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Galatians 6.11-18:

Paul indicates that he is physically writing. His marks of X are most likely his allusion to having been “branded” as a slave of X. Slavery can be a metaphor for upward mobility and it was important to have the ‘right’ master who will develop you on the road to freedom.

He also refers to the Galatians as his fellows in X, so despite their recalcitrance, they are still beloved.

Galatians is “a letter of rebuke”:
See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand!
It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised-- only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor un-circumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! 16 As for those who will follow this rule-- peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
1 Corinthians 1.1-9:

Claims his authority immediately. Doesn’t write alone, but in the fellowship of the Church. Implications of Sanctification meant to be ‘separated’ for X. Paul emphasizes the fact that they are called along with all others, because the Corinthians are inclined to their own self-centered path, not viewing themselves as part of the greater whole. He starts with a type of family prayer and commends their gifts. Perhaps displays some Irony about the ‘gifts’ that they valued within themselves—eloquence logos, and knowledge, gnosis. He commends their ‘charisma’ which he will address extensively later, then gives a subtle ‘dig’ at their sense of the ‘already’ and forgetting the ‘not yet.’ The Spiritual gifts are not the realization of the Kingdom, they are just the down payment. IOW, you will be saved because X has saved you, (9) P’s point is God’s faithfulness. There is a connection vv.8-9 in being called and called.
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in *, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind-- 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you-- 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord
1 Corinthians 1:10-15 : Last Year

This text is considered Paul’s opening appeal. The appeal is grounded in the unity that should come from baptism. These verses show that there had been a letter sent from Chloe’s household, probably a church house, possibly in Ephesus where Paul could have been living at this time. Obviously, Paul considers the letter reliable. It describes the divisions taking place among the believers in Corinth.
This letter would have been read, and the NRSV has “or” and should use the word but, which would have shown the reader to say that I am of Christ to put it in their face.
11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12 What I mean is that each of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
1 Corinthians 1.18-25:

No sage or scholar could have worked out the salvation of the Cross. Paul is speaking out of his experience; it is how the resurrected Jesus appeared to him, a Pharisee who had been persecuting the Church. Divine suffering would be incomprehensible, foolish, since the Divine cannot suffer. He uses the word ‘sophia’ 3x, as another subtly of rhetoric to confront their sense of ‘wisdom.’ Because what Sophia could divine the cross. There was a lot of Jewish ‘wisdom’ Gnostic, pnuematikos-‘truly spiritual person,’ aesthetic issues coming directly from Philo of Alexandria (women not speaking & referring to husbands is a direct quote from Philo)
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
2 Corinthians 2.1-4

Paul gives a good description of a letter that says that the letter stands in for his presence. Paul had a painful visit to Corinth after hearing from Timothy that it was a bad situation on Corinth possibly because of false apostles described in 2 Cor. 11.12-15. Paul was advised in Ephesus had visited Corinth and possibly had his authority undermined when publicly confronted. Paul decides to write the “tearful” letter after deciding not to make another visit.
1. So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
2 Corinthians 10. 9-11,

Paul specifies that his letter stands in his place. IOW, Letters were a Representative of Personal Self.

CB thinks that Chs 10-11 are really the “Angry Letter” which is added as an appendix.
I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters. For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we will also do when present.
Galatians 1.3-7
“I am astonished/amazed” that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you…” is a classic example of literary, verbal irony. His point is that he is very annoyed and displaying frustrated affection, like many parents. The troublemakers are followers of Jesus and could be Jew or Gentile, and they are insisting that Gentile followers need to be circumcised to be faithful.

Paul uses Irony, this is usual in a “letter of rebuke”—cf. use of the word “fools” (3:1-5).

