Woman of the Bible Study: Dorcas

The Bible Study of Dorcas – March 19, 2016 – Acts 9:36-43

  1. Dorcas is Greek and means Gazelle, the Hebrew equivalent is Tabitha. (page 213)
  1. She was from Joppa, which means beauty, this town is along the Mediterranean sea approx. 35-38 miles Northwest of Jerusalem. Today it is called Jaffa and it is a suburb of Tele Viv. (V36 & footnote)
  1. She is a disciple. Per the text, she is the only woman to be named/called a disciple. Disciple: someone who is taught by Jesus and follows Jesus’ ways. (page 214)
  1. Dorcas was known as always doing good works and acts of love in helping the poor. She made robes and other clothes for the poor. (V36&V39).
  1. Dorcas became ill and died. Her body was washed and placed in the upper room. (V37)
  1. Peter was in Lydda and they sent 2 men to go get him, to come right away. He was approximately 12 miles away. (V38).
  1. Burials normally happened the same day the person died in Jerusalem but outside the city the body maybe delayed for up to 3 days and therefore was placed in an upper room. (V39, see NIV footnote)
  1. Peter got down on hands and knees and prayed before he said “Tabitha get up” (V40) Peter had the Faith Jesus told him he would need to do the things he saw Jesus do (John 14:12)
  1. Peter took her by the hand and helped her to her feet and presented her to the widows and other believers, alive. (v41)
  1. The widows of Joppa and many others believed that day, this became known all over Joppa. (V42)
  1. Her name Dorcas suggest she was a Hellenist: Jewess who lived among the Greeks and spoke the Greek language, who was a Christian. (page 222 Woman who made Bible History)

Reference:

NIV Study Bible,Zondervan

Women in the Bible:Harold J Ockenga 1962 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Syswerda, Jean E, Women of the Bible, Zondervan, 1999

 

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What Does Sharing Everything for God Mean to You?

Acts:3:1-16; Acts 4:1-32

As we navigate through this earthly life, we need constant communication with our God. As believers, the Holy Spirit lives within to guide, support and comfort. We also have the Word of God, wherein we can find answers and instructions for all life’s questions. Let us always go the Word and meditate on what THE BIBLE REVEALS.

  1. THE STORY UNFOLDS: Acts 3:1-10

A crippled man who routinely lay at the temple gate called Beautiful, saw Peter and John one day and as always begged for alms/money.  Peter’s reply to him was:

Acts3:6—- “silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk”. NOTE: The man healed began to run, jump and praise God. Others saw and recognized him as the crippled beggar. “They were all filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened”. (Acts 3:10b)

2. HOW HEALING CAME: Acts 3:13,16

The people watching while astonished were also perplexed. Peter addressed their surprise and their questioning stares and said:

Acts 3: 13—- “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified His servant Jesus”.

Acts 3:16—– “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

3. PETER AND JOHN ARRESTED: Acts 4:1-4

As usual, the religious rulers were upset the disciples were gathering so many people and preaching about Jesus. The disciples were arrested and held overnight for court the following day.

Acts 4:3—-“They seized Peter and John and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day”. NOTE: see footnote 4:3—No judgements conducted during  evening hours.

4. HIGH PRIEST QUESTION PETER AND JOHN’S AUTHORITY

Peter and John were brought before the high priest at the Sanhedrin Council the next day and asked:

Acts 4:7—- “by what power or what name did you do this”

5. PETER’S RESPONSE:

Acts 4:10 —“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead that this man stands before you healed”.

Acts 4:12—- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”.

6. OFFICIALS STUMPED/SATAN AGAIN DEFEATED:

Acts 4: 14—- “but since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

7. OFFICIALS DEMAND/DISICPLES STAND FIRM

The Demand— Acts 4:15-18 “So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin…. to stop this thing….to speak no longer to anyone in this name”.

Peter and John’s stand—Acts 4: 19-20 “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”.

8. GOD CAN USE ANYONE TO FULFILL HIS PLAN, EVEN UNBELIEVERS

Acts 4:21—- “….they let them go. They could not decide how to  punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened”.

9.THE BELIEVERS’S PRAYER: ACTS 4: 23-32

Peter and John returned to their people and reported all that had happened. Everyone then raised their voices together in prayer.

Acts 4:29—-  “….enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus”.

NOTE: ALL PRAYED TO CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT JESUS AND DO GOD’S WILL. WHAT IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE LIKE? 

