Paul's writings, because of their complexity, are frequently twisted to say that he was anti-law. By denigrating God's law, the unconverted set their own standards.
When Hebrews was written, the newly converted Jew to the Way encountered persecution from the established religion and culture similar to what we experience.
The martyrdom of Stephen had the paradoxical effect of spreading the Gospel into Gentile venues, enabling individuals like Cornelius to be added to Christ.
Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.
Had Paul not appealed to Caesar, Agrippa (moved by Paul's testimony and convinced of his innocence) would have set him free. But God had other plans.
God wants to protect His investment in us, calling those whom He knows will exercise the zeal, and willingness to sacrifice, to complete the project.
The book of Hebrews' audience consisted of converts from Judaism, suffering estrangement from family and community, excommunicated from the temple.
Stephen's martyrdom and his compassion on his persecutors, followed by the reaction against his brutal murder, resulted in a rapid spreading of the Gospel.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his appraisal of humanism as an alternative to religion, suggests that humanism pervades the entire spectrum of the arts and the sciences, as well as theology. Because this world's educational system is so immersed in humanism, people are unaware of the depths of their entrapment, and that they are …
Martin Collins, reflecting on the martyrdom of Stephen, affirms that his martyrdom indicated that this wholesale persecution on Christianity, from the leaders to the rank and file, indicated that Christianity was a revolutionary idea whose time had come. The institution feeling the greatest threat was Judaism, with the Pharisee …