The Preparation For Leadership

Introduction

Generally, people ascribe the success or failure of a leader to their qualification or fitness to lead. For this reason when leaders are sought in the secular world, the qualifications of the individuals are usually given primary considerations. On the contrary, a close examination of the call of great leaders God used in the Bible reveals that God was not primarily concerned about qualifications. Eims Leroy, observed that Leaders like Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah openly confessed their inadequacy to perform the task God called them to do.1 If God was looking for qualified men then he would not have called them.

Does it then mean that preparations are not necessary for Leadership? According to Gottfried Osei-Mensah, there are prerequisites for spiritual leadership.2 This statement implies that some form of preparation is necessary. In addition, it is clear from scripture that every leader that God used had certain qualities or abilities that were necessary in performing their task. This observation however poses a question: Were those leaders prepared for their calling or did they just happen to have the qualities God required? With God, things do not happen by chance, therefore the thesis of this article is, those whom God used in the Bible as leaders were always prepared for their task.

To clarify this thesis statement selected leaders in the Bible are examined. The goal is, first to prove that the leaders were prepared for leadership and second, to determine the nature of the preparation and its importance to the leaders’ call.

The following three categories of leaders have been selected for this study:

a) Those whose call and commission came as a surprise to them

b) Those who were mentored by their predecessor

c) Those who assumed leadership as a result of a crisis.

Under each leader the presentation will also be divided into three sections:

a) His life history before his call to leadership;

b) His leadership role and achievements;

c) Summary of the specific ways he was prepared for leadership. Finally an

evaluation would be made and conclusions drawn.

A. LEADERS WHOSE CALL AND COMMISSION CAME AS A SURPRISE

Among the leaders whose call and commission came as a surprise were Moses and Paul. These were leaders who had personal encounter with God whilst they were pursuing their own goals in life. These leaders would now be discussed individually to determine how each of them was prepared for leadership.

Moses

a) His life history before his call to leadership

The Bible, in Exodus Chapter 2-5, discusses the life of Moses from the time of his birth to that of his call. According to this section, Moses was born in Egypt by Hebrew parents. But because of an edict by Pharaoh to kill all the Hebrew baby boys, his mother was unable to raise him up from childhood to adulthood. However, by what can be termed divine providence, Howard F. Vos stated that Moses probably spent the first two or three ‘years of his life with his own mother.3 The remaining period of his first forty years was spent in the palace as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Commenting on the years Moses spent in Pharaoh’s palace, John C. Maxwell observed that he received the best of what Egypt offered both physically as well as intellectually. Maxwell cited Acts 7:22 which states that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds.4

In spite of the fact that he was raised up in Pharaoh’s palace Moses acknowledged his Hebrew identity. He had to flee Egypt because he killed an Egyptian to protect an oppressed Hebrew. The next forty years of his life he spent in Midian tending the flock of Jethro. It was in Midian, at about 80 years of age that God made the surprised call to him.

b) His leadership role and achievements

In this section the goal is just to make a brief reflection of Moses’ main task and achievements. According to John D. Hannah, in his commentary on Exodus, God commissioned Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. He showed how that call and commission came as a complete surprise to Moses.5 Although God also promised to take the Israelites to a good and spacious land, that commission, according to Hannah, was not given to Moses. To support his point, he made reference to Stephen’s statement about Moses’ mission in Acts 7:35-36, implying that there was no indication that Moses was supposed to take the Israelites to the promise land.6 Moses indeed accomplished the task God gave him in spite of all his objections about his inability when God called him. This was because he accepted in faith God’s assuring words that he would be with him to accomplish that mission and also because of his ambition to deliver the Israelites from slavery. Commenting on the aspect of his ambition, Ted Engstrom pointed out that «he never lost sight of his ambition and calling in life which made it possible».7 Throughout his mission these words of assurance had been a motivation for him.

In addition, Maxwell rightly observed, over the course of the years in the desert, Moses’ leadership improved. He cited Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, as one person who helped to make that difference in his life.

Moses also accomplished something else that was not explicitly stated in scripture. D.A. Hubbard, in his article on the Pentateuch said that both Judaism and Christianity accepted without question the biblical tradition that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.8 These writings had been great materials not just for spiritual purpose but also for academic purpose.

Paul

a) His life history before his call to leadership

According to Act 21:39;22:3, Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. He was of pure Jewish descent and of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3:5). He was a Hebrew and a Pharisee. He spoke Greek and was familiar with Aramaic (Acts 22:2). Paul, learned tent making because it was customary that all Jewish boys learn a trade.

In his book, ‘Paul the Leader’, Oswald J. Sanders made this observation about Paul: «all the formative years were calculated, to prepare him to be an eminent Pharisee and Rabbi like his great mentor Gamaliel».9 Paul studied under Gamaliel, a distinguished teacher of the law and of the school of Hillel. Sanders also observe that the school of Hillel embraced a broader and more liberal view in education than that of Shammai – the other distinguished school.10 In addition, Sanders stated that unlike the school of Shammai, the school of Hillel was interested in Greek literature. In that school, Paul learned to use works of Gentile authors. He surpassed his fellow-students in both academic achievements and in zeal for both God and the tradition of his fathers. He was almost a member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme legal and civil court.11

b) His leadership role and achievements

Oswald Sanders, noted that Paul became a great spiritual leader when his heart and mind were captured by Jesus.12 Such statements could not have been made if Paul had not made great achievements in the role God gave him to perform. Another writer, Ted E. Engstrom gave the background to Paul’s success: «a Jew living in a Greek city, and with a Roman citizenship. Both by birth and training Paul possessed the tenacity of the Jews, the culture of the Greeks and the practicality of the Romans, and these qualities enabled him to adapt to the people among whom he was to move»13. According to Acts Chapter 9, when Paul encountered the Lord Jesus he was commissioned to take the gospel message to the gentiles. Records of Paul’s accomplishments of his commission can be found in Acts Chapters 13-28. These included missionary journeys to gentile territories, Church planting, training or teaching ministries among the gentiles and successful debates with secular philosophers.

