The Disciples at Damascus

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Frogman, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Does anyone have any information concerning the congregation of disciples at Damascus with whom Paul stayed 'certain days'?

    Any information, or sources that you think reliable would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  2. Frogman

    Frogman
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    This is a hard one, ain't it? :D
     
  3. tyndale1946

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    I checked The Life and Epistles of St. Paul by Coneybeare/Howson... Nothing... Hassell said nothing about it in his church history... I felt Gill would have the answer and checked but none particularily pointed out... You can check Gill on line for that verse if you have not already and see how you feel about his answer... Other than that... I've come to a dead end or overlooked something :confused: ... Brother Glen The Primitive Baptist
     
  4. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Thanks Bro. Glen, I will check Gill online. I also posted this question to a Landmarker web-site and it has travelled from KY to the UK to Australia and then back to KY I don't have time now, but I will post the answer later this evening, it is not very encouraging either.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  5. Jim1999

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    Brother Glen, The book you might like to consult is Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free by F.F. Bruce. He deals with the people at Damascus in some detail, but you must read in a number of different sections. Hence, I cannot copy it here. Pages, 63,69,72,76f, 79f, 83, 93, 322, 421 and 467.

    Paul, or Saul, was on his way to Damascus to lay hold on the refugees there under the decree of the Roman Emperor..he was after the refugees because the Jews of Judea were given rights as an independent state, and therefore, protected.

    Note that Ananias was a member of the Christian group in Damascus, one of the first Christians Paul encountered. It was a strong assembly of God's people. I should imagine Paul developed a very strong affinity with these brethren.

    Cheers, and good reading

    Jim
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Brother Glen, I will add a further paragraph on the topic"

    We may wish we knew something about the antecedents of the community of Jesus' disciples at Damascus - that is, if we are right in inferring from Luke's record that such a community had been established before the arrival of refugees from Judea after the death of Stephen. Unfortunately, we have no evidence to guide us and are driven to speculate. One scholar has ventured the speculation that...the founders.....were members of the holy family, brothers and other relatives of Jesus.......they expected Jesus to speedily be manifested in glory there. (E, Lohmeyer, Galilea und Jerusalem -Gottingen, 1936).....Tis can be neither proved nor disproved. We know that a generation or two later there were several Jewish-Christian settlements in and around Decapolis, but they are scarcely relevant to this much earlier settlement in Damascus." Mostly quoted, but some ad lib cos my fingers were getting sore,,,F.F. Bruce

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Here is the post concerning the information I have been able to gather. It has been a while since I began to gather this, and I am unable to remember the source for the first paragraph, but I believe it to be separate from the rest which was gathered by Norman Tew of Australia.

    In reading it I gather there is not much conclusive evidence as to the time of the founding of the church by I have placed in bold a portion I think to be significant, note that I said "I think." :D

    Bro. Dallas

    In 64 B.C., the Roman made Syria a part of the Roman Empire. Certain principalities with large Arab populations, such as Palmyra, were given the right to retain a degree of autonomy.
    Damascenes became the mercantile middlemen of the Roman Empire, marketing and distributing products between Europe and the Orient. They built an entirely new city over the ruins of the ancient one. As a result, Damascenes products, such as swords, glassware, and cloth, became renowned throughout the Empire. Damascus had gained the distinction of being counted among the ten most prominent cities of the Roman Empire.
    It was during this period that Christianity was introduced in Damascus. It had already taken root by the time St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) arrived in Damascus in approximately 34 A.D . It was on the road to Damascus that he had his vision that left him blinded and convinced him that he should not carry out his mission to arrest the Christians of Damascus. Paul was cured of his blindness by Ananias, who was later canonized. Damascus became an important center for Christians and the Bishop of Damascus became the second most important ecclesiastical figure after the Patriarch of Antioch. With the break-up of the Roman Empire in ca. 395 A.D., Syria became a part of the eastern province of the Byzantine Empire. Strategically placed between Anatolia and Egypt, the two most important provinces of the Byzantine Empire.