10. GOD’S PLAN CANNOT BE ALTERED—THE CRUCIFIXION

Acts 4:28—The people prayed….. “They did what your power and will had decided before hand should happen”. NOTE: see footnote Acts 4:28—“Not that God had compelled them to act as they did, (the Crucifixion) but he willed to use them and their freely chosen acts to accomplish His   saving purpose”.

NOTE: REMEMBER GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL

11. GOD’S PURPOSE FULFILLED

Acts 4:31—- “after they prayed…..they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly”.

NOTE: IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LINE WITH GOD’S?

12. Acts 4:32—- “all the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had”.

NOTE: SCRIPTURE INDICATES THE PEOPLE SHARED PERSONAL POSSESSIONS. WHAT DOES SHARING EVERYTHING FOR GOD MEAN TO YOU?

Thelma Bruce

Priscilla Bible Study Key Points – for Bible Study March 28, 2015

For our lesson of Priscilla, Acts 18-19, Romans 16:3-4, I Corinthians 16-19, Timothy 4:19 on pages 221-224, in our main text Women of the Bible by Jean E Syswerda.

1.  Her name, diminutive of “Prisca”, means “worthy” or “venerable.” (1.)

2.  Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in four different books of the New Testament and they are always named as a couple and never individually. (See number 4)

3. Of those six references, Priscilla’s name is mentioned first, four times, which is unusual for such a male dominated society.  (2.)

4. Through out Scripture the man is usually named first: Adam and Eve, and Ananias and Sapphira, making the four appearances of Priscilla’s name first, a notable exception.  Examples:

A. Acts 18:2-3: “There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome.  And because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”

B. Acts 18:18: “Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time.  Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.  Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken.”

C.  Acts 18:26: “He began to speak boldly in the synagogue.  When Priscila and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.”

D.  Romans 16:3-4: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.  They risked their lives for me.  Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”

E. I Corinthians 16:19: “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings.  Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.”

F. 2 Timothy 4:19: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.”

5. While this view is not likely among scholars, some scholars have suggested that Priscilla was the author of Hebrews.  Hebrews is the only book in the New Testament with author anonymity. (3)

6.  Paul met them in Corinth, Acts 18:2: “There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Cladius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome.  Paul went to see them.”  Priscilla and Aquila were tent makers, as was Paul.  Priscilla and Aquila had  been among the Jews expelled from Rome by Roman Emperor Claudius in the year 49.  They ended up in Corinth for many months.

7. Priscilla and Aquila were among known the earliest known missionaries. Acts 18:24-26: Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.  He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.  He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately”.

1. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999, pg. 221.

2. Beyond Sex Roles:What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family, Gilbert Bilezikian, Baker Academy, 2006, pp 200-201.

3. NIV Study Bible  (All Scriptures)

Women of the Bible – Priscilla– 03/28/2015

Priscilla is our twenty-second study in our series from Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E Syswerda. The study of Priscilla is found on page 221. The Bible Study will meet 4:00p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For complete information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683.

Our Spring Pot Luck and Open House is scheduled for April 11, 2015. If you have not attended one of our Bible Studies, this is a good time to come and see what we are about. We welcome all visitors, no participation on the Pot-Luck items required, Come and be Our Guest.

For information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683.

Lydia – 10 Key Points for Bible Study on March 14, 2015

Lydia – A Woman of the Bible

by Lisa Jones

Our Lesson on Lydia comes from Acts 16:6-40 in our main text Women of the Bible by Jean E Syswerda. Here are some important points. These points may not directly answer the questions on pages 219-220.

  1. Her name signifies that she was a woman of Lydia, a region in Asia Minor.
  2. She was a Gentile adherent to Judaism.
  3. She is described as a successful businesswoman; because she was a dealer of purple cloth. Purple cloth was expensive and valuable as a sign of nobility or royalty so she was a wealthy businesswoman.
  4. As head of household she was either widowed or single.
  5. So strong was her faith, that her entire household followed her example and was baptized.
  6. She extended hospitality to Paul and his companions, even after their imprisonment.
  7. From the city of Thyatira. This small city was known for its commerce in Asia Minor. It was in an area noted for its abundant crops and the manufacture of purple dye.
  8. A worshiper of God. This term was used for Gentiles who believed in the Jewish God, Yahweh. Although they believed in God, they were not yet believers in Christ.
  9. A woman whose heart God opened. Paul shared the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and through God’s divine work, she believed. She apparently was baptized right away along with the members of her household. Lydia’s household probably included children and servants. Whether the entire household believed or not, they now lived in a Christian home.
  10. A willing servant. When God opened her heart, she believed wholeheartedly. She became a servant, tending to the needs of the missionaries. Later in Paul’s mission, he returned to Lydia’s home where he met with believers. Lydia had apparently become an active member of the church.