In addition Paul also wrote thirteen of the New Testament Epistles. In these epistles he dealt with important theological concepts like justification, sanctification and the resurrection of Christ. Various portions of defense of the Christian faith against secular philosophies are also included in these epistles. According to 2Tim. 4:7, Paul was sure he accomplished God’s mission for his life when he stated that he has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.

B. LEADERS WHO WERE MENTORED BY THEIR PREDECESSOR

The second categories of leaders to be examined are those who were mentored by their predecessor. Among such leaders are Joshua, who succeeded Moses and Samuel, who succeeded Eli. These two leaders will be examined individually in this section.

Joshua

a) His life history before his call to leadership

The Bible gave a brief family background of Joshua in Exodus 33:11; Num. 1:10. He was the son of Nun, the son of Elishama, head of the tribe of Ephraim. Apart from this background, there is no other information about him before he met Moses. The scriptures gave much focus to Joshua’s mentoring relationship with Moses. This close working relationship between them can be traced in scripture.

According to exodus 24:13, when Moses went up Sinai to receive the two tablets for the first time Joshua accompanied him part of the way and was the first to meet him on his return (32:17). Also when the Israelites sinned by worshiping the golden calf, Moses moved the tabernacle outside the camp and left the congregation in charge of Joshua. In addition, Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. It was only after about forty years of mentoring by Moses in the desert that God directed Moses to give Joshua leadership authority over the people.

In his book, ‘Leadership Images from the New Testament’, David Bennett mentioned four steps in developing a leader from the example of Jesus. These are:

a) To develop leaders who have learned to follow

b) To train within the context of personal apprenticeship.

c) To make commitment to the community as well as training for a task.

d) To stress on the spiritual aspects of leadership.14

These four steps can be found in the almost forty years mentoring relationship between Moses and Joshua. As Engstrom rightly puts it «Moses had the right attitude, when he knew it was time to train someone else for leadership. He was fearful of being a paternal leader and pleaded with God to give the Israelite a successor».15 This might have been one of the reasons why he devoted himself to mentor Joshua.

b) His leadership role and achievements

Joshua’s role was made clear to him when he was commissioned as the leader of Israel. His call and commission was mediated through Moses. In Numbers 27:12-22 the Lord reminded Moses that he would not enter the promise Land and that Joshua would replace him. Moses obeyed the Lord’s instructions and commissioned Joshua before the whole Israelite assembly. This commission kept Joshua in focus throughout his mission and he kept his faith in the one who called him. As Donald K. Campbell rightly observed, Joshua interceded for the nation when the Israelites sinned and were defeated.16 God’s mandate was that Joshua would lead the Israelites to the Promise Land and he depended on him to accomplish that mandate. Commenting on the charge given to Joshua to be strong and courageous in Josh. 1:6, Campbell also said it was an affirmation that God would not let Joshua down.17 However this may also be seen as an indication that prior to the time he became Israel’s leader he had potentials, which he needed to build up in leadership.

Details of how Joshua accomplished his mission have been recorded in the book of Joshua. The conquest of Canaan was however not an easy one but Joshua’s training as a military leader and his dependence upon God gave him added advantage. He made mistakes but he learned from his mistakes.

Samuel

a) His life history before his call to leadership

According to John C. Maxwell, Samuel was special from the time he was born because he was an answer to prayer. He further commented that, as young child, Samuel was placed in the care of Eli the High priest and Judge of Israel.18 This revealed that the mentoring relationship between Eli and Samuel started quite early in Samuel’s life. Like Joshua, Samuel stayed in the same place with his mentor. In addition, at a very early age, God began to speak directly to him and that motivated him to reverence and serve God faithfully. The role played by Hannah in initiating this mentoring relationship should not be overlooked. McChesney and Unger said that it was a vow that Hannah made to dedicate Samuel to the Lord as a Nazarite.19

b) His Leadership Role and Achievements

To better understand and appreciate Samuel’s achievements, one should first examine the religious, political and social situations prior to his assumption to leadership. Eugene H, Merrill rightly observed that «the 300 or so years of the history of Israel under the Judges were marked by political, moral, and spiritual anarchy and deterioration». It was in this background, where all seemed to have failed that Samuel was groomed and also took up leadership.20

With reference to his achievements, «Samuel’s level of influence with the people continued to increase throughout his lifetime. As a prophet, he was respected because he spoke from God. But in time Samuel also became Israel’s Judge, a position similar to that of a king. He was the nation’s civil and military leader. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life».21 Indeed, only leaders with certain qualities can achieve what Samuel achieved. It was that kind of excellent leadership that God was looking for in order to address the deteriorating situation in Israel. Israel enjoyed a time of peace during Samuel’s reign.