    Quoting from SDA Bible Commentary volume 8 - Bible Dictionary. Subject
    Damascus -
    In the 1st Cent, A.D. it apparently belonged temporarily to
    Aretas IV, king of the Nabataeans (2 Chron 11:32). There was a strong
    community of Jews in Damascus which supported several synagogues (Acts 9:2;
    Jos. War ii 20. 2), and Christianity took root among them at an early date.
    It was when Saul of Tarsus went to Damascus to purge the city of the
    Christians (Acts :)1,2) that he was converted by his vision of Christ
    outside the city (ch 22:6-16).

    In case you do not have Josephus here is the section referred to. It is
    under a section reporting events in the time of Nero (the previous chapter
    is talking about events in his 12th year).

    2. (559) In the meantime, the people of Damascus, when they
    were informed of the destruction of the Romans, set about the slaughter of
    those Jews that were among them; (560) and as they had them already cooped
    up together in the place of public exercises, which they had done, out of
    the suspicion they had of them, they thought they should meet with no
    difficulty in the attempt; yet did they distrust their own wives, which were
    almost all of them addicted to the Jewish religion; (561) on which account
    it was that their greatest concern was, how they might conceal these things
    from them; so they came upon the Jews, and cut their throats, as being in a
    narrow place, in number ten thousand, and all of them unarmed, and this in
    one hour's time, without any body to disturb them.

    (Acts 9:1-2 NRSV) Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats
    and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest {2}
    and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found
    any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to
    Jerusalem.


    I also looked at "Exploring Church History" by Howard F. Vox published by
    Thomas Nelson in 1994. This talked of the period but gave no dates.

    Here is part of the article on Damascus in Nelson's New Illustrated Bible
    Dictionary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.
    All references to Damascus in the New Testament are
    associated with the apostle Paul's conversion and ministry. During this
    time, the city was part of the kingdom of Aretas (2 Cor. 11:32), an Arabian
    prince who held his kingdom under the Romans. The New Testament reports that
    Paul was converted while traveling to Damascus to persecute early Christians
    who lived in the city (Acts 9:1-8). After his dramatic conversion, Paul went
    to the house of Judas, where God sent Ananias, a Christian who lived in
    Damascus, to heal Paul of his blindness (Acts 9:10-22).
    Paul preached boldly in the Jewish synagogues in Damascus,
    but eventually he was forced to flee the city because of the wrath of those
    to whom he preached. The governor of Damascus tried to capture Paul, but the
    apostle escaped in a large basket through an opening in the city wall (Acts
    9:25; 2 Cor. 11:32-33).


    Thomas Nelson's Visual Survey of the Bible gives a few dates but they are
    not much help.
    It places the death of Stephen in AD35 (I would place it even a couple of
    years earlier) and the start of Paul's Missionary Journeys in AD 48 . It
    places Paul's conversion about one third of the way through this interval,
    (maybe before AD40). We have to remember that the foundation of the
    Christian church in Damascus could have been the result of a missionary
    journey but it is more likely that it resulted from the dispersal of the believers under the persecutions which followed immediately on the death of
    Stephen. See Acts 8:1, though this says only the countryside of Judea and
    Samaria.



    None of this answers your questions. I checked around a few other books but
    none of them had dates even for Paul's arrival at Damascus and the arrival
    of Christians is less likely to be given as it is not recorded in the Bible.
    The only possibility is if there is a Christian group who traditionally put
    their roots in that era but I am afraid I would give little credence to such
    a traditional dating (though it could be an estimate).

    Sorry I am unable to help you. If you do ever get an answer to the question
    I would be interested to hear what you discover and where.


    Norman Tew - Sydney, Australia
    [email protected]..or...[email protected].
    my genealogical pages (including Bible genealogies) are at
    www.tech2u.com.au/~normtew
     
  8. Frogman

    Frogman
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    The above quote is taken from:http://syria.arabicnet.com/damas.asp

    Bro. Dallas
     

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