Theology

Households & Promises A Guest Post from Dr. Dennis Dickinson

Households & Promises
There is a passage in Philippians which is important to the text of Acts 16. In the concluding statements of Philippians Paul says, “Caesar’s Household Greets You Guys.” What a statement! Caesar’s Household was his Administration. These are men of influence and power.
Now to Acts 16 where we are told that Philippi is a Roman Colony. A city of retired Roman Military. Lydia the Lydian is here doing business with her Household: which could be her family, but they aren’t actually mentioned anywhere in the text. It could be nothing more than het staff. You see in the Roman world one’s “household” included slaves, and anyone else associated with the authority of the “dominus” or Lord.
As Paul and Silas preach, they are shouted at by the young girl which the Greek text says has the spirit of a Python. This places her squarely with the Temple at Delphi. Its very possible that she is a Pythones Priestess. Paul casts out the spirit, then he and Silas are drug before the town military authorities in the market where it is stated that they are teaching things that no Roman can legally embrace and that these men were Jews. “They are Jews!” The Roman military, and the Roman world knew that the Jews had been a great bother for the order of the empire. Jerusalem was a constant Hot-Spot for the Roman Military. Now this Roman Colony of retired and patriotic retired military hears these words. Grabbed, stripped, beaten, thrown into maximum security at the prison, and placed in stocks,they were out of the way.
Paul and Silas were singing hymns to God. I wonder if they were singing about the one who has come to set the captives free when the earthquake freed everyone in the prison. All the doors were opened and all restraints fell off. The prisoners had perhaps a live demonstration of the message in music.
The military jailor runs in, pulls his military sword, and Paul yells “Stop!” As a soldier his life is forfeit if he looses a prisoner under his responsibility.
Now we get to the thick of it. Two phrases are easily misread.
“What must I do to be saved,” the jailor says. The problem here is that he does not know the full meaning of these words. How could he. Paul says “believe on the Lord Jesus (Christ) and you shall be saved AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD. Then Paul preaches the meaning of his words. He did not stop with words which may not be understood. So he preached and explained to the jailor and his household the godpel.
“and your household.” These words have been claimed for “Headship-Salvation.” i.e. the kids are saved because of the father. But the “household” is in the Roman world not just the kids but also the slaves and staff. It is also at times a business or government with its staff. Here it is not the house of his family, but seems to be his office and staff. Like “Caesar’s House” or “household” this man also brings in his prison staff to hear Paul. All of the staff could forfeit their lives for being involved in the supposed prison-break.
So here is the gospel in business with a Lydian woman, in government with magistrates and prisons, in the market with the competing Python Maiden, and among prisoners. No wonder Jesus told them not to go to Asia (Turkey, etc.) and actually blocked them. They had work to do in Philippi with “households.”
One other note. Historically a community had to have ten Jewish families to form a Synagogue. The Jewish Proselyte Lydia was meeting at the river, as was Paul and his team because this was tradition in such matters. Paul and his team simply were faithful to their task regardless of location. So must we be. He that is faithful in little is faithful in much (Luke 16:10). There is great success in little things. They define what we will do with big things.
May you lead your “household” whether at home, in business, in government, or in anything into faithfulness.

This article was published with written permission of the author, Dr. Dennis Dickinson of Whitestone Christian Fellowship and the Charnock Institute of the Bible.

Bible Reviews

Wow, the Cambridge Cameo KJV Bible in Brown Vachetta Calfskin Leather is a Triumph of Form and Function!

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I received this Bible from Cambridge gratis for review purposes.  It arrived sufficiently packaged in a cardboard box with one other Bible.

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They did not deform or break through their packaging and the Bibles were in perfect shape when they were delivered.

Upon opening the box I was presented with the clamshell retail box, which should be retained for storage purposes.  The Bible inside the box was instantly striking in appearance.  I am accustomed to many different qualities of cover material.  When I picked the Cameo up out of the box I was struck by the soft texture of this type of calfskin leather.  The grain was smoother with smaller pebbling compared to goatskin leather.

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I was expecting a darker brown with a texture like other top grain cowhide Bibles.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This calfskin was smoother and soft.  The front of the Cameo is hot stamped with, “Holy Bible” in gold.  There is a channel pressed into the leather around the perimeter of the cover.

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On the spine of the Cameo is, “Holy Bible” at the top, “King James Version” in the middle, and the Cambridge Logo at the bottom.  They are all hot stamped in gold.

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The page edges are beautifully art gilded with red under gold.

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The construction of the Cameo is top-notch.  In addition to having a wonderful cover that will last a lifetime, it has a sewn binding that will last as long as the cover.  Because of these two fine qualities the Cameo is a pleasure to hold and read.  The Bible opens well and lays flat easily without being overly flexible.

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This edition does everything right.  The only way this could be any better is if it were in NASB.

The inside cover is lined with vinyl that is glued down.  The corners are finished nicely.

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There are two ribbon markers that match the color of the cover as well.

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Some less expensive Chinese or Korean Bibles try to entice you with a very supple calfskin cover lined with calfskin or another very flexible material.  Then, they drop the ball with either the paper or the fit and finish.  That is not so with the Cameo from Cambridge.  The paper is nice and opaque.  The font is a cleaned up 8 point, Petit Medieval Clarendon type.  It is bold and easy to read.  The text is arranged in a double column verse format with center column references.

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In the front of the Cameo you have publication information page followed by a nice presentation page.

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After that is the text of the KJV.  Lastly, there is a very useful concordance in the back along with 15 color maps that are indexed.

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I know there is a big trend now for the single column paragraph formats.  Personally, I find it more difficult to focus on during reading in my home.  I have a busy house and am always getting interrupted.  As a consequence I routinely lose my place and have to look for where I left off so that I can resume reading.  The paragraph format has all of the tiny verse numbers dispersed through the text and finding them or remembering where you left off can be a bit more tedious.  I find it easier to pick up where I left off if I can find the verse quickly.  This is my personal preference.

The Cameo is a delightful size Bible to hold and read anywhere.  I can sit in my recliner and read it, I can read it in bed, I can read it on my work break, and I can read it while I drive…  I was just checking to see if you were still awake.  Never read and drive!   Seriously, seldom will you find a combination of form and function like the Cameo.

Here the Cameo is compared to the Concord.

ISBN: 0521146100

isbn: 9780521146104

KJV Cameo Reference Red Letter Edition KJ455:XR Brown Calfskin Leather