C. LEADERS WHO ASSUME LEADERSHIP AS A RESULT OF A CRISIS

During the period between the death of Joshua and the start of Samuel’s leadership, many people ruled Israel as Judges. All of them came to leadership as a result of a crisis need. Gideon and Samson were two of the Judges who ruled Israel at that time. They will be examined in this section, as representatives of the Judges, to determine whether they were prepared for their leadership roles.

Gideon

a) His life history before his call to leadership

In Judges chapter 6-8 the Bible gave a brief historic account of Gideon’s family background. He was the son of Joash the Abiezrite. He was also of the tribe of Manasseh. One may want to suggest that Gideon had no quality or potential for leadership before he became a leader. This assumption is proved wrong in the light of the angel’s greetings to Gideon – «mighty man of valor» (Judg. 6:12). As Joyce Peel rightly said, «the angel calls out his hidden qualities which we see developing in the rest of the story».22

It can be seen that Gideon already had faith in God from a question he asked the angel – where are all the wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, «Did not the lord bring us up out of Egypt?» His parents have made him realize that in the past they have depended on God for survival. However, Gideon wanted an assurance that it was the God of his fathers talking to him, so he asked God to give him a sign (:17). Joyce Peel’s comment on Gideon’s request is that «it isn’t for the sort of sign an unbeliever asks to evade a challenge but for a sign to confirm to a believer who is ready to obey».23 Gideon was convinced that God was speaking to him and based on that fact he responded to the call to meet the Midianite crisis.

b) His Leadership Role and Achievements

Gideon was called to perform a specific role and that was to deliver Israel from the Midianites. He had a clear vision in mind as to what he had to do. He also believed that he could accomplish his goal because he had the assurance of God. In addition he had inner qualities, which gave him enough courage to move into action, even though he started at night. Gideon delivered the Israelites from the Midianites’ oppression but he first brought them back to faith in God. However, immediately after his death the people turned back to their foreign gods.

Samson

a) His life history before his call to leadership

In Judges Chapter 13-16 the Bible gave an account of Samson’s life. Samson was the son of Manoah of Zorah and of the tribe of Dan. His birth was foretold to his parents by an angel. They were also told that he would be a Nazarite to God from the womb Iudg. 13:2-5,24). The Bible also says in Judg 3:24-25 that God blessed him and that the spirit of God began to stir him up while he was in Mahaneh Dan. From this account it can be observed that Samson was a man of unusual strength. In Hebrews 11:32 he was recognized as of the great men of faith. During Samson’s time the philistines were suppressing the Israelites.

b) His leadership role and achievements

Samson’s call and commission was mediated through his parents. According to Judges 13:5 he was to start the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the philistines. As John Mazwell rightly points out, «despite his good start, Samson got himself into trouble many times, and in the end he finished poorly: he was weak, blind and enslaved by the enemy from whom he was supposed to deliver his people.»24 Samson had the opportunity of becoming a great leader but his despicable character destroyed his leadership.

Conclusion

Three categories of leaders have been examined in this chapter to prove that the people that God called to leadership in the Bible were always prepared for their tasks. The first category of leaders were those whose call came as a surprise to them. The second were those who were mentored by their predecessor and the third, were those who responded to a crisis. It was proved that all of these leaders had some form of preparation necessary for their particular calling. These preparations may come from God, their parents, religious background, formal education or a mentor. Therefore one could conclude that God does not call any person to leadership who had not been prepared. God’s call or one preparation does not guarantee success because the preparation for effective leadership does not end with one’s call.

END NOTES

1 Eims Leroy, Be The Leader You Were Meant To Be Illinois: Victor Books, 1982), pp 8-13

2 Gottfied Osei-Mensah, Wanted: Servant Leadership (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990), pp 24-32

3 Howard F. Vos. Moses: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 886.

4 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In a Leader’s Day: Revitalizing Your Spirit and Empowering your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas nelson Publishers, 2000), p. 300.

5 John D. Hannah, Exodus: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishers, 1985), p 112.

6 Ibid, P 121.

7 Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader: How to develop management and human relations skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), P 29.

8 D.A. Hubbard, Pentateuch: The New Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 903.

9 Oswald J. Sanders, Paul the Leader: A Vision for Christian Leadership Today (Eastboume: Kingsway Publication Ltd., 1982), pp 16/17.

10 Ibid, p 17

11 Ibid, p 19

12 Oswald J. Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p 40.

13 Ted E. Engstrom, The Making of Christian Leader: How To Develop Management and Human Relations Skills (Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p 20.

14 David W. Bennett, Leadership Images From The New Testament: A Practical Guide (Carlisle: OM Publishers, 1998), pp 33/4

15 Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of a Christian Leader: How to develop management and human relations skill (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p 30

16 Donald K. Campbell, Joshua: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1984), p 326.

17 Ibid, P 328.

18 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982), p 67.

19 E. McChesney and Merrill F. Unger, Samuel: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), P 1121.

20 Eugene H. Merrill, Samuel: The Bible Knowledge commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1985), P 431.

21 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minute in a Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your spirit and Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), p

22 Joyce Peel, A Journey through The Old Testament: The story of God’s relationship with man. woman and the world (Oxford: The Reading Fellowship, 1993), p 60

23 Ibid, p 60

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Exegesis of II Corinthians I, Part I

INTRODUCTION

Although the concept of suffering is discussed or addressed throughout the Bible, the scope of this work is limited to an exegesis of the passage of II Corinthians 1:3-7. Generally, «the purpose of exegesis is to determine, with reasonable probability, the intention of the author as he has made that intention known in the text in its historical context» (McKnight 1988,16). Proper understanding of the passage requires that attention be paid to its author, audience and the context in which the passage was written. The second part of this publication deals with the text itself.

