Bible Study Ideas and Topics

Bible Study Ideas and Topics

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Bible Study on the Book of Philippians

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The City of Philippi.

It belonged to Thrace until 358 B. C., when it was seized by Philip, king of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great It was the place where Marcus Antonius and Octavius defeated Brutus and Cassius (42 B. C.). which defeat overthrew the Roman Oligarchy, and Augustus (Octavius) was made Emperor. Is was on the great highway through which all trade and traders going eastward and westward must pass, and was, therefore, a fit center of evangelism for all Europe. It was the place where the first church Of Europe was established by Paul on his second missionary journey, A. D. 52.

Paul's Connection with the Church. By a vision from God he went to Philippi on the second missionary journey (Acts 16:9-12). He first preached at a woman's prayer-meeting, where Lydia was converted. She furnished him a home while he continued his work in the city. After some time there arose great opposition to him and he and Silas were beaten and put in prison, but through prayer they were released by an earthquake which also resulted in the conversion of the jailer (Acts ch. 16). He perhaps visited them again on his journey from Ephesus to Macedonia (Acts 20 2 Cor 2:12-13; 7:5-6). He spent the Passover there (Acts 20:6) and received messages from them (Phil. 4:16). They also sent him assistance (Phil. 18) and he wrote them this letter.

The Character and Purpose of Philippians.

It is an informal letter with no logical plan or doctrinal arguments. It is the spontaneous utterance of love and gratitude. It is a tender, warm-hearted, loving friend and brother presenting the essential truths of the gospel in terms of friendly intercourse. He found in them constant reasons for rejoicing, and now that Epaphroditus who had brought their aid to him was about to return from Rome to Philippi, he had an opportunity to send them a letter of thanks (Phil. 4:18). It is remarkable for its tenderness, warnings, entreaties and exhortations and should be read often as a spiritual tonic.

Date.

It was written by Paul during his imprisonment at Rome, about A. D. 62.

Outline of Epistle to the Philippians.

Introduction, 1:1-11.

I. Paul's Present Situation and Feeling. 1:12-26.

II. Some Exhortations, 1:27-2:18.

III. He Plans to Communicate with Them, 2:19 end.

IV. Some Warnings, ch. 3.

1. Against Judaizers, 1-16.

2. Against false professors, 17 end.

V. Final Exhortation. 4:1-9.

VI. Gratitude for Their Gifts, 4:10-19.

Conclusion, 4:20 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for Philippians.

(1) Things in the church for which Paul is
thankful, 1:2-6.

(2) What is said about how the gospel was preached to them, 2:1-16.

(3) Paul's longing to know about them, 3:1-9.

(4) The duties enjoined, 4:1-12.

(5) The second coming of Christ and the resurrection, 4:13-18.

(6) How we are prepared for the great day of his coming, 5:3-10.

(7) The several exhortations in 5:12-22.

(8) The human elements or explanation of Paul's power as a preacher Ch. 2.

(9) The deity of Jesus seen in the book.

Bible Study on Galatians

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The Country.

(1) Politically it was the Roman province which included Lycaonia, Isauria, and parts of Phrygia and Pisidia. (2) Geographically it was the center of the Celtic tribes, and in this sense it seems to be used in this epistle and in Acts (Gal. 1:1; Acts. 13:14; 14:6; 16:6).

The People of Galatia.

They were descended from the Gauls who sacked Rome in the fourth century B. C. and in the third century B. C. invaded Asia Minor and northern Greece. A part of them remained in Galatia. predominating in the mixed population formed out of the Greek, Roman and Jewish people. They were quick-tempered, impulsive, hospitable and fickle people. They were quick to receive impressions and equally quick to give them up. They received Paul with enthusiastic joy, and were then suddenly turned from him (Gal. 4:13-16).

The Churches of Galatia.

Just how and by whom these churches were established we do not know. The great highway from the East to Europe passed through this region, making it possible for some of those present at Pentecost to have sown the seed of the gospel there. It could have sprung up from work done by Paul while at Tarsus from the time of his return from Arabia to his going to Antioch with Barnabas. But the scripture gives us no word about this.

On the second missionary journey Paul visited them (Acts 16:6) and seems to have been taken sick while passing through and to have preached to them while unable to travel (Gal. 4:14-15). They gladly received his teaching, and churches seem to have sprung up. Paul also visited them while on the third missionary journey (Acts 18:23) and instructed and established them in the faith. The churches were running well when Paul left them, but Judaizing teachers had now come in and, acting upon their fickle and unstable nature, had greatly corrupted the simplicity of their faith.

The Occasion of Galations.

(1) Judaizing teachers had gone among the Galatians, claiming that the Jewish law was binding upon Christians, admitting that Jesus was the Messiah, but claiming that salvation must, nevertheless, be obtained by the works of the law. They especially urged that all Gentiles be circumcised. (2) In order to gain their point and turn the Galatians from their belief, they were trying to weaken their confidence in Paul, their spiritual teacher. They said he was not one of the twelve, and therefore, not one of the apostles, and his teachings were not of binding authority. They suggested that he had learned his doctrine from others, especially from the apostles who were pillars of the church.

The Purpose of the Galations.

The purpose of the epistle was to root out the errors of doctrine introduced by the Judaizers and to hold the Galatians to their earlier faith. To do this it was necessary to establish his apostolic authority and the divine origin of his gospel. He also desired to show the practical value or application of his teaching. He especially shows the value of Christian freedom and at the same time shows that it is not license. In fulfilling these purposes he gave us an inspired classic upon the fundamental doctrine of justification by faith and forever settled the disturbing question of the relation of Christians to the Jewish law.

Author and Date.

It was written by Paul, probably from Corinth in A.D. 57.

Outline of Epistle to the Galatians.

Introduction, 1:1-10.

I. Authoritativeness of Paul's Gospel, 1:11-2 end.

1. It is independent of man, 1:11 end.

2. It is the gospel of an apostle, Ch. 2.

II. Teaching of Paul's Gospel, Chs. 3-4. Justification by faith.

1. Their experience proves it, 3:1-5.

2. The example of Abraham attests it, 3:6-8.

3. The scripture teaches it, 3:10-12.

4. The work of Christ provides for it, 3:13-14.

5. Its superior results demonstrate it. 3:15-4:20.

6. The experiences of Sarah and Hagar and their sons illustrate it, 4:21 end.

III. Application of Paul's Gospel to Faith and Conduct, 5:1-6:10.

1. He exhorts them to stand fast in the liberty of Christ; 5:1-12; 5:12. This liberty excludes Judaism.

2. He exhorts them not to abuse their liberty, 5:13-6:10.

Conclusion, 6:11 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for Galatians.

(1) The dangers of fickleness (1:6; 4:9; 15:16).

(2) The methods of false teachers: (a) Their chief method is to attack men prominent in the movement, (b) They usually put forward some one else for leader; They would supplant Paul with Peter, (c) One may well consider how a man will often allow the influence of another to be undermined if he is himself exalted.

(3) The reasons Paul gives to show that his teaching is not of man, 1:11 end.

(4) The confirmation of Paul's divine call, 2:1-10.

(5) Difference between one under law and under faith, 4:1-7.

(6) The lusts of the flesh, sins of body and mind are included, 5:19-21.

(7) The fruits of the spirit, 5:22-23.

(8) The words, liberty, lust, flesh, spirit, works of the law, live and die, servant and bondage, justified, righteousness, faith and believe.

(9) For more advanced study list and study passages in Galatians that coincide with or correspond to passages in Romans.

Bible Study on 1st and 2nd Corinthians.

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The City of Corinth.

It contained 400,000 inhabitants and was the chief city of Greece when Paul visited it, being situated on a large isthmus where the commerce of the world passed. The inhabitants were Greeks, Jews, Italians and a mixed multitude from everywhere. Sailors, merchants, adventurers and refugees from all the world crowded the city, bringing with them the evils of every country, out of which grew many forms of human degradation. Religion and philosopy had been prostituted to low uses. Intellectual life was put above moral life, and the future life was denied that they might enjoy the present life without restraint.

The Church at Corinth.

