excavated ruin, dug up by French archaeologists from 1914 to 1938. When Paul arrived, it was one of the leading cities of Macedonia, founded in the 350 b.c.e. by Alexander the Great's father, Philip of Macedonia, and surrounded by walls.

PHILIPPI... The healing of the demon-possessed girl - Ac 16:16-18
The Satriae tribe had the oracle of Dionysus, the Thracian prophet god. The "damsel with the spirit of divination" may have belonged to this shrine, or else to Apollo's (as the spirit is called "Pythoness," Greek), and been hired by the Philippians to divine for hire to the country folk coming to the market. She met Paul several days on his way to the place of prayer, and used to cry out on each occasion "these servants of the most high God announce to us the way of salvation." Paul cast out the spirit;

The healing of the demon-possessed girl - Ac 16:16-18

Paul and Silas beaten and imprisoned - Ac 16:19-24 a. Paul refers to this in his letter to the Thessalonians 1 Th 2:2 b. Also in his letter to the Philippians - Ph 1:30

Paul and Silas Prison Cell

The earthquake, and conversion of the jailer and his family - Ac 16:25-34

"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

Paul and Silas released, and depart from Philippi – Ac 16:35-40

The church at Philippi... a. Included Lydia and the jailer, along with their families
Baptistery in Phillipi

b. Luke, who stayed behind (note the use of "they", Ac 16:40;17:1) c. Euodia, Syntyche, Syzygus ("true companion"), and Clement - Ph 4:2-3

Euodia, Syntyche
Quarrels Among Sisters Ph 4:2-3
Euodia - "fragrant" Syntyche – “fortunate”

Remains of the Via Egnatia paralleling the modern highway between Philippi and Thessaloniki.

Amphipolis was a large city that served as the capital of the first district of Macedonia. Paul passed through it on his second (Acts 17:1) and (by implication) on his third missionary journeys. Amphipolis was located about 32 miles west of Philippi and 3 miles from the Aegean Sea on the Via Egnatia. Its name, meaning "around the city" (from amphi, "around," and polis, "city") , is derived from the fact that Strymon (Strimón) River flowed around it

The river Strymon winding around the acropolis (right) of the ancient Athenian colony of Amphipolis Excavations of gymnasium at Amphipolis

"Lion of Amphipolis;" a 4th century BC burial monument near the Strymon River. Paul would have passed it as he traveled the Via Egnatia through Amphipolis.

Passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they come to Thessalonica - Ac 17:1

Thessalonica Thessalonica was a port city about 100 miles west of Philippi and 190 miles northwest of Athens. The city was founded about 315 BC by King Cassander of Macedon, who named it after his wife Thessalonikeia, a half-sister of Alexander the Great.

Church of St Demetrius, Thessolanika

IN THESSALONICA... Paul visits the synagogue and reasons with the Jews for three Sabbaths - Ac 17:2-4 a. Proclaiming Jesus as the Christ b. Some of whom who were persuaded, along with a great multitude of Greeks Unbelieving Jews gather a mob, and attack the house of Jason - Ac 17:5-9

Shop remains in the agora of Thessalonica.

3rd century AD odeum (small theater, once covered by a wooden roof) in the agora at Thessalonica.

Part of the ancient walls of Thessalonica.

White Tower," lighted at night, along the Thessaloniki waterfront (once part of the city walls).

St. Demetrios Church, the largest church in Greece, commemorating Tessaloniki's patron saint, located near the ancient agora.

IN THESSALONICA... Paul and Silas sent away by the brethren - Ac 17:10 Elsewhere, we learn the following about Paul's stay in Thessalonica... a. He supported himself, aided by the Philippians 1 Th 2:9; 2 Th 3:6-10; Ph 4:16 b. The dedicated nature of his ministry - 1 Th 2:110 c. The faithfulness and love of the Thessalonians 1 Th 1: 1-8; 2:13-16; 4:9-10 

Paul and Silas sent away by the brethren Ac 17:10

IN BEREA... 2.The Jews are more fair-minded than those at Thessalonica Ac 17:11-12 c. They received the word with all readiness b. They searched the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was true

•Berea Roman Road

Paul preaching in Berea

Memorial for Paul in Berea

Synagogue in Berea View of a building thought to have been built over the remains of an ancient synagogue at Berea (Acts 17:10–12).

Jews from Thessalonica came and stirred up the crowds - Ac 17:13 Paul sent away by the brethren, but Silas and Timothy stay - Ac 17:14

Mosaic commemorating the visit of Paul to Berea at modern Veria.

