Types Of Undergraduate Dissertations
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Types of undergraduate dissertations

Types of undergraduate dissertations write for me capstone advisors illinois why you want to work for this company essay ´╗┐the lectures on these tapes are titled the New Testament part 2 now that we're halfway through our course on the New Testament it's time to move beyond our discussion of Jesus and the Gospels it's been appropriate to spend half of our course on the first four books of the New Testament because in terms of total bulk they make up more than half of the New Testament itself but there are 23 other books that we need to consider in this lecture we're going to consider the fifth book of the New Testament the book of Acts which picks up the story after Jesus death and resurrection and begins to narrate an account of the spread of Christianity by Jesus apostles after his death this is our earliest account of church history the earliest account we have of the events that transpired after Jesus death as Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire the account comes from the same author who wrote our third gospel traditionally called Luke it's somewhat unfortunate that the third gospel and the book of Acts have been separated within our Canon by the Gospel of John the sequence of our Gospels in our English Bibles Elise is determined to some extent by the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament even though in the Greek manuscripts there are different sequences for our Gospels in most of the manuscripts we have the Gospel of John is last probably because most people thought the Gospel of John was the last book to have been written among the Gospels but the unfortunate result of that is that Acts is separated from its companion volume The Book of Luke we don't know of course who the author of this book was like the gospel the book of Acts is anonymous there was though an early Christian tradition that said that both Luke and acts were written by a travelling companion of Apostle Paul there is in fact some evidence to suggest that the book of Acts was written by one of Paul's travelling companions this would be a significant conclusion to draw precisely because Paul is the main character of the book of Acts and so of one of his travelling companions wrote this narrative you would expect it to have particular credence as a historical document the evidence comes in four passages in the book of Acts where the author stops talking in the third person about what Paul and other people were doing and begins to talk in the first person about what we were doing four passages in the book of Acts that are called the we passages who is this person who has come companying Paul on some of his journeys who discusses himself as as one of his companions well one of the principal concerns of the book of Acts of course as I've indicated in an earlier lecture is the spread of Christianity outside of the realm of Judaism to the realm of the Gentiles Christianity is taken outside of Judaism it becomes a religion of Gentiles well so the companion of Paul would be somebody who is interested in Gentiles possibly he himself as a Gentile what Gentile companions of Paul do we know about in Paul's own letters he mentions several of his travelling companions one of them is a person named Luke that Paul in the book of Colossians calls the beloved physician the tradition then is that it was this person the beloved physician Luke who was Paul's traveling companion who produced the book of Acts there's some evidence for it in these four wee passages unfortunately Luke himself is never mentioned in the book of Acts the author doesn't say that he was Luke moreover these wee passages are not completely convincing as evidence that a travelling companion of Paul wrote this book when you look at these wee passages for example in chapter 16 of the book of Acts they begin very abruptly right almost right in the middle of a sentence and they end very abruptly right in the middle of a sentence in other words it the author doesn't say and then I join up with Paul and we did this that or the other thing suddenly in the middle of the narrative the author starts saying we some scholar suspect that what's going on is that the author has had available to him some sources much as he had sources available for the Gospels and that he's incorporated these sources in his narrative of Paul's activities and that one of these sources may have been some kind of travel diary or travelogue by one of Paul's companions that has simply incorporated wholesale into the narrative that would explain why suddenly he begins to say we because that's where this new source picks up so that on four occasions he would have been using this travelogue as as one of his sources if that's the case then in fact these wee passages don't indicate that the entire thing was written by one of Paul's traveling companions there's nothing in the text again to suggest that it would happen to be somebody named Luke and nothing about the document that suggested happened to be written by a physician one thing is correct though about this early Christian tradition that it was that the book was written by one of Paul's traveling companions namely that Paul himself is the clear hero of this narrative Paul is the man who is most responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman world even though Paul himself was not one of Jesus own disciples the book is called the Acts sometimes called the Acts of the Apostles this title for the book is probably a bit of a misnomer the Apostles as a whole or as a group simply don't figure prominently in this book they are mentioned at the outset the eleven apostles and then there's an election to replace Judas who has died so there are twelve apostles but the twelve don't figure prominently in the book the main players in this book are Peter in chapters one through 12 and then Paul in chapters 13 through 28 in another sense though for this author the real player is the Holy Spirit who is seen directing all of the action behind the scenes since this is a narrative of the spread of Christianity I'd like to introduce the book by discussing the flow of the narrative what actually happens in the course of the book in terms of its overarching structure and many of its themes we have a very nice introduction to what's going to happen in the opening episode of the book chapter 1 verses 1 through 11 in this opening episode we're told that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that he meets with his apostles before ascending into heaven they've been staying in Jerusalem Jesus meets with them after he's been raised from the dead and he tells them that they need to wait because they are going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit the disciples want to know Lord is this the time that you will now restore the kingdom to Israel in other words is the kingdom of God going to come now and Jesus replies it's not up to you to know the times or the or the seasons when the kingdom will come instead you need to wait to receive power from on high the Holy Spirit is going to come upon you and chapter 1 verse 8 you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth this is a kind of outline for what happens in the book of Acts the Apostles are going to receive empowerment from the spirit and they're going to be Jesus witnesses spreading his good news first in Jerusalem then Judea then Samaria and then to the ends of the earth to the Gentile lands when Jesus says this then they are looking upon him and he is lifted up he ascends into heaven a cloud takes them takes him from their sight two men appear these maybe angels who say men of Galilee why do you stand looking up toward heaven this Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back again in the same way as you saw him go so Jesus is going to return but it's not going to happen right away well as is predicted in these early verses of the book of Acts the narrative goes on to describe the events fifty days later on the day of Pentecost this is the day of Pentecost is named Pentecost because the word Penta fit in five for fifty days this is a festival that takes place 50 days after the Passover Jesus is killed during the Passover fifty days later during the festival of the Pentecost the Holy Spirit does come upon the Apostles there they are gathered together the Spirit descends upon them they see flames looks like tongues of fire over their heads they begin speaking foreign languages that they don't know people who are gathered in Jerusalem Jews from all over the world gathered together hear the gospel preached in their own languages the spirit empowers the Apostles to preach the message in languages of these other people and many people then convert this is the beginning then of the Christian church the Apostles go about preaching their message and converting thousands of people masses of people convert at their preaching because of their empowerment through the spirit chapter 2 verse 41 3,000 people convert at one time chapter four verse four five thousand more people convert chapter five verse 14 many more people convert thousands upon thousands of people converting in Jerusalem these people are not just disparate converts who then go off on their own way the Apostles organized the communities of believers who then gather together for worship and fellowship moreover these communities in Jerusalem all share their goods in common they sell what they own they contribute to a common pool and then they live communally together chapter verses 43 to 47 the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem according to this account account don't much like the fact that the Christians are having such success they thought that they had gotten rid of the problem by having Jesus executed but in fact Jesus apostles attract more crowds obviously than even Jesus did and so in this narrative we're told that the Jewish leaders try to silence the Apostles they imprisoned them they order them to silence but nothing can stop them eventually the Jewish leaders drive the Apostles out of Jerusalem thinking that that will slow down their the progress of their mission but in fact rather than slowing it down this accelerates the Christian mission because now the Apostles are forced to take their message to other lands among all of the early converts in this book the most significant is a former persecutor of the Christians the Pharisee eclis trained and highly influential Saul who is also known as Paul people sometimes mistakenly think that Saul was this person's name that when he converted he began became Paul that's not quite right his his Hebrew name is Saul his Greek name is Paul just two different languages this fellow Saul was a persecutor of the Christians who was a Pharisee himself on one of his trips outside of Jerusalem to persecute the Christians he was going to the city of Damascus and according to chapter 9 of the book of Acts he has a vision of Jesus himself and becomes an ardent believer Paul then becomes a great missionary to the Gentiles going on three missionary journeys in this book a good deal of this book has to has to do with Paul's missionary journeys to Syria Asia Minor which is modern-day Turkey Macedonia and Achaia modern-day Greece a major conflict emerges within the Christian churches as a result of Paul's missions to the Gentiles over whether Gentiles that is non-jews should be required to convert to Judaism if they are to be followers of Jesus most specifically the question is do Gentile men have to be circumcised and thereby join the Jewish religion before becoming members of the Christian Church Paul is converting people Gentiles to be Christians without being Jews other people are saying that of course this is a Jewish religion Jesus is the Jewish Messiah sent from the Jewish God and fulfillment of the Jewish law and so anybody who belongs to this religion has to be Jewish and so there's a controversy the controversy is resolved in chapter 15 of this book when Paul and his companion Barnabas go to Jerusalem to confer with the Apostles about the matter there's a major conference there and everybody at the conference agrees to endorse Paul's view that salvation comes to all people whether they're circumcised or not that circumcision is not necessary for salvation there were there was great rejoicing among the Gentile believers at the conclusion of this conference Paul aroused a significant opposition among Jews in his mission Jews in the various cities to which he goes in addition to converting people he he has people that he makes irate they persecute him in a variety of ways driving him out of town sometimes actually flogging him or stoning him eventually at the instigation of his Jewish opponents Paul is arrested as a troublemaker in Jerusalem in chapter 21 and the rest of the narrative chapters 21 through 28 shows