Galatians is “a letter of rebuke”:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--
7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11. 17-21 Last Year

Paul is not weak, they are not wise. The intent is to bring shame. This is the role of the ironist, to reduce the braggart, the boaster (αλαζον). In an Honor-Shame Society, this is a very effective technique. However, Paul only uses irony with the Churches that know him well. For irony to be effective, you have to be known otherwise people don’t get it. By boasting, Paul meets his opponents where they are in their own boastfulness. Yet Paul’s ironic boasting says that his weakness is his true strength, because the power behind Paul’s apostolic work is not his own work, but that of God and through the power of Christ
For you gladly put up with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you put up with it when someone makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or gives you a slap in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone dares to boast of-- I am speaking as a fool-- I also dare to boast of that
Romans 16.22 (Tertius)
Paul also frequently uses an amanuensis, a Scribe. A good example of a scribal insert. This is important because the amanuensis was routinely given a great deal of latitude in how they wrote what was dictated. This could possibly explain why some of Paul’s letters were in fact ‘by him’ but do not read or sound like Paul. Closing salutation is usually lengthy: which again shows the communal and official nature of Paul’s letters
Also appears to be done in Paul’s own hand
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 21 Timothy, my co-worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives. 22 I Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you. 25 Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith-- 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
2 Thessalonians 3.17-18

It was not uncommon for the ‘writer’ to pick up pen and add their own personal message in their own handwriting at the end of the letter (See Claudia’s letter) Paul in Galatians 6.11. In most cases there would be a scribe that would transcribe the letter for the writer and here Paul is confirming that it is his handwriting and this is just as good as being in person.

The important thing about Claudia’s letter is that we can prove that it was a common occurrence in letter writing.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
Philippians 2.25-30:

Commends Epaphroditus, but also indicates that this is someone the Church sent to Paul to assist Paul and now Paul sends him back. Perhaps this would be embarrassing to Epaphroditus, so there is a great deal of Apologetic to support him. Paul is going to extra lengths to commend him so that he will not feel this way.

Philippians is also a protreptic (something said in order to encourage) but has many features of “letter of friendship”;
Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus-- my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister to my need; 26 for he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, in order that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy, and honor such people, 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.
Galatians 1.15-17:
Paul gives a bit of a “Prophetic Call” and was a ‘good Jew’ but now he has met the Risen Lord, so don’t waste your time re-treading his steps. Paul tells us that he is a Jew advanced above many, a zealous persecutor, and then goes on to describe his Damascus Road experience.
Paul goes on to defend his Preaching, responding to probable disclaimers that he has no personal authority. He says that his preaching does not depend upon any human witness, including Peter and James. Paul refers to the places he has gone and seems to proclaim that he has been a ‘working missionary’ who proclaimed with his own authority.
But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
Philippians 3.5-6.

He says that he is “of the tribe of Benjamin” and Saul was the great hero and King of Israel, of the Tribe of Benjamin.

Part of Paul’s lengthy personal narrative, modeled on the example of Christ. In these verses, Paul lists his credentials for high status according to the flesh and the law.
For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh-- even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.
Galatians 1.1

Part of Paul’s greeting. In identifying himself as an apostle, Paul insists that he was not commissioned by human beings but by Jesus Christ and God, preventing any objections to his to his credentials as an apostle. It also sets Jesus and God the Father side by side, on the same level. This would have been a hard concept for the monotheistic Jews to understand; that Jesus was God.
Paul an apostle-- sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
Galatians 2.15-16:

Paul is addressing the Galatians relaying an earlier address to Peter. He states that the law does not have the power to set people right with God. Only God can set things right. No human can be justified by works of the law. It is God who justifies us, not observance of the law. Rather, we are justified because of Jesus’ self-giving act of faithfulness to God. This could be interpreted as our faith in Christ or as the faith of Christ to God. Verse 16 seemingly is the heart of the message of Galatians.
Gal. 2.16 is corresponding to Ps. 143.2, and goes back to Gal.2.20.
What is faith of Jesus Christ – or is it faith of Jesus Christ?
πιστις [του] χριστου Objective faith in JC
Subjective faith of JC
CB: Paul is capable of being clear when he wanted to be, and he was happy with this the way it was, my faith in Christ and his faithfulness to me and the world, living and dying as one of us. First thing that saves us is movement from God, that Jesus’ faithfulness to do all for us.
Allegorical, anagogical, and moral: texts can mean more than one thing and if they are good texts they
probably do. Ambiguity is not vagueness but rather richness.
2: 16 Ps 143:2 Torah tells you cannot be justified on the basis of the law.
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
Galatians 3.12-14