Athens Acropolis (left to right, on the summit): Porpylaea, Erechtheum, Parthenon; on the slope below is the Odeum of Herodes Atticus

Meteora Monasteries

Medieval Monasteries of Greece.

Meteora Monasteries

The Monastery of Varlaam, built in 1517, is reached by climbing 195 steps. It still has a rope and pulley system in place that was once used for hoisting visitors by hand in a free swinging rope net.

Staircase ascending to the propylaea (monumental entrance) to the Acropolis.

Temple of Athena Parthenos, more familiarly known as the Parthenon, on the Athens Acropolis

Erechtheum, with "Caryatids" porch, the main worship center of the Acropolis.

Roman agora with the "Tower of the Winds" (right).

East entrance to the Roman agora at Athens.

Aeropagus, ("Hill of Ares" or "Mars Hill"), the original meeting place of the Athens city council.

Athens was named for the goddess Athena.

Inside this 100 by 230 ft. architectural marvel was a 40 ft. gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos (the virgin).

IN ATHENS... • Paul sends for Silas and Timothy - Ac 17:15 2. Moved by the idolatry, Paul disputes with both Jews and Greeks - Ac 17:16-17 a. In the synagogue with Jews and other devout persons b. In the market place daily 3. Invited by the Epicurean and Stoic to speak at the Areopagus - Ac 17:18-21

The philosophers brought Paul to the Areopagus to tell them about his "new teaching" (Acts 17:19).

Areopagus means "Hill of Ares," god of war, "Mar's Hill."

Paul's appearance before the Council of the Areopagus, although not an official judicial procedure, "deliberately echoes the trial of Socrates for proclaiming new deities and leading the populace to question its beliefs in the traditional gods." (Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 65).

The Areopagus in Athens Hill of Ares

"he saw that the city was full of idols."

"To the Unknown God"

The above altar is located on Palatine Hill, Rome, where once stood the palaces of the Caesars. It dates from about 100 B.C. and has the inscription, ´To the unknown God.´ Act 17:23

IN ATHENS... Paul's sermon on "The Unknown God" - Ac 17:2234 a. Proclaiming the One True God b. Proclaiming the need to repent, the coming Judgment, and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead c. Reaction was varied: some mocked, others agreed to hear more, some believed

IN ATHENS... At some point, Timothy is sent back to Thessalonica 1 Th 3:1-2 a. To encourage the brethren there b. Some believe Timothy may have been sent from Berea


IN CORINTH... 1. Paul arrives and lives with Aquila and Priscilla Ac 18:1-4 a. He worked together with them as a tent-maker - cf. 1 Co 9: 6-15 b. He also received support from Philippi - cf. 2 Co 11:7-10; Ph 4:15 c. He reasoned with the Jews every Sabbath - cf. 1 Co 2:1-5

Aquila & Priscilla

Corinth derived much wealth from its many pagan temples and shrines where homage was paid to foreign as well as civic deities like Isis, Serapis, Astarte, Artemis, Apollo, Hermes, Heracles, Athena and Artemis Poseidon.

Astarte Heracles Serapis Athena



It had a famous temple dedicated to Aesklepius, the god of healing where patients left terra cotta replicas of body parts with the hope that their ailments would be healed.

The most significant pagan cult in Corinth, however, was to Aphrodite whose temple was located atop the Acrocorinth. It had more than 1000 temple prostitutes dedicated to the goddess. In the evening they would descend the acropolis to ply there trade on the city streets. According to historian Strabo, it was because of them that the city was "crowded with people and grew rich." It is little wonder that Paul had so much to say in his first letter to the Corinthians about the sacredness of the body:

Acrocorinth, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, with the cardo maximus, the city's main north-south road leading from the port of Lechaion to the agora (marketplace).

Ruins at the site of Corinth's eastern port of Cenchrea, with its bay on the Saronic Gulf seen in the background.

"Diokolos" (alongside the modern Corinth Canal), the four-mile long paved slipway on which smaller ships were pulled across the narrow isthmus between the ports of Lechiaon and Cenchrea.

Platform of a temple near the entrance to the archaeological site thought to have been dedicated to Octavia, the sister of Emperor Augustus Looking toward the west end of the agora from the top of the "bema" (NIV "court"). In the foreground is part of the central row of shops that divided the agora into unequal northern and southern areas..

"Court" (NIV) or "Bema" (per a small sign at the site), the judgment seat/public speakers platform in the agora where Paul stood before the Roman proconsul Lucius Junius Gallio. The Acrocorinth is seen in the distance.

Perine Fountain where pilgrims accessed the water of a sacred spring.

