Silas Wrote Hebrews
Who wrote Hebrews? Where did he write it? When and why did he write Hebrews? This Bible study is the short version, with most of the proofs. For many years I knew all of us Church saints were missing a large piece of the early Church history. What did Paul do after Acts? What did Peter do after Acts was focused on Paul? Why did Luke stop writing Acts in Rome before Paul was acquitted in late 61AD? For many years I have been curious about who wrote Hebrews, and I prayed for God to show someone? There are at least five statements in Hebrews that prove Paul didn't write Hebrews, and several proofs that Silas wrote Hebrews. When you combine those facts with the evidence in Acts you know who wrote Hebrews. A year ago God let me see the pieces that point to one of Paul's ministry leaders, Silas. Then God started getting my attention to see the connections between the four Books written in Rome during Nero's persecution about 67 AD. That was Paul's 2nd imprisonment in Rome. Those Books are: 2nd Timothy, 1st Peter, Hebrews & 2nd Peter. When you realize those four Books were written about the same time, and if you assemble their information in order, then you have a big picture in Rome during Nero's persecution. One more value of this report will be the close friendships of the saints in Rome between those who are ready to go to Heaven and those who stay here and continue doing ministry. This study has been a great blessing to me and Im sure you will feel blessed too. I try to add approximate dates to the different events, to give our friends a general time-line of when different events happened. Those dates also help you follow when I backtrack to fill in more parts of the history.
Before Jesus' birth, God had Herod the Arab make great improvements on Zerubbabel's temple, but Herod was an evil man. The Jews who worked in cooperation with Herod were apostates, they loved money not God. They redesigned Judaism to be based on good works they made up, not worshiping God with salvation by repentance and faith. The Jews of their time were involved in many evil practices, but if they did some purification before Passover they felt OK; That is very much like the Catholic church now. The evil temple leaders influenced the synagogues leaders to be evil too, and how to persecute Christians. You know the unbelieving Jewish leaders killed Jesus and persecuted the Christians. Jesus predicted the temple would be destroyed in Matt. 24:2, Mark 13:2 & Luke 21:6. History tells us that Titus a Roman military commander and his troops burned their temple in 70 AD. The gold melted down between the large stones and those soldiers moved every stone looking for the gold. In the 200's AD some pagans started building a temple for Jupiter that is now called the 'wailing wall'. PLEASE do not get confused and compare modern Jews to be like the Jews who persecuted Christians. We have found many nice FRIENDSHIPS with many modern Jews. And they are glad for kind words from Christians. Modern PERSECUTION comes from the Catholic church and the wealthiest money people around the world, afraid of getting caught and punished. The leaders of the Catholic church and the wealthy money people are all devil worshipers, so they persecute Christians. Most Jews have some sense about those wealthy criminals, but they haven't figured it out enough to take action. Modern Jews have figured that Christians are important for their protection. God will keep all His promises to Abraham's family Israel and the Church can't fulfill those things. If you haven't been standing for the protection of Israel, please start praying for their protection. Another note; we don't agree with everything the nation Israel does, but they are not doing anything the UN accuses them of doing. Bible believing need to find out that evil people have infiltrated the USA govt. and are trying to ruin Israel. And evil people have infiltrated the Israeli govt. trying to destroy them from the inside. The devil inspires them. If the devil can prevent any Bible prophecies to fail, then maybe he has a chance to escape his eternal judgment.
Summary of Acts
A summary of the book of Acts tells us many details about the early Church. The information in the Book of Acts starts about 28 -30 AD and covers to 61 AD. We start this report with this review of Acts pointing and emphasizing some key events in Acts because many of those points are also important to this Bible study. During the gospels, John the Baptizer and Jesus started tearing down the authority of the apostate Jewish temple leaders. Then Acts Ch.1 Jesus goes back up to Heaven, and the 11 apostles picked Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot, while at Mary's and John Mark's house in Jerusalem, near the temple. Ch.2 the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brings a larger conviction of God's holiness to the Earth. Now He talks to every soul: teaching the saved and convicts the unsaved. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit talks to every soul on earth. Also at Pentecost Peter preaches to the Jerusalem temple students - Jews, devout men from every nation..., 3,000 get saved and leave the temple. Some of those students were from Rome, also some visitors from Rome got saved. They went back home and started the Rome Church. Ch.3 Peter and John heal a crippled man, he went into the temple walking, leaping and praising God. Many were amazed and Peter preaches to them and 5,000 Jews got saved. They also leave the temple system and quit giving money to the temple. Ch.4 The temple leaders arrest Peter, James and John, then Peter preaches to them; they command the disciples to quit proclaiming Jesus. The disciples pray for more boldness, and the place was shaken. Barnabas sells his possessions for the needy Christians in Jerusalem, also many more sell their possessions and give. Ch.5 Ananias and Sapphira lie to the Holy Spirit trying to gain fame in the Church, but God kills them, great fear among the Christians brings many more miracles. Ch.6 Large Church growth makes a need for deacons, and among them Stephen is a great preacher that confounded the Jews, and with many signs and wonders, the temple loses more people and money. The temple leaders decide to increase their persecution of Christians starting with falsely accusing Stephen with plans to murder him. Ch.7 Stephen preaches and convicts the evil temple leaders; they murder him while Jesus stands in Heaven to honor Stephen's boldness with great approval. Ch.8 The temple leaders use Saul/Paul at 29 years old to lead their persecution. The first great persecution begins: the Christians scatter and preach the gospel everywhere, and the temple leaders send instructions to the synagogues about how to persecute Christians. Peter and John go to Samaria pray for the new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. Phillip preaches to the Ethiopian leader, baptizes him and the Holy Spirit carries him to Azotus where he preaches in all the cities.
Acts overview cont.: Ch.9 Saul was his Hebrew name, Paul was his Greek name. While Saul was going to Damascus to persecute Christians, Jesus appears to him; Saul/Paul gets saved then preaches to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. Saul/Paul used the Hebrew verses that he memorized in temple school. The Jews in Damascus try to kill Paul; the brethren send him to Jerusalem. Barnabas brings Saul/Paul to meet the apostles because they were afraid of Paul, so they were hiding from him. Ch.10 Peter has a vision proving Jesus made all animals clean, then preaches to Gentiles, Cornelius and family receive the Holy Spirit. Ch.11 James the brother of John argues for Jewish legalism against Peter. The apostles hear about Antioch Church and send Barnabas to see it. Luke has mostly been recording the Church events in Jerusalem until now. It looks like Luke went with Barnabas to see what was happening in Antioch. This is a ministry assignment from the elders in Jerusalem for Barnabas, not a missionary journey. It looks like Luke mostly followed Barnabas then Paul from here on. Luke rarely includes himself in his writings. So it is hard to prove exactly where Luke is most of the time; and our dear brother Luke is not the focus of this report. Barnabas then finds Saul/Paul to teach Antioch believers how to endure Jewish persecution. So Paul joins Barnabas in this ministry assignment. Ch.12 King Herod killed James the brother of John, and almost killed Peter, but Peter corrected his legalism problem, so God sent an angel to lead Peter out of jail. Ch.13 Antioch Church in Syria sends Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey. God used the Antioch Church to send missionaries because the Jerusalem elders didn't get around to sending missionaries.
Ch.14 Paul and Barnabas finish their missionary journey and return to Antioch, Syria. They gave praise reports to Antioch Church, including the miracles. Ch.15 about 50 AD Judiazers or legalism observers came to Antioch and preached their false teaching requiring the Gentile Christians to obey the customs of Moses if they want to be saved. Antioch leaders send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem for a decision on legalism for Gentiles. The apostles in Jerusalem are the Church leaders. The Jerusalem council is headed by the apostles and prophets, and strong Christians in Jerusalem. They were the visible head of the Churches, until Paul and Peter went to Rome in 67 AD. Silas the prophet was one of the elders in Jerusalem, he helped write the council's letter saying Gentiles don't need to obey the customs of Moses, with a few exceptions. Barnabas becomes proud from telling great miracle stories to so many people, the pride shows in his arguments to give John Mark the quitter another chance. Paul ends their friendship. Ch.16 Barnabas goes to Cyprus in his own strength with John Mark.
