Diaspora Jews and the Potential of Multicultural Missionary Children

Over the summer, we have been studying Acts at Lincoln Park UBF. To support his upcoming messages, Pastor Mark asked me to make a slide show presentation on the Diaspora Jews and their significance in the Book of Acts. Especially in relation to the theme of God spreading the gospel outside of Jewish territory “to the ends of the earth.” At first I resisted, but then submitted. I’m glad I did. I was so inspired. Especially thinking about how God strategically used this unique group of people, and in comparison, how God is now strategically using missionary children in UBF.

Who were the Diaspora Jews? Diaspora is “to migrate or scatter.” These Jews were exiled and forced to live outside of Israel. The Diaspora occurred in 722 BC, when the Assyrians conquered Northern Israel, and in 588 BC when the Babylonians conquered Judah. They were also called Hellenistic Jews, because they lived in Greek speaking territories. Living outside of Israel, they eventually lost the Hebrew language, and by the 1st century mainly spoke Greek. The Hebrew speaking Jews despised the Diaspora Jews, because they didn’t speak or write in Hebrew, “God’s language.” Indeed, they became culturally and religiously marginalized.

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