Lesson 6--Paul the Apostle

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What were the circumstances leading up to Paul’s first missionary journey?

Acts 13:1-3

Is there a difference between the "prophets" and the "teachers" mentioned here in the church at Antioch, or are those words simply describing the same people? From the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:28, "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers,…," it would appear that there is a difference. The exact nature of the difference, however, is nowhere spelled out in the New Testament. A prophet can be defined as someone who either "tells forth" the gospel or "foretells" future events. Since we have no record of any of these men prophesying future events we can surmise the word here means a gospel preacher. A teacher would have been someone instructing those interested in the faith.

Which of these men were "prophets" and which were "teachers"? The original Greek reads, "Barnabas and Simeon who was called Niger and Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch and Saul." Since the first three names are connected with "and" and the last two names are also connected with "and" it has been suggested that Barnabas, Simeon, and Lucius were the prophets, while Manaen and Saul were the teachers. If a division is necessary, this is perhaps the best suggestion.

Who was Paul’s traveling companion?

Acts 13:2

What name does Luke give Paul and Barnabas?

Acts 14:14

4. What is an "apostle"?

John 13:16

How is the word "apostle" used in the Bible?

Matthew 10:2

Philippians 2:25

Galatians 1:19

What were the necessary qualifications for someone to be an "apostle of Jesus Christ"?

Acts 1:21-22

1 Corinthians 9:1

2 Corinthians 1:1

Discussion Topics:

The New Testament indicates that the apostles were a special gift to the Church (Cf. Ephesians 4:7-11). What special roles and purposes did the apostles fulfill?

Discuss the nature of the divine call in the public ministry today. Compare and contrast calls today with the call received by Paul and Barnabas through the church in Antioch.