3

Saul

To navigate between posts, please scroll down to the end of the widgets in the sidebar and use the arrows << or >>.

Regular readers of this blog have already met Saul of Tarsus, who became St Paul.

Another Saul was an important character in the Old Testament. I mentioned him in my post about Kings.

The prophet Samuel anointed Saul as king. He began his reign well, but had to deal with war-like nations, threats from a giant and fits of rage or insanity.

His son Jonathan had no ambitions to become King and supported his friend, the shepherd boy, David, who had killed the giant with a stone slung from a low-tech device, which would hardly count as a catapult in modern-day terminology.

Goliath was the name of the giant.

Samuel anointed David as king in obedience to God’s command, although Saul was still alive. David spent some time playing his harp to Saul to calm him. When Saul’s jealousy became too great, David lived in hiding and supporters gathered around him. Although he could easily have killed Saul, he would not harm the Lord’s anointed king. The adventures of these first two kings are told in the first books of Kings and Chronicles.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My S post from 2013 does not mention either person named Saul.

4

Romans

To navigate between posts, please scroll down to the end of the widgets in the sidebar and use the arrows << or >>.

During the time that the New Testament was written the Roman Empire had expanded. Jerusalem was occupied by the Romans. They brought a mixture of good and bad innovations. The roads had never been better, but there were brutal punishments including crucifixion.

The book in the New Testament usually known as Romans is a letter from St Paul – mentioned as Saul of Tarsus in my post about Gamaliel – to the Christians in Rome.

This book is the most thorough explanation of Paul’s understanding of the faith to which he had been an unlikely convert.

He expressed a desire to travel to Rome, which happened in a strange way. Because he was a Roman citizen, he was allowed privileges of status that most other Jews did not share. He travelled to Rome as a prisoner awaiting trial and spent much of the end of his life in prison or under house arrest. He wrote many letters, some of which have not survived for us to read.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My R post from 2013 mentions Romans.

4

Questions

To navigate between posts, please scroll down to the end of the widgets in the sidebar and use the arrows << or >>.

The first question recorded in the Bible was asked by the serpent in Chapter 3 of Genesis. Other questions follow.

In Psalm 8 God is asked the question, “What is man that you are mindful of him?”

It is hardly surprising that there are questions in the Bible. We ask questions in order to learn.

Jesus asked and answered questions.  In my A to Z Challenge of 2015 I wrote about the names of God. I couldn’t find a name beginning with Q. Instead I suggested that Jesus (believed by Christians to be the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity of God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit, three persons and one God) was the Question-setter.

An example of Jesus’ use of questions may be found in Chapter 15 of Matthew’s Gospel. There are plenty of other examples elsewhere in the Gospels. Jesus asked Bartimaeus a question.  My M post is also about questions.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

 I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My Q post for 2013