AUTHORSHIP

Although the historical evidence of this letter is not as early as that of I Corinthians, it is almost equally as strong. External evidence suggests that the second epistle to the Corinthians had not yet reached Rome by the end of the first century since it is not quoted by Clement of Rome (c.A.D. 96). Falwell and Hindson observe that it was known to Polycarp who quotes 4:14. Furthermore, they affirm that «II Corinthians is further attested in the letter of Diognetus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, the Muratorian Canon and «Marcion’s Apostolocon. It is also found in the Old Syriac…» (Falwell and Hindson 1978,431).

Internal evidence provides support for Pauline authorship (II Cor. 1:1; 10:1). The letter is stamped with his style containing more autobiographical material than any other of his other letters. Foreman categorically notes that «there is no question about the writer of this ‘second’ letter to the Corinthians» (1961, 112) since it belongs to the unquestioned letters of Paul. Generally, Paul is identified as the author of the second epistle to the Corinthians and «few have contested the claim» (Carson, Moo and Morris 1992,262).

Carson, Moo and Morris observe a unit that some question chapter 6:14-17:1 since a number of scholars judge this unit to be a later interpolation written, probably, by someone in the Pauline school. However, they affirm that although «various partition theories have been proposed, in most of these theories, the various sections are nevertheless ascribed to Paul» (1992, 262). Even the founder of the Tubingen School, F.C. Baur, Harris observes, «acknowledge it as genuinely Pauline…» (1986, 305). The researcher therefore supports the assertion that II Corinthians is generally regarded as «perhaps the most intensely personal of all Paul’s letters» (Alexander and Alexander 1983, 596).

BACKGROUND TO THE EPISTLE OF II CORINTHIANS

This subsection will discuss issues concerning background such as date of writing, audience, context and outline. This preliminary information will put the passage in perspective.

Date

Scholars like Hamack, Turner and Ramsay respectively suggest a dating in A.D. 53, 55 and 56. Guthrie asserts that the epistle is difficult to date and attributes this to the «complicated character of the historical background» (1970, 441). The probability that 2 Corinthians was written in the fall (autumn) of A.D 57 is however high. Acts 20:6 notes that Paul left Philippi for Jerusalem in the spring (‘after the Feast of Unleavened Bread’). Three verses earlier (Acts 20:3), it is noted that three months had been spent in Corinth where Paul arrived in Macedonia. Comments about a forthcoming visit to Corinth (2 Corinthians 12:14; 13:1) give an indication that the epistle was shortly written before that winter.

Foreman supports this view when he observes that «this letter or these letters (for it is possible that we have two or more letters combined into one) were evidently written not very long after First Corinthians. If we calculate the date of First Corinthians as A.D. 56-57, then Second Corinthians would be about A.D. 57» (1961, 112).

Among the main reasons presented for the writing of the second epistle shortly after the first by Lange are the course and conditions of things at Corinth, the contents and «the anxious suspense which the writer shows with regard to events immediately anticipated» (1960, 3). From the foregoing, the researcher reasonably infers that the epistle was written around the fall of A.D. 57. This would be during Paul’s third missionary journey, in a part of which Luke says very little (Acts 20:1-2).

Audience

The opening greetings of the letter (1:1b) states that it was addressed to the church in Corinth and to the Christians throughout Achaia which would include the groups at Greece and Cenchrea. The account of the beginning of the Corinthian church is recorded in Acts 18:1-7. Paul came to Corinth after difficult experiences in Thessalonica and Berea (Acts 17:1-5) and unsatisfactory reception in Athens (Acts 17:16-34). His prestige position as a rabbi made it easier for him to participate in the activities in the synagogue and he came into contact with many Jews and Greeks as he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul turned to the Gentiles with the Gospel when opposition grew within the Jewish community. A strong church in Corinth was a result of his two year stay. This relatively young church was located in the city. Corinth was located forty miles of Athens and on the hill overlooking it was the temple to the goddess Aphrodite, notorious for immorality. Corinth had a notorious reputation to the extent that the phrase ‘the Corinthian girl’ is synonymous with prostitute. ‘To Corinthianise’ therefore means to involve in sexual immorality. Commentaries on the loose living of the Corinthians, Carson, Moo and Morris argue that although the description of a thousand temple prostitutes of temple of Aphrodite could possibly be an exaggeration, «the reality must have been bad enough to win such an egregious reputation» (1992, 263). Interestingly, there is a very big lesson for the contemporary church. Most pastors would not associate themselves with such Christians. Realistically, «If the ‘church planning committee’ of any church or denomination had been given an accurate description of Corinth, they would probably have listed it as the most unlikely place to start a church» (Chafin 1985,19).

Inspite of the above, Paul refers to the people as the Church of God in Corinth. The Corinthians were generally regarded as Christians even though he was deeply grieved over their spiritual condition at times, including their immaturity and lack of love (cf. I Cor. 3:1-17; 6:11etc). Inspite of all that the false teachers had done to him, he is aware of the divine help they need to live as true Christians. He extended the grace in II Corinthians 13:14 with the striking words ‘with all of you’, clearly showing that he bears no grudge for the trials and sorrows that members of the church at Corinth have caused him.

