Showing posts from November, 2014

The Story of Philip

We looked at Stephen, one of the seven deacons, last week. This week we look at someone who is believed to have been another deacon, Philip. But first we’ll take a brief digression into the life of someone rather more famous: Saul. 1.        What was the Christian church in Jerusalem like before Stephen died?   How much had it grown? What sort of opposition had it faced? What sort of structures had it developed? 2.        What was the Christian church in Jerusalem like after Stephen died? Read Acts 8:1-3 How far did the Christians scatter? 3.        What type of person was Saul? Read Acts 7:58, 8:3, Galations 1:13-14 4.        Clearly lots of people stayed in Jerusalem in spite of persecution. How might those who stayed have felt about those who left? When churches split, how do we expect to feel about those who “leave”? Philip leaves Jerusalem and goes to preach in Samaria. 1.        Which Philip do you think this is—Philip the apostle or Philip the deac

The Story of Stephen

Our group will be meeting to look at the story of Stephen soon - a familiar enough tale - so here are the questions we'll be looking at:   The last study ended with a group of deacons being chosen. Today we’re going to follow what happened to one of them, but before we start, what do you remember of the story of Stephen? 1.        What kind of person is Stephen? a.        Read Act 6:1,5. Stephen either is a Hellenist, or is approved by them. But what are Hellenists? b.       The Hellenists were centered in Alexandria, viewed with some suspicion in Jerusalem for blending with non-Jewish culture; prominent in Tarsus and Antioch; famous for producing the Septuagint, the phrase “circumcision of the heart,” and some apocryphal books;   disappeared in 2 nd century, perhaps absorbed into Christianity. Are there Christian groups that we view with suspicion; are there groups we accuse of blending faith too closely with culture? Do we treat them differently? c.        Re