What Is An Apostle?


The word apostle is one of several words in the Bible that has not been translated from the original biblical language into English. Instead, the word apostle is a transliteration from Greek into English. Transliteration is the process of taking the letters of a word from one language and substituting them with the equivalent letters of a different language. Translation, on the other hand, is the process of choosing a word in the destination language that has the same meaning as the word in the source language. The word apostle came into the English language from the Greek word apostolos (ἀπόστολος). 

ἀπόστολος  →  apostolos  →  apostle 

As you can see, our English word apostle is composed by substituting the Greek letters with the equivalent English letters. The word hasn’t been translated at all, but is really just an approximation of the sound of the Greek word.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Word Studies

The Reason For The Letter Of 1 Timothy

Reason For The Letter

A study of the book of 1 Timothy is best begun in the middle. It isn’t until the middle of the book that Paul specifically tells us the reason for the letter:

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. (1 Tim. 3:14–15 ESV)

Paul is writing the letter so that the Christians in Ephesus could know how they should conduct themselves as members of God’s family. Even though Paul addressed this letter to Timothy, it would appear it was not meant to be a private letter. The very last words of the letter, “Grace be with you” (1 Tim 6:21), implies a wider audience because “you” is plural. Paul intended for this letter to be read by others in the Ephesian church.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church

1 Timothy: Introduction

1 Timothy: Introduction

1 Timothy: Introduction

Important Facts:

  • Author: The apostle Paul.
  • Date: About AD 65.
  • Reasons for the letter:
    • Instruct Timothy about the false teachers in Ephesus and how to deal with them.
    • Establish guidelines for church practices in Ephesus.
    • To encourage Timothy.

What do we know about Ephesus?

Ephesus was the third largest city in the Roman empire in the first century AD with a population of about 250,000. Only Alexandria and Rome were larger. Ephesus was the leading city in the richest region of the Roman empire. There had been a significant Jewish presence in the city since at least the third century BC.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy

“Put Your Hand Under My Thigh”

Put Your Hand Under My Thigh

2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” (Gen. 24:2–4 ESV)

There are a lot of things in the Bible that are strange and outlandish to us. The traditions and cultures of people in the ancient Near East who lived thousands of years ago were, needless to say, very different from our own. For us it is common to place our right hand on a Bible to take an oath. Abraham had his servant swear by putting his hand under Abraham’s thigh. This is probably one of the most unusual customs in the Bible.

Oath by the thigh

We know very little about this practice of swearing an oath by the thigh. In fact, it seems that every attempt at an explanation raises more questions than it answers. Swearing an oath by placing one’s hand under another person’s thigh only happens two times in the entire Bible. The book of Genesis contains both. 

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Ancient Customs, Genesis

The Cave Of Machpelah

Cave Of Machpelah

Sarah, died at the age of 127 years and her husband, Abraham, buried her in the Cave of Machpelah near Hebron. Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age at the time of death is recorded. This is a reminder of her importance in God’s plan. Herod the Great memorialized the location of her tomb with one of his massive construction projects in the 1st century BC. 

Since Abraham did not own any land in Canaan, he had to purchase a burial place. He approached the sons of Heth to inquire about purchasing a cave to use as a family tomb. Abraham negotiated with Ephron to purchase a piece of land just east of Hebron for four hundred shekels of silver (Gen 23:17-18).

The Cave of the Patriarchs

Abraham buried Sarah “in the cave of the field of Machpelah” (Gen 23:19). When Abraham died forty-eight years later, this is where his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him (Genesis 25:9). Isaac and Rebekah were both buried here (Genesis 49:31). Jacob buried Leah here (Genesis 49:31), and Joseph buried Jacob here (Genesis 50:13).

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Archaeology, Genesis