14 May. Acts 8:1,11:19-21

14 May. The followers of Jesus are dispersed by persecution

"On that day, the church of Jerusalem began to be persecuted, and all the believers, except the apostles, were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria."

(Acts 8:1)

"Many of the believers were scattered when they were persecuted after Stephen was killed. Some of them went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch telling the message to others, but only to Jews."

"Some of these believers were people from Cyprus and Cyrene. When they came to Antioch, they spoke also to Greeks [Gentiles], telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus. The Lord was helping the believers, and a large group of people believed and turned to the Lord."

(Acts 11:19-21)

"From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To all of God's people who are scattered everywhere in the world. My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubled, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience."

(James 1:2-3)

 

 

Following Stephen’s death in 35AD, the more radical members of the young church in Jerusalem were persecuted by the staunchly traditional Jewish hierarchy.

Most of the Greek-speaking believers were scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria, while the twelve apostles – who were more traditional Hebrew and Aramaic-speaking Jews – were able to remain in Jerusalem.

Some of those persecuted after Stephen’s death travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the message among fellow Jews in these cities (see 1 on the map).

Other Jewish believers from Cyprus and Cyrene (in Cyrenaica – modern-day Libya) went to Antioch in Syria and began speaking to the Greek-speaking Gentiles as well as to fellow Jews (see 2 on the map).

The Letter of James was probably written at this time, following the persecution of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem and their dispersal throughout Judaea and Samaria and to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch in Syria following Stephen’s death in 35AD (see Acts 8:1, 11:19 & James 1:1).

The letter was written by Jesus's brother (who had become the leader of the church in Jerusalem) to Jewish Christians (the ‘twelve tribes’) who had been ‘scattered among the nations’ (see James 1:1).

It provided guidance for everyday living in accordance with Christian attitudes and beliefs, and stressed the need for practical actions to accompany faith in Jesus Christ.

The map shows where the believers were scattered after Stephen's death.

You can read more about this persecution @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/stephen-is-killed-the-be…/


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