Paul, in writing to the Galatians, points out that the law promises life, but cannot deliver it. The curse pronounced by the law has been broken by Christ’s death. Without this, the blessing of Abraham could not come to the Gentiles. We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith because of Christ’s faithfulness to God. His death defines the meaning of love as well as transforming the old world under the law to a new world of grace, freedom, and blessing. Deut. 21.23 (cursed who hangs on tree)
Why does Paul go way out of his way to use the curse of the tree to explain the situation? Only to show that he is a Pharisee and can show that Christ is the messiah.
3.10-14 is his whole argument. Be careful in first phrase of 12 – put period at semicolon. The law does not rest on faith. Period. But the objection is that whoever does the works of the law will live by them. BUT 13 Christ redeemed us.
But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, "Whoever does the works of the law will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"-- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
1 Corinthians 7.1-3: Last Year

Paul appears to be answering a question which the Corinthians have specifically asked him to address. Although Paul prefers the unmarried state over marriage, he does not refute marriage. Paul’s primary concern has to do with the Greco-Roman sense of “self-control” or discipline. Marriage can provide a distraction, however, lust and unbridled thoughts can prove more equally distracting if not more so. Therefore, Paul enjoins individuals to seek the most appropriate form of control in their respective lives
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is well for a man not to touch a woman." But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
1 Corinthians 8.2-3:
This is really about the problem of living in a multicultural society, where our interests as Christians may come into conflict and disagreement.

Some say, it doesn’t matter whether we eat the pagan meat, because we really know that the idols are empty so there is nothing really wrong with the meat. Some are horrified at the prospect.

Paul responds by trying to address all of the issues: vv 8.1-2 Love is the only thing that builds up. Our knowledge is unimportant; it is more important to be known by God.
Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.
1 Corinthians 8.6:

8.6 is the Christian Shema; Paul’s unpacking of the Shema for us as Christians. Paul, being a faithful Jew would have known the Shema from Deut. 6.4-9, 11.13-21, & Num. 15. 37-41. The father and son, with a certain distinction of a role being made through Jesus being the agent of the father, Jesus is the word of God in this context.



Paul goes on to accept that the food will not really defile us, however, if people think that we know and do what is wise, then we are responsible for what they perceive and do in imitating us.
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Corinthians 2.14:

The unspiritual here refers to those who live solely in the natural world, with other beasts, and do not consider themselves imbued with (or in need of) the "breath" or spirit of God. They rely solely on their intellect and are thus cut off from the "secret wisdom" of God that comes only with acceptance of the Holy Spirit.
Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned
1 Corinthians 15.8:

Paul says that he is the last of the Apostles to be called, and the least deserving to be called (by virtue of his early persecution of the Church.)
In this passage, Paul says that it doesn’t matter who did what, the essential point is that this is the common apostolic gospel of the whole Church, not just in Corinth, this is Paul’s message and he has been properly called to proclaim this message.
Key Elements of the Resurrection. Paul uses the technical Jewish language of “handing on” of Holy Scripture.
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me
Romans 6.1-2:

Here Paul explains that our participation in Christ's death and resurrection has saved us from the tyranny of sin and death. The old way, namely adherence to the Law, has been supplanted by the new way, life in Christ. Further, he puts to rest a misconception that the abundance of grace allows one carte blanche to sin at will, or perhaps that the proliferation of grace will stay a step ahead or at least a pace of our evil behavior. We who have died to sin cannot go on living in it. We can't have it both ways, nor should we want it but the one way.
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?
Romans 4.19:

The context here is Paul's argument that even Abraham was justified by faith rather than adherence to the law or even an abundance of good works. Despite his advanced age and the barrenness of Sarah's womb, Abraham believed and was rewarded with heirs to the kingdom. Paul stresses, with the invocation of the example of Abraham, that those who follow Christ are included in God's promise to Abraham.
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb.
Romans 5.1:

This verse is the beginning of the “Demonstration and Defense” part (and is the first “Demonstration” argument) of the protreptic form of Romans. It is Paul’s beginning argument “for something” after the completion of his dissuasion argument.
After his argument against dependence on anything save God’s justice and grace, this is the demonstration of the result.
The immediate result of Christ’s work is that we have peace with God.Peace in Hebrew understanding = wholeness and harmony. “We are whole in our relationship with God.”
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8.23:

Still in the “Demonstration and Defense” section of the protreptic form, this verse is the second section of Defense #1 – The Gospel and the Law. Paul looks at the world and sees not what it is, but what it will be. In accordance with the normal rabbinic view Paul speaks of the entire creation as marred in view of humanity’s sin – but creation is not without hope. It will be delivered. (V 20-21)For the moment all creation, including the church, is like a woman in childbirth. We wait for our destiny. (V 22-23) In hope we were saved. The life of grace is to wait for this hope. (V 24-25)
and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 5.12:

So far Paul has surveyed both the universal extent of human sin and guilt and the glorious adequacy of God’s justifying grace in and through Christ. In this verse, Paul is dealing with is SIN and DEATH and with these he describes three downward steps in human history, from one human sinning to all humans dying. The three stages described are: Adam’s sin to Adam’s death, to universal death due to universal sin. But how have all sinned? Sinned like Adam or Sinned with and in Adam? The later is correct as seen in the wider context of the following verses and the use of the analogy – All are in Adam as they are in Christ – not like Adam as they are like Christ.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—
Romans 3.31:

Paul is trying to unify the Jewish Christians, who have been expelled from and recently returned to Rome, and the Gentile converts who came to power in the church during the exile of the Jewish Christians - this is part of his dissuasion against dependence on anything except the justice and mercy of God
- He stresses that our relationship with God is based on faith, which is first God's faithfulness to us and then our faithful response to God - Paul also stresses the importance of the law in pointing out to us that we are sinners and in need of Christ
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means!
On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Romans 3.25-26:

God shows us his integrity and justice by dealing decisively with sin through faith in Jesus. God has been patient with his wrath, not to indulge sin but to lead us to repentance. Through the word “hilastçrion”, a parallel is drawn between Jesus and the ritual of the Day of Atonement, in which a sacrifice was made for the sins of Israel.
whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
Philippians 4.8:

Follows the great Irenic Blessing. Paul gives a list of Hellenistic virtues, particularly for soldiers. This would resonate well with the Philippian community peopled by numerous retired Roman legionnaires.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 2.7-11:
This passage is often called “The Christological Hymn.” It directly addresses the accusations against Jesus’ ignoble death. The Passage is believed to be a Pauline adaptation of an earlier Christian Tradition. In this, Paul addresses Jesus’ voluntary exile and directly addresses what the enemies of Christ said.
This passage projects an early Christology of kenosis, or the divine self-emptying itself and thus becoming wholly human. Jesus already possessed the Godhead but did not think it necessary to exploit it. Thus Paul’s argument to the Philippians that they are NOT to exploit their advantages over each other.
but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Revelation 1:1-3

The prologue of the Revelation to John. Identifies the work as a prophecy received from God through an angel. Identifies this work as an “apokalypsis”, a literary form in which a vision from God is communicated in symbolic language that reveals God’s hidden plan for the concluding period of history
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation 2: 13
One of the 'seven churches' messages, this phrase is addressed to the church in Pergamum. Follows behind a reference to the two-edged sword that proceeds from the mouth of the Son of Man. The inhabitants of the city live in temptation by ones called Balaam (OT reference), but they have remained faithful, even in the face of the death of Antipas. Later verses call the inhabitants (Pergamumites?) to repentance.
"I know where you are living, where Satan's throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives.
Revelation 1:4
The ‘greeting’ introduction of the Book of Revelation, John as author, and the seven churches as recipients. We believe there were more than 7 churches, so 7 may represent the whole of the church, in a symbolic way. The greeting also incorporates developing Christology, but is not Trinitarian as we later come to understand it.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
Romans 3.22b-25a: Last year

