Acts 13-14

How familiar are you with Greek Mythology? If you aren’t, I suggest you investigate the basics. 

I had never considered that my knowledge of Greek Mythology would help me study the Bible. I have been teaching on Ephesians for the Discipleship Training School I’m working with at YWAM Salem. Something we empathize is getting in to the cultural mindset of the original reader. How would I understand Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as a first century Ephesian?

This applies to much of the New Testament letters. Even Acts! Anything directed toward Gentiles should presuppose their theological frame of reference was Zeus, Mt. Olympus, etc. That’s what makes chapter 14 come to life. 

Zeus was the ultimate. Heaven was unattainable. The gods didn’t care about people. They were selfish, usually over-sexed and made a lot of drunken mistakes that mankind paid for. There is no hope for power among mortals and no real purpose to life except “eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”

Now they hear something else: The true God is the God of the Jews and He just did something really self-less to grant us freedom from sin and adoption into His family. We now have all the spiritual blessings of heaven! And people can be healed! No wonder the Gentiles erupted in celebration when they heard eternal life was made available to them!

Take time today to ask yourself questions of your own cultural frame of reference. Where is hope? What’s your identity based on? Is there anything you’re holding on to that aligns with culture and not with the Word? Who does God say you are?

-Bethany

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