It was founded by Paul on the second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-18). His spirit in founding the church is seen in 1 Cor. 2:1-2. While there Paul made his home with Aquila and Priscilla, Jews who had been expelled from Rome (Acts 18:2-3), but who now became members of the church. Apollos preached to this church and aided it in Paul's absence (18:24-28; 19:1). Both Epistles are full of information as to the condition of the church and the many problems which hit had to face from time to time. It must be remembered that Corinth was one of the most wicked cities of ancient times and that the church was surrounded by heathen customs and practices. Many of its members had but recently been converted from heathenism to Christianity and the church was far from ideal.

First Corinthians.

The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter.

Unfavorable news had come to Paul concerning the Corinthian church and he had written them a letter (5:9) which has been lost. In that letter he seems to have commanded them to give up their evil practices and promised to visit them. In the meantime, members of the household of Chloe(1:11) and other friends (16:17) came to him at Ephesus and brought news of their divisions and of the evil practices of certain of their members. Finally, they wrote him a letter asking his advice on certain matters (7:1). From all this we learn (1) that there were four factions among them, 1:2; (2) that there was gross immorality in the church as in the case of the incestuous person, Ch. 5; (3) that they went to law with each other, Ch. 6; (4) that many practical matters troubled them. Paul, therefore, wrote to correct all these errors in doctrine and practice.

Content of I Corinthians.

This letter contains some of the greatest passages in the New Testament. It is, however, remarkable especially for the very practical nature of its contents. It deals with many of the problems of every day life and has been said not to discuss but one great doctrine, that of the resurrection.

Date of I Corinthians.

From Ephesus in the spring of A. D. 57.

Outline of I Corinthians.

Introduction, 1:1-9.

I. Concerning Divisions and the Party Spirit. 1:10-4.

Divisions are prevented:

1. By Christ as the center of Christianity, 1:10 end.

2. By spiritual mindedness, 2:1-3:4.

3. By a right view of preachers, 3:5-4 end.

II. Correction of Moral Disorders, Chs. 5-6.

1. The incestuous person, Ch. 5.

2. Lawsuits, 6:1-11.

3. Sins of the body, 6;12 end.

III. Answers to Questions and Cognate Matters, 7:1-16:4.

1. Concerning marriage and celibacy, Ch. 7.

2. Concerning things offered to idols. 8:1-11:1.

3. Concerning head dress, 11:2-16.

4. Concerning the Lord's supper, 11:17 end.

5. Concerning spiritual gifts, Chs. 12-14.

6. Concerning the resurrection, Ch. 15.

7. Concerning collections for the saints, 16:1-4.

IV. Personal Matters and Conclusion, 16:5 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for I Corinthians.

(1) Earthly wisdom and heavenly foolishness, 1:18-25.

(2) Spiritual wisdom, 2:7-16.

(3) Paul's apostolic labors, 4:9-13.

(4) The scripture estimate of the human body, 6:12-20.

(5) Marriages and divorce, 7:25-50, letting "virgin" mean any single person, male or female.

(6) Paul's practice in the matter of his rights, 9:1-23.

(7) The Christian race, 9:24-27.

(8) Love and its nature, Ch. 13. (a) Superior to other gifts, 1-3. (b) Its ten marks, 4-6. (c) Its power, 7. (d) Its permanence, 8-13.

(9) Spiritual gifts, Chs. 12-14. Name and describe them.

(10) The resurrection, Ch. 15. (a) Calamities to result, if there were none-or the other doctrines here made to depend on the resurrection; (b) The nature of the resurrected body.

Second Corinthians.

The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter. From suggestions found here and there in these two epistles it appears that much communication passed between Paul and the church and that the two letters that have come down to us are only some of a series. He suffered much perplexity and grief because of the conditions of the church. He met Titus in Macedonia on the third missionary journey (he had hoped for him with news from Corinth while he was at Troas). He wrote this letter in response to the messages brought by Titus. He expresses solicitude for them, defends himself against the charges of his enemies, warns them against errors, instructs them in matters of duty and expresses joy that they have heeded his former advice.

The Character and Content of II Corinthians

It is the least systematic of all Paul's epistles. It abounds in emotion, showing mingled joy, grief and indignation. It is intensely personal and from it we, therefore, learn more of his life and character than from any other source. This makes it of great value in any study of Paul himself. Section one has as its great topic tribulation and consolation in tribulation, and has in it an undercurrent of apology, darkened by a suppressed indignation. Section two is colored by a sorrowful emotion. Section three everywhere teems with a feeling of indignation. Through the whole letter there runs an undercurrent of self-defense. The "key-note" of this book, as well as of First Corinthians, is loyalty to Christ.

Date of II Corinthians.

It was written from Macedonia (probably Philippi) fall of A.D. 57.

Ouline of II Corinthians.

Introduction, 1:1-7.

I. Paul's Trials, Principles and Consolation as a Preacher, 1:8-
7:16.

1. His interest in the Corinthian church. 1:8-2:11.

2. His service both to God and men, 2:12 end.

3. His appointment by the Holy Spirit, Ch. 3.

4. His power given by God, Ch. 4.

5. His hope of future blessedness, 5:1-19.

6. His exhortation and appeal to the church. 5:20-7:4.

7. His joy at their reception of the word, 7:5 end.

II. The Collection for the Poor Saints, Chs. 8-9.

1. The appeal for liberality, 8:1-15.

2. The sending of Titus and two other brethren, 8:16-9:5.

3. The Blessedness of liberality, 9:6 end.

III. Paul's Apostolic Authority. 10:1-13:10.

1. He vindicates his apostolic authority, 10:1-12:13.

2. He warns them that his coming will be with apostolic authority, 12:14-13:10.

Conclusion, 13:11 end.

For Study and Discussion.

(1) Paul's reasons for not going to Corinth, 1:15-2:4.

(2) The glory of the gospel ministry, 4:1-6.

(3) His affectionate injunction, 6:11-18.

(4) The grace of liberality, Chs. 8-9. Make a list of (a) ways of cultivating this grace, (b) the blessings it will bring to the possessor, to others and to the whole church.

(5) Paul's boasting, 11:16-12:20. (a) Of what things did he boast? (b) When is boasting justifiable?

(6) Paul's self-defense? When should we defend ourselves?

(7) The vision of the third heaven, 12:1-4.

(8) The thorn in the flesh, 12:7-9.

(9) The personal attacks on Paul. Note the hints in 2:17; 4:3; 5:3; 10:8; 10:10; 11:6.

Bible Study on the Book of Romans

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The Author of Romans.

Paul, the author, was a Hebrew by descent, a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, and educated by Gamaliel, the great Pharisaic teacher. He was one of the most unmerciful persecutors of the early Christians, but was converted by the sudden appearance to him of the risen Lord. He began preaching at Damascus, but on account of persecution went into Arabia. Returning from Arabia he visited Jerusalem and Damascus, and then went to Cilicia, where he doubtless did evangelistic work until Barnabas sought him at Tarsus and brought him to Antioch, where he worked a year with Barnabas. After this they went up to Jerusalem with contributions for the brethren. Upon return to Antioch he was called by the Holy Ghost to mission work in which he continued till his death, making at least three great missionary journeys, during which and afterward he suffered "one long martyrdom" till his death.

Paul's Epistles.

Paul's epistles are commonly put into four groups as follows: (1) The Eschatological group, or those dealing with the second coming of Christ. These are I. and II. Thessalonians and were written from Corinth about 62 to 63 A. D. (2) The Anti-Judaic group, or those growing out of controversy with Judaistic teachers. They are I. Corinthians. II. Corinthians, Galatians and Romans, written during the third Missionary journey, probably at Ephesus, Philippi, and Corinth. (3) The Christological group, which center their teachings around the character and work of Jesus, and were written during the imprisonment at Rome. They are Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Hebrews (many think Paul did not write Hebrews). (4) The Pastoral Group, or those written to young preachers touching matters of church organization and government and practical instructions concerning evangelists, pastors, and other Christian workers. They are 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus.