Acts Ch. 16 cont. Paul starts his 2nd missionary journey with Silas with the blessing of Antioch Church elder's. They started by delivering the Jerusalem council's decision to the Gentiles at the Churches that Paul and Barnabas started. They find Timothy doing ministry in Lystra and Iconium, and he joins the team. God gave Paul a night vision to send them to Philippi, Macedonia. In several months a great Church is established by working with the Jews first. Paul cast out a fortune-telling demon out of a slave girl, so the owners get Paul and Silas beaten and in jail with chains. At night while praying , they are singing hymns to God, and God sends an earthquake to release their chains. Those chains are the same chains in Hebrews 10:34 - one of many proofs that Silas wrote Hebrews. Ch.17 Paul, Silas, and Timothy go to Thessalonica and reasoned with the Jews and Gentile proselytes and another great Church is established; they fled the persecution from unbelieving Jews. In Berea most Jews were interested in the gospel, searching the Scriptures and got saved. That established another great Church, then persecution from unbelieving Jews. The brethren smuggle Paul to Athens while Silas and Timothy strengthen the new believers. Paul preaches in Athens but not much happened. Then Silas and Timothy arrive in Athens. telling Paul about the persecution in Thessalonica. Paul and Silas were worried (1st Thessalonians 3:1 & 5) so they sent Timothy to see how they were doing. When Timothy returned to Athens with their questions, Paul wrote 1st Thessalonians and sent Silas and Timothy to deliver it while Paul traveled to Corinth to watch and pray for them. Ch.18 Paul met Aquila and Priscilla and stayed with them and started making tents together. When Silas and Timothy got to Corinth, Paul started preaching boldly in the synagogue. But the unbelieving Jews rejected the gospel and started a great persecution, as commanded by the Jerusalem temple leaders, and they put on a good act. Paul told the Jews from now on we will go to the Gentiles. That great persecution in Corinth made them all afraid to preach the gospel. About the same time the Thessalonian Church sent messengers with more questions. Paul wrote 2nd Thessalonians to answer those questions, and also asked them to pray for Paul's team in 2nd Thess.3:1-2 that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men... About the same time Silas was thinking that Corinth was a waste of time like Athens; he wanted to give up on Corinth and go to the next city preaching to the Jews. Paul didn't agree, so Silas returned to Jerusalem. Aquila and Priscilla replace Silas (we look closer at that later in this report.) The persecution was so intense in Corinth that they all became silent. After Silas left, Jesus give a night vision to Paul Do not be afraid, but speak, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city. Paul became the apostle to the Gentiles; Corinth sealed Paul's apostleship to the Gentiles. Im sure Silas went back to Jerusalem to study how to reach more Jews and how to use the Septuagint. Then Paul, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla visit Ephesus. Aquila and Priscilla stay there while Paul and Timothy visit Jerusalem for Passover, then Antioch Syria. That starts Paul's 3rd missionary journey.
Ch.19 Paul, Timothy and Luke return to Ephesus for 3 years. God worked unusual miracles through Paul. Then the famous riot 'great is Artemis of the Ephesians' happens. The legal accusations required Paul to fight with beasts at Ephesus 1 Cor. 15:32. Ch.20 And Priscilla and Aquila did a brave work to save Paul's life, who risked their own necks for my life... Romans 16:4. Paul, Timothy and team go to Macedonia; Aquila and Priscilla return home to Rome. The Holy Spirit starts marching Paul toward Jerusalem. Paul went to say good-bye personally to the Churches in Macedonia and spent Passover in Philippi. The Churches in Philippi and Achaia always remained dear friends with Paul, Timothy, and Silas. Ch.21 Paul tells the Churches good-bye because he expects to die in Jerusalem or Rome. That ended Paul's 3rd missionary journey and starts Paul's prison journey to Jerusalem then Rome. When they arrive in Jerusalem, James the half brother of Jesus is the senior elder, because Peter and Silas had already left Jerusalem. The temple leaders try to kill Paul but Roman soldiers rescue him. Ch.22 But Paul insists to speak to the crowd and the commander allows Paul to preach to those same Jews; they listen until he tells them Jesus sent him to preach the gospel to Gentiles. Again they wanted to kill Paul. Ch.23 The commander arranged a meeting with Paul and the temple leaders; Paul defends himself and preaches to temple elders. That night Jesus told Paul ... you must also bear witness at Rome. The temple leaders make another attempt to kill Paul; the Roman govt. sends Paul to Caesarea. Ch.24 The temple leaders make official legal accusations against Paul; he defends himself and also preaches to Roman officials. Paul appeals his case to the emperor in Rome. Ch.25-26 Paul preaches to more Roman officials with higher ranking authority in Judea. Ch. 27 The Roman govt. reaches all around the Mediterranean Sea, but they used trade ships as transportation for smaller matters, including the transportation of prisoners, and religious prisoners. The centurion Julius with soldiers and a few prisoners were on their way to Rome by trade ship. They sailed into a winter storm system; an angel tells Paul he will get to Rome and all passengers will get saved, then the shipwreck. All of the legal papers against Paul by the temple leaders, went to the bottom of the sea. Ch.28 Paul did healings on Malta and became a hero. Then Paul in Rome is in a rented house, under house arrest with a guard, there Paul preached to the Jewish leaders who came. Paul was held in Rome for 2 years and the Churches in Rome were established as Paul predicted in Romans 1:11. Luke ends Acts to use his writings as evidence to defend Paul in court. It worked, Paul was acquitted and released for 5 more years. That next 5 years will be Paul's 4th missionary journey and equally as valuable as the other 3 journeys; and it will be his last missionary journey, ending with his execution in Rome about 67 AD. We get a closer look at those things later in this study.
Evidence Within Hebrews About It's Author
Let's look at some evidence that proves Paul didn't write Hebrews. In Hebrews 2:3 the writer is talking about how he heard the gospel which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. Silas just said that he didn't hear Jesus preach, and he wasn't taught by Jesus directly; the gospel was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. That excludes Paul from being the writer of Hebrews; this writer cannot be an apostle. One of the most important requirements to be an apostle is they had to be personally trained by Jesus. Paul was strong and out-spoken in Galatians that he got his gospel message from Jesus. Galatians 1:11 I make known to you brethren, that the gospel that was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it (from man), but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2:3 all by itself that verse proves that Paul didn't write Hebrews, but there is more to see.
The Book of Hebrews quotes the Greek Septuagint more than two dozen times. Paul never quoted from the Septuagint, not once, because Paul memorized the Hebrew Scriptures in his youth. Paul always quoted Hebrew Scripture. When Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus spoke in Hebrew I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language... Acts 26:14. This is more proof Paul used the Hebrew language in Acts 9:20-22. After Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, he got saved. Paul didn't need to go back to school and learn different Scriptures that prove that Jesus is the Christ. No, it says Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues... and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. Paul memorized those verses in the Hebrew language during his youth. Paul used the Hebrew Scriptures, not the Septuagint. The Book of Hebrews is written by someone else, not Paul. But the profound systematic logic of Hebrews is similar to Paul's deep theology, because it's Paul's ministry partner Silas. That is the type of person you would expect Paul to have with him on a missionary journey. Im sure Silas knew the Hebrew language and the Hebrew Scriptures before he met Paul. Silas also spoke Greek. But he decided to learn the Septuagint later, as we plan to see later in this report.
Some people try to say maybe Barnabas wrote Hebrews, but that is impossible for several reasons: Barnabas had the spiritual gift of evangelist, and he was gifted with giving and encouraging. We do not have any evidence that those gifts were used by God to write Scripture. Barnabas was not an apostle or prophet. Barnabas never wrote other Scripture. Barnabas was a nice man, but he had several big problems. Barnabas got confused in the legalism hypocrisy in Galatians 2:13; so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But Paul was not confused and Paul rebuked Peter and the others publicly for their error. Paul's rebuke in Gal. 2:13 proves that Paul had spiritual seniority and spiritual authority over Barnabas and all of those who stumbled there. We saw in Acts 15:37-39 where Barnabas got puffed up with pride by telling all of those great miracle stories. That pride also tells us that the power of God was not upon Barnabas, but was upon Paul for those miracles, because Paul had a strong measure of holy fear. So any miracles Barnabas did were under the watchful care of Paul. That argument in Acts 15:37-39 happened because Barnabas had too soft a judgment on John Mark, but the Church elders sided with Paul. Then Barnabas took off in his own strength. We do not see any proof that Barnabas was restored to any authority. God would not use a person like Barnabas to write Scripture. Another set of evidences against the theory that Barnabas wrote Hebrews. When Paul and Barnabas led Timothy to Christ in Acts 14:6-23, Timothy became a baby Christian. Maybe they encouraged Timothy to try to teach and preach. Paul and Barnabas left Timothy there as a baby Christian. That was the first and only missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas. After Paul and Barnabas left Timothy he had some success, but Paul doesn't know Timothy was successful until Acts 16:1-4 after Barnabas was out of the picture. Paul didn't travel with Timothy until Acts 16:1-4; Paul wanted Timothy to go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him.... That was after Paul parted from Barnabas, that proves that Barnabas and Timothy never traveled on a missionary journey together. But the writer of Hebrews 13:26 said he was getting ready to travel with Timothy; with whom I shall see you... Another problem for the Barnabas theory is in Hebrews 13:24; Those from Italy greet you. We don't have any hint that Barnabas ever traveled to Italy. There isn't any mention about Barnabas after Paul strongly rejected him. We can connect the chains in Acts 16:22-26 and Hebrews 10:34 to Paul and Silas to Philippi, and Timothy was a part of that team with Paul and Silas. A Bible teacher must work with the facts within Hebrews when they try to name the writer. There are many facts that connect Silas to Hebrews.
Some people try to say maybe Dr. Luke wrote Hebrews. We know Luke wrote Scripture as a Gentile historian, but he did not write Church doctrine. Luke got confused by hard truths for example in Acts 14:14 where he called Barnabas an apostle, but there is no evidence that Barnabas traveled with Jesus as a disciple. Luke did not have the knowledge to write commands to Jews as we find in Hebrews, nor did he have the spiritual strength to write commands or instructions to the Churches. Maybe his spiritual gift was evangelist, but he was not an apostle or a prophet. Dr. Luke was in Philippi, and he was with Paul in Rome during Nero's persecution, but his writing style was like a Gentile historian. We have no proof that Luke the Gentile ever studied the temple ceremonies, and why would a Gentile Christian do that? It would be backwards for Luke because Jesus' teachings surpass the temple system. We have lots of Luke's writings, to see Luke's writing style; Luke would not have issued judgments against unbelieving Israelis like Hebrews ch 3, 4, 5, 6 & 10, and we don't see any evidence that Luke would sternly warn Jewish believers who fall back into the temple like Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-31. The Book of Hebrews has many strong messages; those messages are very different from Dr. Lukes writing style. Dr. Luke couldn't have written Hebrews for several reasons.