Paul on trial on various occasions defending himself as someone who has never renounced Judaism or created any problems for the state Paul's Roman judges are invariably convinced by his defense but they refused to release him for fear of the Jewish reaction at the end of the book Paul is sent to Rome to stand trial before the Emperor the book concludes then with him in Rome under house arrest preaching the gospel to everyone who will come near him so the goth the the book of Acts begins with Jesus saying that the Apostles need to take the gospel spread the good news from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth and the book ends then with Paul preaching the gospel at the ha in the heart of the Empire the city of Rome itself the capital city so that now Jesus injunction has been fulfilled by the end of the book since this is the only surviving account of early Christianity that we have from the period we might ask how accurate it is as a historical document scholars in fact have had reasons for questioning the historical accuracy of the book of Acts there's a range of opinion on this among scholars there are some scholars who think the act is highly reliable there's something that some who think that acts is completely untrustworthy and most people are somewhere probably in the middle there are good reasons though for doubting a number of the details of Acts account and I'm going to look at two kinds of evidence the first I'm going to do very briefly it has to do with internal inconsistencies of the narrative if you have a historical source of course you would hope that the the source would be consistent with itself that would show some basic concern at least for reliability Acts narrates in several instances the same event twice or three times when it does so often inconsistencies emerge just give you one example in acts we have the conversion of Paul narrated in Chapter nine Paul narrates the events leading up to his conversion himself on two other occasions once in chapter 22 and once in chapter 26 unfortunately these three accounts have minor inconsistencies between them that make you question the whether the author's really striving to give a disinterested account of what really happened you can read these accounts for yourselves and just do a careful comparison this is a sort of a classic instance of inconsistency Paul is travelling with some companions well his companions the way it works is Paul sees this bright light he falls to the ground he hears a voice saying saul saul why are you persecuting me and he has this conversation with jesus he's blinded by the light and but then he comes to realise that Jesus has been raised from the dead well he had some companions with him did his companions hear the voice of Jesus but not see him or did they see this light that that was Jesus but here nothing well it depends which of the counts you're reading is just the opposite between chapter 9 is chapter 22 were these companions left standing because they didn't see anything or were they knocked to the ground with Paul well it depends if you're reading chapter 9 or chapter 24 minor little inconsistencies that might suggest that the author is not principally concerned with giving a completely accurate account of what really happened more important though is that there are inconsistencies between this account and other accounts that we have of the same events luckily we have a number of writings by Paul himself in the New Testament Paul sometimes talks about his own life Acts talks about his life and so we can compare the two it's striking that whenever you compare what Paul says about himself and what Acts says about himself they seem to differ just give you a couple of exam apples right after Paul's conversion in the book of Acts he's in Damascus he's been converted when he leaves Damascus where does he immediately go he goes to Jerusalem to talk to the Apostles Acts chapter 9 that's striking because Paul also talks about what happened to him after he converted in Galatians chapter 1 and in Galatians 1 Paul is completely insistent that when he came to believe in Jesus quote I did not go to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before me Paul makes a big point that he didn't go to Jerusalem for three years now Paul has his own reason for insisting on this his own reasons are that he doesn't want anybody to think that he got his Gospel message from the Apostles he got it straight from God in a revelation from Jesus he proves that by pointing out to people in Galatians I didn't even go to Jerusalem right away but as an axe that's exactly what he does well that would be a kind of inconsistency there's this conference in Acts chapter 15 which is meant to decide whether the Gentiles have to be circumcised according to act this is Paul's third trip to Jerusalem Paul is insistent in Galatians chapters 1 and 2 that it's his second trip he doesn't want people to think that he's been going back and forth to Jerusalem a lot at this conference was there widespread agreement among everybody who was there that in fact Gentiles don't have to be circumcised that's what acts 15 indicates Paul seems to indicate that he had to twist some arms in a back room Galatians chapter 2 to get the Apostles to agree these are kinds of inconsistencies you find between Paul and the book of Acts another one that has struck scholars over the years is the content of Paul's preaching the content of Paul's proclamation to Gentiles we have sermons in the book of Acts where Paul tries to convert pagans to believe and Paul himself refers to what he preached it's interesting to compare the two in Acts chapter 17 Paulist preaching to a group of philosophers on the areopagus in Athens and Paul tells these people these philosophers that God has overlooked the ignorance of idolatry Paul says that people committed idolatry because they didn't know any better and since they didn't know any better God has overlooked it but now they have a chance to realize that they've been wrong and to turn to God in Romans chapter 1 Paul also talks about idolatry ben romans 1 it's very clear Paul does not think that it's a act of ignorance people who commit idolatry who worship idols according to Romans 1 don't do so out of ignorance they do so out of willfulness they know precisely that there's only one God they worship idols because they reject the one God and because this is an act of the will and knowledge God condemns people who do this it's just the opposite message that Paul gives in Acts chapter 17 now it may be the Paul simply changed his message depending on his audience or he may maybe you could conclude that in acts 17 he's preaching what he doesn't really think I suppose that's possible it's also possible that act has one perspective on Paul and Paul has a different perspective on Paul how accurate is the book of Acts well as I said there's a spectrum of opinion in my opinion the book of Acts is about as accurate on Paul as the Book of Luke is on Jesus there's some historically accurate material here but there's also been changes as this author has has attempted to provide a narration of the events I think it would to be a mistake though to discount the book of Acts for this reason just as the Gospels are not trying to give a disinterested historical sketch of Jesus life from modern-day scholars so to act is not trying to give a disinterested historical sketch of the early church like the Gospels it's trying to explain the significance of what happened in early Christianity it's not trying to provide some kind of data-driven dry report acts in fact is a literary text with theological motifs the literary character of act can be seen in the number of ways that this author is in fact someone who is skilled in writing literature it's interesting for example to compare Luke and acts the narratives of Jesus and the early church because there are a number of similarities that the authors obviously put in there intentionally Jesus in the Book of Luke is baptized and he receives the spirit in the book of Acts the believers in Jesus are baptized they receive the spirit after Jesus receives the spirit in the Book of Luke he's empowered to do miracles and so he heals the sick he casts out demons he raises the dead in the book of Acts the apostles of Jesus after they received the spirit can do miracles they heal the sick they cast out demons they raised the dead in the Book of Luke Jesus is opposed by the Jewish authorities in the book of Acts his followers are opposed by the Jewish authorities in the Book of Luke because he's rejected by the Jews Jesus message goes to the Gentiles in acts because the Apostle is rejected by the Jews their message goes to the Gentiles there's literary artistry going on here in the parallels between Luke and acts this literary character of the book of Acts needs to be taken seriously because it shows that this book is not trying simply to give the raw facts of history but is trying to paint the history of early Christianity in theological hues I want to spend the rest of this lecture just detailing some of the theological emphases that one finds in the book of Acts understanding that this is attempting to be a theological account this author wants to emphasize that the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus was made possible by the power of God this is a major theological point of his it's because the Holy Spirit of God has come upon the church that the mission is made possible the early Christian evangelists and missionaries are not acting on their own they're empowered from on high for that reason according to this author the Christian mission cannot be stopped this is another overarching motif people try to shut down this mission especially the Jewish leaders but they can't do it because God's behind it at one place early in the narrative of Acts chapter 5 one of the Jewish leaders stands up and says that we shouldn't oppose this movement because if it's not from God then it'll fail but if it is from God and we oppose it then we'll be opposing God that's the theme of this motif that's the theme of this book that in fact if you oppose the Christian mission you're opposing God the proclamation in this book comes first to the Jewish people many of whom accept it and convert but most of whom reject it this author wants to emphasize though that there's nothing in the proclamation that stands contrary to the Jewish religion itself the rejection of this message though by the Jews leads to its acceptance by the Gentiles the mission then spreads not just geographically as it moves out from Jerusalem into Judea and Samaria and on into Gentile lands it also spreads what we might say ethnically from Jews to Samaritans who are thought to be sort of half Jews on to Gentiles the Gentiles who accept this message do not need to be circumcised in order to receive it a Gentile does not have to be a Jew in order to be a Christian that's an that's an important point for this book because there are a lot of early Christians of course who thought completely otherwise the spread of the church for this author is going according to the plan of God one implication of that is that according to this author God never intended the end to come right away the message is D apocalypta sized a bit the end wasn't supposed to come right away because the church first had to be formed behind it all of course for this author is God himself these are theological views not historical data historians who want to know what actually happened during early years of Christianity therefore need to approach the text of Acts critically they have to apply criteria to this text much as we apply criteria to the Gospels the figure will figure out what really happened it's best to understand this book as a kind of theologically driven narrative of the spread of early Christianity so in conclusion this book of Acts is our first historical sketch of the early Christian movement that traces the spread of the church from Jew to Gentile its main players are Peter at the beginning and Paul throughout most of the narrative the book continues many of the themes that we found in the Gospel of Luke in particular the book is far less concerned to provide historically accurate data for modern historians who are interested in the brute facts of early the early Christian movement than it is to give a theological sketch of what this movement was all about but the characters in this book are all historical figures the most significant of whom is the Apostle Paul in our next lecture we'll turn to Paul himself to learn about this person that most scholars would agree is the most important figure in early Christianity outside of Jesus [Music] in the last lecture we saw that the hero of the book of Acts was the Apostle Paul who more than anyone was responsible for the spread of the Christian movement from its small beginnings in Jerusalem out into the wider Roman world most