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Vol.  9  No. 8 August 2007  Page 20
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Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

1 Timothy 5:16 Compared with 2 Corinthians 9:13

Louis Rushmore

Hi Brod Rushmore, Greetings! I’m Omar S. Agustin, member of the Chruch of Christ in Angeles City, Philippines, In 1 Timothy 5:16 please explain, can we use the church treasury for none christian which is widow whatever age? Is this text applicable only for the member of the Lord’s Church? Please explain 2 Cor. 9:13-14, the phrase “unto them and unto all” In Him, Omar S. Agustin

    First Timothy 5:16 is addressed to Christians who have widowed parents; the verse is not addressed to the widowed parents. “If any believing man or woman has widows” (NKJV). The purpose of the verse is to prompt Christians to take financial responsibility for their own widowed parents so that the church does not have to undertake that responsibility: “let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened.” The implication is and further it is plainly stated that the church will take financial responsibility for widows who have no other financial resources to which they can appeal for their support: “that it may relieve those who are really widows.” While the verse acknowledges that the one addressed are Christians who have widowed parents, nothing in the verse says anything about whether the widowed parents are Christians.

    First Timothy 5:16 is similar in intention to verses 9-14 of this passage in that alternatives are addressed for the sustenance of widows so that the financial resources of the church do not have to be expended on widows unnecessarily. The church will arise benevolently toward widows if it needs to rescue them, but other alternatives ought to be sought first. First Timothy 5:8 heads this passage of responsible and financial sustenance of one’s family, and biblically, one’s family extends backward as well as forward. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

  Second Corinthians 9:13 also discusses benevolence. However, the verse mentions benevolence toward Christians and non-Christians: “liberal sharing with them and all men.” Second Corinthians 9:13 mirrors Galatians 6:10, which reads: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” While we have preference for brethren (Romans 12:10), according to opportunity and available resources, the church has an obligation to extend benevolence first to fellow Christians who need it, and then to non-Christians as well.

Sanguine Husband and a Choleric Wife

I am a Sanguine, my wife is a choleric. So how does one lead a choleric wife? Ron Kyker, Livermore, Ca

    A Christian wife with a proper regard for and understanding of New Testament teaching about male and female roles in the home and in the church will submit herself to her husband. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:22-25). At the same time, husbands need to recognize and embrace their God-given roles as head of the home (1 Corinthians 11:3). Irrespective of our personality types, we have the capacity to obey God and function in the respective male/female roles he has assigned us.

African Place in Biblical History

Sir, I read the following statement at this web site:


“Therefore, Ethiopia was at peace with the Roman Empire when in Acts Eight the treasurer of Ethiopia (either as a Gentile proselyte to Judaism or a Jew whose ancestors sought refuge or business interests in Ethiopia) traveled to Jerusalem for worship. Especially the great contributions of the Grecian and Roman empires to the so-called civilized world (e.g., law and order, highways, universal language, common monetary system, postal service, etc.) permitted introduction of the Gospel in not only Palestine, but in Europe, Asia and Africa. The background lying behind Acts 8:26-28 when brought to light makes the study of that passage more rewarding.”

I may have read it wrong, but to me, this statement implies that the Grecian and Roman empires contributed innovations of all types to Africa. This statement is perplexing to me, since in my research, I’m uncovering evidence that people of African nations founded and established Greek and Roman cities, and that it is Greek and Roman language that is based on African languages. Are these statements true? Please refer me to sources. Thank you, Doretha Riley

    Biblical history primarily pertains to a piece of real estate often referred to as the Fertile Crescent, which extended from the Persian Gulf west to the Mediterranean Sea and south to Egypt. The shape of this land is crescent or rainbow in general appearance, arched in the middle. The Fertile Crescent was well watered with the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers (as well as other smaller rivers). North of the Fertile Crescent are high mountains, and south of the Fertile Crescent is desert. A number of countries occupied and occupy this area of land: Persian (Iran), Babylon and Assyria (Iraq), Syria, Lebanon and Palestine (an area rather than a single country), etc. Biblical history includes besides the Fertile Crescent Italy, Greece and Turkey as well as Mediterranean islands plus Egypt and Ethiopia. In succession, the Fertile Crescent as well as Turkey (Asia Minor), Greece, Italy and Egypt were dominated by or affected by the following empires: Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greece, Roman. Each of these empires left some lasting affect, some of which were unintentionally helpful to the spread of the Gospel and the early church (Christianity). The Medes and Persians developed a sort of pony express for rapid mail delivery throughout their kingdom. The Greeks left behind a universally known language (to enable people of different native languages to communicate). The Romans built 50,000 miles of primary highways throughout their empire, augmented with 200,000 miles of secondary roads. Virtually any historical resource that addresses these kingdoms that also appear in biblical history will mention the information just noted.