Paul teaches a very important lesson when he appeals for prayers in II Corinthians 1:11. A close reading of I Corinthians reveals the character of the Corinthians. After saying the best of them, it is evident that there is a great distance between them and Paul (the great saint) in Christian maturity. The lesson is that the weakest of Christians may help the greatest, at the throne of grace.

Context

It is worth mentioning that «Paul had a greater correspondence with the Corinthian church than is preserved in Scripture» (Plummer, Tasker and Hughes 1982, 232). Indubitably, «to understand II Corinthians, it is necessary to know something of the whole course of events in the relationship between Paul and his converts in Corinth» (Kruse 1994,1188). He wrote I Corinthians to deal with several problems in the church but problems still persisted. The visit he paid to Corinth then is regarded as both painful for him and the church (II Cor. 2:1). Consequently, he planned another visit but delayed and eventually wrote II Corinthians. He however visited Corinth again (Acts 20:2,3) after writing this epistle. Generally, «virtually everyone agrees that Paul addresses tensions caused by opponents, at least in chapters 10-13, but views on the nature of the opponents vary» (Keener 1993,492).

Biblical evidence confirm that in II Corinthians, Paul wrote «out of much affliction and anguish of heart» (II Cor. 2:4), a letter which made the Corinthians «sorry» and «grieved» (II Cor. 7:8). He had mixed feelings for writing that letter (he regretted and was glad – II Cor. 7:8-9). Paul sent Titus to determine the state of affairs in Corinth and the latter returned with an encouraging report. Reference is sometimes made of a letter that was lost and a letter that was severe. Although opinions vary, «whatever a reader concludes about the way this ‘letter’ was written, and whether it is a letter or letters, makes no difference at all in the value of the letter for us» (Foremann 1961, 115).

The epistle was written «not only to defend him (Paul) against the occasional criticisms of the Corinthian church, but also against the slander and accusations that his enemies raised against him wherever he was preaching» (Tenney 1985, 302). False teachers who were challenging both Paul’s personal integrity and his authority as an apostle had infiltrated the Corinthian church. The controversy that began had created a powerful group of opponents who used every means to discredit him. They charged him with many accusations. They said, among other things, that he was walking according to the flesh (10:2), acted as a coward (10:10), demeaned himself by working and did not maintain his integrity by taking support from the churches (11:7), unqualified to teach since he was not one of the original apostles (11:5; 12:11-12), lacked credentials (3:1), fleshy (10:2), boastful (10:8, 15), deceitful (12:16), and embezzled funds entrusted to him (8:20-23). The accusers were apparently Jews (11:22) who had entered the Pauline churches and were doubtless responsible for the schism in Corinth. In character, they were haughty and domineering (11:19-20), unwilling to either do pioneering work or suffer for Christ (11:23ff). Paul’s comments on his lack of verbal dexterity, refusal to assert his apostolic authority and his weakness (11:6-7, 30) conspire to conclude that «these people placed stress on their own great rhetoric, spiritual authority and strength» (Calvin, Tasker and Hughes 1982, 232). Generally, «the main motive of this letter appears to be to express relief at the good news that Titus brought to Paul about the improved attitude of the Corinthians towards the apostle. This is particularly clear from chapter 7» (Guthrie 1970, 438). Tenney (1985) argues that «2 Corinthians affords an insight into the career of Paul that none of the other epistles gives» (302).

Although Paul had various purposes in writing, it is realistic to discuss why Paul wrote and how many letters are there in II Corinthians together. If we conclude that more letters have been combined, then we should say that Paul did not at any one time have all the afore-mentioned reasons for writing. Furthermore, if we conclude that this is now and has always been only a single letter, then we should say that various parts of the letter were written for various reasons.

Having raised their hopes of a visit (I Cor. 16:5ff), Paul had failed to come to Corinth, with the result that some in Corinth had permitted themselves to listen to insinuations that he had treated them with fickleness (v.17). In II Corinthians 1:17 , he informs them that the main reason why he forbore to come was that he might spare them. Another good reason stated indirectly and with such remarkable tenderness is that he had suffered much affliction in Asia that he had even despaired of life. It is realistically argued that II Corinthians 1 is «no mere amiable preamble intended only to cushion the sterner matters which the Apostle is shortly to broach. On the contrary, it is very much a piece with the major theme of the opening portion of this epistle, namely, Paul’s vindication of his own integrity (Hughes 1962, 9).

Hughes also quotes Chrysostom’s forceful argument that «anyone preparing to find fault cannot for shame drag to the bar one who is thanking God for deliverance from such great calamities, and bid him clear himself for loitering» (Hughes 1962, 9).

Falwell and Hindson brilliantly summarize the reasons for Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians:

1. To explain his sufferings in Asia (1:3-11);

2. To justify himself in his change of plans about returning to Corinth (1:12-2:4);

3. To instruct them as to the treatment of the offender (2:5-11);

4. To express his joy at the good news of their progress (2:12-13);

5. For full reconciliation with himself (6:11-7:16);

6. To urge the Corinthians to participate in the collection for the church at Jerusalem (chapters 8-9);

7. To establish his authority as an apostle (10:1-13:10) (1978,432).

One of the primary lessons of Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians is that the Christian life absolutely offers no immunity from suffering. His inclusion of the reference to suffering is therefore very deliberate. Perhaps he wanted to help the Church in Corinth. The passage under consideration, II Corinthians 1:3-7 clearly shows that suffering is part of the Christian ministry and could be one of the means to experience the comfort of God with the intention that the sufferer, through peculiar experiences, will be in a position to comfort others.

