Paul Is Often Considered Second Essay

Pages: 3 (1105 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

¶ … Paul is often considered second only to Jesus in his contribution to Christianity. Be Specific.

Paul vs. Jesus: The proselytizing and the religious interpretations of the Apostle Paul

Jesus died a practicing Jew, yet gave birth to a religion that became separated, and then polarized from the Jewish faith. Part of the reason for the separation of Judaism from the ethnic community that produced Jesus has to do with the framing of Jesus' teaching through the perspective of the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul was born a Jew, like Jesus, and even persecuted Jesus' followers in his old identity as Saul. Once converted, Paul became an eager proselytizer of his version of the Gospel. Paul's specific focus was to bring the words of Jesus to gentiles rather than to his fellow Jews. Because gentiles came to dominate the ranks of the new religion of Christianity Paul's version of the religion became extremely influential in shaping the trajectory of its theology.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Paul Is Often Considered Second Only to Assignment

In Galatians 3:28, Paul writes: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The sameness of identity means that Christians and Jews are now equal: it also means that Christians do not need to adopt Jewish practices to become followers of Christ. Given the length of time Paul devotes to this subject in Galatians, it was evidently a subject of great controversy for the early, mixed Christian community. Paul states that not only do Christians not have to be circumcised and keep the laws of kashrut, but to do so is an affront to Jesus. "Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?"(Galatians 4:21). Jesus' ministry is a ministry of the heart, not the law; it is a ministry of belief, not rituals. Mosaic Law was instated merely to keep people obedient and good until the coming of Christ could make them morally perfect: "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." (Galatians 4:4-4:4-5). Jesus brings salvation to all human beings, even pagans: "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods" (Galatians 4:8).

Paul writes that the words of the Old Testament are meant to be taken metaphorically: Abraham had two children, one by a free woman, and one by an enslaved woman. Pagans were enslaved to false idols, and to go back and engage in the idolatry inherent in the rule-based nature of Mosaic Law is just as bad as paganism. "Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." (Galatians 5:3-4). "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6).

Paul's statement that Christ's ministry is a spiritual rather than a physically enacted ritual community confirmed the religiously separate nature of Jesus' teachings in the eyes of many gentiles. Paul's stress on the spirit's importance… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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