historians would agree with Luke that apart from Jesus Paul was the most important figure in early Christianity we can now move into a study of Paul himself based on the letters that happen to survive in the New Testament these are the only writings that we have from Paul's hand there are other writings that we'll see later in the course claimed to be written by Paul but there are forgeries the New Testament books attributed to Paul are the only ones that are that Paul himself actually wrote in this lecture we'll be considering some of the difficulties associated with trying to understand the writings of Paul and then we'll look at some biographical background on his life the study of Paul is complicated by several difficulties first as we've already seen one of the principal sources for knowing about Paul is the book of Acts which must be treated critically we can't simply trust that when acts says something about Paul it's historically accurate because Acts account is governed by theological concerns we've seen that in places Paul and acts talk about the same events invariably when they do so discrepancies either large or small emerge some of the small discrepancies may seem insignificant where Paul was and when and with whom but sometimes the discrepancies are major what did his proclamation to the Gentiles entail moreover the book of Acts provides some information about Paul that's not corroborated in his letters that must therefore be taken gingerly for example most people who know anything about Paul think that he was a Roman citizen well not everybody living in the Empire of course was a citizen of Rome it was a privilege to be a Roman citizen Paul himself never says anything about being a Roman citizen that's found only in the book book of Acts what was he then a Roman citizen it's hard to know acts would have had reasons of its own for wanting to elevate the status of Paul and so one could imagine Acts saying that he was a citizen even if the author didn't know the book of Acts is the only place where we find that Paul came from the city of Tarsus in the region of Cilicia he's frequently known as Paul of Tarsus did he really come from Tarsus it's hard to say he himself never mentions Tarsus in any of his letters it matters whether one takes acts as historically reliable or not how did Paul proceed on his mission well according to the book of Acts the way Paul engaged in his missionary activities was by going into a city and using the synagogue as a base of operation as a Jew he'd go into the synagogue he'd convert some Jews if the Jewish leaders would get upset with him they'd kick him out and then he'd go to the Gentiles city after City after city he begins in the synagogue Paul himself doesn't indicate so well is axe accurate about this then what did Paul preach did Paul preach to the Gentiles that it was okay that they had committed idolatry because they were ignorant they didn't know any better that's what Acts says Paul though indicates that he condemned pagan idolatry as a willful act what was Paul's view of himself as a Jew in the book of Acts Paul never does anything against the Jewish law this is a major motif of the book Paul himself though says that he acted as a Jew when he was among the Jews but he acted as a Greek when he was among the Greeks was Paul always keeping the Jewish law after he became a Christian well it depends if you read Acts or Paul the first problem then in the study of Paul is what to do with ax I think that when you use the book of Acts you have to use it critically with a critical eye recognizing his own theological agenda second problem was studying Paul is that some of the writings that appear under Paul's name were probably not written by him I've already pointed out that there are a number of Pauline writings outside of the New Testament that are clear forgeries as we'll see in a later lecture for example there's a third letter to the Corinthians that's not in the New Testament well this was forged in the second century but even within the New Testament there are Pauline books books who claim Paul as their author whose authorship is debated as we'll see most scholars are convinced that Paul did not write the books of first and second Timothy and Titus these three books are called the pastoral epistles because they deal with problems that pastors are facing in their churches and Paul as the head pastor is writing them a letter to tell them how to deal with the problems the question is is this really Paul most scholars are convinced on a number of grounds that will examine in a later lecture the Paul didn't write the pastoral epistles scholars debate the authorship of three other books that claim Paul as the author colossians ephesians and second thessalonians these books are designated by scholars as the deutero Paul line epistles that is they are epistles that have a secondary standing in the Pauline canon because their authorship is disputed again we'll see reasons for these disputes in a later lecture at this stage it's simply important to emphasize that the seven remaining letters are typically designated the undisputed Pauline epistles virtually no competent scholar disputes that Paul wrote the letters of Romans first and second Corinthians Galatians Philippi first Thessalonians and Philemon these seven letters the undisputed Pauline epistles are are unanimously agreed to have gone back to Paul any study of Paul therefore is best served to restrict itself to the letters that he is known to have produced you can't very well talk about Paul's theology and quote a letter that he didn't write and so it's important to stick to the seven undisputed letters so the first problem was studying Paul is what to do with the book of Acts the second problem has to do with letters that claim to be written by him but were not the third problem with studying the Apostle Paul is that all of Paul's letters are occasional in nature by that I don't mean that Paul occasionally wrote letters I mean that he wrote letters for particular occasions these letters that come from Paul's pen are not systematic treatises on set topics there are actual letters written to address actual concerns that have arisen in Paul's churches Paul will establish a church go somewhere else he'll hear of problems and who write his letters back to the churches to explain what they should do about the problems that problem means that there are lots of things that are important to Paul that never show up in the letters because they never were problems in his churches we shouldn't then expect these letters to cover every topic of significance to Paul they'll only cover issues that had arisen in the churches that were problematic just give you one example Paul only mentions the Lord's Supper one time in the surviving letters even if you count the disputed epistles the Lord suffers occurs only wants first Corinthians chapter 11 when you read first Corinthians 11 it's clear Paul thought that the correct conduct at the Lord's Supper was extremely important that in fact because people weren't conducting themselves properly at this meal this periodic meal in the communities some people had gotten sick as a result and some people had died as judgment against their activities and so Paul tells them they have to conduct themselves in a certain way it's clearly a very important issue but it occurs only once in his letters if this had not been a problem in the Church of Corinth we wouldn't even know that Paul that Paul followed any rules at all at the Lord's Supper or that he thought that the Lord's Supper was important at all it's only because we have this in 1st Corinthians chapter 11 and so the third problem of studying Paul's letters is that all of these books are occasional in nature a careful study of Paul's letters with an eye to the book of Acts for corroboration reveals several important pieces of biographical biographical information on Paul which can serve as a kind of backdrop to our study of his writings and so here what I want to do is go through some basic biographical information so that we know who Paul was and and what happened to him to lead him to become a Christian and then to develop his theology from Paul's letters we learn that Paul was born and raised a Jew who was committed to the traditions of Pharisee ISM Paul refers to his background in Galatians chapter 1 and Philippians chapter 3 where he clearly states that he was born and raised a Jew and that he had been raised as a Pharisee that by the way is an interesting data I mentioned in an earlier lecture the four major groups of Jews that we know about Pharisees Sadducees Essenes in the fourth philosophy among the Pharisees we don't have any authors who were themselves Pharisees living before the destruction of the temple in the year 70 except ironically for the Apostle Paul Paul is the only pharisaic author that we have writing before the destruction of the temple of course when he's riding he's no longer just a Jewish Pharisee he's a Jewish Pharisee who's become a believer in but scholars have had to appeal to Paul for what Ferriss a is it might have been like since he's the only author who survives in any event we know enough about the Pharisees to say that they were very concerned about following the law of God and had developed traditions oral traditions to help them keep the written law of Moses Paul then was was thoroughly steeped both in the Torah and in these world traditions it appears that Paul was raised outside of Palestine and that he did not know Jesus himself as I indicated Paul doesn't say that he was born in Tarsus but he may well have been born in Tarsus which was a large metropolitan area or someplace like it the reason for thinking he was raised outside of Palestine is because Paul gives very little indication that he understands any Semitic languages he he respects and writes Greek without evident knowledge of Hebrew or even Aramaic which is the language in Palestine therefore it appears that he didn't know Jesus himself and makes no claims to have known Jesus when Jesus was alive for some reason Paul learned about the early Christian movement wherever he was and he found it blasphemous and dangerous it's usually assumed that Paul learned about the early Christian movement when he himself was a mature adult but that it was soon after the Christian movement had started there are a number of reasons for dating it this way but this would mean that Paul was roughly the age of Jesus Paul heard about Christianity and found it dangerous we don't know what about Christianity he found to be blasphemous we're dangerous he doesn't tell us what it was that he found to be problematic but it's possible to read his writings and come up with some hypotheses about it it may be this is the strikes me as highly plah highly plausible it maybe that Paul had a fairly traditional view of what the Messiah was supposed to be a figure of grandeur and power who would overthrow God's enemies to bring in God's kingdom when he heard that some Jews were saying that Jesus was the Messiah he may have found this to be outright blasphemous because who is Jesus he wasn't a figure of grandeur and power whom God had blessed by allowing him to bring in the kingdom Jesus was a man who was crucified he was a lowly criminal who was crushed by the state this is not at all what God said the Messiah was going to be like in the Hebrew Scriptures as I've pointed out there were no Jews prior to Christianity who thought the Messiah was going to suffer and die so to say that someone was the Messiah even though he had been had been crucified was ridiculous even worse than that for Paul as we there are indications of this from the book of Galatians chapter 3 even more problematic for Paul was the circumstance that Jesus died by being nailed to a cross the reason that was a problem is because of a passage in the Torah in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 27 Moses says Paul attributed Deuteronomy to Moses Moses says cursed is the one who hangs on a tree well house one crucified by being nailed to a nailed to wood nailed to a tree whoever is nailed to a tree is under God's curse Christians though are saying that this one that God has cursed is the Messiah that seems completely ridiculous to Paul even blasphemous that may be why he persecuted the Christian Church it may also be that the concomitant claim of the Christians that salvation came not just to Jews but to Gentiles who didn't have to become Jews was also found to be offensive Christians before Paul were saying that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised so that the salvation of God to the Jews is going to non-jews most Jews would not have found this to be particularly acceptable even offensive and Paul seems to have been in that category for these two reasons it may be these may be the two reasons that Paul decided to persecute the Christians as he himself indicates he did Galatians