All of Paul's epistles, unless it be Hebrews, fall very naturally into five sections, as follows: (1) An introduction, which may contain a salutation, usually including the subject of the epistle and the name of those with Paul as co-laborers at the time of the writing, and a thanksgiving for the good character or conduct of those whom he addresses. (2) A Doctrinal Section, in which he discusses some great Christian teaching, which needs special emphasis as the case of the church or individual addressed. (3) A Practical Section, in which he sets forth the practical application of the principles discussed in the doctrinal section to the life of those addressed. (4) A Personal Section, in which are personal messages and salutations sent to and by various friends. (5) A Conclusion, in which may be found a benediction or autograph conclusion to authenticate the letter, maybe both, with other closing words.

The Setting of the Epistle of Roman .

(1) Paul longed to go to Rome (Acts 19:21) and now hoped soon to do so (Romans 15:24-33). He may, therefore, have wished them to know of his doctrine before his arrival, especially as they had perhaps heard some false reports of it. (2) It was just after he wrote Galatians and Paul's mind was full of the doctrine of justification, and he may have desired to write further upon the subject, giving special emphasis to the Divine side of the doctrine as he had given to the human side of it in Galatians. (3) Then, too, he may have been misunderstood in Galatians and desired to enlarge upon his teaching. In Galatians man is justified by believing, in Romans God gives his own righteousness to the believer for his justification. (4) Phoebe, a woman of influence and Christian character, a friend of Paul, was about to go to Rome from the coasts of Corinth, and Paul not only had a good opportunity to send the letter, but could do her a service by way of introducing her (16:1-2).

The Church at Rome.

It was doubtless in a very prosperous condition the time of Paul's writing. It was perhaps organized by some Jews heard and believed while at Jerusalem, probably on the day of Pentecost. While its membership included both Jews and Gentiles (1:6-13; 7:1), it was regarded by Paul as especially a Gentile church (1:3-7; 13-15).

Some Errors of Doctrine and Practice Had Crept in Which Needed
Correction. (1) They seem to have misunderstood Paul's teachings and to have charged that he taught that the greater the sin the greater the glory of God (3:8). (2) They may have thought him to teach that we should sin in order to get more grace (6:1) and, therefore, may have made his teaching of justification by faith an excuse for immoral conduct. (3) The Jews would not recognize the Gentile Christians as equal with them in Christ's Kingdom (1:9, 29, etc.). (4) Some of the Gentile brethren, on the other hand, looked with contempt upon their narrow and prejudiced and bigoted Jewish brethren (14:3). (5) Paul, therefore, aimed to win the Jews to Christian truth and the Gentiles to Christian love.

Paul's Connection With the Church. He had never been there up to this time (1:11, 13, 15) and it is not likely that any other apostles had been there. For then Paul would have not have been planning to go since his rule was not to go where another had worked (15:20; 2 Cor. 10:14-16). This strikes a heavy blow at Catholicism, claiming that Peter was first bishop of Rome. If Paul would not have followed him, then Peter had not been there, and the most important test of papacy is overthrown. Paul had, however, many intimate friends and acquaintances at Rome, many of whom were mentioned in chapter 16. Among them were his old friends, Aquila and Priscilia.

The Argument of Romans.

The doctrines of the book are considered and discussed under four main propositions: (1) All men are guilty before God (Jews and Gentiles alike). (2) All men need a Savior. (3) Christ died for all men. (4) We all, through faith, are one body in Christ.

Date.

Probably from Corinth, about A. D. 58.

Theme of Romans.

The gift of the righteousness of God as our justification which is received through faith in Christ, or justification by faith.

Outline of Romans.

Introduction, 1:1-17.

I. All Men Need of Righteousness, 1:18-3:20.

II. All Men May Have Righteousness by Faith in Christ (justification) 3:21-4 end.

III. All Who Are Thus Justified Will Be Finally Sanctified, Chs. 5-8. The believer's final redemption is thus guaranteed.

1. By the new relation to God which this righteousness gives. Ch. 5.

2. By the new realms of grace into which it brings him, Ch. 6 (no death in this realm).

3. By the nature given him, Ch. 7. This wars against the old nature and will win.

4. By the new possession (the Holy Spirit) which it gives, Ch. 8:1-
27.

5. By the foreordained purpose of God for them, 8:28-39.

IV. This Doctrine as Related to the Rejection of the Jews, chs. 9-11.

1. The justice of their rejection, 9:1-29.

2. The cause of their rejection, 9:30-10 end.

3. The limitations of their rejection, ch. 11.

V. The Application of This Doctrine to Christian Life, 12:1-15:13.

1. Duty to God-consecration, 12-12.

2. Duty to self-a holy life, 12:3 end.

3. Duty to state authorities-honor, 13:1-7.

4. Duty to society-love all, 13:8-10.

5. Duty as to the Lord's return-watchfulness, 13:11-14.

6. Duty to the weak -helpfulness and forbearance, 14:1-15:13.

Conclusion. 15:14-16 end. (1) Personal matters, 14:14 end. (2) Farewell greetings and warnings, ch. 16.

Study and Discussion Questions on Romans.

(1) The greeting (1:1-7). What does it reveal about, (a) The call, duty and standing of an apostle or preacher? (b) The standing, privileges and duties of a church, or individual Christian? (c) The relation of the old dispensation to the new? (d) Christ's diety or his Messiahship in fulfillment of prophecy? (e) The different persons of the Trinity?

(2) Study sin as described in 3:10-18, and what can be learned concerning: (a) The state of sin, (b) The practice of sin, (c) The reason for sin.

(3) Abraham as an example of justification by faith, ch. 4.

(4) The plan and method by which God rescues men from sin, 5:6-11.

(5) The contrast between Adam and Christ. 5:12-31. Do we get more in Christ than we lost in Adam?

(6) Why a matter under grace should not continue in sin, 6:1-14.

(7) A converted man's relation to the law. 7:1-6.

(8) The different things done for us by the Holy Spirit, 8:1-27.

(9) The practical duties of a Christian, ch. 12.

(10) Make a list of the following "key-words," showing how many times and were each occurs, and outline form the scripture references the teachings about each. Power, sin and unrighteousness, righteousness, justification, faith and belief, atonement, redemption, adoption, propitiation, election, predestination.

Bible Study on Book of Acts

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The Author of Acts.

The author is Luke who wrote the gospel of Luke. Facts concerning him may be found in chapter twenty-seven. He wrote this book about A. D. 63 or 64.

The Purpose of Acts.

It was addressed to an individual as a sort of continuation of the former thesis and aims to chronicle the growth and development of the movement inaugurated by Jesus as it was carried on by the apostles after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. It is taken up largely with the history of Christian work among the Gentiles and only gives enough of the history of the Jerusalem church to authenticate the work among the Gentiles. The chief purpose, therefore, seems to be to give an account of the spread of Christianity among the Gentiles. This view is further strengthened in the fact that Luke himself was a gentile (Col. 4:10) and that he was a companion of Paul (Col. 4:14) and the "we" section of Acts. The book does not, therefore, claim to be a complete account of the labors of the early apostles. But it does give in a simple, definite and impressive manner an account of how the religion of Jesus was propagated after his death and of how it was received by those to whom it was first preached.

The Spirituality. In the Old Testament God the Father was the active agent. In the gospels God the Son (Jesus) was the active agent. In Acts (and ever after) God the Holy Spirit is the active agent. He is mentioned about seventy times in Acts. The Savior had told the apostles to wait at Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Ghost. Until they were endued with His power they were very ordinary men. Afterward they were pure in their purpose and ideals and were always triumphant in their cause. The book is a record of mighty spiritual power seen in action everywhere.

Outline of Book of Acts.

Introduction, 1:1-3.