Silas was a prophet, he had the boldness to write Hebrews, look at Acts 15:32 ... and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words... Silas had the spiritual authority and boldness to exhort a whole Church, and the Church was strengthened. Silas wrote Hebrews to Philippi just before Paul was killed by Nero's troops in Rome about 67AD. One of the reasons Silas wrote to Philippi is in Hebrews 13:23 that he and Timothy were coming to see them.
More notes that show us the writer wasn't Paul; Hebrews 13:23 and with whom I shall see you shortly if he comes. Paul never wondered if Timothy would do what he expected, or told him to do. So Paul didn't write the words if he comes Also the writer of Hebrews was getting ready to travel to Philippi, Macedonia. But Paul said in 2nd Timothy 4:6 he was ready to die the time of my departure is at hand. Paul knew that Nero's troops would kill him and the Book of 2nd Timothy says he wanted to go to Jesus several times: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness. Paul finished his work. But Hebrews 13:23 says our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you.... Silas and Timothy were planning to go see them. Philippi always had a special place in their heart. Remember when Paul was imprisoned in Rome the 1st time; just before he was released, and while he wrote Philippians God told Paul he would be released in Philippians 1:23-25 having a desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better. Nevertheless to remain is more needful for you... I know that I shall remain... That is where and why Paul wanted Silas and Timothy to go to Philippi after Paul was gone. Silas needed a safe place to think, and Timothy needed a safe place to adjust to life after Paul's death. Timothy was there in Ephesus when Paul got arrested for the last time; it was a hateful situation and painful to Timothy being mindful of your tears... in 2nd Timothy 1:4 It was deep and painful grief for Timothy when he saw Paul arrested again with cruelty, and being shipped to Rome a second time; and the Holy Spirit probable indicated to Timothy that it would end with Paul's death. I know those verses don't say that but we know many things about how the Holy Spirit works.
Another reason for writing Hebrews is Silas was asking them to pray for his safety - Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience... in Hebrews 13:18-19. But that is also more proof that Paul didn't write Hebrews. (A) Paul quit asking for prayers for his safety after his early ministry in 1st Thessalonians 5:25 in 51 AD and 2nd Thessalonians 3:1 in 52 AD. After that time Paul went through many deadly trials in his ministry as listed in 2nd Corinthians 11:23-28. When you look at the list of sudden disasters Paul went through, you see there wasn't an opportunity for Paul to ask for prayers before or while he endured stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, risk of death often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils of false brethren, in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often... Paul had to learn to pray for himself, and trust his survival in God's control. In most of those dangers listed, Paul had no way to send out prayer requests. Then Paul's march to Jerusalem and then to Rome solidified his strength; he believed that he would die in Jerusalem or Rome. As a prisoner in Rome he wrote Philippians 1:28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries... Those are several more proofs that Paul didn't write Hebrews.
More proof that Paul was not afraid to die: he saw Heaven before he wrote 2nd Corinthians in 57 AD, when he wrote he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 2nd Cor. 12:4. From 57 AD on to the end of his life Paul knew how good Heaven will be, he would have been glad to go to Heaven, but he stayed here and did God's work out of obedience. The reason God forbid Paul to say what he saw and heard in Heaven is - many people would want to quit and die too soon, before they finish the most important work God has for them. So Paul stayed on Earth and pressed on into the ministry because of obedience, not because he was afraid to die. Paul would not ask for prayer for his safety in Hebrews 13:18-19 Pray for us... I especially urge you to do this, that I may restored to you the sooner. Silas asked for prayer because he was afraid of Nero. And we know why Silas was afraid, because Nero's troops had already killed many thousands of Christians. All Christians in Rome were in serious danger. And remember Paul said in Philippians 1:28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation. Paul did not give into fear of Nero. Paul did not write Hebrews.
The messenger who delivered the Hebrews letter told them about Paul's end, and we can be sure the Philippians prayed for Silas because of their close bond and deep love. Another proof that Hebrews was written by a younger Christian was also in Hebrews 13:18 for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. In that verse Silas said that he examined his conscience and that he is confident he had a good conscience. Silas' conscience was better than almost all humans in history, but it was not as high quality as Paul's conscience as Paul described 55AD in 1st Corinthians 4:4. When Paul talked about his conscience, he said But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court... For I know of nothing against myself. But Silas said for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. That is another proof that Paul didn't write Hebrews. One benefit with this Bible study is to see how mature Paul grew spiritually; that challenges you and me to keep learning and growing closer to Jesus.
Let's go back to 50 AD when Paul, Silas and Timothy went to Philippi, let's look at more details of Paul, Silas, and Timothy's kindred spirit with Philippi. While Paul, Silas, and Timothy were looking for an open door to minister the gospel; God directly sent them to Macedonia starting with Philippi. That relationship was valuable all of their lives, even though the first visit was only a few months, but Paul had many more visits after the first time; see Acts 19:21, 1st Cor. 16:1-6, 2nd Cor. 1:16 & 11:9, Phil. 1:25 & 4:15, and 1st Tim. 1:3. To get more details we need a brief review of several years in Paul's life leading up to Philippi. Please read Acts chapters 7 &1318; if you do you will get so much more from this next section. So we backtrack, back to the stoning of Stephen about 32AD. The temple leaders started a great persecution in Jerusalem and the Christians fled Jerusalem, running for their lives. The temple leaders sent orders to all of the synagogues to exercise persecution against Christians. Paul was one of their best persecution tools until he got saved in 33 AD. The gospel came to Antioch, Syria, ten years later the apostles in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to see if the salvations were real Acts 11:22-26. Yes, the true gospel reached Antioch Syria, but the Jewish persecution was tough in Antioch. That is why Barnabas went to find Paul, to teach the Antioch believers how to survive the persecution and stand - about 43AD. In the years up to 33 AD Paul helped write the curriculum on how to persecute the believers, then after he got saved and had some spiritual maturity, he had the task of teaching the believers how to stand in that persecution. The Antioch Church grew strong, and Paul established the identification Christian in Antioch. Then the Holy Spirit told the Antioch Church elders in 47 AD to sent Barnabas and Paul out on a missionary journey Acts 13:1 (until 49 AD) Acts 14:28. The missionary journey was a great success, and God did many miracles through them. The power of God was on Paul more than Barnabas, because Paul had much more holy fear in his life. When they finished and returned to Antioch, they told the Church brethren all of the great events. The problem was that when Barnabas was telling those great success stories, it damaged Barnabas' humility in a bad way.
While Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch in 49 AD in Acts 15, some Judiazers and troublemakers sent themselves to Antioch to tell the Gentile Christians they must obey the customs of Moses. The Church leaders sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to ask the apostles about that question. The apostles and elders decided that no, the Gentiles don't need to obey all of the extra laws and customs of Moses And the Jerusalem elders sent Silas the prophet and a few others to deliver their decision. Silas and Judas were leading men among the brethren and they actually wrote that decision from the elders in a letter Acts 15:23-29. That letter, the letter that Silas and Judas wrote is in the Bible; that is the first of three writings from Silas that officially became part of Scripture. The second one is 1st Peter and the third is Hebrews. The outward manifestation that pride was causing trouble for Barnabas showed when he wanted to try again to take John Mark on the next trip. Paul had strong rules against trusting quitters. Barnabas was a great Christian and the Book of Acts lists the great things he did, but Barnabas had a dark season in his life because of pride. That ended their friendship. Barnabas took off in his own strength with John Mark, but the Church leaders didn't bless Barnabas. So that trip was a failure. Also, that was a shameful scandal for Barnabas and John Mark, and his mom in Jerusalem. I believe Mary's home is where Pentecost happened, and I believe she asked Peter to help John Mark. Their story has a good ending we see later in this study, that John Mark grew very strong, and I believe that Barnabas probably recovered from his pride.
God had already prepared for this problem. When the messengers from the Jerusalem council returned home, Silas stayed in Antioch; it seemed good to Silas to remain there. In Acts 16:40 Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren. the Church leaders did bless Paul and Silas. They went through all of the Churches delivering the decision from the Jerusalem Council. Silas was a part of the Jerusalem council, so it was a God's blessing to send Silas to help deliver the decision letter to those Churches. God brought Silas into great respect among those Churches. When they came to Derbe and Lystra Acts 16:1-3 they found Timothy. He got saved during Paul and Barnabas' ministry in 48AD, and he had been trying to do ministry in Lystra and Iconium. Paul prayed for Timothy and anointed him. Timothy became an evangelist as part of the team. That team had Paul the apostle, Silas the prophet and Timothy the evangelist. That team of Paul, Silas, and Timothy are mentioned many times, but there are several distinct verses that name all three in the same Passage; 1st Thessalonians 1:1, 2nd Thessalonians 1:1, and 2nd Corinthians 1:19. Another note; Silas and Silvanus are the same person, the difference being his name in Hebrew and Greek. From there they tried to preach in several places including Asia but the Holy Spirit forbid them. God gave Paul a vision at night that sent them to Philippi, Macedonia. That became a great friendship.
