(Another post of thirty-three. Original at 07/2007)
"And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." - Acts 11:26b
I was reading the book of Acts when I came across this famous verse. Then I thought about why before him, the disciples weren't called Christians, since they already announced the Gospel in various places and the Holy Spirit had been poured upon the church.
I found it very interesting, first, that text be consecutive to the text where God shows Peter that we should not make unclean what He even purified. That's where Peter learns that Gentiles could become Christians, and not just Jews. And he teaches this to the church that was forming. From verse 19, tells a little of the Church of Antioch: "Now they wich were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch (...)" (v. 19a). The Church had undergone a kind of first test. Were persecuted and saw they could die like Stephen for preaching. They saw that they are willing to kill Jesus, also willing to kill anyone who announce this words.
Curious as I am not contented myself with just my thoughts and I was searching in some Study Bibles. The two definitons wich I like most was that two:
"The new church at Antioch was a curious mixture of Jews, who spoke Greek and/ or Aramaic, and Gentiles. It is significant that this is the first place where believers in Jesus were called Christians, and - 'those who follow Christ' - because all had in common was Christ, not identified by birth, by culture or language. Christ's love trascends all boundaries and unites all people." - Bíblia de Aplicação Pessoal (something like Personal Application Study Bible)
"Christian is a transliteration of the Greek Christianos, a simple name, and most likely target of derision, as the first followers of Christ (Gk. christos) (...)" - Bíblia de Estudo Plenitude (something like Study Bible Fullness). It would be like the Jesus Freaks in their origin.
I think there is no more to say. Now I understand why "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." I want to become a Christian just like them.
Stay with Jesus =)