Conflicting Theology? A Review of Paul and Jesus, Parts 1 & 2

It is difficult for one to imagine a version of Christianity pre-dating Paul with none of the core theological affirmations we find in the Apostles Creed.  Yet that is precisely what our evidence indicates.

The original apostles and followers of Jesus, led by James and assisted by Peter and John, continued to live as Jews, observing the Torah and worshipping in the Temple at Jerusalem, or in their local synagogues, while remembering and honoring Jesus as their martyred Teacher and Messiah.  They neither worshipped nor divinized Jesus as the Son of God, or as a Dying-and-Rising Savior, who died for the sins of humankind.  They practiced no ritual of baptism into Christ, nor did they celebrate a sacred meal equated with ‘eating the body and drinking the blood’ of Christ as a guarantee of eternal life.

Their message was wholly focused around their expectations that the kingdom of God had drawn near, as proclaimed by John the Baptizer and Jesus, and that very soon God would intervene in human history to bring about his righteous rule of peace and justice among all nations.  In the meantime both Jews and non-Jews were urged to repent of their sins, turn to God, and live righteously before him in expectation of his kingdom.

Sign at the Entrance of the Church of All Nations Garden of Gethsemane

Thanks to Howard Pepper and his two part review of my new book, Paul and Jesus which you can read in full at these links: Part I and Part II.

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