Pauline Christianity

So this week I started reading about the origin of Christianity. And surprisingly, I never knew that modern Christianity is actually heavily influenced by Paul's teachings (formerly Saul) rather than the disciples who knew and were led by Jesus (Paul never met Jesus). Pauline Christianity is a mixture of the early Church's views, mysticism, as well as Paul's own teachings based on his "visions."

Statements about Paul by Prominent Theologians and Bible Scholars

"Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus." - Thomas Jefferson

"I draw a great distinction between the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus and the Letters of Paul. Paul's Letters are a graft on Christ's teachings, Paul's own gloss apart from Christ's own experience." - Mahatma Gandhi

"True Christianity, which will last forever, comes from the gospel words of Christ not from the epistles of Paul. The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock, the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology." - Ernest Renan, Theologian, Author of the book Saint Paul (read more quotes)

Apostle Paul Founded Modern Christianity
taken from the Sierra Reference Encyclopedia
PAUL, ST. (died c. A.D. 68), founder of Pauline Christianity. His name was originally Saul. He later claimed that he was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, from a long-established Pharisee family in Tarsus.

Paul's new religion had the advantage over other salvation-cults of being attached to the Hebrew Scriptures, which Paul now reinterpreted as forecasting the salvation-death of Jesus. This gave Pauline Christianity an awesome authority that proved attractive to Gentiles thirsting for salvation. Paul's new doctrine, however, met with disapproval from the Jewish-Christians of the Jerusalem Church, who regarded the substitution of Jesus' atoning death for the observance of the Torah as a lapse into paganism.

Paul was summoned to Jerusalem by the leaders James (Jesus' brother), Peter, and John to explain his doctrine (c.50). At the ensuing conference, agreement was reached that Paul's Gentile converts did not need to observe the Torah. This was not a revolutionary decision, since Judaism had never insisted on full conversion to Judaism for Gentiles. But Paul on this occasion concealed his belief that the Torah was no longer valid for Jews either.

He was thus confirmed in the role of "apostle to the Gentiles," with full permission to enroll Gentiles in the messianic movement without requiring full conversion to Judaism.

Paul was a religious genius, who invested Greek mystery-religion with the historical sweep and authority of the Jewish Bible.

Pauline Epistles
The Pauline Epistles (or Corpus Paulinum) constitute those epistles traditionally attributed to Paul. Their names are based on the Christian groups or individuals to whom they are addressed.
  • Epistle to the Romans -- Paul the Apostle
  • First Epistle to the Corinthians -- Paul
  • Second Epistle to the Corinthians -- Paul
  • Epistle to the Galatians -- Paul
  • Epistle to the Ephesians -- Paul
  • Epistle to the Philippians -- Paul
  • Epistle to the Colossians -- Paul
  • First Epistle to the Thessalonians -- Paul
  • Second Epistle to the Thessalonians -- Paul
  • First Epistle to Timothy -- Paul
  • Second Epistle to Timothy -- Paul
  • Epistle to Titus -- Paul
  • Epistle to Philemon -- Paul
  • Epistle to the Hebrews -- Anonymous, traditionally attributed to Paul.
Further Reading
JSTOR: The Journal of Religion, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan., 1929 ), pp. 132-134
  • Review: The Uniqueness of Pauline Christianity
  • Harold R. Willoughby
  • Reviewed work(s): St. Paul and Paganism by T. Wilson
  • The Journal of Religion, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan., 1929), pp. 132-134 (review consists of 3 pages)
  • Published by: The University of Chicago Press

No comments:

Post a Comment