New Testament: Book of Act
The Book of Acts is a narrative that explains the story of Jesus Christ, his work, death, resurrection, and gifts to the people and the disciples. The book primarily focuses on the founding of the Christian church. Historians believe that the Acts and the Book of Luke were written by Luke around the period 60-62 AD. The book of Acts is a revelation of the Acts of the Apostles with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the first twelve chapters of which explain the work of Peter and the last sixteen - the works of Paul. The book of Luke narrates about the salvation and enlightenment of hardened hearts as seen in the experience and the change of philosophy by Paul/Saul. The major purpose of the book is to study the origin and the spread of the Church from Jerusalem to other major cities, for example Rome. In the Book of Acts, the promise given by Jesus Christ to send a gift of the Holy Spirit in order to guide the Apostles and disciples is fulfilled. Several major events are described in the book, including the conversation of Saul, the persecutor to Paul the apostle (Acts 21:17, New International Version), or the start of the church in Jerusalem after the death of Stephen (Acts 1:7). Notable characters from the book include Peter, Paul, Stephen, Barnabas, Silas and Lydia.
New Testament: Paul/ Saul
Saul was a persecutor of the first twelve disciples. Being born around 5BC to 5AD, he was a Roman by birth and Jewish by bloodline. On his mission to Damascus aimed at killing and persecuting Christians, Paul encountered God in form of lighting and was made blind (Acts 9:1-19). Later, when the prophet Ananias restored his eyesight, he referred to him as ‘Brother Saul.’ Later in Acts 13:9 Island of Cyprus his names changes to Paul. After the miracle, Paul/Saul preaches and proclaims the authenticity of Jesus Christ in Damascus, thereby, surprising majority of people who knew him as ‘Saul, the persecutor.’ The Jews in Jerusalem were angered by the conversion of Saul or Paul, and planned his murder. However, Saul escapes to Jerusalem where he continues preaching. There he also joins the disciples of Jesus Christ, but they were afraid of him until Barnabas confirmed that he was a changed man. When the disciples had received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they continued their work with Paul. Later, as murder plots against Paul increased, the disciples took him to Caesarea and then to Tarsus. Furthermore, Paul traveled to Judea, Galilee and Samaria launching churches and gaining numerous followers. However, when preaching in Rome, he got imprisoned for two years. The death of Paul is not recorded, but Roman records reveal that he was martyred in Italy by beheading.
New Testament: Jerusalem
The City of Jerusalem has religious significance in the Bible since it is the Capital City of the Judah. Jerusalem is located inland with Egypt to the South, Edom, Moab, and Ammon to west and Philistia to the East. Judah emerged around the year 9 BCE, and Jerusalem was emerged around 7 BCE for the first time. The City has been constructed, conquered, destroyed and rebuilt several times. The Philistines, Egyptians, Armenians and Syrians all took part in the demises of Jerusalem. Yet, Jerusalem was restored successfully during the times of several Kings including David. The location in the Eastern of the Mediterranean led to destruction of the Kingdom several times as Egyptians, Syrians and Neo-Babylonian empires fought for territory. Finally, Jerusalem was rebuilt during the time of King David, and sustained through the time of Solomon. Several books quote Jerusalem including Acts, Luke, Mark, John, and Mathew mainly as a religious center. After David rebuilt the City with its walls, he brought back the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6). Later, God commanded Solomon to build him a temple in Jerusalem. In the New Testament, the apostles established the first Church in Jerusalem and it is also the location of the temple where Jesus was first presented to the church (Luke 2:21-40).
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