chapter 1 verse 13 he actively persecuted the Christian Church we don't know exactly what this entailed but it may have involved some violence in the midst of his persecuting activities Paul evidently had some kind of visionary experience of Jesus that changed his life the book of Acts describes the event in some detail as we saw in Acts chapter 9 22 and 26 Paul himself is much more elusive when it comes to describing the event he doesn't say exactly what happened to him he mentions it in a couple of occasions in Galatians chapter 1 Paul says that God was pleased to reveal his son to me God was pleased to reveal his son to me it doesn't it's not clear whether that means that he actually had a vision of Jesus or if God enlightened him about the truth of Jesus or something else but in first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 8 Paul is in the company in the context he's describing Jesus being raised from the dead and appearing to several people to Cephas to the twelve to the apostles and to to James his own brother and they says the last of all he appeared to me as one untimely born Paul claims that he had some kind of visionary experience of Jesus we aren't sure exactly what that visionary experience involved we are sure though that this experience completely transformed Paul's understanding of Jesus having seen Jesus after his death convinced Paul that he had been completely wrong about Jesus and wrong to persecute the Christian Church and it moved him from being the greatest person tuturro the church to being its greatest apostle I want to explain how Paul's thought processes appeared to have worked as a way of setting up how his own distinctive theology developed how Paul moved from being a persecutor of the Christians to being an apostle for the Christians the way his thought processes worked I think were somewhat in Reverse arguing from the experience of the resurrection of Jesus that he had to a theology about Jesus so that he didn't start with some ideas about Jesus he starts with an experience that he had and the way I think the thought processes work is as follows since Paul became convinced that Jesus was raised from the dead because he had some vision of Jesus he he was convinced that God had showered favor on Jesus after Jesus death that must mean though that the death of Jesus itself was not an accident or a miscarriage of justice since God honor of Jesus after his death the death itself must have been planned by God otherwise God wouldn't have honored Jesus in his death so rather than one who was cursed by God Jesus was the one man more than any other who is ultimately blessed by God since Jesus as God's blessed one could not have borne the curse for anything that he himself had done he must have borne it for others in other words Paul thought by being nailed to the cross Jesus was under a curse kirsta does anyone who hangs on a tree since God blessed Jesus by raising him from the dead it's clear that he stands under God's blessing not under God's curse why then does he bear the curse it must not be for anything that he himself has done he must have borne the curse for others that is to say in using this kind of logic Jesus death must have been a sacrifice not for his own sins not for anything that he did but for the sins of others Paul then reasons that a person's sins can be removed if they accept this sacrifice that Jesus paid they accept this sacrifice by faith that is by trusting in Christ's death for salvation having a right standing before God must therefore come through Christ's death and resurrection and through nothing else it's only through Jesus death and resurrection that a person can be made right with God for that reason the Jewish law cannot be the way to attain a right standing before God because Jesus death is the way to have a right standing before God you see how this is all working he's reasoning back from the resurrection the resurrection says something about the importance of the death the death says something very important about salvation the the way of salvation now says something important about the Jewish law salvation comes not by law but through Jesus death rather than continuing on as a Pharisee urging people to keep the law more perfectly urging Gentiles if they want to join the community to be circumcised Paul came to promote faith in Christ as the way of salvation there could in fact be no other way salvation comes to all people Jew and Gentile through the death of Jesus thus Paul becomes the leading proponent of the view that Gentiles along with Jews could belong to the people of God and in fact could belong to the people of God without becoming Jews without being circumcised as a result Paul became an influential missionary taking the message of Christ principally to the Gentiles so okay you see visit what I've just done is I've tried to develop for you Paul's distinctive theology showing you that Paul's view that salvation comes by faith in Christ not by doing the works of the law results from his belief in Jesus resurrection not only did Paul change his views about Jesus and his views about how one has salvation as a result of the resurrection he also came to see the significance of Jesus resurrection for the history of the entire world as a Pharisee Paul evidently had already believed in some kind of apocalyptic Judaism it appears that most Pharisees were apocalypta cysts apocalypta cysts believed that at the end of the age there would be a resurrection of the Dead remember the logic in apocalyptic thought that at the end that we're living in an evil age that's going to come to an end and at the end of this age God would intervene and everybody would face judgment those who are alive and those who are dead those who are dead would be raised from the dead when then does a resurrection from the dead occur four apocalyptic Jews it comes at the end of this age immediately before the kingdom of God arrives Paul because of his visionary experience came to think that Jesus was raised from the dead that showed Paul that the end had already begun the end had already begun that's why Paul sometimes refers to Jesus as the first fruits of the Resurrection this is an agricultural image the firstfruits of the resurrection the farmer goes out when it's harvest season the farmer goes out they they bring in the crops and they have a party that night to celebrate the firstfruits well when did they get the rest of the harvest the next day Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection that means that the rest of the harvest the rest of the resurrection is going to come right away it's not going to be 2,000 3,000 years later Paul thought that the end had already begun he anticipated that the full direction of the dead would occur soon probably within his own lifetime as he indicates in first Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13 through 18 he appears to have expected to have been alive when Jesus returned and all the people all people are raised from the dead this explains in part the urgency of Paul's mission to spread his gospel throughout the world he thought the end was coming soon and people needed to repent soon or else they wouldn't be prepared for this coming end salvation depended on the urgency of his mission and so Paul began a mission his missionary work resulted from his newfound conviction that only faith in Christ's death could bring salvation and that people needed to repent to prepare for an imminent end of all things Paul worked in major urban areas trying to spread this message through Asia Minor Macedonia and Achaia these modern-day Turkey and Greece establishing community of communities of Christians wherever he went as I've indicated the book of Acts suggests that he used local synagogues as his base of operation Paul himself doesn't say so and Paul also doesn't say that he ever engaged in some kind of open-air evangelism or tent revivals it doesn't appear that he went into open places and just began preaching openly instead what Paul himself talks about especially in books like first Thessalonians and first corinthians is that he worked among the people that he converted working day and night he said 1st Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 9 I think he probably means he actually worked what most scholars now tend to think is that Paul would go into a town or city and set up business possibly you know a Christian leather goods shop some worked in leather according to the book of Acts and that he would use this as a way of making contact with people who came in to do business with him and when he would meet people then he would talk to them about his message he gives several hints throughout his letters what his message was one of the clearest tenses in first Thessalonians chapter 1 verses 9 and 10 where he tells his reminds his audience that he convinced them to turn from idols to worship the living and true God and to await his son from heaven who would deliver us from the wrath to come in other words Paul had to convince these pagans who are polytheists that their gods were ineffectual they were dead worshipping idols was pointless because idols were simply lumps of stone or wood but there was a living God who was opposed to the idols and Jesus was a son and Jesus was the one who's going to deliver people from the wrath of God that's going to strike the world in other words Paul taught an apocalyptic message of the coming end a day of judgment that was soon to arrive that one could be saved from only by having faith in Jesus moreover he taught that this salvation would come to these former pagans simply by believing in this God and in the death and resurrection of his son he saw this as the fulfillment of Judaism he saw this as the Jewish God who had sent his son in fulfillment of his Jewish Scriptures but those who accepted this message didn't have to follow the Jewish law because the salvation came to all people Jew and Gentile not simply to Jews it's hard to say why Paul was so successful in his mission it's hard to know what it was about his personality that convinced people that he was right to give up their former gods to worship this God but it is clear that he had considerable excessive communities in major urban areas in the various places he visited in Asia Minor Macedonia and Achaia in conclusion to this lecture it's safe to say that Paul was the most significant early convert to Christianity one who moved from being the greatest persecutor of the faith to being its greatest apostle Paul's conversion appears to have been based on some vision of Jesus after his death a vision that completely altered Paul's understanding of Jesus the plan of God the way of salvation and the role of the Jewish law that God had given in salvation convinced that the end of all things was at hand Paul engaged in an urgent mission trying to get people to believe in Christ before it was too late the undisputed letters from Paul's hand that we have represent letters that he wrote to some of the churches that he had established after he left them to move on to other areas for further missionary work problems inevitably arose in these communities after Paul their founder had left them and Paul wrote to them to help them deal with these problems these letters are the earliest Christian writings that we have they are earlier than the Gospels they were produced sometime in the 50s of the 50s ad 15 or 20 years before the God the first gospel was written starting with the next lecture we'll begin to look at some of these letters to unpack further the teachings of this most significant figure in the history of early Christianity [Music] in the previous lecture we learned some significant things about Paul's life Paul had converted from being a persecutor of the Christians to being a Christian missionary his belief in Jesus resurrection based on some kind of visionary experience led him to work out a theology of Jesus death which he came to see as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and the only means by which a person might have a right standing before God Paul took this message out into the world establishing churches in major urban areas in Asia Minor Macedonia and Achaia the surviving Pauline letters are addressed for the most part to these churches written by the Apostle back to his converts to help them deal with problems that had arisen in their communities after his departure unfortunately we don't have time in these lectures to consider each of these letters in depth in this lecture though I'd like to deal with the letter of first corinthians has a fairly representative example first corinthians was not the first of these letters to have been written probably the first letter that Paul wrote that survives is first Thessalonians which I'll refer to in the course of this lecture first Corinthians was probably written several years after that probably in the 50s of the Common Era and again this