I. The Church Witnessing in Jerusalem, 1:4-8:11.

1. Preparation for witnessing, 1:4-2:4.

2. First witnessing, 2:4-47 end.

3. First persecution, 3:1-4:31.

4. Blessed state of the church, 4:32-5:42.

5. First deacons, 6:1-7.

6. The first martyr, 6:8-8:1.

II. The Church Witnessing in Palestine, 8:2-12:25.

1. The witnesses are scattered abroad, 8:2-4.

2. Philip witnesses in Samaria and Judea, 8:5-40.

3. The Lord wins new witnesses, 9:1-11:18.

4. Center of labor changed to Antioch, 11:19-30.

5. The witnesses triumph over Herod's persecution, 12:1-25.

III. The Church Witnessing lo the Gentile World, 13:1-28:31.

1. Witnessing in Asia, Chs. 13-14. Paul's First Missionary Journey.

2. The first church council, 15:1-35.

3. Witnessing in Europe, 15:36-18:22. Paul's Second Missionary Journey.

4. Further witnessing in Asia and Europe, 18:23-21:17. Paul's Third Missionary Journey.

5. Paul, the witness, rejected and attacked by the Jews at Jerusalem, 21:18-23:35.

6. Two years imprisonment at Caesarea, Chs. 24-26.

7. Paul, the witness, carried to Rome, 27:1-28:15.

8. Paul, the witness, at Rome, 28:16-31.

Study and Discussion Questions for Acts.

(1) The first church conference for business, 1:15-26.

(2) The coming of the Holy Spirit, 2:1-4.

(3) Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, 2:5-47.

(4) The first miracle, ch. 3.

(5) The first persecution, 4:1-31.

(6) Death of Annanias and Sapphira, 5:1-11.

(7) The first deacons, 6:1-7.

(8) The first martyr, ch.7.

(9) Philip's work in Samaria, 8:5-40.

(10) Conversion of Saul, 9:1-31.

(11) Conversion of Cornelius, 10:1-11:18.

(12) List the principal churches of the book, their location and what makes them notable.

(13) List the principal preachers of the book and note the sermons or miracles, etc., that make them prominent.

(14)The sermons and addresses of the book, to whom each was delivered, its purpose, etc.

(15) The chief elements of power of these early disciples.

(16) The growth of Christianity and the hindrances it had to overcome.

(17) The great outstanding teachings of these early Christians.

(18) The tact and adaptation of the apostles (give examples).

(19) The different plans to kill Paul and the way by which he escaped each.

(20) The missionary journeys of Paul and his journey to Rome as a prisoner.

Bible Study on the Book of John

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The Author of John

From the evidence found in the gospel, we know several things about the author. (1) That he was a Jew. This is seen in his evident knowledge of Jewish opinions concerning such subjects as the Messiah, and his knowledge of their customs, such as the purification. (2) He was an eye-witness to most of what he relates. This is seen in his exact knowledge of time, as to the hour or time of day a thing occurred; in his knowledge of the number of persons or things present, as the division of his garments into four parts; in the vividness of the narrative which he could hardly have had without first having seen it all. (3) He was an apostle. This is seen in his knowledge of the thoughts of the disciples (2:11, 17); in his knowledge of the private words of the disciples to Jesus and among themselves (4:31, 33, etc.); in his knowledge of the private locations of the disciples (11:54. etc.); and in his knowledge of the Lord's motives, etc. (2:24-25, etc.); and in his knowledge of Christ's feelings (11:33). (4) He was the son of Zebedee (Mar. 1:19-20), and was probably one of John's two disciples whom he turned to Jesus (1-40). (5) He is one of the three most prominent of the apostles, being several times especially honored (Matt. 17:1-3. etc.), and is prominent in the work of the church after Christ's ascension, as well as in all their work before his death: (6) He also wrote three epistles and Revelation. He outlived all the other apostles and is supposed to have died on the island of Patmos as an exile about 100 A.D.

The Times and Circumstances During the Writing of John .

These are so different from those which influenced the other evangelists that one can hardly escape the feeling that John's gospel is colored accordingly. The gospel had been preached in all the Roman empire and Christianity was no longer considered a Jewish sect, attached to the Synagogue. Jerusalem had been overthrown and the temple destroyed. Christians had been sorely persecuted, but had achieved great triumphs in many lands. All the rest of the New Testament except Revelation had been written. Some had arisen, who disputed the deity of Jesus and while the gospel is not a mere polemic against that false teaching, it does, by establishing the true teaching thoroughly undermine the false. He perhaps wrote to Christians of all nationalities, whose history had by this time been enriched by the blood of martyrs for the faith. Instead of the Messiah in whom Jews would find a Savior or the mighty worker in whom the Roman would find him, or the Ideal Man in whom the Greeks would find him. John wrote concerning the eternal, Incarnate Word in whose Spiritual Kingdom each, having lost his narrowness and racial prejudice, could be forever united.

The Style and the Plan of John.

This gospel differs from the others in language and plan. It is both profound and simple and has several elements of style as follows: (1) Simplicity. The sentences are short and connected by coordinate conjunctions. There are but few direct quotations, and but few dependent sentences, and most of them show the sequence of things, either as a cause or a purpose. (2) Sameness. This arises from the method of treating each step in the narrative as if isolated and separate from all the rest rather than merging it into the complete whole. (3) Repetition, whether in the narrative proper or in the quoted words of the Lord, is very frequent. The following examples will illustrate this: "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God." "The light shines in darkness and the darkness comprehends it not." "I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth his life." "Jesus then, when he saw her weeping and the Jews that were weeping with her." "If I bear witness of myself my witness is not true. There is another that bears witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesses of me is true." Let the student gather a list of all such repetitions. (4) Parallelism, or statements expressing the same or similar truths, such as the following are common. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you"; "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"; "I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish." This parallelism, which at the same time becomes repetition, is seen in the way a subject or conclusion is stated and, after elaboration, restated in a new and enlarged view, thus teaching the truth in a gradually unfolding beauty and force. An illustration is found in the statement, "I will raise him up in the last day," 6, 39, 70, 44. (5) Contrasts. The plan is more simple and more easily seen all along than is that of any other of the Evangelists. On the one hand, he shows how love and faith are developed in the believer until, in the end, Thomas, who was the most doubtful of all, could exclaim, "My Lord and my God." On the other hand, he shows the unbeliever advanced from mere indifference to a positive hatred that culminated in the crucifixion. This purpose is carried out by a process of contrasting and separating things that are opposites, such as (a) Light and darkness, (b) Truth and falsehood, (c) Good and evil, (d) Life and death, (e) God and Satan. In all of these he is convincing his reader that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.

Characteristics and Purpose of John.

1. It Is a Gospel of the Feasts. Indeed, if subtract from it those miracles and teachings and other works performed in connection with the feasts, we should have only a few fragments left. The value of the book would be destroyed and the most beautiful and the profoundest teachings of the gospel lost.

As an example, observe the all the events John records in connection with the following six feasts. (1) The Feast of the Passover (2:13, 23), First Passover, A. D. 27. (2) A Feast of the Jews (5:1), probably Purim. (3) Passover a Feast of the Jews (6:4), Second Passover, A. D. 28. (4) Feast of the Tabernacles (7:2). (5) Feast of the Dedication (10:22). (6) Passover (11:55-56; 12:1, 12, 20; 13:29; 18:28). Third Passover, A. D. 29.

2. It Is a Gospel of Testimony. John writes to prove that Jesus is the Christ. He assumes the attitude of a lawyer before a jury and introduces testimony until he fells certain of his case and then closes the testimony with the assurance that much more could be offered if it seemed necessary. There are seven lines of testimony. (1) The testimony of John the Baptist. (2) The testimony of certain other individuals. (3) The testimony of Jesus' works. (4) The testimony of Jesus himself (see the I am's). (5) The testimony of the scripture. (6) The testimony of the Father. (7) The testimony of the Holy Spirit.

3. It Is of Gospel of Belief. The purpose being to produce belief there are given: numerous examples of belief, showing the growth of faith; the secret of faith, such as hearing or receiving the word; the results of faith, such as eternal life, freedom, peace, power, etc.

4. It Is a Spiritual Gospel. It represents the deeper mediations of John, which are shaped so as to establish a great doctrine which, instead of history, became his great impulse. To John "history is doctrine" and he reviews it in the light of its spiritual interpretation. It furnished a great bulwark against the Gnostic teachers, who had come to deny the diety of Jesus. He also emphasized and elaborated the humanity of Jesus. His whole purpose is "not so much the historic record of the facts as the development of their inmost meaning."

