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Reading Paul Through First Century Eyes

Strength to Strength welcomed Paul Garber to help us refocus our vision to better read Paul’s epistles in their historical context.

When we open our Bibles and read Romans, Ephesians, Colossians or Galatians, (or any book of the Bible for that matter) we must realize that these letters or books are part of a larger story, and that to properly understand their message we must read them as part of that larger story. The larger story is the entire story of human history from creation to new creation. But if we zoom in a little bit, a big part of this larger story is God’s covenants with Abraham and later the nation of Israel.

Through Israel, Jesus the long awaited redeemer and King, the Messiah, appears on the scene and announces the arrival of the kingdom of God.

Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, and as an apostle his message expounded upon the message of Jesus. The Good News of the kingdom of God as promised to Israel. And through Israel to the whole world.

With this history and context in mind, we approach the writings of the great apostle Paul.

An interactive question-and-answer period follows.

Recommended: “Salvation by Allegience Alone” by Matthew W. Bates

Recommended: read a similar version of this Talk

Paul Garber family profile pic

Paul Garber was born and raised in an old order Amish church until he left home at 17 years old, soon after he surrendered his life to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

He spent a number of years in charismatic/pentecostal type churches, including in Brazil where he met his wife Bruna. While living in Brazil he worked as a translator and water filter distributor along the Acará and Moju Rivers in the Amazon Basin.

Paul and Bruna’s journey to understanding the kingdom of God more fully, has been influenced greatly by such teachers as David Bercot, Finny Kuruvilla and Matthew Milioni.

They currently live in New York and have five children. Ranging in age from six months to ten years old. They fellowship and commune with a kingdom Church in Buffalo New York.


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Kingdom Fellowship Weekend is an annual gathering in south-​central Pennsylvania. It serves as a forum for Biblical edification focusing on spiritual renewal, fervent prayer, and absolute surrender to our King, Jesus.

Kingdom Fellowship Weekend 2023 was hosted at Roxbury Holiness Camp on Friday to Sunday, August 25-27, 2023.

Recordings and more coming soon at the Kingdom Fellowship Weekend website.

Kingdom Fellowship Weekend youth prayer singing worship