would have been 10 15 20 years before the Gospels themselves were produced first some background information about the church in Corinth that Paul is addressing in the letter we know both from Paul's letters and the book of acts that paul had spent a good deal of time in corinth trying to establish a community of christians there the city is located on the isthmus dividing the northern and southern parts of modern-day greece paul had gone there after establishing a church in nearby Thessalonica according to the book of Acts Paul spent 18 months in Corinth converting people and T t-those he had converted Paul doesn't himself refer to the length of time he had spent there but there are indications in the letter that he had gotten to know this community rather well and had spent considerable time teaching them in the rudiments of the faith and so the idea that he had spent a year and a half there is completely plausible acts indicates that Paul began his work in this community in the synagogue that he converted a large number of Jews to faith in Jesus and then when he had been kicked out of the synagogue he began to teach Gentiles former pagans whom he then converted the book of 1st Corinthians itself though suggests that Paul's converts weren't Jews at all but that they were former pagans as Paul himself says in chapter 12 verse 2 of this book you know that when you were pagans you were enticed and led away to idols that could not speak he's addressing his former his converts and he indicates that they formerly had been pagans and so it's hard to know whether the acts narrative is accurate or not that he had converted Jews as well Paul's message to his converts is alluded to in this letter it's similar to what we had seen in the previous lecture as to Paul's basic message when trying to convert pagans at one point in this letter near its end in chapter 15 Paul summarizes what it was that he had preached to these people he says this is chapter 15 verses 3 to 5 I handed on to you he says as of first important importance what I in turn had received and now he's going to say what it is that he had told them that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures and that he was buried that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas then to the twelve then he appeared to more than 500 brothers and sisters at one time most of whom are still alive the some have died then he appeared to James then to all the Apostles last of all as to one untimely born he appeared also to me Paul's message then is about the death and resurrection of Jesus he indicates that his message included the the teaching that Christ died according to the Scriptures which must mean that Christ's death in Paul's preaching was a fulfillment of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible when Paul mentions the scriptures of course he's not talking about the New Testament because the New Testament hadn't been written yet so when he says it was in accordance with the Scriptures he means that it was in accordance with the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible Christ died in accordance with the scriptures moreover there's proof because Paul says he was buried secondly Paul says that Christ was raised from the dead again he says that was in accordance with the scriptures Hebrew Bible and again there's proof because Jesus appeared to Cephas to the twelve - to the Apostles - Paul himself and Paul interestingly says that he appeared to 500 brothers and sisters at one time many of whom are still alive in the Gospels of the New Testament of course we have accounts of Jesus appearing to various people after his resurrection we have no account of him appearing to 500 people at once Paul Paul's version 1st Corinthians 15 is the only reference we have to this his indication that many of them are still alive maybe maybe that he's telling these people if you don't believe me just go ask them because they're plenty of people who who saw Jesus this then is the core of Paul's message that he preached to these former pagans Christ's death and resurrection it's interesting to speculate on what Paul means when he says that the death and resurrection of Jesus were according to the scriptures I assume this meant that when Paul was with them he actually adduced scriptural proof for his message about Jesus death resurrection being a fulfillment we wish we knew which passages Paul would have looked at to indicate that the Messiah was supposed to die and be raised from the dead since as I've indicated in the Hebrew Bible whenever there's talk about a future Messiah there's no talk about him dying and being raised there are passages in the Hebrew Bible though that do talk about a righteous man of God who suffers sometimes this person is called the servant of God as in Isaiah chapter 53 sometimes it's simply a righteous man as in Psalm 22 in no instances this person called the Messiah but the early Christians who knew that Jesus had died who believed that Jesus was the Messiah attached these passages to the events of his life and death in other words they interpreted what happened to Jesus in light of passages in the Hebrew Bible that talked about the suffering and death and vindication of God's righteous one they attached Psalm 22 Isaiah 53 to Jesus and interpreted Jesus in light of those passages even though the passages don't talk directly about the Messiah it may be that those are the passages that Paul was referring to when he was in Corinth trying to convince these people that Jesus fulfilled Scripture now why would Paul be referring to the fulfillment of the Hebrew Bible in order to convince people who weren't even Jews in order to convert them my hunch is that Paul converted people in part by convincing them that Jesus death and resurrection were miraculous obviously the resurrection would be miraculous but especially miraculous because they fulfilled what God had predicted would happen if you can show well long ago this was predicted and in fact it came to pass that might be a proof that would convince people that in fact Jesus is a fulfillment of the prophecies of the Hebrew God this may convert them from worshipping their own pagan idols to worshipping the God of the Jews and Jesus has his son Paul's message then to the Corinthians was probably comparable to what he preached to other people in other places he principally converted pagans and so he convinced them that their pagan idols were dead there's only one true God he tried to convince them that Christ God's son died for the sins of the world in accordance with the prophecies of the Jewish Scriptures that God raised him from the dead in fulfillment of the scriptures and that those who want a right standing with this God must believe in Christ those who do so will be given an entirely new life after Paul and his co-workers had converted a large number of people organized their church and taught them the rudiments of the faith they left for other missionary areas to start all over again that's the background of this letter in his absence Paul evidently learned of significant problems that had arisen in the Corinthian church after he left he had two sources of information for for his knowledge of these problems as he indicates in the letter first some of the members of the community had written to him asking his opinion about some pressing and theological some pressing theological and practical matters he indicates in first Corinthians 7:1 he says now concerning the matters about which you have written which indicates that they they've written a letter asking him some questions so that's one source of information a letter that came from the community secondly he's been visited by several members of the congregation who have given him the lowdown on the church evidently the news wasn't good he refers to these members who have visited him in chapter 1 verse 11 where he says that I've heard from khloe's people khloe's people Chloe is a female a feminine name of evidently referring to a woman in the congregation who has people it's normally interpreted that this refers to some slaves of a woman in the congregation who have come to where Paul is now in Ephesus and reported what's going on in the community first Corinthians itself provides a sense of the magnitude of the problems that have been experienced in this community as reported both in the letter that Paul received and from the report from Chloe's people and I'll go through some of the major problems as indicated in this letter there are four basic areas first there are major divisions that had occurred within the corinthian community there are splits within this community major divisions evidently according to chapters 1 through 4 different church leaders had created factions within the community claiming to be more spiritually knowledgeable and powerful than others thereby creating factions divisions some of these church leaders claimed to be followers of Paul himself some claim to be followers of Paul's successor in the community Apollo's some can't claim to be followers of the of the Apostle Cephas some claim to be followers particularly of Christ in other words they don't have some human follower they have Christ as their leader these individuals are claiming as their they're claiming as a source of their authority other figures in the Christian community and they're claiming that they themselves have superior spiritual knowledge and power the divisions in the church are evident in a number of ways most strikingly we learn from chapter 6 that some members of this community are actually taking others to court civil court over some matters or others we aren't sure exactly over what but that's how divisive the community has become so first problem there are major divisions in the church second problem there are disputes about important ethical issues disputes about important ethical shoes there are some members of this community that are claiming that sex is wrong even within the confines of marriage there are others who are hotly debating other topics which may not seem quite as pressing to us one of the other hot topics in Corinth was over whether a person should be free to eat meat that had been previously sacrificed to a pagan idol this is a problem dealt with in chapters 8 through 10 the situation is that in most pagan cities when meat was was put up for sale it had been meat that had previously been offered in an idols temple he didn't simply have a butcher shop the butcher was in fact a priest who sacrificed an animal as an act of reverence to the gods but then they would sell the meat well is it legitimate for us to eat this meat that's been sacrificed to an idol or not some Corinthians were saying well sure it's fine to eat this meat because in fact these idols don't exist the idols just a lump of wood or stone and so since they don't exist you can eat anything I offer to them because it's fine others were saying no in fact if you eat this meat you're participating in idolatry this was a hot issue apparently that's hot of an issue as to whether it's ever appropriate to have sex 3rd in addition to major divisions and ethical issues there were instances in this community of flagrant immorality flagrant immorality we learn from chapter 6 that there are men in the congregation of Corinth who have been visiting prostitutes and apparently have bragged about it in church in chapter 5 we learn that there's one man in this community who's actually sleeping with his stepmother Paul takes these instances of immorality quite seriously as we'll see fourth and finally there are problems in the worship services in this community various kinds of problems in the worship services for example there are abuses of the communal meal as I mentioned in the previous lecture they would have a Lord's Supper a periodic meals probably a weekly affair in which they would it wasn't like a Eucharist service that people might have today in a Christian Church is more like a potluck supper where people would bring food and they would commemorate Jesus last meal with his disciples well in Corinth problems have emerged because some people are coming early and gorging themselves and getting drunk other people are coming late and they have nothing to eat or drink well this is indicating problems within the within the worship community within the worship services themselves apparently a good deal of chaos had broken out I mentioned that you we have these church leaders who are trying to demonstrate their spiritual superiority to others apparently one of the ways the spiritual superiority is being manifest is in the worship services the Corinthians believed as we'll see in our next lecture more fully the Corinthians believe that each person in the community had received some kind of spiritual gift from God including the ability for some of them to speak in foreign languages that they didn't know as an act of revelation from God they could speak