5. It Is a Gospel of Symbolism. John was a mystic and delighted in mystic symbols. The whole book speaks in the language of symbols. The mystic numbers three and seven prevail throughout the book not only in the things and sayings recorded but in the arrangement of topics. Each of the Eight Miracles is used for a "sign" or symbol, as the feeding of the five thousand in which Jesus appears as the bread or support of life. The great allegories of the Good-Shepherd, the sheep-fold and the vine; the names used to designate Jesus as the Word, Light, the Way, the Truth, the Life, etc., all show how the whole gospel is penetrated with a spirit of symbolic representation.

6. It Is the Gospel of the Incarnation. "Matthew explains his messianic function; Mark his active works and Luke his character as Savior." John magnifies his person and everywhere makes us see "the word made flesh." God is at no great distance form us. He has become flesh. The word has come as the Incarnate Man. Jesus, this Incarnate Man, is God and as such fills the whole book, but he, nevertheless, hungers and thirsts and knows human experience. God has come down to man to enable him to rise up to God.

Subject of John: Jesus, the Christ, God's Son.

Outline of Book of John.

Introduction or prologue, 1:1-18.

(1) The divine nature of the word. 1-5.

(2) The manifestation of the word as the world's Savior, 6-18.

   I. The Testimony of His Great Public Ministry, 1:19-12 end.

1. He is revealed, 1:19-2:12.

2. He is recognized, 2:13-3 end.

3. He is antagonized, Chs. 5-11.

4. He is honored, Ch. 12.

 II. The Testimony of His Private Ministry with His Disciples, Chs. 13-17.

1. He teaches and comforts his disciples, Chs. 13-16.

2. He prays for his disciples, Ch. 17.

III. The Testimony of His Passion. Chs. 18-19.

1. His betrayal, 18:1-11.

2. The Jewish or ecclesiastical trial, 18:12-27.

3. The Roman or civil trial, 18:28-19:16.

4. His death and burial, 19:17 end.

IV. The Testimony of His Resurrection and Manifestation, Chs. 20-21.

1. His resurrection and manifestation to his disciples, Ch. 20.

2. Further manifestations and instructions to his disciples, Ch. 21.

Study and Discussion Questions for John.

(1) Discuss the events and interactions connected with each of the six feasts mentioned above.

(2) List an example of each of the seven lines of testimony mentioned above.

(3) How do the following miracles serve as "signs," and what do they symbolize about Jesus:

(a) The Cana miracle, 2:1-11;

(b) The nobleman's son, 4:48-54;

(c) The impotent man, 5:1-16;

(d) Feeding five thousand, 6:3-14;

(e) Walking on the sea, 6:16-20;

(f) Healing the blind man, 9:1-16; read all the chapter;

(g) Raising Lazarus, Ch. 11;

(h) The draft of fishes, 21:1-11.

(4) What do the following conversations reveal about Jesus:

(a) The conversation with Nicodemus, Ch. 3;

(b) The conversation with the woman at the well, Ch. 4;

(c) The discourse on the shepherd and the sheep, Ch. 10;

(d) The discussions of chapter 13;

(e) The discourse on the vine, Ch. 15;

(f) The Lord's prayer, Ch. 17.

(5) From the following passages, find the cause or explanation of unbelief, 1:45; 3:11, 19, 20; 5:16, 40, 42, 44; 6:42, 52; 7:41, 42, 48; 8:13, 14, 45; 12:26, 44; 20:9.

(6) What are the results of unbelief, 3:18, 20, 36; 4:13, 14; 6:35, 53, 58; 8:19, 34, 55; 14:1, 28; 15:5; 16:6, 9.

(7) Make a list of all the night scenes of the book and study them.

(8) Study each instance of someone worshiping Jesus.

(9) Name each chapter of the book based on the main subject (i.e. The Vine Chapter or Good Shepherd chapter.)

(10) Find where and how many times each of the following words and phrases occurs and study them as time permites.

(1) Eternal life, 17 times, only 18 in all the other gospels,

(2) believe,

(3) believe on,

(4) sent,

(5) life,

(6) sign or signs,

(7) work or works,

(8) John the Baptist,

(9) verily (or truely), always double and used by Jesus,

(10) receive, received, etc.,

(11) witness, or testify, testimony, etc..

(12) truth,

(13) manifest, manifested,

(14) "I am" (spoken by Jesus).

Bible Study on the Book of Luke

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Date of Luke.

It was probably written about A. D. 60 or 63, certainly before the fall of Jerusalem, A. D. 70, and likely while Luke was with Paul in Rome or during the two years at Caesarea.

Author of Luke.

The author is Luke, who also wrote Acts, and was a companion of Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:11-40). He rejoins Paul at Philippi (Acts 20:1-7) on the return from the third missionary journey, remaining with him at Caesarea and on the way to Rome (Acts Chs. 20-28), He is called the "Beloved physician" (Col. 4:14) and Paul's "fellow laborer" (Philemon 24).

From the context of Col. 4:4 we learn that he was "not of the circumcision" and, therefore, a Gentile. From his preface (Lu. 1:1) we learn that he was not an eye witness of what he wrote. He is thought to be "the brother" whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches (2 Cor. 8:18), and, by tradition, is always declared to be a Gentile and proselyte. As is indicated by the gospel itself, he was the most cultured of all the gospel writers.

The Characteristics and Purpose of the Gospel of Luke.

1. It Is a Gospel of Song and Praise. There are a number of songs such as the song of Mary (1:46-55), the song of Zacharias (1:68-79), the song of the angels (2:14) and the song of Simeon (2:29-33). There are many expressions of praise such as (2:2; 5:29; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47).

2. It Is a Gospel of Prayer. Jesus prays at his baptism, (3:21), after cleansing the leper (5:16), before calling the twelve (6:12), at his transfiguration (9:28), before teaching the disciples to pray (11:1), for his murderers as he was on the cross (23:34), with his last breath (23:46). Luke gives us Christ's command to pray (21:36) and two parables, the midnight friend (11:5-13) and the unjust judge (18:1-8) to show the certain and blessed results of continued prayer.

3. It Is a Gospel of Womanhood. No other gospel gives her anything like so large a place as Luke. Indeed, all of the first three chapters or a greater part of their contents may have been given him, as he "traced out accurately from the first" (1:3), by Mary and Elizabeth. He gives us the praise and prophecy of Elizabeth (1:42-42), the song of Mary (1:46-55). Anna and her worship (2:36-38), sympathy for the widow of Nain (7:12-15), Mary Magdella the sinner (7:36-50), the woman associates of Jesus (8:1-3), tender words to the woman with an issue of blood (8:48), Mary and Martha and their disposition (10:38-42). sympathy and help for the "daughter" of Abraham (13:16), the consolation of the daughters of Jerusalem (23:28). These references have been collected by others and are the most conspicuous ones and serve to show how large a place woman is given in this gospel.

4. It Is a Gospel of the Poor and Outcast. More than any other of the evangelists Luke reports those teachings and incidents in the life of our Savior which show how his work is to bless the poor and neglected and vicious. Among the more striking passages of this character are the oft repeated references to the publicans (3:12; 5:27, 29, 30, etc.), Mary Magdella, who was a sinner (7:36-50), the woman with an issue of blood (8:43-48), the harlots (15:30), the prodigal son (13:11-32), Lazarus, the beggar (16:13-31), the poor, maimed, halt and blind invited to the supper (14:7-24). the Story of Zacchaeus (19:1-9), the Savior's business declared to be to seek and save the lost (8:10), the dying robber saved (23:39-43).

5. It Is a Gentile Gospel. The book is everywhere filled with a world wide purpose not so fully expressed in the other evangelists. Here we have the angels, announcement of great joy which shall be to all people (2:10) and the song about Jesus as "a light for revelation to the Gentiles" (2:32). The genealogy traces Christ's lineage back to Adam (2:38) and thus connects him not with Abraham as a representative of humanity. The fuller account of the sending out of the seventy (10:1-24). the very number of whom signified the supposed number of the heathen nations, who were to go, not as the twelve to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but to all those cities whither Jesus himself would come, is suggestive of this broader purpose of Luke. The good Samaritan (10:25-37) is Christ's illustration of a true neighbor and in some way also intends to show the nature of Christ's work which was to be without nationality. Of the ten lepers healed (17:11-19) only one, a Samaritan, returned to render him praise, thus showing how others than the Jews would not only be blessed by him but would do worthy service for him. The Perean ministry, across the Jordan (9:51-
18:4, probably 9:51-19:28). is a ministry to the Gentiles and shows how large a place Luke would give the Gentiles in the work and blessings of Jesus.