Key word in this passage is “GRACE.” Grace is God’s gift, one we do not deserve and cannot earn. All, both Jew and Gentile, are made righteous
Christ paid the sacrifice for the sin of all in full.
Grace epitomizes the Messianic Era. It succeeds the Law and through Christ, does what the Law in itself could not do. Grace reflects God’s faithfulness to us and invites us to faith in God.
For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.
Galatians 1.13-14: Last Year

Part of the introduction to Galatians . Paul is beginning to make a case that his gospel is not of human origin. I was the best of the persecutors, he says, and goes on to note that God revealed Jesus to him, and it was not by human agency that he was called to apostleship.
You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.
Romans 13.1-2: Lat Year

This passage concerns the relationship between the Christian and the Secular State. Paul’s over-riding aim is to encourage the fulfillment of social obligation in a context of trust in God and recognition of his prevailing sovereignty and good order. Ancient tendency was to clothe imperial power in absolutes of divine/demonic to heighten fear or political resistance. Paul reminds them that all authority is ultimately from God and is therefore legitimate. Therefore, disobedience is discouraged as long as civil government limits itself to functions within proper scope, but beware of a government that claims too much for itself
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Romans 1.1-6: last year

This is the opening to Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Paul states that he is an apostle and that the earlier prophetic writings have promised the gospel he proclaims.
It is the only time in any of his letters that Paul uses the phrase “who was descended from David…” Many commentators think that Paul is using a common, formulary expression that the Roman Church would recognize.
Paul provides his particular mission credentials to evangelize the gentiles and states the Pauline thought that faith and obedience are the same for those who dwell in Christ.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
Hebrews 11.1-3:

The writer presents the readers with a theological definition of “faith.” Highly pastoral, it speaks to Christians who may be experiencing persecution or to those discouraged members who may be wavering on the edge of apostasy. If one can “see” a thing, or “prove” a thing, then faith is not necessary, there is no faith. Faith sees what cannot be seen and cannot be proved.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible
Romans 8.18-21: Last Year

Paul’s great statement of Hope. Creation fell with Humanity’s Fall. Just as Christ redeems us from our sin, so also will creation be freed from its sinfulness and decay and all will be made whole in Christ.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God
Philippians 2.3-6: Last Year

This precedes, overlaps what is often called the Christological Hymn, presumed to be an early Christian hymn, probably not originating from Paul.
It is Paul’s call to unity, because he is concerned over possible divisions within this beloved community.
It outlines the Divinity of Christ that empties itself in an incarnation that experienced pain and suffering. As in Adam all fell because of Adam’s pride and disobedience, so in Christ, the new Adam, we all live because of Christ’s humility and obedience.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
Revelation 12.18-13.1: Last Year

In the tradition of Daniel, the “beast” rises up out of the “sea.” As in Daniel and other apocalyptic genre, the beast represents or symbolizes Chaos. In the Revelation to John, it stands in place of the Roman Empire.
Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names.
1 Corinthians 13.1-2: Last Year

This passage begins what is often called the “gift or hymn of Love.” It is noteworthy for its ranking of the Spiritual Gifts. In this case, the gift of love, agape, seeks not its own satisfaction but rather seeks to serve others.

Paul notes that Love reigns supreme over all other gifts.
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
Galatians 4.1-5: Last Year
Paul provides an early attestation to the Christmas narrative.

Paul continues expanding his theme of the son-ship in Christ of the faithful. As long as we were children (before faith) we had no legal standing without legal representation and were enslaved by the elemental forces (law and sin) of a world controlled by evil forces. Paul points out that at God’s ordained time; Jesus who was both fully human and subject to the law came to free us from the bondage of the law. In his coming, Christ inferred upon us the privileges of son-ship. While our Father never dies, inheritance never passes from him; nevertheless we succeed in the full possession of it. In short, apart from the Gospel we are under the power of sin, under it we are God’s very own children.
My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.
Romans 7.22-24: Last Year

Paul addresses the all-too human struggle between what our body wills and what our mind wills. Although Paul knows that he should not sin, his body betrays him, because in Adam all fell. However, though the sinful body perishes, we are redeemed from its sin through Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Galatians 2.11-12: Last Year

Paul writes to refute the Judaizers operating in Galatia who claim that Christians must also be good practicing Jews. He notes that he challenged Peter, who had admitted to eating with Gentiles.
The situation in Galatia threatens to divide the fledgling Church into two parties, with two different Eucharistic meals—those who eat as Gentiles and those who eat as Jews.
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned; for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction.
1 Corinthians 8.5-6: Last Year

Many commentators believe that this is an expansion of the Shema . It appears to address the pre-existence, eternal nature of Christ, through whom all things exist.