The Jews in Philippi didn't have enough qualified men to have a synagogue, but some women met outside the city by the river for prayers on the sabbaths. Lydia sold purple cloth for making royal garments. She and her household got saved, and she invited Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke to stay with her household. We are not given a name for her husband so the household probably was her servants that helped her make the purple fabric. They got saved too, that is good evidence that she had a healthy friendship with them. There was a slave girl in the city that had a fortune telling demon, for many days she yelled out a message about Paul and Silas - These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation. She did that many times. One sabbath Paul, Silas, Timothy, Lydia and her household were going out for prayer, and they were probably talking while they walked, then that girl was yelling the same things again. Paul became greatly annoyed and cast out the demon. The slave owners lost their easy money; they were angry and dragged Paul and Silas to the city magistrates and said, 'These men being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city, and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Roman, to receive or observe'... the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison... and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns... suddenly there was a great earthquake... all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison... supposing the prisoners had fled... was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, Do yourself no harm for we are all here... fell down trembling before Paul and Silas... and said 'Sirs what must I do to be saved?' So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household... he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes... all of his family were baptized... he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. Ouch, then yay!
The next day the magistrates perceived the earthquake was God's judgment against their city, and they released Paul and Silas. Timothy and Luke avoided the beating and jail, but they saw the plundering in the city during the night. The plundering probably stopped when the strong earthquake hit the city about 50 AD. Sixteen years later about 67 AD when Silas wrote Hebrews 10:34 he reminds them of the plundering and the chains in jail; you joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and enduring possession for yourselves in Heaven. Philippi was a great break through for Silas, and that was the first and worse beating Silas got, or that is recorded in Scripture. The new believers in Philippi had great compassion on them, and Silas always treasured their compassion in Hebrews 10:34 for you had compassion on me in my chains. The chains in Acts 16:26 are the same chains in Hebrews 10:34. We just saw that Silas is a great Christian leader, that is Silas who wrote Hebrews. Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to glorify holy God, and God sent a great earthquake to release their chains. Silas wrote Hebrews.
In summary, when a Bible teacher tries to prove who wrote Hebrews, he must work with the facts in Hebrews. The writer had to be a ministry partner with Paul and Timothy, and traveled with Timothy and trusted by Timothy. He had to have endured a beating and chains with Paul. He had to be in Rome Italy when he wrote Hebrews. And he had to have the power of God on him to write Scripture. He had to have deep understanding of the temple ceremonies, and he had to write it before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Because Hebrews refers to the temple ceremonies as existing, he didn't refer to the temple as past and gone. Those factors and more factors reduce your list of writers of Hebrews to only Silas. Silas was in Rome when he helped Peter write 1st Peter. Silas traveled with Paul and Timothy. Silas was beaten and chained in Philippi with Paul. Silas was a Roman citizen and he could speak Greek.
Silas wrote Hebrews. Im not the smartest Bible teacher of this century. And Im not the only Bible teacher smart enough to see the chains in Acts 16:26 and Hebrews 10:34 and say those are the same chains, and there are so many other details that point to Silas. You can see those verses, they are in every Bible. Take your choice: either the prominent religious leaders in America never noticed those chains in those Passages, and they never saw so many other pieces that match, OR they didn't want the Christians to see and understand that part of the Bible. There must have been a meeting; they had a meeting and decided where to draw the line between the info they would give us, and what they would not allow us to know. Hebrews is a powerful Book; they can't ignore it, and they didn't ignore it. Their notes about Hebrews sound like they are spiritual leaders, but they decided not to help us understand a large section of early Church history. If you want to see those tricks and deception, look at your best study Bibles and/or Bible commentaries on Hebrews. Even better, look at how they sounded scholarly without telling the truth. This Bible study has already helped you understand more of the Bible. We don't like those questions because it warns all of us to start looking at the people who claim to be pastors and Bible teachers. We need to know there is a powerful group of religious leaders in this country. They stay hidden while they try to reduce and destroy Christianity in America. Some people call them the religious mafia. Worship music is so important. Many Christians have sang hymns and while singing they made deeper promises to God. The religious mafia is also dumbing down hymns to be empty songs with false teaching. Their producers refuse to publish strong and pure songs, and if Christian song writers self publish their music, the radio stations refuse to play those songs. Please pray about these problems. If this study is helping you see the Bible better, please send a copy of this Bible study to all of your friends.
Paul, Silas, And Timothy
There are some more interesting things to see about Paul, Silas and Timothy after Philippi. From the persecution in Philippi they went to Thessalonica and established a growing Church among the Jews and their proselytes. Then persecution chased them away. Then they went to Berea and found a great open door among the Jews - they received the Word with all readiness and searched the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so and established a Church. Then apostate Jews from Thessalonica chased Paul away. Some brothers in Berea took Paul to the sea and they traveled by boat to Athens, while Silas and Timothy appointed elders in Berea, and maybe made copies of Scripture that God gave to Paul. Then Paul sent those guys back to Berea with a message to Silas and Timothy to hurry over to Athens. Some notes in some Bibles get this next part wrong too because Acts 17 doesn't mention that Silas and Timothy got to Athens, but we can prove it with 1st Thessalonians 3:1 - Therefore when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy... to establish and encourage you concerning your faith. When Silas and Timothy got to Athens they told Paul about the persecution. Paul and Silas sent Timothy to see how the Thessalonian saints were doing, and while he was there the Church had questions for Paul. There in Athens, Paul wrote 1st Thessalonians and sent Silas and Timothy to deliver it and to teach them how to handle the persecution, while he went to Corinth. Silas and Timothy also told the Thessalonian Church that Paul went to Corinth. When the Thessalonian Church had more questions they sent messengers to Corinth. Paul wrote 2nd Thessalonians in Corinth and sent the letter back with the brethren from Thessalonica. This has been a great team for Paul. The team was Paul the apostle, Silas the prophet to the Jews and he also cared about the Gentiles, and Timothy with the spiritual gift of evangelist. But Paul had completed Silas' training, and it was time for Silas to go back to Jerusalem. Their mission trip in Corinth is interesting because of many changes that happened there.
Let's start with the Bible text from Acts 18:1-5 ...Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And found a certain Jew named Aquila... who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all Jews depart from Rome)... Paul stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were both tent makers. And Aquila reasoned every sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greek proselytes. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Holy Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But when they opposed him and blasphemed, Paul shook his garments in condemnation against them, and said to them 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.' And he departed from there...
Those verses are packed with information; (A) Aquila and Priscilla. (B) emperor Claudius chased the Jews and Christians out of Rome. (C) Paul stayed with Aquila and Priscilla. (D) Aquila reasoned softly with the Jews. (E) When Silas and Timothy arrived Paul preached boldly, the unbelieving Jews mocked. (F) From now on I will go to the Gentiles. (G) Silas does not agree with that change, Aquila and Priscilla will replace Silas (H) This part of Silas' training is complete, so he returned to Jerusalem. (I) This looks like Silas quit, but this change was from God for several reasons. (J) Silas will study and practice his arguments to reach Jews that speak Greek. (K) Corinth sealed Paul's apostleship. Silas became a greater prophet to the Jews. And Hebrews is proof of Silas' stronger strategy on how to reach the scattered Jews.
(A) When they were finished in Athens, Paul sent Silas and Timothy with his letter 1st Thessalonians to answer the questions they asked while Paul went to Corinth, focused on praying for Silas and Timothy, and to watch and study the Jews in the synagogue in Corinth. Paul met Aquila and his wife Priscilla; Aquila was gently reasoning with the Jews and Greek proselytes at the synagogue. Paul, Aquila and Priscilla became great friends. (B) Aquila and Priscilla were part of the big argument in Rome between Christians and Christian/Judaism mix against real faith. They gave Paul important information about the Home Churches in Rome. But how did Christianity get to Rome? It was not a Church plant by the apostles. They got saved in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost: some Jews were ...visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes... heard the gospel in Acts 2:10 on the Day of Pentecost and took the gospel back to Rome. The Rome Church was a mix of victorious Christians, and Christians trying to keep the extra customs of Moses and also unbelieving Jews practicing sinning and starting arguments. There is a hint that the unbelieving Jews were trying to get emperor Claudio to go against the Christian sect of Judaism. Emperor Claudio chased all of them out of Rome. Aquila and Priscilla explained the problems in the Rome Churches to Paul. That started a big drive in Paul to go see Rome - I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now) Romans 1:13, because he wanted to establish their Church. Their information also inspired Paul to write the Book of Romans. Paul heard the problems 51 AD, after lots of prayers, God gave Paul the Book of Romans, about 56 AD.
(C)Paul stayed with Aquila and Priscilla. They were both tent makers. It was a serious custom for a Jewish dad to teach his sons how to make money if their synagogue couldn't pay them enough. Paul and Aquila were both tent makers, but I believe Priscilla was a tough lady and she also helped make tents. Some Bible notes get this wrong too - my best explanation on why Aquila and Priscilla had enough money to travel on mission trips is Priscilla was tough enough to help make tents, so they could make more money selling more tents. Silas and Timothy stayed in Thessalonica until they felt successful, but they didn't notice troublemakers inside the Church. Remember Paul sent them with the letter 1st Thessalonians and they also had to show those Christians in Thessalonica how to endure the apostate Jewish persecution. One more note: Silas and Timothy told Thessalonica brethren that Paul was in Corinth. When they had more questions, the messengers came to Paul in Corinth. Paul wrote 2nd Thessalonians in Corinth and sent it back with their messengers. (D) Aquila was gently reasoning with the Jews at the synagogue to avoid loud arguments and persecution like he saw in Rome. (E) When Silas and Timothy got to Corinth, the Holy Spirit compelled Paul to preached boldly from Scripture that Jesus is the Christ. But when the unbelieving Jews opposed him and blasphemed, Paul shook his garments to get their dust off of him. That is a powerful condemnation that Jesus taught His disciples in Matt. 10:14. An important note for all soft spoken Christians, the Holy Spirit wanted Paul to confront those apostate Jews with God's truth.