REFERENCE LIST

Alexander, David and Pat Alexander. 1983. The Lion Handbook to the Bible. Herts : Lion Publishing.

Carson, D.A., Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris. 1992. An introduction of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Zondervan Publishing House.

Chafin, Kenneth L. 1985. 1,2 Corinthians. In The Communicator’s Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Farwell, Jerry and Edward E. Hindson. 1978. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, Virginia : Liberty Press.

Foreman, Kenneth J. 1961. The Letter of Paul to the Romans, the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. In The layman’s Bible Commentary, vol. 21. 112-152. Richmond, Virginia : John Knox Press.

Guthrie, Donald. 1970. New Testament Introduction. Downers Grove, Illinois : Inter-Varsity Press.

Guyon, Jeanne. 1997. Jeanne Guyon : An Autobiography. New Kensington, Pasadena : Whitaker House.

Harris, Murray J. 1976. 2 Corinthians. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 10. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Zondervan Publishing House : 301-406.

Hughes, Philip Edgcumbe. 1962. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians : the English Text with

Introduction, Exposition and Notes. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Keener, Craig S. 1993. The IVP Bible Background Commentary : New Testament. Downers Grove,

Illinois : InterVarsity Press.

Kruse, Colin G. 1994. II Corinthians. In New Bible Commentary. 1188-1205. Leicester : Inter-Varsity Press.

Mcknight, Scot. 1988. Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Baker Book House.

Plummer, Calvin A., R.V.G. Takser and P.E. Hughes. 1982. II Corinthians. In New Bible dictionary.

2nd ed. 229-234. Illinois : Tyndale House Publishers.

Tenney, Merrill C. 1985. New Testament Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by Oliver Harding

Five Brilliant Bijou Hotels in London

Visitors to London face all kinds of choices – when to go, what to do, and perhaps most importantly, where to stay. When thinking about the best place to pick for your home base, your home-away-from-home, think about the features you want in the hotels you're looking for. Do you want discount hotels in the luxury line? If so, then try looking at some of the most curious, interesting, and unique accommodation in one of the world's favorite cities.

1. The Rockwell

A year or so old, The Rockwell gives great value for money if you're looking for simple, stylish hotel rooms at prices that won't break the bank. The location, in two restored Victorian houses in Cromwell Road (that's Kensington, for those who haven't taken the Knowledge) puts one of London's swankiest districts literally on its visitor's doorsteps, giving easy access to some of the cooler museums, restaurants, and more.

2. Base2stay hotel

Syncing your iPod with your laptop and feel like you need a fix if you haven't been in front of a computer for a few hours? base2stay, also located in Kensington, boasts Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, with prices from under a hundred quid. What's not to love about that? Tweet away your restive hours, make plans with easy internet access, and catch up with friends in this kitted-out bijou hotel.

3. One Aldwych

Locate your stay nearer the center of town at One Aldwych, just steps from Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and the clubs of Soho. Not for the faint of heart (or thin of wallet), this is one of those gorgeous, upscale places you want to stay but know you can't afford unless you find a free room on a website for discount hotels. Two to five hundred quid is what a night at this place will set you back – but the location and company will be worth it.

4. Clink Hostel

Low-rent is hi-fashion again with joints like the Clink, in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, making Kings Cross slightly more welcoming to low-budget travelers. If you're willing to bunk up with strangers, try their dorm beds for GBP15 a night; if you're looking to live more luxuriously here you can shell out thirty quid for a double private room. Part of a new breed of futuristic hostel, the Clink promises more elegance and comfort than its older ancestors.

5. Hoxton Hotel

Finally, a trendy place in the trendiest of London neighborhoods – Shoreditch's Hoxton Hotel. This is a well-planned hospital, catering to a clientele which is looking for what Time Out calls, "A kind of postmodern country lodge." Deal-seekers will find no hotels with better bargains, since the Hoxton is known for releasing a precious few rooms for a pound, on a three-monthly rotation.

These are just a handful of the amazing bijou places you can stay when traveling in London – there are plenty more, and you can find out about them by reading recommendations from around the world, on the web!

Comprar Camisetas de fútbol para adultos y niños desde 15 € y camisetas oficiales de equipos de fútbol. Clica y Recoge GRATUITO en tienda. by Max Brockbank

My Local Victim of the Titanic Disaster

Alfred Allsop was a victim of the Titanic disaster who was a native of my region. He was an electrical engineer, and as such he helped to keep the lights on for as long as possible while the passengers located the lifeboats, the consequence of which he went down with the ship and his body was never recovered. This is my small tribute to him.

Alfred Samuel Allsop was born in 1876, at 96 Brunswick Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. He was the youngest of four sons in a family of ten children to George Foster Allsop, a travelling salesman, and his wife, Elizabeth (formerly Walker), the daughter of an Irish teacher. They married in 1860 at Manchester Cathedral, where most of their children were christened. One of Alfred’s sisters had died before he was born. By 1891 the family had moved to 29 Broughton Lane, Lower Broughton, Salford, and Alfred was well known in the district. He became interested in the power of electricity at an early age, spending much of his time riding on the electric tram cars in Manchester and he was a regular visitor at the Salford power station in Bloom Street, which supplied the bulk of traction supply for central Manchester, plus lighting and power demand.