    I am not aware of what was occurring parallel to the ages mentioned above in areas outside of inclusion in biblical history (e.g., Africa beyond Ethiopia, Asia, South America, North America, etc.). The Roman Empire stopped in Africa at southern Egypt, having warred with Ethiopia when Ethiopia attempted to push Roman occupation from Egypt. Ethiopia unable to push Roman occupation from Egypt, though trying twice, made peace with the Romans. Consequently, because Rome did not desire to extend itself beyond Egypt into Africa, Ethiopia became the portal for trade between Africa and the Roman Empire. This proved to be financially advantageous to Ethiopia and Rome.

    Regarding languages, the Bible and modern science concludes that all human languages have a common parent language, and that the various languages are not only thereby related, but the feed off each other. Because of the commonality in even what appear to be drastically dissimilar languages, an unknown language can be learned by comparison with other languages and common elements in human language.

When Did the Jewish Nation Begin?

Genesis 10:5 (KJV) speaks of the isles of the Gentiles. In Gen. 11:9 God scattered the people at Babel. Were all of these still Gentiles? In Gen. 12:2 God tells Abram (Abraham) He will make of him a great nation, but he does not use the word Hebrew or Jew. When did the Jewish nation begin? Wanda Miller

    Moses, by divine inspiration, wrote the first five books of the Bible after the establishment of the Jewish nation. When the historical events occurred that appear in the Book of Genesis, there was not yet a distinction between Israelites or Jews and Gentiles (everybody else). However, by the time that Moses wrote the Book of Genesis, there was a distinction between the Israelites or Jews and the Gentiles. Moses spoke accommodatively to his fellow Israelites when he spoke of Gentiles in distinction to himself and his nation.

    In addition, the designation of “Jews” was not contemporaneous with the establishment of the Israelite nation, but came along years later. (To complicate things a bit more, sometimes the nation of Israel referred to only ten tribes and not all the tribes, i.e. when for awhile both Saul’s son and David were kings over different tribes and later when the Israelite nation split along the same lines following the death of Solomon.)

    Abraham is the father of the Jewish or Israelite nation, as God stated (Joshua 24:3) and first century Jews (and Jewish Christians) avowed (Luke 1:73; 16:24, 30; John 8:53, 56; Acts 7:2; Romans 4:12), but Abraham never saw the promises made to him (Genesis 12:2) respecting the nation of Israel come to fruition in his lifetime. The only land that Abraham owned as far as we know was the burial cave purchased to bury Sarah (Acts 7:16).

    Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, underwent a divinely given name change to “Israel” (Genesis 32:28). Though through Jacob whose name was changed to Israel that name came into being, Jacob (Israel) did not live to see the establishment of the nation of Israel. Only about 70 souls of Jacob’s family came to dwell in a section in Egypt called Goshen (Deuteronomy 10:22; Acts 7:15). However, over the years while in Egypt, the descendants of the man Israel experienced a population explosion (Genesis 7:17). Moses led “the children of Israel” out of Egypt and inaugurated a solemn covenant with God at Mt. Sinai (Acts 7:37-38). Now, Israel was a nation.

    The term “Jews” first referred to members of the tribe of Judah (2 Kings 16:6). After the Babylonian captivity, the word Jew became synonymous with all the surviving descendants of the Israelite nation that formerly made its exodus from Egypt and settled Palestine. This was the way in which the term was applied in the New Testament literally (Romans 1:16; 2:9). However, aside from physical ancestry, today, under Christianity, a true Jew is equivalent to a Christian (Romans 2:28-29; 9:6). Christians are Jews today spiritually.

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