“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.“
~ Acts 22:3
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you know what your ethnicity, nationality and ancestry is? Paul’s ethnicity was Jewish. Jews are Israelite people group guys and gals. Israelites are God’s specially chosen guys and gals. Paul was a Roman citizen. Roman’s army overran the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The nation of Rome originated in the city of Rome. The geographic location for the city of Rome is in the country of Italy. Paul was born in the city of Tarsus. The city of Tarsus was Cilicia’s central city. Cilicia was Asia Minor’s maritime province. The city of Tarsus was located about ten miles inland on the Cydnus River. The city of Tarsus was an important commercial center that was located on roads that crossed that merchants traveled. The city of Tarsus had a university. As Paul was growing up, he was influenced by Greeks and Jews. Greeks promoted Hellenism while Jews promoted Judaism. Hellenism was culturally driven while Judaism was religiosity driven. Paul learned Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. Aramaic was an early Semite language that evolved into different dialects. When Paul was growing up, Aramaic was the colloquial or informal language that was spoken by Jews while Hebrew was the common language that was spoken by Jews. Doctor Luke gives this life blurb in his Acts Book – in Acts 22 and in verse 3, about what Paul said about himself “‘I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” The city of Jerusalem is the city that is referenced by Paul in this verse. Paul is defending himself in this verse. In spite of having been given blunt, resolute counsel through some guys who God – as God the Spirit, directed to tell Paul to not go to the city of Jerusalem. Paul had stubbornly gone to the city of Jerusalem anyway. Paul was convinced that he was being directed by God – as God the Spirit, to meet with James – who was the half bro of Jesus, who was the ascribed leader of a new belief system that was fomenting Christ-follower fellowships or communities of guys and gals throughout the developing known world, to celebrate with him in the city of Jerusalem the anniversary of the arrival of God – as God the Spirit. The day is still called the Day of Pentecost. By going into the city of Jerusalem where he was vehemently disliked by certain Jews who were known as Pharisees, Paul put the Christ-follower guys and gals who living there in the city of Jerusalem – including James, in serious danger. After Paul had spent just a couple of days in the city of Jerusalem, Pharisees had Roman soldiers take Paul prisoner. Paul took this opportunity to give a testimony of his conversion experience. Paul gave his testimony in Aramaic – as it was harder for the Jews who were living in the city of Jerusalem to understand Aramaic than it was for them to understand Hebrew – which made them listen more closely to what he was saying. When Paul got to where he said that he was the guy who had guarded the outer garments of the guys who were stoning Stephan to death, the rabid crowd of Jews had heard enough; they wanted Paul dead, too.
Do you know where were you born? Do you know where your dad was born? Do you know where your ma was born? Do you know your dad’s ancestry? Do you know your ma’s ancestry? Your grandpaa’s ancestry is Dutch. Guys and gals from a department called Friesland in the country of Holland homesteaded land in a number of places in the United States. Your grandpaa’s dad’s dad and ma homesteaded a farm near in a town in eastern South Dakota that Russian railroad workers named Volga. Your grandpaa’s dad’s ma’s last name was Meyer. Your grandpaa’s ma’s dad’s last name was DeGroot. Your grandpaa’s ma’s ma’s last name was DeVries. Your grandmaa’s dad’s last name was Watson. Your grandmaa’s dad’s ma’s last name was Croes. Your grandmaa’s ma’s dad’s last name was Robinson. Your grandmaa’s ma’s ma’s last name was Fogerty. Your grandmaa thinks that some guys and gals in her family were very early North American settlers. Your grandmaa’s dad’s dad started up in Wilmington, Delaware an enterprise or a business where he first made horse drawn carriages and then sleek travel homes. Your grandmaa’s ma grew up in northeastern Maryland. The guys, gals and kids who grew up in the area where your grandmaa’s ma grew up around Sudlersville, Maryland talk like the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ actors talked like in their TV sitcom. Your grandmaa’s ma’s ancestors mostly came from Ireland. Your grandmaa’s dad’s ancestors came from Scotland. During a meeting one morning when your grandmaa and grandpaa were living in Guatemala as missionaries on the Equipo SEPAL missionary team, your grandpaa told a guy who had flown to Guatemala from England to recruit more Guatemalan guys and gals to go to Europe as missionaries that his ancestry was a hundred percent Dutch and that your grandmaa’s ancestry was mostly Scotch/Irish. The guy without hesitating told your grandpaa that it is good to have a good fight once in a while. A guy with a Dutch heritage has been stereotyped as being stubborn and frugal while a gal with a Scotch heritage has been stereotyped as being fun-loving and friendly while a gal with an Irish heritage has been stereotyped as being both very vivacious but also being very quick tempered. The guy – who was English, had married a gal who was Scotch/Irish. How interested are you in knowing your ancestry?
When Paul was about to be scourged with a leather whip that had pieces of bone and metal tied to the thongs at the end of the whip, Paul told a centurion that he was a Roman citizen. Because a Roman soldier was not allowed to hurt a Roman citizen . . . your grandpaa finds God’s personalized life plans intriguing. During the next two years after he was imprisoned in Caesarea, Paul did not send a missive to any Christ-follower fellowship of guys and gals.
Acts 22 (672)