(F) Paul said from now on I will go to the Gentiles. That means that Paul will focus on the Gentiles in Corinth, like he did in Athens. But those were fighting words to the apostate Jews in Corinth. (G) Silas is not going to agree with that decision. The Jewish apostates in Corinth did a good job of making their persecution look dangerous to Paul, Silas, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla. Paul said it this way in 1st Corinthians 1:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling... Remember that was in 51AD, in Paul's early years before God toughened him. Ten years later in 61AD Paul said in Philippians 1:28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them proof of their perdition, but to you of salvation. Silas probably had the opinion to give up on Corinth and go to the next city and go to the Jews first. There are no verses that tell us that Silas left Corinth, but Acts 18:5 is the last time we see Silas' name in Acts, and with a little studying we can see why that changed. But God already provided Aquila and Priscilla to replace Silas before this change.
(H) This part of Silas' training is complete. All of the apostles got their gospel message directly from Jesus, while Jesus traveled around Israel and preached. But Paul was different than them - he received his gospel from Jesus after His resurrection; he was a big mystery to the apostles, AND Paul had more power from God to do miracles for several more years. Silas was God's kindness to Peter. After Peter learned about humility, Peter needed some help to stand up higher. Silas learned from Paul how to pick what cities to go to first, how to establish a Church, and how to fast and pray to find God's pick for elders in the Churches, and how to endure hardships for the sake of their prayers, and many other things. Yes Peter knew some of that, but Silas' training helped Peter to stand higher. This change looked like Silas quit on Paul; that is a bad thing in Paul's mind. But this change was from God. The wisdom of God decided to make it look like Silas quit, because that was better than Paul knowing he was now training the apostle Peter. But if you watch the different stages of Paul and Peter's relationship, you know Paul still had power from God to do miracles for several years longer than Peter. And God used Paul to rebuke Peter in Galatia for legalism. And Paul wrote lots of New Testament Scripture. In the early years Im sure that Peter hated Paul, but Paul was a healthy pressure on Peter. When Peter got past his pride and anger and then looked at his weaknesses, God taught Peter humility but he needed more spiritual training. Peter's friend Silas and a previous disciple of Paul was God's kindness to Peter. Paul and Silas get restored just before Paul was gone; those notes are at the end of this study.
(J) We are not told that Silas left Corinth or where he went, but we get a clue from the Book of Hebrews. Im sure Silas went back to Jerusalem about 51 AD, that is where he lived before he met Paul, he traveled with Paul less than 2 years. Silas has a close friendship with the apostles in Jerusalem. Im sure Silas went back to Jerusalem to study how to reach the Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire, and how to use the Septuagint to preach to those Jews. After some studying, I believe that Peter and Silas traveled to Pontus, Galatia, Cappodicia, Asia and Bithynia. Based on 1st Peter 1:1. More evidence that Peter and Silas left Jerusalem is Acts 21:18. After Paul's 1st, 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys, the Holy Spirit sent Paul to Jerusalem in 56 AD. Peter was not one of the elders in Jerusalem, but James the half brother of Jesus was the leader of the elders in Jerusalem Acts 21:18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. My best theory is Peter the apostle to the Jews and Silas the prophet to the Jews went to Pontus, Galatia... where Silas practiced his new approach to reach the Jews scattered through the Roman Empire.
(K) The Holy Spirit motivated Paul to preach boldly in the Corinth synagogue preaching that Jesus is the Christ. Before Silas and Timothy came, Paul had been watching those Jews react to Aquila's soft preaching. Paul knew they would reject his strong message, but he obeyed the Holy Spirit, then Paul issued God's judgment on them as God wanted. But Paul's obedience raised a strong persecution; all of them were afraid to speak. I believe that Silas stayed a little longer and prayed for an open door. He probably held the view that Corinth is a waste of time, and wanted go to another city and preach to the Jews first. After a while longer he went back to Jerusalem. After Silas left and while Paul was trying to figure out what to do, Jesus spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, 'Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.
We get several points of information from Jesus' words to Paul. Some of Jesus' words probably respond to a few things Silas said. They were all afraid to speak, and they became silent. And the words no one will attack you to hurt you., and Jesus knew many people who would receive salvation in Corinth.. Paul had more strength than Silas by several ways, including that Paul had been just like those persecutors before he got saved. Staying in Corinth in those tough conditions and not giving up was the big step toward sealing Paul's apostleship, as the apostle to the Gentiles. That was a door that Silas could not walk through. God had to send Silas away from Corinth. Corinth was in the middle of Paul's 2nd missionary journey. After Corinth, Paul's team went to Ephesus at the end of his 2nd missionary journey, and Ephesus was a large part of his 3rd missionary journey. After Paul's 3 rd missionary journey, the Holy Spirit sent Paul on his prison journey; starting in Jerusalem where the temple leaders tried to kill him, and he preached to them. Then Paul preached to Roman officials in Judea. They transported Paul to Rome, with a shipwreck along the way. In Rome for Paul's 1st imprisonment in Rome, he lived in a rented house. We should call that Paul's prison journey. Then Paul was released for about 5 years. There are many interesting points in Paul's prison journey to Jerusalem and Rome, but this is the short report.
Paul's 1st and 2nd Imprisonment and 4th Missionary Journey
When Paul arrived in Rome for the first imprisonment Acts 28:30-33, for almost 2 years from early 60AD to near the end of 61AD. Acts 28:30 tells us Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him... teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence... I believe the starting money for that rental came from their time on Malta after the shipwreck, from the wealthy man Publius on Malta, and I believe Julius the Roman centurion had the connections and know-how to get around the normal procedures and made arrangements in Rome. I also believe the saints in Rome helped to keep paying the expenses for Paul to stay in that rented house on the other side of the Tiber River, because the land was cheap enough for Christians to live there. We don't have any verses that say Julius made those arrangements, but we see the centurion had great respect for Paul in Acts 27:42-43, and it is hard to find a better theory on how Paul got that much freedom as a prisoner in the Roman capital city. That freedom had to come from someone inside the Roman govt. that had enough authority to request those arrangements from the Roman govt.
When they arrived in Rome all the passengers and crew greatly respected Paul - Acts 27:24. When Paul got to Rome he asked for a meeting with the Jewish leaders; they said We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren reported or spoken any evil of you. Because the witnesses against Paul, who traveled to Rome to cause Paul trouble, they got saved during the shipwreck event and didn't say anything evil against Paul after they got saved. We know Luke was with Paul in Rome for the first imprisonment and 5 years later for the 2nd imprisonment described in 2nd Timothy 4:11. So why did Luke stop Acts near the end of Paul's first imprisonment in Rome, before he was acquitted? Why didn't Luke tell us that Paul was acquitted? That is our clue. There was a trial, maybe the temple sent a copy of their accusations to Rome. It is obvious that the Book of Acts ended before Paul's case ended. That is our big clue that Dr. Luke used his writings of Acts in the court to disprove those accusations. Lukes writing of Acts proved that Paul was not stirring up strife, that strife was from unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem. The Book of Acts was entered in court as evidence in Rome as an 'official historical record', so Luke couldn't add to Acts after the court case was dismissed. Paul was released to do ministry for about 5 more years, from 62 AD to 67 AD. But we have 7 Books written after Acts ended; 1st Timothy, Titus, 2nd Timothy, 1st Peter, Hebrews, and 2nd Peter. Then John received Revelation about 29 years later. We can find interesting info from each of them.
What did Paul do after he was released from Rome near the end of 61 AD? That 5 years is called Paul's 4th missionary journey from 62 AD to 67 AD. We have 1st Timothy and Titus that were written about 63 or 64 AD. Paul's 4th missionary journey was as powerful as his previous missionary journeys even though we were not given as many details. But the details we do have show Paul just as strong and fast paced. Then we have 2nd Timothy written about 67 AD after Paul was arrested again 5 years later and shipped back to Rome. Let's look at 1st Timothy first. Paul didn't say anything about Spain in any of those letters, but Im sure he already went to Spain as he promised in Romans 15:24 & 28. Paul probably had Timothy, Titus and Luke with him in Spain, and that was before he wrote 1st Timothy. Apparently not much happened in Spain, because Spain wasn't interested in the gospel. And Paul didn't say anything about Jerusalem in 1st Timothy, Titus or 2nd Timothy. Im guessing that Paul probably never went back to Jerusalem. If he did they would have tried again to kill him, and we would have something written to tell us that story. Paul had a great burden for Ephesus, but not everyone there liked Paul. In Acts 19:28-34 Demetrius a coppersmith who made silver shrines of Artemis caused a riot, then legal accusations, and Paul had to fight with beasts 1st Cor. 15:32 about 55 AD. Then Im guessing about 63 AD or 64 AD in 1st Timothy 1:3 shows us that Paul and Timothy went to Ephesus, and they were already having trouble with Alexander the coppersmith and his friend Hymenaeus. There is no mention of Demetrius so he probably was gone by then. In 1st Timothy 1:3 Paul had to urge Timothy to remain in Ephesus while he went to Macedonia, so Timothy's reluctance might give us a clue that Ephesus was starting to show more rejection of the gospel. We see Paul named Alexander the coppersmith as a troublemaker in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 ... some having rejected concerning the faith, have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander... In summary of 1 st Timothy we know Paul and Timothy visited Ephesus and Paul went to Macedonia, then other places in the same region 1st Timothy 1:3-4 & 19-20.
