To the Jew first?

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Grillsy, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    What does Paul mean when he says that he went "to the Jews first"?

    Should we be following this principal as well?
  2. Joseph Scibbe

    Joseph Scibbe Puritan Board Junior

    I have heard it said that the Gospel's spread started in Jerusalem with the Jews and spread to the Gentiles from their. I would love to see what others have to say.
  3. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    I think we are beyond, the jew 1st. Its been 2000 years.
    How would you go about finding a Jew ( son of Judah) anyway, most of the genealogies were lost in dispersions, and captivities, only a partial was even recovered in Nehemiah and Ezra's restoration.
    And what of the other Israelite tribes?

    So I think we are beyond that and more to, there is no more Jew or Greek.
  4. tt1106

    tt1106 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi, I hope I am not jumping in the deep end of the pool. Post #2 for me.

    My simple understanding is it has a couple of reasons....
    1. Historically, God approached the Jewish people first. As God is always unchanging, we can expect this to always be the same.
    2. There is a special emphasis towards going to the Jew. This is simply because the Jews were waiting for the Messiah, who came, that they did not recognize. It would therefore be necessary to try and make them see that Christ was the Messiah and waiting any longer would be pointless.

    I also agree with the post above. The message has been to the Jews and we are beyond that now. (As far as evangelizing strictly to them)
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I do not believe that St Paul is establishing a principle of evangelistic priority. Rather he is refering to the historic reality of the spead of the gospel.

    Notice that The statement immediately follows Pauls ststement of his willingness to go to Rome to preach the gospel.

    15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

    16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
  6. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    Doesn't Paul elsewhere(in Acts, maybe?) go to the Jews, preach, and get rejected? Then, If I recall correctly, he says "Now I go to the Gentiles". I don't remember where exactly, and I don't have time to look... sorry.
  7. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    yes and how ironic our God is as he goes all the way... next door and the ruler of the synagogue joins him.

    Acts 18:5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them,"Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
  8. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    The Jews were God's covenant people. To them belonged the blessings and the promises. But as we see in Ephesians 2, God recognizes one people of faith under the New Covenant. The term "to the Jew first and also the Greek" is a matter of what was, what is, and what is to come. In Romans 1:16 we see that the gospel was first delivered to the Jews. Under the New Covenant administration it is also preached to the Gentiles. In Romans 2:9-10 judgment is likewise first to those who were entrusted with the oracles of God (the Jews), and then to the Gentiles.

    The covenant promises are now freely granted to all who believe, regardless of ethnicity or religious aristocracy.
  9. Sweaty Deacon

    Sweaty Deacon Puritan Board Freshman

    Having just finished a 2 year study of the book of Acts with my youth group, I would start in Acts. Prior to Paul, Peter and James proclaimed to Gospel to the Jews outside the Beautiful Gate of the temple. While many Jews accepted the message, many did not and they were imprisoned by the Sanhedrin. Moving forward, Peter recieved the vision of the sheet coming down from heaven with clean and unclean food on it urging him to eat. This was the opening of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

    Paul obviously was a Pharisee and therefore very much steeped in the academics of Judaism, i.e., he knew his Scripture. From the very moment of his conversion he understood all of the connections from that Scripture to Christ. He set out from the very first day after regaining his sight to proclaiming Jesus as the Christ as fortold in Scripture. Since he was a Jew and Christ came to save the Jews, the message obviously went to them first. Everywhere that Paul traveled he first went to the synagogue. When they threw him out then he went to the Gentiles.

    Even at the end of Acts when Paul arrives in Rome, he sends for the Jews first. When they would not listen he dismissed them quoting Isaiah 6:9-10, "'Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never percieve. For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn and I would heal them.' Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen."
  10. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    As usual Paul boasts in his weakness.

    His desire is for his brethren of flesh. But he knows the scripture and that it is to go to the Gentiles also.
    He is persecuted by Jews for taking it to the Gentiles.

    So He magnifies this office and boasts in his weakness. That is what the Jews hate him for in order to stay confident and bold, rather than let this be his secret mission and back door, plan B, covert operation, he comes out of the closet before the Kews and tells them, I am going to be preaching to the Gentiles as God and the scriptures foretold.
    That which he was persecuted and ugly for he boasts in. That which brings him affliction he glories in.

    I am sent to the Gentiles. Though he usually goes to the Jews first that they may be provoked to jealousy as they see the Gentiles getting what they reject
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    So you are saying that there was an evangelistic priority for Paul, that he would seek out Jews first being going to the Greek? Even as the Apostle to the Gentiles?

    Also, if it was good for Paul to do, do we then also have to go to the Jew first?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  12. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    What Perg said.
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