Monday, June 8, 2015

Critique of A.D. The Bible Continues, Brothers at Arms



Here is the beginning of the record we have about Candace's eunuch. Whether or not he is in the next episode depicting this remains to be seen.
Acts 8:26-28
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. KJV
The first scene featuring the eunuch shows him entering Jerusalem and how he is greeted by the Roman soldiers. I have no problem with this at all because we are not told anything about. I also have no problem with the scene that shows Caiaphas, the High Priest, delivering the scroll of Isaiah to the eunuch. In both scenes we know the eunuch came to Jerusalem to worship and we know Phillip found him trying to understand it on his way home to Ethiopia.

One of the problems of this episode is that of chronology, which is very simple to follow. For example, everything we know about the eunuch is recorded (Acts 8:27-39) while Saul is still wreaking havoc on the church (Acts 9:1). This episode shows Saul with the other disciples and apostles as buddies when they were still archenemies.

I did find it very interesting how the Jews and Zealots were throwing around the word "cult" to refer to the "followers of that/the way," as they were first called (See Acts 19:9 but spake evil of that way). Outsiders called them cult members now insiders call other members with whom they do not agree as cult members! So ironic.

Near the end of the episode we have one of the funnier scenes of Saul ministering healing to a sick girl that I believe he called Tabitha. (I could have heard him wrong). We have already seen that even if Saul had been there, which he wasn't, it was Peter who was doing the ministering to one called Tabitha, who was not sick, but dead! I don't know, maybe this was someone else and Peter will raise her next week, because a scene from next week showed someone raising someone from what appeared to be the dead. We'll see.
Acts 9:36-40
36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.healing, cult,eunuch, Ethiopia
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. KJV
The thing that was funny to me in the scene of Saul ministering to the girl was that the words he was saying were like he was reading directly from Romans 8:35-39!

The final scene of the apostles and disciples sending Saul away to his hometown of Tarsus was very good. It would have been even better had it been 3 years later.
Acts 9:29-30
29 And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. 30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. NASB
 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A.D. The Bible Continues--Saul Returns (or, Did He?)


For those of you who may be following the highly entertaining 
http://www.nbc.com/ad-the-bible-continues, there was not a lot in the last show that was biblically accurate. There may have been a lot of historical aspects that were true but I cannot attest to that.

What I can attest to is what the Bible says:

Gal 1:15-20
 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me (Saul) so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, 

I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 

17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; 
but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. 

18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. 
NASU

As you can see, Saul did not go to Jerusalem to meet any of the apostles for at least 3 years after his conversion. When this occurred I do not at this writing definitively know. It could have happened "immediately after he took food and was strengthened" in 9:19a or he could have gone into Arabia after verse 25. All I really know is that sometime after his conversion he went to Arabia and did not go to Jerusalem for at least 3 years afterwards.

If all one read was the book of Acts for your script, this is what you would see and what you saw in the TV show:
Acts 9:19-30

Now for several days he (Saul) was with the disciples who were at Damascus, (at this point, who they were we don't know, because it doesn't say),

20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." 

21 And all those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?" 

22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ. 

23 And when many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, 

24 but their plot became known to Saul. And they were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;

 25 but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket. (Depicted very well).


HERE IS WHEN WE RUN INTO SOME DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY. THE NEXT VERSE SAYS when he had come to Jerusalem; NOT THEN HE WENT TO JERUSALEM. 
26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. (This was at least 3 years after his conversion, mind you). 
I really like how Saul is portrayed in the show, very energetic, very bubbly. After he was caught by the prison guards in Jerusalem (which did not happen) one of the guards said to him when he was behind bars, "You just couldn't keep your mouth shut, could you?" Ha!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Critique of the A.D. series The Bible Continues


For those of you who have been following A.D. The Bible Continues  (http://www.nbc.com/ad-the-bible-continues/video/the-road-to-damascus/2866552), this segment was pretty good and accurate concerning Saul's conversion, with the following exceptions:

No one was ever healed in Jesus' name only. Healing was done  in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ or the Lord Jesus, but never "You are healed in the name of Jesus."

No one after Pentecost was ever baptized according to Matthew 28:19, (known as the Great Commission), "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
After Simon the sorcerer offered Peter money for the ability to heal people, clouds, lightening and thunder did not appear in the sky as an ominous threat to Simon. Peter did not beg anyone for forgiving Simon.
In Acts 9:17-18 Paul received his sight back and simultaneously received the baptism of the holy spirit. Acts 9:17 says, "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled, pletho, with  holy spirit.

Pletho means filled to overflowing, not just to the brim. On Pentecost and since then, whenever anyone pletho'd holy spirit, they spoke in tongues, the sign that the baptism from the Holy Ghost had been received! Amen!
Vs. 18 reads, And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he both received his sight  and the baptism of holy spirit, then arose and ate. No water involved.

Jesus sent Ananais to give Saul back his sight and fill him with the gift of holy spirit. Paul had nothing to do but believe and receive. He didn't ask to be healed of his blindness or to be baptized as the TV show portrayed.

Barnabas was not there either with Ananais. He is not mentioned until Saul gets to Jerusalem in Acts 9:27