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Hall of Tyrannus

How to tell a million people about Jesus in two years
 Most Bible studies on this site are about DOCTRINE
but this study is about METHOD

Never heard of it?

If you ask most Christians – even Christian leaders – about the Hall of Tyrannus, all you get is a blank stare.

Most Christians have no recollection of ever hearing about the Hall of Tyrannus, yet is the most successful evangelistic strategy reported anywhere in the entire Bible.

Apostle Paul's final grand strategy

The Hall of Tyrannus was the final grand strategy used by the Apostle Paul, the world's greatest missionary, to tell a million people about the gospel (good news) of Jesus in two years.

His audience was pagan unbelievers who had never heard about Jesus. His method of presentation was so powerful that observers said he was turning the world upside down.

After more than 30 years of experiences in presenting the gospel ('good news' about Jesus) to people in other cultures, Paul put all his experiences and hard-learned lessons together for a new strategy in the city of Ephesus, with amazing results!

Paul never had an opportunity to do it again – it was like his grand finale – because soon after, at about age 58, he returned to Jerusalem with an offering for poor people in the struggling church in Jerusalem, was arrested, held for two years as a prisoner, and then sent to Rome for trial and death.

This is the most under-told big story in the entire Bible. It's big because it's the core of what Jesus told us to do (Great Commission, Matthew 28:18).

Even though Paul learned this powerful strategy late in life and could implement it only once before his death, he left the outline for us. The Book of Acts tells in general terms how he did it.

What was the strategy? Will it still work today?

That's the subject of this Bible study.

KEY VERSES
Acts 19:8-10
'Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing [reasoning] persuasively about the kingdom of God.
'But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way.
'So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
'This went on for two years, so all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.'

Biggest under-told story in the Bible

This is arguably the biggest under-told story in the entire Bible. It's big because it's the core of what Jesus told us to do (Great Commission, Matthew 28:18).

This is a comprehensive lesson on good situation analysis ... search for opportunity ... thinking outside the box ... development of excellent teaching content ... economics ... venue ... risk taking ... creating buzz ... strong leadership ... and making everyone feel welcomed and accepted.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Of course, Paul stayed true to the message he received from Jesus and received daily guidance and strength from the Holy Spirit. The essential spiritual factors are not mentioned much on this page because the topic here is about method. The spiritual factors are covered in depth in topics on this site about doctrine.

The Hall of Tyrannus was not a church or a substitute for a church. It was an explanation and training center. It spawned new churches and supplied existing churches with new people.

An interesting perspective on this story is that Paul didn't have a Bible. He had access to Old Testament scriptures which could be read in Jewish synagogs, but he didn't have the New Testament because it had not yet been written. Little did he know that he was writing a big part of it!  

LOCATOR MAP

About 53-55 AD / Where it happened

Geographic setting

This story of the Apostle Paul, the Hall of Tyrannus, and a resulting explosive growth of Christianity takes place roughly AD 53-54 in the lands along the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea, all part of the Roman Empire, comprising most of modern-day Turkey.

The area inside the dotted line was known, and identified in the Bible, simply as 'Asia.' Over time (after Paul), the term 'Asia' was expanded in everyday usage to include also everything east of 'Asia.' Eventually, 'Asia Minor' became the terminology for distinguishing the circled area from the much larger Asian continent we know today.

Travel

The colored lines on the map above trace Paul's three missionary journeys and his journey to Rome as a prisoner. Paul traveled more than 10,000 miles on these trips.

Travel at that time was mostly by walking. Long distance travel by foot was usually along Roman roads, typically about six feet wide and paved with large flat stones.

APOSTLE PAUL

Bringing Christianity to other cultures

The greatest missionary ever

For most of his life he was known as Saul of Tarsus, or simply Saul, his Hebrew (Jewish) name. Then, from about age xx forward, for better identification with his ministry to Gentiles (non-Jews), he was known as the Apostle Paul, or simply Paul, his Greek name.

He was born in the approximate year 1 AD into a Jewish family of high standing – Roman citizenship – in the city of Tarsus, modern-day Turkey (map 24J).

[NOTE: In ancient history, most dates are approximations. Dates and ages stated in this study are approximate within +-3 years.]

As a teen, his family sent him to Jerusalem to study under Gamaliel, a very prestigious religious teacher, similar to a Harvard education today. When Saul was

Very well educated and connected to leaders of Sanheidren.

In the year or two after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension, group of believers call the 'way' troublesome. Saul passionate to put an end. Persecute, imprison and even death.