We also have Paul and Titus in Crete in Titus 1:5 ...I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you. Paul instructed Titus to appoint elders in every city. That indicates that Paul and Titus spent many months on the Island of Crete. That was a new territory for Paul. We know Paul's prison journey stopped briefly at Fair Havens on the west end of Crete when the Roman govt. shipped Paul to Rome the 1st time in Acts 27:7-21, but they didn't stay there. So Crete was a new territory for Paul and also a major shipping port for trade ships, that makes Crete a high value place for Paul to preach.
We are given clues of a strange false doctrine in Ephesus in 1st Tim. 1:4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification. Also in Titus 1:14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. And Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Paul left Titus on Crete to set those things in order among the Churches. Notice that is the same problem in both places. We have mentioned in this report that the Jerusalem temple was coordinating the persecution of Christians. I believe those verses are evidence that the Jerusalem temple was coordinating false teaching to go into the Churches scattered throughout their regions, to cause disputes, foolish disputes and contentions - those subjects Paul warned about were similar to Jewish arguments they had at some synagogues. Three centuries later the Roman Catholic church had expanded the art of spreading false doctrines, not only doctrines of demons in their mass services, but much more outside their buildings. The Roman Catholic church invented and spread Islam to control Arabs in the middle east and Africa during the 600's AD. In the 1,100 the Rome church was doing acquisitions against Christians. Then Kabbalah to ruin Jewish teachings. Then in 1,666 they made a false messiah called Shabtai Tzvi to confuse the Jews. Around 1540 the Jesuits started a counter reformation. They also started the charismatic movement in Rome in 1906 to scramble the protestant Churches.
Who is Nero and how did Nero's persecution start? His name isn't written in the Scriptures, but Jesus predicted Nero will kill Peter in John 21:18-19 when you are old... another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish. Nero was emperor in the capital city Rome from 54AD to 68AD. In those days many of the buildings in Rome were wood. You know that wood rots and bugs live in it, and unfinished wood isn't pretty. Many cities in the Roman empire had some marble or cut stone temples; they look better and they last longer. There isn't much to say about Nero before 64 AD. But around 64 AD Nero decided he wanted the capitol city Rome to be mostly marble or stone buildings. For some evil reason Nero decided to secretly burn the wood buildings in Rome; his soldiers burned about half of Rome before they were identified. Those buildings included homes, and businesses and religious buildings for false gods. The fires destroyed the normal daily life of half of Rome's population, and the fires killed people. The citizens got very angry when they found that Nero's soldiers were to blame. Nero had another evil idea - to get the blame off of himself, by blaming the Christians for burning Rome. The Christians were a mystery to most citizens. They used to go to the pagan festivals together and do pagan behaviors, but after they got saved they quit paganism; they would not worship pagan mythological gods because they knew King Jesus. The Roman people didn't understand Christianity, so it was easy for Nero to make up lies against Christians and blame them for the fires.
The penalty for the Christians who were falsely accused of burning Rome was torture and death. There were many thousands of Christians tortured and killed in Rome. You can find many sources to research Nero; every Christian should know about Nero, but that isn't the focus of this study. Even at their death the Christians were kind and loving. The city of Roman was a rocky area of Italy, not much dirt; so Roman pagans cremated the dead bodies. But Christians don't destroy their dead bodies, instead we protect it waiting for that day when we are resurrected and glorified with Christ. So the Christians carved tunnels into the underground rock-bed and carved caves underground. Then carved smaller burial chambers into the sides of the caves, large enough for a dead body. Then they sealed each burial chamber with a flat stone cover. Many of those covers had a carved Christian symbol, and/or with their name caved into the flat stone cover. Many of those still exist today. That burial system was called catacombs. The writings on those covers were intentionally pleasant and uplifting, not hateful and bitter. Also it was dangerous for Christians to meet in public for Church services, but the catacombs were a safe place because the Roman soldiers wouldn't go into the catacombs; they didn't like the bad odor of dead bodies. So the Christians also carved Church caves for worship services. That burial system was called catacombs. There are books of research and pictures about the catacombs with many fascinating testimonies. Find a book with pictures, it is interesting.
Four Books Written in Rome During Nero's Persecution
Now a quick look at the 4 Books written in Rome about 67 AD. Nero's persecution started in 64 AD, it started a hostile environment around the Roman empire. Several big events happened when Paul was arrested again in 67AD, in Ephesus and shipped to Rome. It was a cruel trip, and his imprisonment in Rome was worse; he wrote 2nd Timothy a few weeks before Nero killed him, then Peter. There are 4 Books of the Bible written in Rome about 67 AD: 2nd Timothy, 1st Peter, Hebrews and 2nd Peter. When you combine the information in those 4 Books you get a window view of the Church Age making sweeping changes.
The 1st Book written in Rome during Nero's persecution is(1) 2nd Timothy. Surprise, this Book has lots of interesting notes about Paul and his team working in Asia before his arrest, including a list of Paul's team in 2nd Timothy 4:10-20. Their names are; Luke, Timothy, Mark, Tychicus, Trophimus, Erastus, Titus, Crescens, and Demas (who decided to became an apostate after they got to Rome the 2nd time v.4:10.) In chapter 4 we also see Paul's team working with him at many of the same places as before, focusing on the northeast end of the Mediterranean Sea. The popular scholars of our time try to twist and ignore the facts we are given in 1st Timothy, Titus, and 2nd Timothy. You will do better if you ignore those dishonest religious leaders on this subject. My next point is that Paul was arrested in Ephesus and there are many facts leading up to totally prove it. Paul was mostly rejected by those he loved in Asia. This is Paul's conclusion of that rejection as he wrote to 2 Timothy 1:15; you know that all those in Asia turned away from me. Paul is saying that Timothy knows that, because Timothy and John Mark was in a city near by when Paul got arrested in Ephesus, and Paul assigned Timothy to stay there. Also, as they loaded Paul in a trade ship to transport him to Rome ...greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears... 2nd Tim. 1:4. Another way to prove it; we are given a list of cities where Paul's team were in 2 Tim. 4:13-20. The names of some of the cities are listed as places where various team partners got away from the hatred of the Roman soldiers and Alexander. But we can assemble those cities in a geographical order and see the path they ministered. Paul and his team probably landed at Troas of Asia and established his base at the home of Carpus' in Troas. Paul started preaching the gospel previously in Troas about 56AD as mentioned in Acts 20:5-6 and 2nd Corinthians 2:12. Now we jump forward to about 66AD. We get some valuable information from 2nd Timothy 4:13 Get Mark and bring him with you, .. Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come and the books, especially the parchments. It must have been warm weather when Paul's team took off evangelizing, so Paul didn't need the coat, and probably rainy season, and they were going to do lots of travel by boats, so Paul also left his copies of Scripture at Carpus' home. Paul's team worked their way down South -South-East along the coast of Asia and visited some of the cities where Paul established Churches previously. Paul was mostly rejected by the Arabs, Serbians/Turks in Asia.
A brief note about Arabs, Serbians/Turks in Asia. Paul preached to the Arabs in Ephesus in Asia, which is modern Turkey. They rejected Paul's preaching in 66 AD or 67 AD. Then the apostle John resided in Ephesus about 85 AD to 105 AD. Some Arabs attacked John and got him arrested about 95AD. Paul and then John made a great effort to give the saving gospel to the Arab's. But most of the Arab population wanted the sexual sins of the pagan temple Artemis of Ephesus, and rejected the Jewish Messiah. When someone rejects the gospel, God allows the devil to give them a strong delusion described in 2 nd Thessalonians 2:11. The Catholic church became very evil after 312 AD, with evil intent to control the world, including Arabs. They devised a plan to control the Arab's, as a tool to control the Jews The Roman Catholic priests helped Mohammed design Islam using the teachings of saint Augustine in the early 600's AD. It worked, most of the Arab communities have accepted the Arab based religion, instead of a Jewish Messiah. Mohammed started having success in conquering about 630 AD. Please notice some groups of Islam revere Mary and some groups pray rosary beads, sometimes they even have visions of Mary. Some of their groups worship the saints and respect the pope. And when the Muslims attack Churches, most of the time they protect the Catholic churches. The Arabs are expecting an Arab messiah. But Revelation 13 describes him as the anti-Christ predicted by John, and Revelation hints that he will be part Arab and part Jewish because he will get Jews and Arabs to sign the one world govt. treaty.
Now back to Paul's team preaching in Asia after his release from Rome. This is called Paul's 4th missionary journey. There are some false stories about the end of Paul's last missionary journey, so I need to prove my theory. 1st Timothy 1:3 was written during this time after Paul's release from Rome and maybe 2 years before he got arrested again. In that letter to Timothy, Paul directed Timothy remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables... In 1st Timothy 1:19-20 Paul says about Alexander some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck Alexander, whom I have delivered to satan that they learn not to blaspheme. So Timothy was in Ephesus when Paul's team traveled through Ephesus, that means Paul and Timothy had already been having trouble with Alexander. We have more strong evidence that Paul was preaching in Ephesus, got attacked by Alexander the copper smith and arrested in there; (1) Because Onesiphorus, a resident in Ephesus in 2nd Timothy 1:16, knew Paul got arrested, and he traveled to Rome, when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me.. He probably went to tell Paul thank you for preaching the gospel, and to show grief for what Alexander did to Paul. That point added lots of weight to the theory that (2) Alexander the coppersmith... is from Ephesus in 2nd Timothy 4:14: Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm.... I believe that Alexander and the Roman soldiers were mean, so it was cruel trip to Rome. I believe the stress made Trophimus get sick from the stress of their hate. (3) Paul assigned Timothy to stay in Ephesus and he was probably living with Priscilla and Aquila because 2nd Tim 4:19 says Greet Priscilla and Aquila. They left Rome the 2nd time and went back to Corinth because Paul requested them to. (4) That same verse says Greet... and the household of Onesiphorus. (5) The cities listed are also near Ephesus. It looks like the trade ship with Paul the prisoner went from Ephesus to Miletus where Trophimus got sick and had to stay in Miletus. Then the trade ship made a stop in Corinth, and Erastus stayed in Corinth. Then the ship went to Rome. Their hate was cruel.
