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Category Archives: Persecution

The Death of Agrippa

It is interesting as we come to the end of Acts 12 that Herod should die at the hand of God. Josephus, who never puts Agrippa in a bad light, seems to agree, in that Herod himself saw an owl and took it as an omen from God announcing his death [Josephus: Antiquities 19.8.2]. Therefore, although put in different words, Josephus and Luke agree that God killed Herod, because he accepted without rebuke the praise of the people saying he was a god! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Agrippa Abode in Caesarea

According to Josephus, the Jewish historian in the 1st century CE, Herod Agrippa of Acts 12 “loved to live continually at Jerusalem” and each day offered the prescribed sacrifice of Israel’s king [Josephus: Antiquities 19.7.3]. If this is true, then his leaving for Caesarea should be taken as an indication of his embarrassment over Peter’s escape (cp. Acts 12:19). Certainly, it should be understood that Agrippa would leave Jerusalem from time to time to conduct civil business that needed personal attention that was impossible to accommodate from Jerusalem, but Josephus says his normal abode was in Jerusalem. Yet, Luke claims that Agrippa left Jerusalem and abode in Caesarea (Acts 12:19). Josephus says this occurred when Agrippa was three years into his reign over Jerusalem [Antiquities 19.8.2]. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Mary, the Mother of Mark

As soon as Peter understood that he was not having a vision but was actually delivered from Herod’s sword (Acts 12:11), he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12)! Something we notice, and it can be disconcerting, is that the Gospel writers, including Luke’s work in Acts, simply mention a name and often without further instruction that would help us identify them further. Who is Mary, the mother of Mark, and how does she seem so important that Peter’s first choice as he is about to flee Jerusalem is to go to her home, expecting that she could be trusted to tell James, the Lord’s brother, and anyone else that needed to know his whereabouts (Acts 12:13-17)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Kingdom of God, Persecution

 

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Herod’s Official Story about Peter?

After the death of James, Agrippa turned his attention toward Peter (Acts 12:3), the apparent leader of the Messianic movement in Jerusalem. Luke tells us that Agrippa realized that “the Jews” (read the powerful Annas family) were pleased with what he had done with John’s brother, James (Acts 12:1-3), and, being the man-pleaser that he was (see Antiquities 19.7.3),  Agrippa then made it his business to vex the Church of God and seized Peter, intending to execute him after the Passover feast days (Acts 12:3). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Herod Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Persecution Renewed Under Agrippa

Herod Agrippa, the father of King Agrippa of Acts 25 and 26, is mentioned by Luke as beginning the second phase of the official Jerusalem persecution against believing Jews. Claudius Caesar had made him king over all the lands of his grandfather, Herod the Great, in order to calm the unrest in Rome’s eastern frontier province of Syria, which included Judea. Caligula had recently brought Rome and Jerusalem to the brink of war, so the new emperor wanted to smooth over Rome’s relations with the Jews and did so by making Agrippa king of the Jews. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Agrippa, Persecution

 

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Jesus and Raising the Dead

In Acts 9:36-43 we have Luke’s recording of the miracle of Peter raising Tabitha or Dorcas from the dead. This is the first account of anyone after Christ raising anyone from the dead, which causes me to wonder why the believers at Joppa would believe Peter should be called to raise up this woman who did so many good works. What would cause them to believe that Peter could raise up Tabitha? I am not alone in believing that they had sent for Peter before Tabitha died. Otherwise, why tell Peter to hurry. Jesus didn’t hurry to raise up Lazarus, so, if Tabitha had already died, why would it be necessary for Peter to hurry? In any case what Jesus did through Peter here, he also did through Paul at Acts 20:9-12; but what does all this mean—what is Luke telling us, or more immediately his addressee, Theophilus? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Persecution

 

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The Power of God to Heal

In Acts 9:32-35 we have an account of Peter healing an impotent man. He lay in his bed paralyzed, unable to walk and perhaps unable to even use his arms. I believe this account and the next miracle immediately following is very important for Luke’s message in that these are the final recorded miracles performed by Jesus through Peter in Acts. Paul performed a similar miracle at Lystra in Asia in Acts 14:8 and following. What are we to think of these things? What is Luke telling us? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Gospel, Persecution

 

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