Dramatic conversion

'Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out

This study assumes some knowledge of Paul's life and teaching

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Saul of Tarsus / persecuted believers

Until his name was changed at age xx, he was known as Saul of Tarsus.

He was born in the year 6 AD into a Jewish family of high standing – Roman citizenship – in the city of Tarsus, modern-day Turkey (map 24J).

[In ancient history, most dates are approximations. Dates and ages stated in this study are approximate within +-3 years.]

As a teen, his family sent him to Jerusalem to study under Gamaliel, a very prestigious religious teacher, similar to a Harvard education today. When Saul was

Very well educated and connected to leaders of Sanheidren.

In the year or two after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension, group of believers call the 'way' troublesome. Saul passionate to put an end. Persecute, imprison and even death.

'And Saul approved of their killing him [stoning Stephen, a leader of the church]. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men dn women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went' (Acts 8:1-4).

One of biggest adversaries of Jesus. His own words:

'I persecuted the followers of this Way [Christians] to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison' (Acts 22:4).

Not a blazing missionary at first

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Any failures. Cross-cultural.

Different than what was happening in Jerusalem.

DISAPOINTMENT AND FAILURE

Almost always precedes big success

Jewish diaspora

Looking forward to Messiah.

CITY OF EPHESUS

Paul's problems and opportunities

Ephesus / big city knows nothing about Jesus

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Show pic and explain library.

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

It was pre-Christian, similar to our situation, trying to find a method suited to post-Christian America. This is not to say that Christianity is not still a powerful force in American life, but it is declining and is no longer the standard.

No Christian background, like many people in US today.

Temple of Artemis / one of seven wonders of the world

One of the wonders of the world.

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

This is more about it.

Invented their own religion. Today designer religion, without temple. Own version of God.

Jewish Synagog / stuck in ritual and tradition

Diaspora.

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Very closed society.

Ritual and traditon.

Not relevant in Greek culture. Not place to start.

Divine authority / no Bible, but physical healing

Authentication: Physical healings (before Bible)

Whenever a new person would come into a city and say that he is God (as with Jesus), or that he has a message from God (as with Paul), people believed that person is deranged and would not give serious attention to the message.

Paul's authentication: Physical healings (before Bible

To overcome that belief, God gave the power of physical healings to Jesus and some of his apostles to get attention and prove divine source of the message. The healings were public, widely confirmed, and reported by even by unbelievers. They were the talk of the city, and this happened with Paul in Ephesus.

Our

He had this advantage over us in first gaining a reputation as a man of God as he started the Hall of Tyrannus. Of course, many – perhaps most – though he was a sorcerer.

Healing abused. Simon the Sorcerer.

Was writing the gospel.

?
TAP: What's the back-story about Priscila, Aquila and tent-making?

PAUL'S SIX-PART STRATEGY

Defining characteristics of Paul's bold strategy

Principles applied by Apostle Paul to make Hall of Tyrannus his most successful evangelistic endeavor

Part 1. He knew his audience

For the first __ years of his life, Apostle Paul was thorough ingrained with Jewish culture ... born and raised in a Jewish home ... studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel ... temple life with leaders and devote enough to kill Christians. No relations with non-Jews (called Gentiles). Then, for the next __ years, part of the church and part of synagog, not too different. Then at age ___, called to be evangelist to Gentiles. Thrust out into the world of pagan polytheist belief.

What had worked before not working now. In fact, opposition.

In Corinth, 'Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, 'Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles'' (Acts 18:5-6).

But he tried synagog one more time when he left Corinth and came to Ephesus, probably in an earlier visit to the City earlier that year, 'They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. But as he left, he promised, 'I will come back if it is God’s will.' Then he set sail from Ephesus.' (Acts 18:19-21).

Now he was back in Ephesus and to work through the synagog again, but with results in above inn key verses in yellow box.

Now Paul knew that he had to do something different, relative to his audience (secular people). And that's how we got the Hall of Tyrannus.

Not going anywhere. Clearly define and target. Not same for everyone.

Part 2. He found an appealing venue

Paul had learned a lot about culture. People need to be comfortable in places of spiritual learning.

Neutral place of learning. Image. Smart. Impressive. Quality. Time important.

Some manuscripts add 'from the fifth hour to the tenth,' which would have been 11:00 Am to 4:00 PM.

Greek for 'hall' is schole.

Reasoning (Greek dialegomai) – Acts 17:2,17; 18:4, 19; 19:8, Mark 9:34; Acts 24:12 not disputing. Interacting with listeners, answering objections.

Helpful to evangelize in the public square.