6. It Is a Gospel for the Greeks. If Matthew wrote for Jews and Mark for Romans, it is but natural that some one should write in such a way as to appeal, specially, to the Greeks as the other representative race. And, such the Christian writers of the first centuries thought to be Luke's purpose. The Greek was the representative of reason and humanity and felt that his mission was to perfect humanity. "The full grown Greek would be a perfect world man", able to meet all men on the common plane of the race. All the Greek gods were, therefore, images of some form of perfect humanity. The Hindu might worship an emblem of physical force, the Roman deify the Emperor and the Egyptian any and all forms of life, but the Greek adored man with his thought and beauty and speech, and, in this, had most nearly approached the true conception of God. The Jew would value men as the descendants of Abraham; the Roman according as they wielded empires, but the Greek on the basis of man as such.

The gospel for the Greek must, therefore, present the perfect man, and so Luke wrote about the Divine Man as the Savior of all men. Christ touched man at every point and is interested in him as man whether low and vile or high and noble. By his life he shows the folly of sin and the beauty of holiness. He brings God near enough to meet the longings of the Greek soul and thereby furnish him a pattern and brother suited for all ages and all people. The deeds of Jesus are kept to the background while much is made of the songs of others and the discourses of Jesus as they were calculated to appeal to the cultured Greek. If the Greek thinks he has a mission to humanity, Luke opens a mission ground enough for the present and offers him an immortality which will satisfy in the future.

7. It Is an Artistic Gospel. Renan calls Luke the most beautiful book in the world, while Dr, Robertson says "the charm of style and the skill in the use of facts place it above all praise". The delicacy and accuracy, picturesqueness and precision with which he sets forth the different incidents is manifestly the work of a trained historian. His is the most beautiful Greek and shows the highest touches of culture of all of the gospels.

Subject of Luke.

Jesus the World's Savior.

Outline of Book of Luke.

Introduction. The dedication of the gospel, 1:1-4.

   I. The Savior's Manifestation, 1:5-4:13.

1. The announcement of the Forerunner, 1:5-25.

2. The announcement of the Savior. 1:26-38.

3. Thanksgiving of Mary and Elizabeth, 1:29-56.

4. The birth and childhood of the Forerunner, 1:37 end.

5. The birth of the Savior, 2:1-20.

6. The childhood of the Savior. 3:1-4:13.

  II. The Savior's Work and Teaching in Galilee, 4:14-9:50.

1. He preaches in the synagogue at Nazareth. 4:14-30.

2. He works in and around Capernaum, 4:31-6:11.

3. Work while touring Galilee, 6:12-9:50.

III. The Savior's Work and Teaching After Leaving Galilee Up to the
Entrance Into Jerusalem, 9:31-19:27.

1. He journeys to Jerusalem, 9:51 end.

2. The mission of the Seventy and subsequent matters, 10:1-11:13.

3. He exposes the experience and practice of the day, 11:14-12 end.

4. Teachings, miracles warnings and parables, 13:1-18:30.

5. Incidents connected with his final approach to Jerusalem, 18:31-
19:27.

  IV. The Savior's Work and Teaching in Jerusalem, 19:28-22:38.

1. The entrance to Jerusalem, 19:28 end.

2. Questions and answers. Ch. 20.

3. The widow's mites, 21:1-4.

4. Preparation for the end, 21:5-22:38.

   V. The Savior Suffers for the World, 22:39-23 end.

1. The agony in the garden, 22:39-46.

2. The betrayal and arrest, 22:47-53.

3. The trial. 22:54-23:26.

4. The cross, 23:27-49.

5. The burial, 23:30 end.

 VI. The Savior is Glorified, Ch. 24.

1. The resurrection, 1-12.

2. The appearance and teachings, 13-49.

3. The ascension, 50 end.

Study and Discussion Questions for Luke.

1. Six miracles peculiar to Luke. (1) The draught of fishes, 5:4-11. (2) The raising of the widow's son, 7:11-
18. (3) The woman with the spirit of infirmity, 13:11-17. (4) The man with the dropsy, 14:1-6. (5) The ten lepers, 17:11-19. (6) The healing of Malchus' ear. 22:50-51.

2. Eleven parables, peculiar to Luke. (I) The two debtors, 7:41-43. (2) The good Samaritan, 10:25-37. (3) The importunate friend, 11:5-8. (4) The rich fool, 12:16-19. (5) The barren fig-tree, 13:6-9. (6) The lost piece of silver, 15:8-10. (7) The prodigal son, 15:11-32. (8) The unjust steward, 16:1-13. (9) The rich man and Lazarus, 18:19-31. (10) The unjust judge, 18:1-8. (11) The Pharisee and publican, 18:9-14.

3. Some other passages mainly peculiar to Luke. (1) Chs. 1-2 and 9:51-18:14 are mainly peculiar to Luke. (2) John the Baptist's answer to the people. 3:10-14. (3) The conversation with Moses and Elias, 9:30-31. (4) The weeping over Jerusalem, 19:41-44. (5) The bloody sweat, 22:44. (6) The sending of Jesus to Herod, 23:7-12. (7) The address to the daughters of Jerusalem, 23:27-31. (8) "Father forgive them", 23:34. (9) The penitent robber, 23:40-43. (10) The disciples at Emmaus, 24:13-31; (11) Particulars about the ascension. 24:50-53.

4. The following words and phrases should be studied, making a list of the references where each occurs and a study of each passage in which they occur with a view of getting Luke's conception of the term. (1) The "son of man" (23 times). (2) The "son of God" (7 times). (3) The "kingdom of God" (32 times). (4) References to law, lawyer, lawful (18 times). (5) Publican (11 times). (6) Sinner and sinners (16 times). Mr. Stroud estimates that 59 percent of Luke is peculiar to himself and Mr. Weiss figures that 541 have no incidences in the other gospels.

Book of Mark Bible Study

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Date of Mark.

Probably written about A. D. 60, and before Matthew.

The Author.

He was not an apostle and was variously designated as follows; (1) John, whose surname was Mark, Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37; (2) John only, Acts 13:5. 13; (3) Mark only, Acts 15:39; (4) always Mark after this, Col. 4:10, Philemon 24, 2 Tim. 4:11, 1 Pet. 5:13. He was a son of Mary, a woman of Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). Her home was the gathering place of the disciples, whither Peter went after he was delivered from prison. On this or some other visit Mark may have been converted through the preaching of Peter, and this may have been the cause of Peter calling him "his son" (1 Pet. 5:13), which doubtless means son in the ministry. He returns with Paul and Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch (Acts 12:25), and accompanies them, as minister (Acts 13:5) on the first great missionary journey as far as Perga (Acts 13:13). There he left them and returned home. On the second missionary tour Paul declined to take him and separated from Barnabas, Mark's cousin (Col. 4:10), who chose Mark for his companion (Acts 15:37-39). Ten years later he seems to be with Paul in his imprisonment at Rome and was certainly counted a fellow worker by Paul (Col. 4:10, Philemon 24). Paul found him useful and asked Timothy to bring him to him in his last imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He was with Peter when he wrote his first epistle (1 Peter 5:13).

What he knew of the work of Jesus directly we do not know, probably not much. The early Christian writers universally say that he was the interpreter of Peter and that he based his gospel upon information gained from him.

Characteristics and Purpose of Gospel of Mark.

1. It Is a Gospel of Vividness and Details. He shows the effect of awe and wonder produced upon those present by the works and teaching of Jesus. He tells the details of the actions of Jesus and his disciples and the multitudes. Jesus "looks around," "sat down," "went before". He is grieved, hungry, angry, indignant, wonders, sleeps, rests and is moved with pity. The cock crows twice: "it is the hour", "a great while before day," or "eventide," "there are two thousand swine", the disciples and Jesus are on the sea, on Olivet, or in the court yard or in the porch. Everything is portrayed in detail.