Remaining seven columns of the temple of Apollo. In the foreground are the remains of the shops and temples at the west end of the agora.

Looking south along the Lechaion road toward the Acrocorinth. A typical visitor would have approached the city from the harbor along this road. The end of the street can be seen in front of the trees and a staircase here makes it obvious the road was not meant for vehicles. The synagogue, the house of Crispius (the synagogue president) and the meat market (see Cor. 10:25) were all located along this road. On the right are the remains of a basilica built along the west side of the road.

Broken marble inscription, originally part of the lintel over the doorway of Corinth's synagogue, with the partial Greek inscription: "GOGE HEBR," meaning "Synagogue of the Hebrews."

Fountain of Glauke; beyond are the remaining columns of the temple of Apollo.

Odeum, a small theater, once covered by a roof, northwest of the agora.

Remains of Corinth's large theater, just north of the odeum.

Inscription with the name "Erastus" mentioned in Romans 16:23, found in a paved square east of the theater. Note the word "ERASTVS" at the start of the first line.

Paul's second visit, in the summer of 54 AD, was brief and unhappy. While Acts has no direct record of it, in 2 Cor. 12:14 he stated: "Now I am ready to visit you for the third time." It follows that if there was a third visit, there must have been a second! His third stay, during the winter of 55-56 AD, was for three months during which time he wrote his letter to the Romans.

IN CORINTH... Silas and Timothy arrive from Macedonia – Ac 18:5; 2 Co 1:19 With good news regarding the church at Thessalonica – 1 Th 3:6-7 Prompting Paul to write First Thessalonians (52 A.D.) - 1 Th 1:1



IN CORINTH... First Thessalonians (52 A.D.) - 1 Th 1:1

1) Purpose: a) To praise them for their steadfastness under persecution b) To instruct them concerning holy living c) To correct any misunderstanding, especially about the second coming of Christ 2) Theme: Holiness In View Of The Coming Of Christ 3) Brief Outline:

IN CORINTH... Paul leaves the synagogue, and preaches next door - Ac 18:5-7 His success in Corinth - Ac 18:8; 1 Co 1:14-16 d. Crispus, ruler of the synagogue, believes with his household, and is baptized b. Many of the Corinthians believe and are baptized c. Gaius is baptized, who later becomes host of the church cf. Ro 16:23 d. The household of Stephanas is baptized - cf. 1 Co 16:15

Paul's vision from the Lord - Ac 18:9-11

Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee: for I have much people in this city.

So Paul remains a year and six months (52-53 A.D.)

IN CORINTH... Second Thessalonians (53 A.D.) - 2 Th 1:1 • Purpose: a) To encourage them in their steadfastness under persecution b) To correct their misunderstanding about the imminence of the Lord's return c) To instruct the congregation on what disciplinary action to take toward those who refused to work

2) Theme: Steadfastness While Waiting For The Coming Of Christ 3) Brief Outline: a) Encouragement In Persecutions - 2 Th 1:1-12 b) Enlightenment About The Coming Of The Lord - 2 Th 2: 1-17 c) Exhortations To Christian Living - 2 Th 3:1-18

Paul wrote to his congregation in Phillipi

IN CORINTH... Paul before Gallio - Ac 18:12-17 a. The Jews bring Paul up on charges before Gallio, proconsul of Achaia b. Gallio refuses to heed them, the Greeks beat Sosthenes, ruler of the synagogue

IN CORINTH... Paul remains in Corinth a good while - Ac 18:18a  After such a long and successful stay in Corinth, Paul begins the backward leg of his journey and his...

FROM CORINTH TO EPHESUS... Joined by Aquila and Priscilla - Ac 18:18 Cut his hair in Cenchrea (near Corinth), for Paul had taken a vow - Ac 18:18; cf. Ro 16:1 In Ephesus - Ac 18:19-20 Left Aquila and Priscilla there

Loading Cargo on the ship

FROM EPHESUS TO JERUSALEM... Anxious to get to Jerusalem in time for the feast (Pentecost?) - Ac 18:21; cf. 20:16

Sailed from Ephesus to Caesarea –

FROM EPHESUS TO JERUSALEM... Anxious to get to Jerusalem in time for the feast (Pentecost?) - Ac 18:21; cf. 20:16

Sailed from Ephesus to Caesarea – Ac 18:21-22
Went "up" (elevationwise) to Jerusalem and

FROM JERUSALEM TO ANTIOCH... • He went "down" (elevation-wise) to Antioch - Ac 18:22 2. He spent "some time" in Antioch of Syria - Ac 18:23a 

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