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Timothy and Titus

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Three of the letters written by Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) were to men with names beginning with T. Paul considered each of them to be his “true son in the faith”.

Timothy was a young man serving in a church. He received two letters, which have survived to become part of the New Testament.

Titus’ name only appears on one surviving letter. He was serving in Crete, where Paul had left him. Paul intended to send someone to Titus so that they could travel back to rejoin Paul together.

These three letters are chiefly concerned with explaining how leaders (and everyone else) in the fellowship of believers should conduct themselves (behave).

There is much encouragement to Timothy that he should not be deterred from ministering to others because of his youth. He is also encouraged to drink a little wine for his stomach and to exercise his gift. There is no explanation of what his particular gift was – perhaps preaching. He would have known, as would the members of his fellowship, to whom the letter was probably read aloud.

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 T post from 2013 mentions Timothy, Titus and Thessalonians.

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Romans

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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.

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Alter ego

Rarasaur’s prompt for the Promptless Season 2 begins with alter ego.

I had a look at the link she provided to Wikipedia.  The most famous alter ego I had thought of was there, Robert Louis Stevenson’s eponymous Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde.  However, I didn’t want to write about a novel I read years ago.

Then I wondered about whether I had an alter ego, but  I shy away from writing too much about myself.

So here are my thoughts about alter ego.

The best example of a changed personality is St Paul.  He started life as Saul of Tarsus.  He was well-educated and brought up to know all the details of the Jewish Law, which had been handed down from Moses.  He tried to do what he believed was right.  When a new set of ideas seemed to threaten his own views he was zealous to eradicate it.  He looked after the cloaks for the people who stoned to death Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  Acts 8:1

He was prepared to travel to other towns to pursue the followers of Jesus Christ and set off from Jerusalem to Damascus.  On the way he saw a bright light, which left him blind, and he heard a voice.

This event is so important that it is recorded three times in the Acts of the Apostles:  Acts 9: 1-31, Acts 22 and Acts 26

He had encountered Jesus after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.  Saul’s sight was restored after three days.  Acts 9:9-11

St Paul went on to write thirteen of the twenty one letters which are included in the Bible.  In Philippians 4: 13 He wrote, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
He had changed from a person who tried to do right to one who trusted and became righteous.   He travelled extensively spreading the Good News about Jesus to people all round the Mediterranean Sea.  He reached Rome after many adventures.

If you needed a prompt, I hope I have prompted you to read this amazing story for yourselves.  You and your alter ego, that is!