Read the posted document called Backgrounds. Read Acts 7:54 – 8:3 where Saul of Tarsus is introduced. Read his conversion story in Acts 9: 1-31 and 22:3 -30 where he (as reported by Luke) tells his story. Also read some of the things he (as Paul) later wrote about himself in Galatians 1:11-14, and Philippians 3:1-8. Then read Bruce, pages 32-52, 69-94, 126-133.
Complete the following fill-in-the-blank style questions. Key in the answer in place of the blank line. Each blank is worth 3 points.
1. The vast dispersion of Jews throughout the Roman Empire is called The
2. Tarsus, the city of Paul’s birth was within the borders of the modern country called ______________.
3. The original Jewish temple in Jerusalem was built by ______________.
4. Jewish priests were descendants of Aaron of the tribe of ________.
5. A Jewish religious sect that did not believe in angels were the ______________.
6. In the first century, the language of common Palestinian Jews was __________.
7. The Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament) is called the ____________.
8. The Jewish High council was called the __________.
9. Alexander the Great consolidated his Empire by means of a concept called _____________, derived from a word that means “Greek.”
10. The Jewish revolt led by Judas Maccabeus resulted in an annual feast called _____________.
11. The Roman Emperor who ruled at the time of Paul’s death was _______.
12. ___________________ was the Idumean ruler who rebuilt and added to the Jewish temple that stood in the time of Jesus and the Apostle Paul.
13. The Greek philosophers known as the Stoics were founded by _________.
14. Before his acceptance of Jesus as Messiah, Saul of Tarsus was a devout ___________, the name for a specific separatist sect of the Jews.
15. Saul was educated under a great teacher named ____________.
16. The city of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple were destroyed in the year AD 70 by the Roman army led by a general named _________.
17. In modern Jerusalem, on the site of the ancient Jewish Temple, there is a Muslim edifice called ____________________.
18. Two Roman procurators who governed Judea during the time of Paul’s apostolic ministry were ____________ and ______________.
19. Besides Judaism, traditional religions, and the Greek philosophies, in Paul’s day there were also various exotic cults known broadly as the _________________.
The next section is discussion. Write about half a page each, single spaced (10 points each). Mention any resources you draw from.
1. Discuss what it meant to be a Roman citizen in Paul’s day. How were citizens better off than the slave class?
2. Summarize Saul’s conversion experience and how he describes himself in various New Testament texts. In what ways do you see this as a dramatic life change?
3. Who was Barnabas? List and detail his appearances in the Book of Acts. Describe his importance in assisting Paul to get acquainted with Christians.
4. Discuss social, political, and religious factors that contributed to the rapid spread of Christianity during the first century.