All I did was line up the clues in 2nd Timothy in a logical order, any Bible teacher could have done that if they wanted to do it, but instead the great Bible teachers remain silent and made the Bible look like a confusing mystery. I have proved my theory very well, but even if I missed a minor point, my notes have to be pretty close to how Paul's last missionary journey ended. After many decades the popular Bible teachers never tried to help Christians understand what happened after Paul's 1st imprisonment after Acts ended, and Paul's ending for the 2nd imprisonment. They do not say anything about Paul's last 5 years, and most of them make it sound doubtful that Paul was released for 5 more years, and they make it a big mystery what he did in those 5 years. The big religious leaders ignore 2nd Timothy 4. Those verses have remained a silent mystery for many decades. I believe my notes give the normal Christian a reasonable understanding about what happened to Paul after his first acquittal in Rome. I hope the false pastors get publicly shamed that they got caught telling lies while pretending to live for God, but in reality they peddle the Word of God for dishonest gain.
When Paul was shipped to Rome the 2nd time the hate got worse in Rome, then Demas rejected the faith; also Crescens and Titus ran for a safer place. Paul said it this way: Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm... Nero knew he had a big fish with Paul as a prisoner in Rome and they hid Paul because Nero feared a large band of Christians coming in with a daring move to rescue Paul; that is why Onesiphorus had to search diligently for Paul in Rome. Also no one went to Paul's first trial because it was deadly dangerous - At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. But the Lord Jesus stood with me and strengthened me... Jesus stood by him and strengthened him; try to imagine what it would be like for Paul to face those false accusations because they intended to kill Paul. Then Jesus appears to attend that trial with Paul and stand with Paul and strengthened him. WOW.
The negative turn of events for Paul in Asia and Nero's violence in Rome showed Paul that his work was finished; he has God's permission to go back to Heaven that he saw in 2nd Cor. 12:4.Now he can stay there and receive his rewards. Paul wrote 2nd Timothy at the end of his life, a few weeks before Nero's troops sent him to Heaven. That also proves that Paul did not write the Book of Hebrews 13:23 telling the Church in Philippi that he was coming to see them. Instead, in 2nd Timothy 4:10-11 Paul told Timothy; the time of my departure is at hand.... Be diligent to come to me quickly... Get Mark and bring him.... When Timothy got to Rome he was arrested, probably when he went to see Paul, one of Paul's enemies recognized Timothy and got him arrested, (maybe Alexander himself). Apparently there wasn't enough evidence to keep Timothy. Silas tells us in Hebrews 13:23 Know that our brother Timothy has been released. No one recognized John Mark in Rome so he avoided being arrested and so did Luke.
Please notice Peter's spiritual son John Mark the rich kid from Jerusalem, who quit on Paul in Acts 13:13 mid 47 AD. John Mark was restored to Paul's respect. John Mark was with Paul during his 1st imprisonment in Colossians 4:10 about 61AD - Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas... if he comes to you welcome him. And he was working on an assignment from Paul near Ephesus in 66 AD and Paul said for he is useful to me for ministry in 2nd Timothy 4:11. So Timothy brought him to say good-bye to Paul and get a blessing for more ministry after Paul was gone. That proves that Peter and Paul became good friends. I believe Peter sent John Mark to Paul for two reasons: (A) to be restored to Paul's respect as his mom Mary asked Peter to do, and (B) for Paul to train John Mark like he did for Silas. I know Peter was greatly impressed about what Silas learned from Paul; and after Paul was gone, Peter gave Paul a great complement in 2nd Peter 3:16 ...our beloved Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
(2) Im sure 1st Peter was the 2nd Book written in Rome during Nero's persecution, probably in 67 AD. But let's rewind back to Silas before he met Paul. Silas had been Peter's friend in Jerusalem Acts 15:22. He was a leader among the brethren, before he met Paul about 50 AD. But Peter had many wasted years in the middle of his life, while God taught Peter humility and maturity. When it was the right timing for Peter, God gave Silas advanced ministry training from Paul for about 2 years. Im sure it was God's wisdom and kindness to Peter to send Silas to Paul for advanced training, then send Silas to leave Corinth and go back to Peter in Jerusalem early 52AD. And Silas did three things: (A) He studied in Jerusalem on how to better reason with the Jews scattered among the Gentile nations. Those skills are written into the Book of Hebrews. (B) Another thing was to strengthen Peter after his slow times in his middle years. (C) Then Peter and Silas left Jerusalem and preached to the places listed in 1st Peter 1:1 the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappodicea, Asia, and Bithynia.... Peter and Silas were already gone by 57 AD in Acts 21:18 when the Holy Spirit sent Paul to Jerusalem then Rome. We see James held the leadership position in Jerusalem. - On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present... Remember that Herod killed James the brother of John in Acts 12:1, so this is James the half brother of Jesus; he was the leader because Peter wasn't there. Then, about 67 AD Peter and Silas went to Rome as free citizens wanting to help the persecuted Christians in Rome. They stayed with the brethren of the Rome Church, on the other side of the Tiber River that divided Rome, where the land was cheap enough for Christians to live. Look at the greatness and strength of Peter in 1st & 2nd Peter; Silas was God's kindness to Peter.
(3) Hebrews - the 3 rd Book of the Bible written during Nero's persecution. We know Hebrews was written in Italy, and probably Rome because Hebrews 13:24 says; Those from Italy greet you. Silas guarded the information of his location. Silas didn't include his name in Hebrews to protect himself from being added to Nero's kill list. But the messenger who delivered Hebrews to Philippi told the recipients who wrote the letter. They knew each other very well because in Hebrews 10:33-34 Silas reminds them of when they suffered persecution together in Philippi. Hebrews was surely written in 67 AD and before the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70 AD. We know it was written right after Timothy was released from prison in Rome and hiding in a safe place, because Hebrews 13:23 says, Know that our brother Timothy has been set free.... I believe that Paul suggested that Silas and Timothy go to Philippi and Macedonia for safety from the persecution. Silas had been one of Paul's strongest ministry partners, and one of Peter's best friends, and best partners. Silas wrote Hebrews with Paul's blessing and Peter's blessing. Some people are so impressed with Hebrews that they say that Jesus wrote Hebrews Himself. True, Silas had lots of blessings to write Hebrews, and it is written by the Holy Spirit Jesus sent to His servants. Many scholars notice the similarities between Paul's logic style and the powerful message of Hebrews, and others notice the similarities between Hebrews and 1st Peter. Silas is the key to explain those similarities. Silas spent almost 2 years with Paul on his 2nd missionary journey, from early 50 AD to late 51 AD. And Silas spent many years with Peter, back in Jerusalem 52 AD; then they went on a missionary journey listed in 1st Peter 1:1. Then Peter and Silas went to Rome 67 AD. The reason Paul picked Silas for his 2nd missionary journey early 50 AD was that he respected Silas as a mature prophet that would be a trust worthy team partner.
Looking at some guiding principles for Silas. The best Churches that Paul and Silas established were Jews and their proselytes getting saved and becoming a Church. Those Jews already had a holy fear of God and respected God's Word. So all they needed was to give them some New Testament Scripture and they were ready to grow as a Church. Look at that success compared to the ignorant Gentile believers in Corinth. Have you studied 1st and 2nd Corinthians? I believe that Silas saw the Gentile foolishness and decided to reach the Jews and have those Jews reach their local Gentiles. On the opposing side, when Paul preached boldly in the Corinth synagogue it started a great persecution against them and their new disciples. The Jerusalem temple leaders instructed the synagogues to make persecution wherever Christianity went. Im convinced these thoughts explain why Silas gave up on reaching Corinth Gentiles. That is why he went back to Jerusalem to study how to reason with the Jews scattered throughout the Gentile world. The Book of Hebrews shows us that Silas studied the Septuagint because Jerusalem was a college town for Jews, with a great library for Jews. Hebrews quotes the Septuagint more than two dozen times. And Hebrews is an excellent study to reach Jews.