2. It Is a Gospel of Activity and Energy. There is no story of his infancy, but he starts with "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ". He portrays the active career of Jesus on earth. He, however, lays emphasis upon the works rather than the words of Jesus. Few discourses of any length and only four of the fifteen parables of Matthew are given and those in the briefest form, while eighteen of the miracles are given in rapid review. The rapid succession is indicated by one Greek word, translated by the seven words "immediately", "anon", "forthwith", "by and by", "as soon as", "shortly", and "straightway", which occur forty-one times in this gospel. The last meaning, straightway, is truest to the Greek idea and may be called Mark's characteristic word. It indicates how with the speed of a racer he rushed along and thereby furnishes us a breathless narrative which Farrar says makes us "feel like the apostles who, among the press of the people coming and going, were twice made to say they 'had no leisure so much as to eat'." It moves as the scenes of a moving picture show.

3. It Is a Gospel of Power Over Devils. Here as in no other gospel the devils are made subject to Jesus. They recognize him as the "Son of God" and acknowledge their subordination to him by pleading with him as to what shall be done with them (5:7, 12).

4. It Is a Gospel of Wonder. Everywhere Jesus is a man of wonder that strikes awe and terror and causes to wonder those who see and hear him. Some of these may be studied, especially in the Greek, in 1:27; 2:13; 4:41; 5:28 6:50; 51; 7:37. As Archbishop Thompson puts it, "The wonder-working Son of God sweeps over his Kingdom swiftly and meteor-
like" and thus strikes awe into the hearts of the on-lookers. He is "a man heroic and mysterious, who inspires not only a passionate devotion but also amazement and adoration".

5. It Is a Gospel for the Romans. The Romans were men of great power, mighty workers who left behind them great accomplishments for the blessing of humanity. So that Mark would especially appeal to them by recording of Jesus his mighty deeds. He lets them see one who has power to still the storm, to control disease and death, and even power to control the unseen world of spirits. The Roman, who found deity in a Caesar as head of a mighty Kingdom, would bow to one who had shown himself King in every realm and whose kingdom was both omnipotent and everlasting, both visible and unseen, both temporal and spiritual.

Then, too, the Roman cared nothing for Jewish Scripture or prophecy and so he omits all reference to the Jewish law, the word law not being found in the entire book. He only once or twice refers in any way to the Jewish scriptures. He omits the genealogy of Jesus which could have no value to a Roman. Then, too, he explains all doubtful Jewish words, such as "Boanerges" (3:17), "Tabitha cumi" (5:41), "corban" (7:11), "alba" (15:36). He reduced Jewish money to Roman currency (12:42). He explains Jewish customs as not being understood by them. (See 7:3; 13:3; 14:12; 15:42).

And once more by the use of terms familiar to him such as centurion, contend, etc. "Mark showed the Roman a man who was a man indeed". He showed them manhood crowned with glory and power; Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God; a man but a Man Divine and sinless, among sinful and suffering men. Him, the God-man, no humiliation could degrade, no death defeat. Not even on the cross could he seem less than the King, the Hero, the only Son. And as he gazed on such a picture how could any Roman refrain from exclaiming with the awe-struck Centurion, "Truly this was the Son of God".

Subject.

Jesus the Almighty King.

Outline of Book of Mark.

   I. The Almighty King is Exhibited as the Son of God, 1:1-13.

1. In the baptism and teaching of John, 1-8.

2. In the baptism of Jesus, 9-11.

3. In the temptation, 12-13.

  II. The Almighty King at Work in Galilee, 1:14-9 end.

1. Begins his work, 1:14 end.

2. Reveals his Kingdom, Chs. 2-5.

3. Meets opposition, 6:1-8:26.

4. Prepares his disciples for the end, 8:27-9 end.

III. The Almighty King Prepares for Death 10:1-14:31.

1. He goes to Jerusalem, 10:1-11:11.

2. In Jerusalem and vicinity, 11:12-14:31.

 IV. The Almighty King Suffers at the Hands of His Enemies. 14:32-
15:46.

1. Agony of Gethsemane, 14:32-42.

2. Arrest, 14:43-52.

3. Jewish trial and denial of Peter, 14:53 end.

4. Trial before Pilate. 15:1-15.

5. The Crucifixion. 15:16-41.

6. The Burial, 15:42 end.

   V. The Almighty King Triumphs Over His Enemies, Ch.16.

1. The resurrection, 1-8.

2. The appearances, 9-18.

3. The ascension, 19-20.

Study and Discussion Questions for Mark.

(1) Sections peculiar to Mark, (a) Growth of the seed, 4:26-29. (b) Jesus' compassion on the multitudes, 7:32-37. (c) The blind men healed gradually, 8;22-26. (d) Details about the colt, etc., 11:1-14. (e) Concerning watching, 13:33-37. (f) Details concerning Christ's appearances. 16:6-11.

(2) The spiritual condition of those affected by Jesus' miracles. Keeping in mind their condition before and after the miracle: (a) Were they saved as well as well as healed? (b) Did they or their friends exercise faith, or did Jesus act voluntarily without any expression of faith?

(3) What did Jesus do in performing the miracle? (a) Did he use the touch? (b) Was he touched? (c) Did he simply give command, etc?

(4) From the following scriptures 2:35; 1:45; 3:7-12; 6:6; 6:21-32; 6:46; 7:34-25; 8:27; 9:2; 11:11; 11:19; 14:1-12, make a list of the different places to which Jesus retired and in connection with each indicate (in writing): (a) Was it before or after a victory or conflict? (b) Was it in preparation for or rest after the performance of a great work? (c) Indicate in each case whether he went alone or was accompanied and, if accompanied, by whom? (e) In each case also tell what Jesus did during the period of retirement. Did he pray, teach, perform miracles or what?

(5) List the phrases "Son of man" and "Kingdom of God" and point out the appropriateness and meaning of each.

(6) List all references to demons and to demon possessed people and study their nature, the nature of their work, their power, wisdom, etc.

(7) The facts concerning the death of Jesus. 14:1-15:14. List them.

Bible Study on Book of Matthew

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Date.

Written about 60 A. D., but after Mark.

The Author of Matthew.

The Author always speaks of himself as "the publican," which may indicate his sense of humility, felt in having been exalted from so low an estate to that of an apostle. He was the son of Alpheus (Mar. 2:14; Lu. 5:27), and was called Levi until Jesus called him and gave him the name Matthew, which means "Gift of God." We know nothing of his work except his call and farewell feast (9:9-10), and that he was with the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Thus silent and observant and qualified by former occupation, he could well undertake the writing of this book. It might be possible that he was chosen by the others for this great task. We know nothing of his death.

Characteristics and Purpose of Gospel of Matthew.

1. It is not a Chronological but a Systematic and Topical Gospel. There is order in the arrangement of materials so that a definite result may be produced. Materials are treated in groups, as the miracles in chapters eight and nine and the parables of chapter thirteen. There is order and purpose also in the arrangement of these groups of miracles and parables. The first miracle is the cure of leprosy, and is a type of sin; while the last one is the withering of the fig tree, which is a symbol of judgment. The first parable is that of the seed of the kingdom, which is a symbol of the beginning or planting of the kingdom; the last is that of the talents and prophesies the final adjudication at the last day. This same orderly arrangement is also observed in the two great sections of the book. The first great section 4:17-16:20, especially sets forth the person and nature of Jesus, while the second section, 16:20 end, narrates his great work for others as seen in his death and resurrection.

2. It Is a Didactic or Teaching Gospel. While giving the account of a number of miracles, the book is marked by several discourses of considerable length, as The sermon on the Mount, chapters 3-7, the denunciation of the Pharisees, chapter 23, the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world, chapters 24-25, the address to the apostles, chapter 10; and the doctrines of the kingdom, 17:24-20:16. These portions and the parables noted above will indicate how large a portion of the book is taken up in discourses. The student can make lists of other and shorter sections of teaching.

