Audience

Some scholars believe it was written for Jewish Christians who lived in Jerusalem.  The essential purpose was to exhort these Jewish Christians to persevere in the face of persecution.  At this time, certain believers were considering turning back to Judaism or the Jewish Torah to escape being persecuted for accepting Jesus Christ as their savior.  As a follower of Christ, they were under a system of grace.  They were saved by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  One main theme of this epistle to the Hebrews is the doctrine about the person of Jesus Christ with his role as the mediator between God and humanity.  Would you persevere in the face of persecution?

Audience

Paul claimed the title of the “Apostle to the gentiles”, and established gentile churches in several important cities in the Roman Empire.  This work is addressed to the Thessalonians.  Acts of the Apostles, chapter 17:1-15 tells a story of Paul’s journeys.  In these reports, “some” Jews converted during Paul’s initial preaching in Thessalonica.  However, the gentiles who were converted were “a large number”.  Nevertheless, some Jews in Thessalonica fiercely opposed Paul’s work there.  Do you consider yourself a gentile?

Audience

Luke-Acts was written to be read aloud to a group of Jesus-followers gathered in a house to share the Lord’s supper.  The author assumes an educated Greek-speaking audience, but directs his attention to specifically Christian concerns rather than to the Greco-Roman world at large.  Thus, Luke–Acts was intended as a work of “edification,” the empirical demonstration that virtue is superior to vice.  Acts was read as a reliable history of the early church well into the post-Reformation era, but by the 17th century biblical scholars began to notice that it was incomplete and had a theological program.

The cost of a building (Lk 14:28-14:28)

“Which of you,

Intending

To build

A tower,

Does not first

Sit down

And calculate

The cost?

You have to see

Whether you have enough

To complete it.”

 

Τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων πύργον οἰκοδομῆσαι οὐχὶ πρῶτον καθίσας ψηφίζει τὴν δαπάνην, εἰ ἔχει εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν;

 

Luke uniquely has Jesus tell this story about intending or wishing to build a tower (Τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων πύργον οἰκοδομῆσαι).  Did they not first sit down (οὐχὶ πρῶτον καθίσας) and calculate the cost (ψηφίζει τὴν δαπάνην)?  They would want to see if they had enough money to complete it (εἰ ἔχει εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν).  Luke uniquely used the word ἀπαρτισμόν that means completion or perfection.  This story about building a tower would assume a sophistication on the part of his audience.  Very few people would have enough assets to build a tower.  Do you calculate the cost of things before you start something?