in tongues other people could interpret these unknown languages that were being spoken in order to demonstrate their superiority over one another evidently some of the Christian leaders were speaking in tongues in a completely chaotic way interrupting each other speaking out over one another trying to speak in tongues for the entire service chaos had erupted in these worship services these then are four major areas of problem within the church major divisions important ethical issues flagrant immorality and chaos during the worship services the letter of 1st Corinthians is designed to deal with each of these problems Paul deals with the problems one by one his response doesn't really make sense until you get to the very end of the letter where he deals with the major problem that has generated all the others in other words when you read through 1st Corinthians you'll you you can just outline it very easily because he deals with one problem after the other deals with division divisions in the church he deals with a man living with a stepmother people taking each other to court people visiting prostitutes people eating meat offered to idols etc you just go through the letter in each of these problems is dealt with it's not until the end though that you realize what the big problem is the big problem is that some of the Corinthians don't appear to understand the nature of the future resurrection of the dead now this may not sound like a problem that would tie together all the others but in fact it does and that's why Paul saves it for the end chapter 15 and we'll talk about chapter 15 at some length and the rest of this lecture let me set up the discussion by by showing why this is the big problem Paul had taught the Corinthians that Christ had been raised from the dead and that believing him people would have a new life through right standing before God for Paul this meant that believers would be saved when Jesus returned from heaven and all people then were raised from the dead either for reward or punishment when they were raised from the dead they'd have eternal bodies they couldn't die they would have a resurrected body like Jesus himself did that's how people would enter into God's eternal kingdom their bodies would be transformed at the future resurrection in other words Paul taught an apocalyptic view of the faith some of the Corinthians had taken Paul's teaching a step further and in a different direction for these Corinthians not all of them may be but some of them the new life that was available in Christ was already a glorified resurrected existence for them in the present was a kind of exalted existence above the mundane concerns and realities of life for these people since they had already had experience of a new life in Christ they had already been saved their bodily existence therefore didn't really matter since the body had been transcended by those who were closely related to Christ for these people true believers had already begun to experience the full effects of salvation those who were truly spiritual were the ones who were most fully transcended up from this material realm those who were most spiritual had left there had gone out of their bodies in a sense transcended their bodies and were experiencing the full benefits of salvation into here and now some historians have seen this Corinthian view as a kind of forerunner of Gnosticism that we mentioned previously with its belief that the material world was evil but that it could not ultimately affect the divine spark within that had already acquired the knowledge of salvation this is a disputed point whether these Corinthians are sort of forerunners of what you're going to get with Gnostics in any event Paul saw this particular point of view that people had that they had already experienced the full benefits of salvation as the key to all the other problems which is why he deals with it last in his famous chapter on the resurrection first Corinthians 15 and so now I want to talk a little bit about this chapter and show how how Paul deals with this big problem as I've already read to you Paul begins this chapter by establishing common ground with the Corinthians about what he taught them when they converted he taught them that Christ died according to scriptures and that Christ had been raised according to the scriptures his death was proved by the fact that he was buried his resurrection was proved by the fact that people saw him including Cephas the 12 the other apostles Paul himself Jesus resurrection 4 Paul was not merely a spiritual resurrection of Jesus of Jesus soul Jesus resurrection was a physical resurrection this is the key point to the chapter Jesus body was actually seen after he arose from the dead people experienced it somehow this means though that if Christians are also going to be raised from the dead as Christ was that their resurrection will not just be a spiritual resurrection it will be a physical resurrection since Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection then everybody will be raised like him which means they'll be raised physically but since that means Christians are going to be raised physically it obviously hasn't happened yet Paul is disputing the interpretation of some of the Corinthians who say they've already been raised from the dead already been given an exalted existence in fact it hasn't happened yet Christians are not experiencing the full benefits of salvation the full benefits of salvation will come only at the end when Christ returns and raises the dead and brings immortality to those who are living Paul's teaching here reflects what he says in other passages of his letters including the intriguing words of 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13 through 18 this has become an important passage in for some modern Christians especially evangelical Christians who are firm believers that there's going to be a rapture at the end of time the doctrine of the rapture is that Christ will return from heaven and those who are living will be transported up into heaven then those who are died who have died already will also the sort of taken up into the clouds and that there will be then this kind of reunion up up in the sky the term rapture doesn't occur in the first thessalonians in fact the term rapture doesn't occur anywhere in the in the New Testament but the passage is based on this on this passage in in 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 where Paul says that we believe that Jesus died and raised against so so - through Jesus God will bring with him those who have died then he says that we declared you by a word of the Lord that we who are alive who are left until the return of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with the sound of the cry of command the Archangels call and God's trumpet and the dead in Christ will rise first then we who are alive will be caught up in the clouds together to meet the Lord in the air this is a view then that Christ is coming down from heaven those who are alive will go up and meet him those who are dead will go up to meet him and people then will live up in the air Paul seems to be assuming something quite similar in 1st Corinthians that there's going to be a return of Jesus and at that point there's going to be a resurrection of the dead it's going to be a physical resurrection and since it's a physical resurrection it's going to be a future resurrection it hasn't happened yet I've said that this is the main problem the corinthians have is that they don't understand this I want to show you why their failure to understand this has led to the various problems that they've had I can't go through all the problems in the short time that's that's left to me but I do want to show how a couple of the problems relate directly to this big issue there have been divisions in the Christian Church in Corinth why because leaders have tried to prove their superiority they have superior spiritual wisdom and power these are the people who think they've already experienced the full benefits of salvation and are manifesting it now when Paul deal the disputes in the congregation in chapters one through four he doesn't take aside he doesn't say well there's some people side with Cephas some with Apollo's and some with me well the people side with me are the ones who were right he cuts through all of the disputes by saying that everybody who is taking aside is flat-out wrong why because people who are spiritually superior don't understand this is not an age of power and wisdom God in this evil age works through weakness and foolishness the idea that God would save the world through a crucified man is ridiculous and foolish those who claim wisdom and power are working against the gospel rather than for the gospel this age now is an age of weakness so the people who are involved in these divisions simply don't understand the true gospel so to the Emirati immoral activities of some members of the congregation are due to their belief that they have transcended the physical realities of this world why are these people behaving in such obviously immoral ways for Paul it's because they think that the body is of no importance to salvation they think they've transcended their bodies and already begun to experience salvation for Paul though salvation is going to take place in the body for these people since the body doesn't matter this is their line since the body doesn't matter then it doesn't matter what you do with your body so you can sleep with your stepmother you can visit the prostitutes you can get drunk at the Lord's table you can do anything you want with your body because it doesn't matter for salvation for Paul though the body does matter for salvation because salvation is going to come in the body at the fuser future resurrection the fact that God will raise bodies from the dead shows that God is concerned with what people do with their bodies you can examine all of the problems in first Corinthians and see them in light of this overarching thesis of Paul that there's a future physical resurrection and that should affect how we behave in the present as individuals with ethics and within the church community as a whole in short the numerous problems that have emerged in the Corinthian church church divisions rampant immorality chaotic church organization are all related in one way or another to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of salvation the resurrection of Christians for Paul is a future event with serious implications for the present this is not an age even for believers of glory and grandeur it's an age of weakness and suffering not until Christ returns will Christians enjoy the full benefits of salvation in the meantime Christians must lead humble and moral lives working for harmony together and setting a good example for those who are outside the community one way to summarize this teaching is to say that Paul's theological belief in Christ's death and resurrection has clear ethical implications for the life of believers in the next lecture we'll turn to a closer examination of the kind of ethical norms then found throughout Paul's letters [Music] we saw in the last lecture that Paul's belief in the death of Jesus for salvation had clear ethical implications for how believers ought to live the Corinthians were confronted with a number of ethical problems rather than simply give his opinion about each of these how each of these problems should be handled Paul based his response on a theological understanding of the nature of the future resurrection of the dead that is to say Paul did not simply deal with these issues off-the-cuff he had clear criteria that he used to help him resolve them unfortunately as clear as Paul's ethical criteria may have been to him they're often hidden to us behind his words in this lecture I'll discuss some of the criteria that appeared to be implicit in many of Paul's writings criteria that he used to judge what constituted ethical behavior and what did not the problem of Christian ethics was a very real one for Paul since some of his enemies accused him of advocating lawless behavior the charge was rooted in Paul's theology of salvation by faith in Christ apart from the law Paul had become convinced that it was Christ's death not the Jewish law that put a person into a right relationship with God he therefore argued that keeping the law had no bearing on one's salvation Paul's opponents took that to mean that Paul urged lawlessness if salvation comes completely apart from the law that God had given which includes by the way the Ten Commandments if salvation comes apart from the law then doesn't that mean that a person can break the law and still have salvation if so doesn't Paul in fact urge people to break the law doesn't he urge people to do what God had commanded them not - do we know that this is what Paul's enemies had charged him with because he himself refers to the