Part 3. He simplified his message

Unlikely taught the Torah. One God. Life change. No rituals and tradition to defend. Compare with other belief systems.

Paul had been used to a very complex system of ritual and traditions. Internal language. Almost impossible for outsiders to understand.

In working through the synagog, he had to carry all that baggage with him and try to explain.

Part 4. He used an appropriate teaching method

Discussio3n. Socratic. Well educated. Respect.

Extended period of time necessary to interact with unbelievers.

Not doing it alone, 'took the disciples with him.' Paul led, but others shared too.

Part 5. He offered it free

Paul attitude. Avoid suspicions. Modern churches have reputation for motivation of trying to get money.

Paul did not solicit payment or reimbursement for his ministry. The book of Acts tells us in many places that he was a tentmaker (leather worker) who covered his own costs. Adverse to solicitations.

Can surmise from farewell words of Paul to the Elders of the church in Ephesus:

'I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'' (Acts 20:34-35).

Travel very time consuming, so probably not enough time to earn enough money for expensive ship travel. Other no doubt helped. As Priscila and Aquila, and room and board. If help, all quietly without solicitation.

Avoid suspicions. Modern churches have reputation for motivation of trying to get money.

Part 6. He created excitement

Multiplication. Excitement. Motivation. Changed lives.

Promoted. Went door to door.

Trading routes. People of influence.

Nothing boring with Paul.

Buzz.

These principles work in personal ministry, too
Apostle Paul put all of these principles together as a package for his Hall of Tyrannus group initiative, but each principle has its own merit and can be used alone or in a cluster by any Christian desiring to be effective in explaining the gospel to doubters and unbelievers in secular culture.

INNOVATION

New thinking for the new situation

Halls of learning

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Socratic method

Assume because used in halls of learning. Philosophy (live fulfilled life) and science.

More about Socratic.

Still more.

No lecture and no need for rote memorization.

Inquiry progress interactively and teacher is as much a participant as a guide in the discussion. Inquiry is open-ended.

Without a lesson plan, the group follows the dialogue where it goes.

Socratic inquiry aims to reveal the motivations and assumptions upon which student lead their lives.

Doesn't rest on citing authorities.

How one ought to live. Coherence.

Get students to account for themselves, not just regurgitate readings or lessons.

Space that encourages interaction. Seats bolted the floor not good.

Learn about critical thinking.

No Bible study, no Bible. One God. Experiential. Paul's testimony. Stories of changed lives. What does it mean? A living God.

Apprentice and guilds. But leisure learning self-betterment .

Learned from Athens

Mars hill.

Whole new method

Not tweek. Ground up.

Diagram

Gospel without ritual and tradition.

Inside-out, not outside-in.

THE BIG PICTURE

sdfsdfsdfds

Adam

Wanted to be own God.

Ten Commandments

One God.

Israel

Fight with enemies with pagan gods

Jesus

One God, one sacrifice

Paul

Possibilities

Now whole world

As China

COURAGE

Overcoming resistance from ritual and tradition

Courage to do something different

Criticism when leave out ritual and tradition. Takes courage to overcome.

Respectful discussion

Socratic method assumed.

Continuous

Every day. Probably come when you can. Community of growing believers.

Free

Paul never asked for support. No taint of profit or self-dealing.

Paul turned the presentation inside-out

Because there was none.

Explain diagram.

Explain more. Simplified. Probably didn't even tell about Old Testament.

Authentication

Healing. No Bible. We have Bible. From God, not just personal feelings.

Blank slate

Its first people know nothing.

RESULTS

Two million people heard the gospel

Amazing results

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Now here is something ...

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Changed lives

Burned books.

?
TAP: How do we know how many people were reached?

WHAT HAPPENED TO PAUL?

His biggest success, then his life cut short

Trouble with silversmiths

Trouble when successful. Interfer with others. Pushback.

Imprisoned

Assume.

One time only

Because Paul back to Jerusalem, then Rome as prisoner.

We can only imagine what would have happened if Paul could continue and refine.

WHAT PAUL TAUGHT

dsfsd

The linch pin

The Kingdom of God

Quiet because subversive

Nothing like it before

Jews synagogs diaspora. Roman soldiers. All inclusive.

Movement

Exciting. Talk about possibilities.

Appeal to gentiles

Political. But risky as grows.

 The purpose of this site is to help Christians engage in intelligent and persuasive conversations with doubters and unbelievers
SITE IN EARLY STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Helping Christians engage in intelligent and persuasive conversations with doubters and unbelievers