When he was fifteen he began an apprenticeship with H H Hall and Company of Liverpool, who was pioneering the use of ships telephones, followed by employment with Campbell and Isherwood of Bootle, where he worked in the development of electrical switchboards. This was followed by short spells at the Hame Electric Company and the Northern Electric Company, both of Liverpool. He left Manchester to take up an appointment on the Baltic, and joined the White Star Line in August 1904 as assistant electrician aboard the Celtic II. He later served on the Majestic and Oceanic, in which it is said he crossed the Atlantic about a hundred times before joining the Titanic.

He had an inventive mind, and it was he who developed an idea for a multi-clutched lifeboat winch powered by an electric motor, which would allow fully laden lifeboats to be lifted from a ship straight into the water. This invention became ‘The Allsop Electric Lifeboat Crane’, but he did not see his device go into production. When the White Star Line moved their headquarters to Southampton he moved to that town. He was one of the transfer crew which brought the Titanic to Southampton on 2 April, where he signed-on as second electrician.

The RMS Titanic was a British registered four-funnelled ocean liner built for the Trans-Atlantic passenger and mail service between Southampton and New York. Constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, to have sailed on ‘The voyage of the century’ aboard the Titanic, the world’s largest and most luxurious vessel afloat at that time, was like being one of the first people to fly on Concorde. It was described at the time as ‘a floating palace’ – Mayfair and Bel Air on water! People from all walks of life began embarking on the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912, for what was to be the trip of a lifetime on the ship’s maiden voyage across the north Atlantic; many were looking forward to starting new lives in the United States.

However, just before midnight on Sunday, 14 April 1912, it began to send out signals of distress stating: ‘We have struck an ice berg.’ The ship had been steaming at a speed other crews would have envied at that time, when it collided with an enormous iceberg which stripped off her bilge under the waterline for more than a hundred yards, opened up five of the front compartments and flooded the coal bunker servicing one of the boilers. She sank about three hours later. There were sixteen lifeboats and four collapsible dinghies, which were insufficient, as a consequence of which two out of every three of the 2,200 people on board perished.

Alfred was doing the last shift of the day from ten until one minute to twelve, so he was on duty in the generator room when the Titanic hit the iceberg. However, he remained at his post when all was lost, helping to keep the lights burning to aid the passengers to get to the lifeboats. It was estimated that the ship’s power would last no more than an hour, yet Alfred and his colleagues kept the power on for two hours and forty minutes, and the lights stayed on until a few minutes before the ship sank. Without their self-sacrifice power would have been lost and the death toll would have been considerably higher.

The CS Carpathia was in the region, and on receiving a distress signal it immediately set a course towards the disaster area. After working through dangerous ice fields it arrived at the scene at four o’clock in the morning of 15 April. Some people, mostly woman and children, had escaped from the ship in lifeboats and the Carpathia saved over seven hundred people. A Carpathia spokesman reported the scene as they arrived at the area where the Titanic went down: ‘The Sea was dotted with bodies as far as one could see, and the decks were covered with them. Everybody had on a lifebelt and bodies floated very high in the water in spite of the sodden clothes and things in pockets. Apparently the people had lots of time and discipline must have been splendid, for some had on their pyjamas, two and three shirts, two pairs of pants, two vests, two jackets and an overcoat. In some pockets a quantity of meat and biscuits were found, while in the pockets of most of the crew quite a lot of tobacco and matches besides keys to the various lockers and stateroom doors were found. On this day we buried fifteen bodies some of them very badly smashed and bruised.’

The Mackay-Bennett searched the disaster area a few days later and buried 116 bodies at sea, and the ship arrived back in Nova Scotia with 190 bodies on board. Some victims were buried in two separate mass graves, while others were claimed by their families and transported home.

Alfred’s body was never recovered, however, he is named on the Liverpool Titanic and Engineers memorial, and there is a brass memorial plaque at St Faith’s Church in Great Crosby, which is dedicated: ‘to the memory of the Chief Engineer and his Engine Room staff.’ He is named on the Southampton Engineers Memorial in East Park, on the Glasgow Institute of Marine Engineers memorial and on the Institute of Marine Engineers memorial in London.

He is believed to have married a woman named Hilda not long before he died, and they are said to have had a child named Philip Alfred. This comes from the fact that in 1914, a woman stating her name to be Hilda claimed from the Titanic Relief Fund and was granted one pound: ‘for expenses due to the illness of her little boy.’ However, there is no registration listing for any marriage for Alfred, and there is no birth registration for his son. No wife and son have ever been traced.

Tu tienda especializada de Camisetas de fútbol retro y vintage. Compra Camisetas de fútbol antiguas, replicas auténticas. Moda clásica. by James W Bancroft

Football Betting Superstitions

Superstitions are part of most people life from ancient times. In moderns times the belief that a specific action determines the positive or negative outcome of a future event is more popular than ever.

When looking for a job, when taking an exam, on your wedding day, when moving to a new house and why not when playing an important football match and placing a bet.

