Questioning Ephesians part 1

12 Dec

I’m going to be teaching through Ephesians I believe this upcoming January so I thought I’d take the next week or two and ask as many questions as I can while I read through the text? Feel free to throw in some of yours!

Ephesians 1:1a

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,”

Who is “Paul”?
Wasn’t his name originally Saul? Why did it change? Is there any history behind the names of Saul and Paul? How did he go from being a Jew to being a Christian? In fact, are those distinct categories or is one an extension of another?
It sounds like a guy named Paul wrote this letter. Why do we say that God wrote the Bible? How does that work? If God wrote it how could a human be involved? Did Paul write his letters or did he have a scribe? Where did he write this letter from? If it was from jail, what was jail like back then? Why did he land in jail in the first place? What is so wrong with being a Christian? How do you get arrested if your primary occupation is “lover”?
Who did Paul learn under? What city was he born in? What city did he grow up in? How did he become affiliated with the church? How did he become a leader? What was his relation in role to the church? Was he a pastor? Was he an elder? What is an apostle? What are the qualifications? Can women be apostles? Did Paul and Jesus live at the same time? Did Paul know Jesus? If not what were his sources? How did the church’s recognize that Paul had authority to lead them? Did they accept him at first or did it take time?

Who is “Christ Jesus”?
What does “Jesus” mean? Is this the way that we pronounce it today and it sounds different in it’s mother tongue? How common was the name? What does “Christ” mean? Does it have any roots in the Hebrew scriptures or was it just picked up from the language of the day? How would a Jewish person view this title? How would a Greek view this title? How would a Roman soldier feel about this? Can they be used in interchangeable order and still make sense? If Paul is Jesus’ apostle it means that he is doing something for Jesus. What is Paul doing that Jesus can’t do?

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