This is really about the problem of living in a multicultural society, where our interests as Christians may come into conflict and disagreement. Paul goes on to accept that the food will not really defile us, however, if people think that we know and do what is wise, then we are responsible for what they perceive and do in imitating us.
Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-- as in fact there are many gods and many lords--yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Corinthians 1.1-2:

To Corinth: Claims his authority immediately. Doesn’t write alone, but in the fellowship of the Church.
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in *,
2 Corinthians 1.1:

Relations between Paul and the Corinthians have deteriorated. Much of 2 COR deals with this crisis of confidence. Paul is clearly attaching his apostolic authority to the will of God. Timothy’s inclusion in the salutation connotes his approval of the letter.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God that is in *, including all the saints….
Romans 11.32:

Reflects Paul’s strongly universal message.

This section of Romans outlines God’s plan of salvation of Jew and GK. This sentence clenches Paul’s argument about God’s universal mercy. At this point, the only response is praise to God, and Paul thus closes this argument with a Song of Praise. This concluding sentence gives a perfect expression of Paul’s inclusive vision of the Gospel ‘All’ expresses a communal (not individual) sense.
For God has imprisoned all in disobedience that he may be merciful to all.
Romans 5.15:

Paul’s classic argument that in Adam all fell, but through Christ, the new Adam, all are saved through God’s free grace, attained for us through Christ.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift of the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many
Philippians 3.2:

Paul refers to the Judaizers who are at work in the Church of Galatia, claiming that one cannot be a true and faithful Christian unless one also becomes an observant Jew, which includes the rite of circumcision.
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh.
Romans 4.3:

Paul’s great exegesis that will go on to show that God gave Abraham the Covenant of land, posterity, and blessing because of Abraham’s faith. The circumcision came after God reckoned Abraham as righteous; therefore righteous depends not on works (acts of the flesh) but on faith.
For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
1 Corinthians 1.20 -23:

No sage or scholar could have worked out the salvation of the Cross. Paul is speaking out of his experience; it is how the resurrected Jesus appeared to him, a Pharisee who had been persecuting the Church. Divine suffering would be incomprehensible, foolish, since the Divine cannot suffer.

Paul’s main point: We understand nothing except through the Spirit of God.
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?…For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
Philippians 4.13:

This passage falls in the section where Paul thanks the Philippians for their gift to him and for remembering him in his distress.
Paul writes to his beloved Philippians, emphasizing that he is not asking for money, because he preaches for free. Paul affirms his unshakeable faith that the he will be sustained throughout the apostolic ministry he has been called to fulfill.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Revelation 22.20:

This concludes the epilogue of Revelation, and is the next to the last verse ‘Lord Jesus’ is found in Revelation only here and in last verse. ‘Come Lord Jesus’ is a favorite title of Christian faith and prayer. John closes this Revelation with this prayer that conveys the longing of all his beleaguered communities.
The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Romans 6.3:

This provides not only the rationale for baptism, but for the later theology of ‘baptismal regeneration.’ Here Paul affirms that Christ’s death was not the shameful stumbling block some would assert, but rather the reality of God’s grace-filled action in the world. Through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, all are raised.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
1 Corinthians 15.22:

Paul speaks of humanity in Adam first, then being fulfilled in Christ, thus it is under Christ-representing all humanity, that “all things have been subjected” to him, then the Son. Paul is not speaking Arianism or subordination. But rather, the Messiah’s complete obedient, submission to the Father. In so doing, that is why Christ is the perfect agent of the Father and to be so received, as the Father. Note that Paul has worked this out as well as John does in his gospel, but is trying to address a Corinthian problem
For as all die in Adam, so each will be made alive in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5.21:

Before continuing his appeal to the Corinthians, Paul makes a highly compressed,but profound statement about the work of Christ: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us. Various interpretations of this have been suggested: that Christ was made a sinner; that he was made a sin-offering; that he was made to bear the consequences of our sins. The third interpretation is the most supported, most significantly by the remainder of the verse. By God pronouncing judgment against Christ so that we may have righteousness . It is no wonder that that the love of Christ was such a strong motivating force in Paul’s life.
For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Revelation 13.16a:

The mark of the beast on non-Christians is a counterpart of the seal of God on Christians. Both show the allegiance of an individual, whether to God or the devil. The effect of the mark is the social ostracism of those who refuse it, and it entails economic warfare by the state against the church, with death to those who do not comply. The mark is described as the name of the beast or the number of his name. That number was 666 and it is virtually certain that the individual indicated was known in all the churches addressed by John. The name Nero Caesar transliterated into Hebrew from Greek yields the number 666.
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead…
Romans 4.16:

Context: To show that obedience to the law had nothing to do with Abraham’s being ‘credited as righteous’ (13), Paul cites the weakness of the law itself (14-15), the grace (16) and creative power of God (17b) and the universal ‘fatherhood’ of Abraham (16b-17a).
Ultimately all believers belong to Abraham’s seed and so inherit Abraham’s promise. The fatherhood of Abraham is a theme which runs through the whole chapter. This is a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham seen in vs. 17 – “I will make you a father of many nations.”
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace, and be guaranteed to all his descendants; not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is father of all.
Revelation 4:2-5a (Old Test)

This is the beginning of the general messages to all churches. (The message has 3 parts). The first and last visions are throes. The rainbow reminds the reader of Noah’s covenant. The “Flashing of lightening and peals of thunder reminds the reader of the same at Mt. Sinai. This brings into memory the history of God in general terms that the reader would understand.
2 At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! 3 And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. 4 Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder,
Revelation 5:13-14(Old Test)

This is the climax of the liturgy. The on seated on the throne and the lamb receve the identical worship, therefore the lamb and God are equal in majesty.
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14 And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the elders fell down and worshiped.
2 Corinthians 12: 2 & 4 (Old Test)

Paul is relating a spiritual experience since some of the false teachers have claimed that this is what it takes to be a “real” apostle. In essence, he is saying “oh yeah, I have done that too.”
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. -- was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.
Hebrews 1:1- 4 (Old Test) both

Opening prologue. A contrast in which the writer (unknown, but maybe Barnabas, Priscilla, Apollos?) of this sermon sets Christ above any other theology or religious figure. Basically saying that even though God spoke to prophets long ago, God has now (in the last days) spoken through his Son who is above all prior prophets.
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
1st Corinthians 15: 54b – 55 (Old Test) both

Comes at the end of the body of Paul’s letter and is part of the final of his argument, saying that Christ was the final victory over death. The Corinthians were all about wisdom and were a bit “yuppy”, so Paul’s message is that nothing, not even Death can overcome God’s work and power.
then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
1st Corinthians 15:3-8 (Old Test)

Paul argues that there was a resurrection and indeed puts his own experience as a “resurrection” experience, although it was the “last.” The gospel message was “handed on” in the usual tradition, esp. Jewish tradition. This also seems to be some type of “formula” Paul was quoting. 3rd day is when God acts (in rabbinic tradition, the 3rd day was when God would do something to free Israel.) “In accordance to the scriptures” refers to the entire “set” of scriptures.
3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me
Romans 3:20 – 23 (Old Test)

Law = Torah and prophets. God is faithful and has been reveled in Christ, This also call into mind the exile, since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” is the ultimate exile of humankind. “All” is a word frequently used in Romans and points out that both Jews and Gentiles are in need of God’s grace.
20 For "no human being will be justified in his sight" by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
1st Corinthians 1:28 – 30 (Old Test)

The Corinthian community is a bit haughty and impressed with themselves and their “knowledge”. So Paul writes that all this has nothing to do with their salvation. God chose the lowly and despised….like the Magnificat.. This is all about God’s Grace, not about your wisdom or status, etc.
28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
Romans 6:3 – 5 (Old Test)

