Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meanwhile, back in Efeses (I Timothy 1)

Scholars of ancient Christian history make a big deal over the contrasts between Antioch and Alexandria. Each city produced notable pastors, preachers, and teachers. Antioch seemed to be more under the spell of the Jewish culture, while Alexandria, of course, was named for that conquering Greek dude, Alexander, and celebrated Hellenistic culture.

Once again, in this book, we come to a third major happening place in the history of revelation, Efeses. You see, in addition to Greek philosophy and Jewish traditions, the early believers had to figure out what to do with the crazy mystical esoteric pagan cults that bubbled up in force at places like Efeses. Paul had spent a very profitable two years in this city, at the peak of his professional career. He taught and catalyzed people with such powerful effect that the Christian message made it to every corner of Anatolia.

Yet, the older perversions hovered around the periphery, and tried to sneak back in. In his warning to the elders of Efeses in Acts 2, Paul warned them that some of the corrupting influences would even come from among their own number. It was to deal with "the crazies" that Paul, once again, sent his right-hand man, Timothy, back to town to set things straight.
1Ti 1:3, 4 Makedonya'ya giderken sana rica ettiğim gibi, Efes'te kal ve bazı kişilerin farklı öğretiler yaymamasını, masallarla ve sonu gelmeyen soyağaçlarıyla uğraşmamasını öğütle. Bu şeyler, imana dayanan tanrısal düzene hizmet etmekten çok, tartışmalara yol açar.
1Ti 1:5 Bu buyruğun amacı, pak yürekten, temiz vicdandan, içten imandan doğan sevgiyi uyandırmaktır.
1Ti 1:6 Bazı kişiler bunlardan saparak boş konuşmalara daldılar.
1Ti 1:7 Kutsal Yasa öğretmeni olmak istiyorlar, ama ne söyledikleri sözleri ne de iddialı oldukları konuları anlıyorlar.
Imagine a sailor spending hours reading The Bluejacket's Manual just to rejoice in its elegant discourse. Or, imagine a nerd with a shelf crammed with instruction manuals for software he doesn't have, and has no intention of using! People of faith view sacred books as handbooks for living. To turn our backs on life in order to disappear into endless and sterile speculations is a misuse of God's precious guidance.

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