charges for example Romans chapter 3 verse 8 should we do evil that good might come as some have falsely accused us of saying he writes Paul himself of course did not see it that way he did not think that because salvation came apart from the law that one should behave lawlessly it's back in fact Paul spent a good deal of effort trying to explain both how salvation did come apart from keeping God's law and yet how salvation involved keeping God's law it's true that for Paul doing what God had commanded in the law would not put a person into a right standing before God as Paul himself says in Galatians chapter 2 verses 15 and 16 referring in part to his own past we ourselves he says are Jews by birth and were not Gentile sinners yet we know that a person is justified or made right with God not by following the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ and we have come to believe in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by doing works of the law because no one will be justified by works of the law justified or made right with God by works of the law Paul is unequivocal on the point doing the works of the Jewish law doing the things that the law demands will not put a person into a right standing before God no where is Paul's view on this point seen more clearly than in his letter to the Galatians I want to take a brief excursus to explain what the letter of Galatians is about because it's such a central letter for for understanding Paul Galatians is a letter that was written to the churches of Galatia which is in central Asia Minor modern-day Turkey Paul had established some churches in this region we aren't sure which cities he's actually riding to in this region of Galatia what we are sure about is that Paul established this church in these churches in Galatia on one of his missionary journeys he taught these people as he taught everyone that they could be made right with God by faith in Christ that they didn't have to become Jews in order to be right with the God of the Jews after Paul left these communities other Christian missionaries came in who talked the people who whom Paul had converted that to be full members of the people of God they had to join the Jewish people their argument is the one that I've outlined previously namely that since salvation came from the God of the Jews by sending the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people in fulfillment of the Jewish law that for anybody to accept the salvation they had to be Jewish for men that meant they had to be circumcised DIF there were Gentiles for men and women it meant that they had to keep kosher food laws and other laws laid out in the scriptures when Paul found out that that other missionaries had come into Galatia advocating this point of view he he was furious the letter of Galatians is written in order to correct the situation as Paul saw it this letter is written in white-hot anger of all of Paul's letters it's the only one that does not begin by Paul thanking God for the congregation Paul is incensed for Paul for a Gentile man to be circumcised and for Gentiles to keep kosher food laws after they've had faith in Christ is not simply to do things they don't need to do not to do additional things that are unnecessary for Paul anybody who does these things in fact has compromised the very core of his gospel message if someone thinks they need to be circumcised or keep kosher food law they in fact have claimed that Christ's death is not sufficient for salvation so they're not simply doing something additional that's unnecessary in fact they're compromising the entire gospel for Paul this meant that anybody who did such things was in danger of falling from God's grace they were in danger of losing their salvation Paul's explicit on this point throughout the letter to the Galatians where he says that you who want to be justified by following the law have cut yourselves off from Christ you have fallen from grace at points in this letter Paul even turns sarcastic later on he says that he's referring to the operation of circumcision which by all accounts was not a pleasant operation for adults where Paul says that I wish that those who are unsettling you urging you to be circumcised would castrate themselves in other words when they perform the operation on themselves he hopes that the knife slips Paul was insistent that keeping the law was not necessary for salvation that anybody who thought they did have to keep the law was in danger of losing their salvation at the same time Paul taught that people who have salvation who have been justified who have been right with God should follow the ethical requirements of the law for example the commands not to murder and to commit adultery the command to love one's neighbor as oneself this has created a certain amount of confusion for Paul's interpreters over the years how can on the one hand he say don't follow the law because if you do then you've fallen from grace and on the other hand he tell how can he tell people you have to follow the ethical laws of the Old Testament Paul never explains clearly why he thinks some laws are not to be followed like the law of circumcision but other laws are to be followed like the law not to commit adultery he doesn't explain why he has these two different categories in his head it may be it may be scholars debate this it may be that Paul had some kind of common sense distinction in his head between laws that were meant to make Jews Jewish that were meant to allow Jews to preserve their distinctiveness as the Jewish people and other laws that were meant for everybody who wanted to worship the God of Israel so that laws about circumcision kosher food laws keeping the Sabbath keeping other festivals these laws found in the Torah would be for Jews but other laws such as most of the Ten Commandments don't commit adultery don't murder don't bear false witness would be Commandments for everybody the first criterion of ethical behavior for Paul then involves the ethical laws of the Hebrew Bible that Paul seems to accept unproblematically as important for Christians to follow when God tells people how to behave in ethical ways in the Hebrew Bible Paul simply assumes that one can follow these laws and that is a criterion then for ethical behavior the one law from Scripture that Paul particularly stressed was one that was important to Jesus as well Leviticus chapter 19 verse 18 you shall love your neighbor as yourself this law of love can be seen as an overarching ethical criterion for Paul the love commandment in both the letter to the Galatians and the letter to the Romans Paul claims that believers in Christ must follow this rule of love because when they do so they will fulfill the law Galatians chapter 5 verse 14 it's a very interesting idea that Paul tell people to love one another because in so doing they will fulfill the law after Paul has said that the law doesn't matter for salvation nonetheless this is one of the ironies of Paul's letters people are to love one another so as to fulfill the law some scholars have seen the love commandment as being the very core of Paul's ethics and to some extent that's true Paul does base a number of his ethical judgments on this commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself there are other ethical criteria that he uses that we'll see near the end of the lecture so I don't think it's quite correct to say that all of Paul's ethics are related to the love commandment but certainly a number of Paul's ethical injunctions are related to the love commandment in 1st Corinthians in particular Paul applies the love commandment in order to show people how they ought to behave one of the most famous passages of the New Testament is 1st Corinthians chapter 13 which is sometimes called the love chapter people are familiar with this chapter because it's the most popular passage of Scripture to be read at weddings it's striking though that in fact this love chapter 1st Corinthians 13 in its own context has nothing to do with marriage or or marital love or sexual love I'll read the passage and then I'll try and explain what it means in its own context this is by common consent this is the most beautiful passage in the Pauline epistles it's it's so well constructed some scholars have wondered whether Paul is adopting somebody else's writing here because it's so unlike most of the other passages in Paul and Paul's letters if I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels but do not have love I'm a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but don't have love I'm nothing if I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast but don't have love I gain nothing love is patient love is kind love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude it does not insist on its own way it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth it bears all things believes all things hopes all things endures all things love never ends but as for prophecies they'll come to an end as for tongues they'll cease as for knowledge it will come to an end for we know only in part and we prophesy only in part but when the complete comes the partial will come to an end when I was a child I spoke like a child I thought like a child I reasoned like a child when I became an adult I put an end to childish ways for now we see in a mirror dimly but then we will see face to face now I know only in part then I will know fully even as I have been fully known and now faith hope and love abide these three and the greatest of these is love well it's a terrific a terrific passage the question is what did Paul mean by it as I've indicated he is not referring to marriage or wedding ceremonies it's important to situate this passage on love in its own context first Corinthians 13 of course occurs between first Corinthians 12 and first Corinthians 14 the passages first Corinthians 12 and 14 are dealing with a particular problem that had arisen within the Corinthian community it has to do with what we referred to in the last lecture of the chaos that had ensued in the worship community in the worshipping and the worship services of this community I need to set up what's going on in these worship services by explaining a little bit of the background Paul's churches and Paul himself believed that they were living in an interim period between the beginning of the end of all things which began with the resurrection of Jesus himself and the culmination of the end that would occur with Jesus return in judgment there's a short interim between the time Jesus was raised in the time he's going to come back in this interim period God had provided believers in Christ with the Holy Spirit as a kind of foreshadowing of what life would be like in the future kingdom the spirit was received by a person at baptism an adult in this early period of Christianity would be baptized when they became a Christian and at that point the person would receive the spirit the spirit endowed each person with a gift that was to assist the community in its life together here during this interim period before the end different persons had different gifts the word the Greek word for gifts is Cara's Matta so these are called charismatic communities communities that are run by spiritual gifts the gifts were various some people were given the gift of leadership others were administrators others were teachers some were healers some could do miracles some could speak God's Word through prophecies from on high others spoke God's Word by speaking in foreign tongues unknown tongues yet others could interpret these tongues Paul lays out his understanding of these spiritual gifts in first Corinthians 12:1 through 11 insisting that these gifts were given for the sake of the community so the people within the community could build one another up there for life in the community in the interim between Jesus resurrection and his return the Corinthians who believed themselves most spiritual maintained that they were specially endowed with the most ocular gifts in particular some of these Corinthians were trying to lead the community by being by convincing them that they are spiritually superior to others believe that they were particularly endowed with the gift of tongues speaking in tongues and so during their worship services they would often disrupt these services by trying to prove that they had this most exotic of gifts as a result as I indicated in the last lecture a good bit of chaos had come about Paul in first Corinthians 12 through 14 tries to deal with this problem of people exercising the gift of tongues and prophecy and some of the other more spectacular gifts in inappropriate ways he deals with the problem by laying down some rules he says for example only two or three people should speak tongues at any given service and when they do speak in tongues they should do so only if an interpreter is present in the midst of this discussion of spiritual