Points out the universality of Christ coming to the world, that all have died and been risen with Christ. He is pointing out that because we all have died with Christ in baptism and therefore will be raised again with Christ, and also that we have died to the POWER of sin, not sinning itself. In this passage there is the message of hope in the union between the past (Christ’s resurrection) and future possibility (“newness of life”).
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Philippians 2: 3 – 5 (Old Test) both

This may be from a hymn that Paul is quoting at the end of this passage. The “humility” at the beginning is rather “low minded” and would go against the Greco-Roman culture, therefore there is sense of glorifying the shame which the jews were so focused upon. The hymn part sets a contrast between Adam and Christ. Adam was made in the likeness of God, yet he let his pride get in the way. Christ, on the other hand, who already had the God-head did not exploit it. Indeed, he was obedient, even to death on a cross as the hymn goes on to say later.
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
Hebrews 10: 32 –36 (Old Test)

This comes from the section of the “sermon” that was addressing faith, particularly faith in the midst of (Nero’s??) persecution. This is essentially a pep talk, a “hang in there guys” talk.
32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. 35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Galatians 6:11 – 12 (Old Test)

The end of the letter and evidence that Paul was not the actual scribe for the letter, as was usually the custom (that he was not the scribe). This also is a summary of Paul’s argument that the new Christians do not have to convert to Judaism in the process of becoming Christians.
11 See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised--only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
Galatians 3:13-14 (Old Test)

The law is a “curse” because no one could possibly keep all that it says. Plus, Christ was the only one who has lived by the law, and he was crucified. Paul takes the phrase “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” which was probably used as a slur by the opponents of the Christian movement and shows that this was not a defeat, but power.
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"-- 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Philippians 4:8-9 (Old Test)

Ending exhortation. This is one of the lists, which was usual for Greco-Roman letters and thought. Also, this is military language, which is throughout Philippians.
8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philemon 1:17-18 (Old Test)

This makes this letter a commendation for Onesimus, the runaway slave. Here Paul is writing from prison to tell the slave owner that he, Paul, will be responsible for any debts incurred. The point is that Paul is sending back Onesimus as his “agent” such that he who welcomes Onesimus also welcomes Paul.
17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it.
Romans 16:1-2 (Old Test)

Phoeby was the messenger, carrying the letter, which demonstrates the degree to which she was honored by Paul. She was a patron of the Christian movement and because of this she is Paul’s benefactor. Paul would be her servant according to the culture. This also shwo that women were involved in the movement and that some women had means and relative independence to make decisions and spend money. Again, demonstrates the patronage society.
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, 2 so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.
Romans 7:22-24 (Old Test) both

This passage is found in the demonstration and defense section of Romans. “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? “ In this cry from Paul he is identifying himself as not perfect. The translation of the word “man” is actually human being in the Greek.
22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Romans 9:1-3 (Old Test)

Paul is beginning his argument against the unbelief of the Romans. As part of Paul’s argument, he would offer himself to save the Israelites from themselves and the curse of Christ. Despite what is going on God is faithful to everyone.
I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit-- 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh.
Galatians 2: 11 - 12 (Old Test) Both

This highlights a rift that was going on among the leaders of the Church related to circumcision as well as eating together among Jew and non-Jew. Eating together was seen as a sign of acceptance, camaraderie and solidarity as opposed to just sharing a meal. This gets the question of having to convert to Judaism for the new Christians. Paul’s anger comes out around here, as he points out that some of the people that are trying to implement a stricter interpretation of the law, but “that’s not the point” grace is.
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned; 12 for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction.
1st Corinthians 1:22-24 (Old Test)

The stumbling block for Paul was as a Pharisee trying to reconcile Christ’s Crucifixion being any kind of triumph for the Messiah, and for the Greeks, the death by humiliation on a cross would not be triumph. He is probably referring to “the calling” in the context of his own calling and conversion on the Damascus road, where Christ became the God and wisdom, not a scandal or any disgrace.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Last year
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight an teh sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set befoe us, lookingto Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Revelation 12:1 Last Year
A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman closthed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.