Before talking about football betting superstitions you should know by now that even the football players have weird game day superstitions. Here are some 2012 football team captains that follow strange rituals and hope for good luck protection:

Steven Gerrard (born 1980) and the Liverpool players like to touch the, ‘This is Anfield’ sign in the tunnel on their way to the pitch. Steven Gerrard is captain of English team Liverpool and the England national team.

Iker Casillas Fernández (born 1981), most known as Iker Casillas, Spain’s football team captain and Real Madrid goalkeeper observes a ritual in which he touches his own crossbar whenever his team scores a goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (born 1985) or just Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of the Portuguese national team and striker for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid, keeps a pre-match ritual of getting his hair cut for fear of jinxing his scoring run.

Like all people, football betting fans also have their own rituals and look for good luck signs before placing a bet.

When people get some money from a bet, they say that it was because the palm of their hand started itching or because they wear the favorite colored t-shirt on the betting event.

Some people believe they should step the right foot forward or to fill the betting ticket with the left hand. As regards good luck charms, silver is used by some people for sports bets.

Television is a major supernatural superstition element. There are some people that believe that they will not win a bet if they don’t watch the game, some of them turn the TV off momentarily and then turn it on, move to other channels, stop watching the game for a moment, all this for the hope that good things will happen for the team they bet on.

There a lot of more superstition that I could tell about, but I don’t want to jinx my bet on tonight game by telling you about my lucky red pijamas.

Camisetas de fútbol , NBA y NFL baratas de la mejor calidad y de los mejores equipos y selecciones del mundo de Hombre,Mujer y Niños. by Avidal Moreno

The History of Saint Columba Urc Liverpool, Hunts Cross

Saint Columba URC is located at Hunts Cross, Liverpool and is quite close to Liverpool John Lennon airport. It is a fairly modern church by some standards and its history can be traced back to 1942 when a group of people gathered in a garden shed at a house called ‘Brentwood’ to worship together. They worshipped as Presbyterians and the foundations of the congregation and indeed church started.

Below is a brief timeline history of St. Columba URC Liverpool.

In 1943 the newly formed congregation moved from the garden shed and they moved into a chicken hut which was bigger than the original shed. They stayed worshipping in the chicken hut until 1949.

In 1944 the Rev. Edward Charles Lane was appointed as the minister and the current site of the church was purchased at the junction of Hillfoot Road and Hillfoot Avenue. The church as we know it today could not begin being built however due to wartime restrictions.

In 1947 with the ending of war and rationing a licence was granted to build a semi-permanent church building.

On the 18th June 1949 a new semi-permanent Church opens in Hunts Cross and was named Saint Columba.

In 1951 the Rev. Charles Henry Shaw B.A. was appointed as the minister of the new St. Columba church.

In 1952 the congregation of St. Columba celebrated their 10th anniversary.

In 1953 the registrar-general authorised St.Columba’s for the solemnizing of marriages. The first wedding was held on the 7th March 1953.

In 1955 the 28th Allerton Scout Group was formed in St.Columba’s.

In 1956 the Rev.John Brown was appointed as the minister.

In 1958 the 401st Guide Company was formed in St. Columba.

In 1963 Workmen move onto the site to start building a ‘New Church’.

In 1964 the current Church building of Saint Columba is completed in Hunts Cross and a new minister was appointed in Rev. Frank Glendinning.

In 1967 the congregation achieved the 25th anniversary of its foundation in Brentwood.

In 1967 the 401st Liverpool Brownie Pack was formed at St. Columba’s.

In 1970 the 25 club was formed as a lunch club for older people of the local community under the chairmanship of Mrs.Eileen Blakeley.

In 1972 the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church of England and Wales agree to unite and form the United Reformed Church.

In 1972 Saint Columba United Reformed Church was formed.

In 1976 the Rev. John Barry Hawksworth was appointed as the new minister of Saint Columba URC Liverpool.

In 1978 the Saint Columba Squadronettes were formed they were a majorette dance troupe. The troupe catered for girls from the ages of 4 to 24. The squadronettes carried the name of St. Columba not only throughout the United Kingdom but also across Europe. The Saint Columba squadronettes won many competitions during the time they competed culminating in winning the European Majorette Championships in Spain and the Majorette World Championships in the Isle of Man.

In 1980 the ’25 club’ celebrated their 10th anniversary.

In 1981 W.Herbert Elliot was appointed as Interim Moderator for St. Columba URC.

In 1982 the Rev. W. Herbert Elliot was appointed as the minister of Saint Columba URC.

In 1993 the Rev. Heather Marjorie Gabbott was appointed as minister.

In 1998 on the 21st February the new Church Hall named ‘Brentwood’ after the original meeting place for the congregation was completed and opened by the URC Mersey synod moderator the Rev. G. Cook.

In 2002 Saint Columba URC celebrates its Diamond Jubilee

In 2008 the Rev. Alan Crump was inducted as minister to Saint Columba URC Liverpool.

St. Columba URC Ministers Timeline

1943 – 1944 Laurence J Farmer (Interim Moderator)

1944 – 1950 Eddie C. Lane

1951 – 1955 Charles H. Shaw

1956 – 1964 John Brown B.Mus

1964 – 1975 Frank Glendinning

1976 – 1981 J.Barry Hawksworth

1981 – 1982 W.Herbert Elliot (Interim Moderator)

1982 – 1983 W.Herbert Elliot (Minister)

1993 – 2003 Heather Marjorie Gabbott

2003 – 2008 In Vacancy

2008 – present Alan Crump

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by David T Campbell