Paul Preaches and Teaches

PAUL PREACHES IN THE SYNAGOGUE (ACTS 19:8-9a). Now Paul had about twelve disciples to teach. For three months, he attempted to make more disciples at the Synagogue, speaking boldly and arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. When Paul had stopped at Ephesus, on his way to Jerusalem, he had been received kindly by the Jews and even invited by them to stay longer. As usual the inevitable breach came when Paul began to get solid results from his work.

PAUL TEACHES IN THE SCHOOL OF TYRANNUS (ACTS 19:9b-10). When opposition arose in the synagogue, Paul took his disciples and moved into the School of Tyrannus. Ancient sources do not identify this Tyrannus, but he seems to have been a Greek teacher or philosopher who owned the hall and rented it to Paul. The Western manuscript of Acts says that Paul did his instructing “from the fifth hour to the tenth,” that is, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., the hottest part of the day when people usually did not work. This would permit Paul to earn his living as a tentmaker in the mornings and evenings (20:34).

Without a doubt, Paul sharpened his theology in these days of teaching. He produced the letters known as First Corinthians and Romans while at the school and shortly thereafter, Second Corinthians.

At this time, Paul views his own missionary task as founding a strategic point within the Roman Empire from which the surrounding regions could be reached. He had founded thriving and growing churches in all the main population centers. The work of establishing other churches in the surrounding areas was now the responsibility of the new Christian converts.

No church of the first century made a greater contribution to enduring Christianity than the one Paul founded in Ephesus. It was his last foundation, and his greatest. All of Asia heard the Word of the Lord, for Paul taught his disciples to live Christ’s Great Commission:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:17-20).

At this time the churches of Colosse, Hierapolis, and the seven cities of Revelation 2-3 were founded. Paul wrote several letters to Corinth. He made a quick and painful visit to the Corinthian church between the writing the two canonical Corinthians letters (2 Corinthians 2:1).

Paul’s first letter to the saints at Corinth was written near the end of his stay in Ephesus.

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