Thursday, February 16, 2006

NT06 - Catching up - why was Stephen set up?

I have been keeping up with the reading, mostly. But I am waaaay behind in the blogging. So let's pick up at the end of Acts 6, where Stephen gets arrested.

The setting is in the first few years after Jesus' earthly ministry, "in those days when the number of disciples was increasing." Acts 6:7 contains an interesting tidbit: "a large number of priests became obedient to the faith."

Priests were becoming believers in ha'Mashioch. Levites were starting to think that this carpenter's son from Hicksville was The One.

This was a challenge to the religious power structure.

Especially, it seemed to challenge the belief system of the Hellenic Jews, as we see in verse 9. Now, I don't claim to be an expert in the religious practices of 1st-century CE Hellenic Jews in Jerusalem. (If you are, or if you have links to the same, please leave a comment.)

But anyone who has spent time around people can attest to the fact that folks don't like boat-rockers. Especially if you've just climbed into the boat. Newton's third law applies.

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