A brief look at the brilliance of the Book of Hebrews: the Book of Hebrews is a masterful study on how to reach Jews. Jews reverenced angels, Silas explained that the angels worship and obey Jesus their Creator. And Jesus defeated the devil and took the sting of death. The earth the world to come will be ruled by Jesus forever; the Christians are His children. And the reminder; Do not harden your hearts like the Jews who came out of Egypt, God will not allow them into eternal rest. Jesus was sinless, but He had to suffer like us to become our Great High Priest forever. Jesus was like Melchizedek, except Jesus will reign forever. Don't fall away, instead learn solid spiritual food and become teachers. The veil in the temple symbolizes Jesus. Melchizedek ruled Salem and received Abraham's tithes; Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, but He is the High Priest to reign forever. God set the Mosaic covenant aside to establish the new covenant - I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. So the old covenant is mostly obsolete. Observing foods and drinks and various washings and sacrifices can't make you perfect, but Jesus' blood did and He is the Mediator of the new covenant as the High Priest. Then Silas reminded about the great faith of past saints. Everyone whom God receives as His children will be chastened to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. So learn from hardships in life and pursue peace and holiness. Don't fall for the corruption of this world, but follow Jesus who suffered rejection, because we have a higher altar to which unbelieving Jews have no rights. Then personal notes about Timothy being released, requesting prays for their safety as they were planning to come to them, and the saints in the Rome Church send their greetings. You can see those points are especially important to Jews. Hebrews is proof of what Silas studied in Jerusalem before Peter and Silas went to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia
(4) Then 2nd Peter was written, probably 67 AD. Paul was probably already in Heaven, and Peter was now in prison, knowing his time on earth was finished - knowing that shortly I must put off my tent 2nd Peter 1:14. Some scoffers pretend someone else wrote 2nd Peter because it is so different than 1st Peter. But the writing starts with Simon Peter, a bond servant and apostle of Jesus Christ... Why would a false teacher write 2nd Peter to condemn false teachers, including himself? How can someone impersonating Peter write such powerful and condemning words? If you have ever written strong Bible studies, you know that the only way you can form powerful words that preach God's righteousness is by the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Peter wrote 1st and 2nd Peter. The differences between 1st Peter and 2nd Peter indicates that Peter took a stronger stand to judge the evil of false teachers in 2nd Peter, and especially after false brethren killed Paul. Also 2nd Peter was written in a Roman prison, Paul was already in Heaven, and Peter knew he was going to die soon. Everyone knows that the last words of a great person will have the best of their best; 2nd Peter is that. We should lean toward the theory that Silas was still there and he helped Peter write 2nd Peter. If you look at Hebrews you know that Silas would have the ability to assist in strong warnings. If anyone wants to take a strong opinion that Peter had someone else help with 2nd Peter, then you could debate that Jude the half brother of Jesus went to encourage the Christians in Rome. There are similarities between 2nd Peter and Jude.
We should look at 2nd Peter 1:15 I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease. Yes Peter's last words are written, but Peter also needed someone to agreed to take 1st and 2nd Peter back to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. That writer had to agree to go back to those Churches where Peter and Silas were ministering and give them copies of Peter's writings, so that lends toward the idea that Silas was still there. Whoever helped Peter write 2nd Peter didn't include his name in 2nd Peter's text, because he didn't want to be on Nero's list to be killed.
There is one more interesting note about Peter and Silas in Rome. In 1st Peter 5:12 Peter includes a personal note - By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him... Peter considered Silas a faithful brother. But we thought everyone considered Silas a faithful brother. Everyone except Paul. When you study Paul and Silas on Paul's 2nd missionary journey, you see many clues that Paul liked his team partnership with Silas. When Silas left Corinth, that created hurt feelings because Paul liked having Silas' strength, and Paul thought Silas left for the wrong reasons. Neither Paul nor Silas understood God's plan when Silas left. Something changed after Paul wrote 2nd Timothy, and after Peter and Silas wrote 1st Peter, and before Hebrews was written. I have a sure theory that God made a way to change Paul's view of Silas. There are evidences in Hebrews that Paul arranged Silas and Timothy to travel to Philippi together. Maybe Paul heard more details about Peter and Silas' in Pontus, Galatia, Cappodicia, Asia and Bithinia. Maybe John Mark told Paul how Silas helped Peter do a great ministry in those places. You know Paul had been praying for wisdom on how to take care of Timothy after he was gone. Silas was God's answer to Paul's prayers. Maybe the change happened when Paul realized that God used his team partner Silas to train Peter. So also Paul realized that God used him to train Peter. I believe several of those things changed Paul's view of Silas. Remember that Paul said several things in 2nd Timothy that indicate he was worried about Timothy. Then when Paul knew Silas would help care for Timothy, and guide Timothy's future, then Paul was at peace that it was OK to go HOME to Jesus.
Romes Home Churches and Leaders Had Strong Faith
There is one more point we want to see: even during Nero's persecution there was a close brotherhood among Paul, Peter, Silas, Timothy, and all of them had a great friendship with the brethren at the Rome Home Churches that Paul helped to establish in his 1st imprisonment. The big religious leaders want you to believe they were arguing with each other and/or scattered, and distant from each other. Did you see the attack movie about Paul last year? Those liars had Paul mumbling nonsense, and the saints fighting with each other, and Aquila and Priscilla getting separated. This report has corrected many of their evil accusations. Please notice that Jim Caviezel directed that movie. Jim Caviezel is an enemy of God, he had a great opportunity to find saving faith, but he rejected saving faith. When you look, you can see a Catholic theme in his religious works, Jim Caviezel, he must be a secret Jesuit trying to lead the Protestants toward the Vatican as our leaders.
How did the great and godly Home Churches in Rome get overthrown by gnostics, then satanists to become a world power for the devil? They started great and strong; we can be sure that some Churches were sending their questions to both Paul and Peter in Rome, and they were answering Church questions in Rome before they went to Heaven. After Paul and Peter went to Heaven their disciples continued to answer doctrinal questions in Rome. The Rome Churches kept growing spiritually and adding new members. Then later-on as the original saint got old and died. Their children, then grandchildren filled the Churches and controlled the Churches. The Rome Churches started giving money to widows, then the Rome Churches made a bank to hold the money, then they formed an army to protect the bank. The Rome Churches kept growing strong spiritually and in numbers of members for many years. After many years, the following generations never heard Paul or Peter. And somehow they allowed false brethren to sneak in unnoticed. That much success with crowds of people and their offerings attracted greedy people pretending to be Christians. Those greedy false brethren crept in unnoticed Jude 1:4 and gained so many positions of leadership over many years that they were able to lead the Rome Churches into agreements with Constantine in 312AD. That is when the Roman Catholic church started. Those apostate leaders made agreements with the pagans. The Christians had already started having a simple remembrance of Jesus' birth every year. But the newly formed Catholic church leaders changed their simple remembrance from October with the Feast of Tabernacles, also called Sukkot or Feast of Booths. Symbolizing when God tabernacled with man John 1:10-11, to the pagan celebration of winter solstice on December 25, and father time is now called Santa. It was the pagans who decorated evergreen trees or palm trees depending on where they lived 3,000 years ago called Saturnalia. They cut the trees, made a stand and decorated the tree with gold and silver then 2,000 years they added candles. God condemned that paganism about 630 BC in Jeremiah 10:2-5, please read those verses. Those apostate Roman Catholic leaders also changed the Resurrection Sunday celebrations from the Sunday of Passover to the end of 40 days of weeping for Tamoooz called Lent and Easter. The pagans celebrate fertility with rabbits and eggs. ***DO NOT FIX THAT SPELLING. When I had the right spelling someone used radio signals to change my whole document to a complex letter of H, K , O combined and repeated that character thousands of times. That type of mess deleted this report 3 times during this last year. Im sure this study got better all 3 times I had to rewrite it, but it was wrong for them to do that.***
You can see why this Bible study with 2nd Timothy, 1st Peter, Hebrews, and 2nd Peter is so important, because it fills in the large gap after Acts. It helps the brethren see what Paul did to the end of his life, and Peter to the end of his life. And in this study we learned more about Dr. Luke, Silas and Timothy and John Mark and a few of Paul's team. I don't know of any errors in this report. I did my best to give an accurate time frame and the right order of events. I know there is a possibility that a few small details are slightly out of order. But most Christians have no time frame to understand early Church events, so I know this information was very helpful for most of our brethren. If you have any information that could improve this report, please share it with me, so I can add it to this report to share it with our friends. Going forward from here, we have more Bible verses to establish more proofs that Silas wrote Hebrews, those notes are not posted here, but these are the easiest points to share.
Additional notes: God had to protect Paul from becoming proud as described in 2nd Cor. 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. If Paul had known that he trained Silas to train Peter, it would have given Paul a pride headache. Instead, it was the wisdom of God to allow Paul's blindness and think Silas quit, and that went on for about 15 years, from 52 AD to 67 AD. When Paul was in Rome the 2nd time, and about to be killed by Nero, then God let Paul see that he successfully trained Silas, and he trained Peter through Silas. And Silas was a faithful minister.
We have a clue that Paul made those travel arrangements because Silas didn't know when Timothy would get to where Silas was hiding in Hebrews 13:23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly. Why didn't Silas know for sure about Timothy's schedule? Because Silas didn't talk to Timothy and make those arrangements; Paul made those travel plans. After that is when I believe that Silas and Timothy went to Philippi and Macedonia. There is so much treasure hidden in 2nd Timothy, 1st Peter, Hebrews and 2nd Timothy. Please share this Bible study with your friends.
One of my best tools for researching and studying the Bible is listening the whole New Testament. Sometimes I listen to animated recordings and I also listen to recordings by one reader. As I listen I also put pieces together. By listening to the whole New Testament you get the panoramic picture. When I hear a piece that fits in what Im trying to focus on; I will pause what Im working on and write a brief note for myself to see later. I like the NKJV because I grew up in America and speak American English. As you listen to the recordings you will notice that the translators oversimplify their wording. (That is my polite way of criticizing their misses) The more time you spend hearing and reading God's Word will also strengthen your prayers, because you are obeying more of God's Word.
I pray that this Bible study will keep being a blessing to you, and to inspire you to look all the more into the living Word of God. The most alive sermon in the world is when any Christian shares something that God taught them.
A servant of Christ, David