3. It Is a Gospel of Gloom and Despondency. There are no songs of joy like those of Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon, Anna and the Angels, recorded in Luke. Nor do we see him popular and wise at the age of twelve. Instead, we have his mother almost repudiated and left in disgrace by Joseph and only saved by divine intervention. Jerusalem is in trouble, the male children are killed and mothers are weeping for them. The child Jesus is saved only by the flight into Egypt, his whole life after the return from Egypt is covered in oblivion and he is a despised Nazarite. The cross is one of desolation with no penitent thief nor sympathy from any one, with his enemies reviling, smiting their breasts and passing by. Nor is there much optimism or expectation of success. The disciples are to be rejected and persecuted even as their Lord; many are to be called and but few are chosen; only a few are to find the narrow way; many are to claim entrance into the Kingdom because they have prophesied in His name and be denied. Even Matthew himself is a despised and rejected publican.

4. It Is a Kingly Gospel. The genealogy shows the royal descent of Jesus. The Magi came seeking him that was "born king of the Jews," and John the Baptist preaches that the "Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Here we have the parables of the kingdom, beginning with "the Kingdom of heaven," etc. In Luke a certain man made a great supper and had two sons, while in Matthew it was a certain king. In the other evangelists we always have the term gospel while, with one exception, Matthew always puts it "the gospel of the Kingdom". The "keys of the kingdom" are given to Peter. All the nations shall gather before him as he sits on the throne and "the king say" unto them, and the "king shall answer," etc. (Matt. 25:34, 40).

5. It Is an Official and an Organic Gospel. This is suggested in that Matthew represents Satan as head of a kingdom; also, in that those connected with Jesus' birth are official persons and most of the acts are official in their nature. Pilate, the judge, washed his hands of the blood of Jesus, the Roman guard pronounces him the Christ, and the guards say he could not be kept in the tomb, Jesus denounces the officials and calls his own disciples by official names. It is Peter, not Simon, and Matthew, the apostolic name, and not Levi as in Luke. Jesus indicates his official capacity in his rejection of the Jews, telling them that the kingdom is taken away from them (21:43). He makes ready for the establishing of his own kingdom and tells them who is to wield the keys of the kingdom which is not to be bound by time or national relations as was the former kingdom. In Matthew alone do we find full instructions as to the membership, discipline and ordinances of the church. Here alone are we given in the gospels the command to baptize to administer the communion and the beautiful formula for baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and here we have his official command to "Go" backed by all the authority of heaven and earth.

In the further pursuit of this official work, we find Jesus giving especial recognition to the Gentile believers-giving them full place in his kingdom. The genealogy through grace and faith includes Gentiles; the second chapter shows how the Gentile Magi do him honor; the Roman centurion displays a faith superior to any Israelite; the great faith of the Canaanite woman led him to heal her daughter, and the Gentile wife of Pilate because of her dreams sends a warning that he have "nothing to do" with him. All this tended to show the official and organic way in which Jesus worked.

6. It Is a Gospel of Jewish Antagonism and Rejection. On the one hand the Jews antagonize and reject Jesus. On the other the Jews, especially the scribes and Pharisees, are exposed and rejected by Jesus. The Pharisees plotted against Jesus and resented his violation of their regulations and customs concerning the Sabbath and their ceremonies about eating and washing and his associations with publicans and sinners. Their opposition culminated in their putting him to death. On the other hand Jesus also rejects the Jews. John calls them a generation of vipers and Jesus designated them with such terms as hypocrites, blind guides and whited sepulchers, the climax being reached in chapter 23. It is here that in their wickedness they are unable to discern between the work of God and of Beelzebub. They are told of the application of Isaiah's prophecy, that they have ears and hear not and that on account of their unworthiness, the kingdom is taken from them. The blasting of the fig tree with which the miracles of Matthew ends shows what is to be the fate of the Jewish nation.

7. It Is a Jewish Gospel. This is seen in his use of Jewish symbols, terms and numbers without explanation. He never explained the meaning of a Jewish word, such as Corban, nor of a custom, such as to say that the Jews eat not except they wash. The other evangelists do. He calls Jerusalem by the Jewish terms, "City of the great king," and "Holy City," and Christ the "Son of David" and the "Son of Abraham." He speaks of the Jewish temple as the temple of God, the dwelling place of God and the holy place. The genealogy is traced to Abraham by three great Jewish events of history. All this would be calculated to win the Jews, but, much more, the sixty-five quotations from the Old Testament and the oft repeated attempt to show that deeds and sayings recorded were that the "Scripture (or saying) might be fulfilled." And, while not seeing as much in the numbers as Plummer and others, one can hardly believe that all numbers, so characteristic of Jews, are accidental here. The genealogy has three fourteens being multiples of seven. There are fourteen parables, seven in one place and seven in another. There are seven woes in chapter 23. There are twenty miracles separated into two tens. The number seven usually, if not always, divides into four and three, the human and the divine. Of the seven parables in chapter 13, four touch the human or natural while three refer to the divine or spiritual side of his kingdom. There are seven petitions in the Lord's prayer, the first three relating to God and the last four to man. A like division is perhaps true in the beatitudes.

Subject of Matthew

The Kingdom of God or of Heaven.

Outline of Book of Matthew

  I. The Beginning of the Kingdom, 1:1-4:16.

1. Jesus, the King, is the Old Testament Messiah, chs. 1-2.

2. Jesus, the King, is prepared for his work, 3:1-4:16.

  II. The Proclamation of the Kingdom, 4:17-16:20.

1. The beginning of the proclamation, 4:17 end.

2. By the Sermon on the Mount, chs. 5-7.

3. By the miracles and connected teachings, chs. 8-9.

4. By the sending of the Twelve and subsequent teachings and miracles, chs. 10-12.

5. By the seven parables and subsequent miracles, chs. 13-14.

6. By the denunciation of the Pharisees with attendant miracles and teachings, 15:1-16:12.

7. By the Great Confession, 16:12-20.

III. The Passion of the Kingdom, 6:21-27 end.

1. Four predictions of the passion with intervening discourses and miracles, 16:21-26:2.

(A) At Caesarea Philippi, 16:21-17:21.

(B) In Galilee near Capernaum, 17:22-20:16.

(C) Near Jerusalem, 20:17-22 end.

(D) At Jerusalem, 23:1-26:2.

2. The events of the Passion, 26:3-27 end.

 IV. The Triumph of the Kingdom, Ch. 28.

1. The resurrection of the King, 1-15.

2. Provision for the propagation of the Kingdom, 16-20.

Study and Discussion Questions for Matthew.

(1) Some events of Christ's childhood, (a) The story of the Magi. (b) The massacre of the infants, (c) The flight to Egypt, (d) The return to Nazareth.

(2) Two miracles, (a) Cure of the blind man, 9:27-31. (b) Fish with money in its mouth, 17:24-27.

(3) Ten Parables, (a) The Tares, 13:24-30. (b) The draw net, 13:47-50. (c) The unmerciful servant. 18:23-25. (d) The laborers in the vineyard, 20:1-16. (e) The two sons, 21:28-32. (f) The marriage of the king's son, 22:1-14. (g) The hidden treasure. 24:44. (h) The pearl, 24:45-46. (i) The ten virgins. 25:1-13. (j) The talents, 25:14-30.

(4) Ten passages in Christ's discourses: (a) Parts of the Sermon on the Mount, chs. 5-7. (b) Revelation to babes, 11:25-27. (c) Invitations to the weary, 11:28-30. (d) About idle words, 12:36-37. (e) Prophecy to Peter, 16:17-19. (f) Humility and forgiveness, 18:14-35. (g) Rejection of the Jews, 21:43. (h) The great denunciation, ch. 23. (i) The judgment scene, 23:31-46. (j) The great commission and promise, 28:16-
20.

(5) Some terms by which Jesus is designated in Matthew should be studied. Let the student make a list of the different places where each of the following terms are used and from a study of the passages compared with any others form opinions as to the significance of the term, (a) Son of Abraham, (b) Son of David, (c) Son of man, (d) Son of God, (e) Christ, the Christ, (f) Jesus, (g) Lord, (h) Kingdom of heaven or Kingdom of God.

(6) Make a list of all the places where the expression "That the saying (or scripture) might be fulfilled" and tabulate all the things fulfilled.

(7) Show how many times and where the phrase "The Kingdom of Heaven" (or of God) occurs and from a study of these passages tabulate in list the nature, characteristics and purpose of the Kingdom.

(8) Make a list of all the places mentioned and become familiar with the history and geography of each and memorize the leading events connected with each.