gifts Paul deals with what is really wrong with the situation in Corinth those who are trying to exalt themselves through the manifestation of this spiritual gift or these spiritual gifts have failed to understand that the gifts are given for the sake of the community they're to be practiced out of love for others not out of the desire to elevate oneself as being spiritually superior and so that's why he emphasizes in Chapter 12 that these gifts are for the unity of the church God has given knowledge he's given prophecy he's given tongues he's given leadership he's given all of these gifts for the sake of the community after laying out these principles is when Paul then launches into his discourse on love in Chapter 13 knowing that makes sense of how Paul begins the chapter otherwise it's hard to understand that when you hear this at a wedding sermon it's hard to understand why Paul is talking about the things he's talking about in the first few verses you have to understand it within the context of spiritual gifts he begins by saying as we just heard if I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels but don't have love I'm a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal in other words if I have this gift of tongues but I don't manifest it through love of others then it's pointless so to verse two if I have prophetic powers by the gift of prophecy if I understand all mysteries and all knowledge I have the gift of knowledge if I have the gift of faith so as to even move mountains but I don't have love I'm nothing these gifts are worthless if they're not manifest through love if I give away all my possessions hand over my body that I might boast but don't have love I gain nothing this chapter is about how people are to manifest the gift that they've be given by the spirit within the community by showing love for others and so at the end of this thing after Paul goes on and describes what true love is its patient it's kind it's not envious boastful or arrogant or rude he appears to be describing problems within the community where you have Christian leaders who aren't patient kind who are boastful arrogant and rude he's trying to correct the problems in the community after he goes through these characteristics of love he then returns to the question of spiritual gifts at the end of the chapter he says prophecies will come to an end well why is he saying that because prophecies are temporary gift for the sake of the interim love though is going to go on forever tongues will cease knowledge will come to an end we prophesy in part we know in part but when the complete comes the partial will be done away with what is the complete that is coming there's going to be a kingdom that comes for Paul Jesus is going to return to Earth and partial knowledge will be done away with people will know in full I look now in a mirror dimly I can barely kind of see the truth of the situation in the present in the present but then I will see face to face I'll see exactly how things really are and so there are three major gifts faith hope and love but by far the greatest of these is love and so then Paul continues on in Chapter 14 again to show how people ought to manifest their gifts in the church this love commandment in other words is being used to explain how people ought to conduct themselves within the community Paul understood this criterion of love to be a very flexible one it could be made to apply to a variety of situations that believers found themselves in in fact when you read through Paul's letters it's quite clear that he applies this love commandment in a variety of contexts with a in a range of situations for example sometimes this is done rather obscurely sometimes it's doing and done quite clearly for example 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 there's a very elusive reference to a situation going on in the Thessalonians where Paul says that a brother or sister should not defraud another it's not quite clear what the situation is but there seems to be some kind of sexual impropriety going on within the thessalonians community and Paul is telling whoever is doing this thing the reason Paul doesn't come out and say what the problem is is presumably the people reading the letter know full well what the problem is because it's their problem and so Paul doesn't have to tell everybody else what the problem is but he does say that out of love for one another you shouldn't defraud a brother or sister well ok so this can apply to instances of sexual impropriety it could apply to a wide range of situations as is clear in 1st Corinthians I mentioned in the lecture on 1st Corinthians that one of the problems in the community had to do with eating meat that had been offered to idols some people in the corinthian community thought that it was ok to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols because these idols don't really exist other people thought that you shouldn't eat this meat because to do so was participate in pagan idolatry Paul's response to the situation is very interesting because he agrees with the people who say that idols aren't anything the other gods don't really exist and so eating meat to idols is not really committing a sacrilege he agrees with them in terms of what they think about the situation he disagrees with them about the ethical corollary they think therefore it's okay to eat the meat Paul says no it's not okay to eat the meat why not if in fact this meats just been offered to some idol that doesn't exist why not eat the meat the reason you can't eat the meat according to Paul and first Corinthians 8 is because other people think that these really do exist as other gods these other Christians who think that the gods really do exist and that to eat this meat involves idolatry we'll see you eat the meat and then themselves will be led to eat the meat even though they think it's wrong now they're incorrect because it's not wrong but it's what they think so if you eat the meat you will lead them to do something that they think is wrong and you will cause them to sin because they'll be doing something that they think is wrong it's a kind of a convoluted argument but the basic point is that if you love your neighbor within the Christian community you won't do anything that will lead them astray even if they're going astray is based on their own false knowledge it's far more important that you love others then you eat meat and so Paul says it's better just to be a vegetarian if it comes to that so far we've seen two of Paul's criteria for ethical behavior the ethical injunctions of Scripture broadly and more specifically secondly the command to love one's neighbor as oneself Leviticus chapter 19 verse 18 Paul did have other criteria of behavior the other one that I wanted talk about in this lecture very briefly involves more directly Paul's apocalyptic theology as we've seen Paul had an apocalyptic expectation that Jesus was soon to return from heaven in judgment on the earth Paul appears to believe that he himself would be alive when this happened for Paul the end was very near this theological view that the end was near had implications for Paul's views of ethics there were there's kind of apocalyptic criterion for ethical behavior in particular Paul argued that since the end was near one should not change one's social standing one should not change one's social standing in Paul's world of course there was slavery in large urban areas a large proportion of the population was enslaved in the city of Rome possibly up to one-third of the population in Paul's day was comprised of slaves should slaves attempt to be set free from their from their slavery well you would think yeah that would be a good cause that Christians probably ought to work to free slaves from their slavery Paul says though that since the end is near slaves should not seek to be set free why worry about your social standing when the end is coming soon anyway some people were wondering whether they should get married Paul insisted that people who were single should remain single since the end was near if you get married you'll need to be concerned about the needs of your spouse and you won't be able to devote yourself fully to the coming kingdom and pressing the urgent mission to get other people to convert and so if you're single you should remain single if you can Paul does make a concession though that if you're unable to if you are in a relationship and are unable to restrain yourself sexually from the relation then it's better to go ahead and get married whereas Paul says it's better to marry than to burn but since the end is near it's better not to similarly if a person's married even if they're married to an unbeliever Paul says they shouldn't get divorced why no point changing your social standing when in fact the end is imminent in conclusion even though Paul taught that salvation came apart from the law he did not urge lawless behavior in fact Paul insisted on the morality of his congregations and applied a number of criteria to ethical situations in order to determine what the proper mode of behavior was the ethical injunctions of Scripture were to be followed first second the command to love one another as oneself was to be applied to a variety of situations and third the apocalyptic realities of this world were to affect how one lived one's life and so ultimately Paul's ethics were rooted in his understanding of God's act of salvation in Christ in the next lecture we'll look at Paul's fullest exposition of his doctrine of salvation has found in the letter to the Romans [Music] to this point in our study of Paul's letters we've seen how he addressed ethical and theological problems of his churches first Corinthians represents Paul's response to a highly troubled situation that emerged in the church in Corinth after he left to engage in missionary activities elsewhere the other letters as well represent Paul's attempts to make sure that the churches he founded remained true to the gospel that he preached and the ethical implications that arose out of it the one major exception is Paul's letter to the Romans by all counts Romans has a unique position among the Pauline epistles the letter itself indicates that Paul not only was not the founder of the church in Rome but that he had never even visited it chapter 1 verses 10 through 15 Paul writes to these people and tells them that he's eager to visit them even though he hasn't done so yet and in fact has been prevented from doing so but he wants to come with them to come to them to share with them his Gospel message Paul did not found this church we're not sure how the church in Rome was established there have been very various theories that have been put out over the years in the book of Acts on the day of Pentecost among the Jews who are present to hear the Apostle speaking in foreign tongues are Jews who are from Rome is it possible that visitors to Jerusalem became converted to Christianity and then took the religion back to Rome and started a community to community there that is certainly possible it's also possible that other Christian missionaries from Jerusalem or elsewhere visited Rome and established a community there in any event it's certain that Paul did not establish this community and our first direct evidence of there being any community of Christians there at all is in fact Paul's own letter to the Romans Paul had never visited this church he had not founded the church which makes this letter quite unlike any of the other letters in the Pauline corpus this is not a letter directed to Paul's churches or one of Paul's churches in order to solve its problems in fact the church the letter does not appear at least on the surface to be directed to any problems of the church in Rome at all when it does deal with ethical or theological issues the letter does so abstractly not in direct response to a situation that Paul appears to know about from the church instead of addressing the needs of the Roman community per se Paul uses this letter to explain at great length his understanding of the Christian gospel emphasizing in particular his view that salvation comes to all people Jew and Gentile equally through faith in Christ apart from doing works of the law one continual question among scholars has to do with why Paul wrote the letter if it's not being directed to one of his own churches why does Paul develop his views of salvation by faith through Christ to a community that he's never visited it's not completely clear why Paul does this but there are a couple of possible reasons that one can infer from the letter itself Paul indicates in this letter near the ending of it that he is about to travel to Jerusalem he has taken up a collection for the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem during a time of crisis there there was a drought and there were financial problems being experienced by the Christians in Jerusalem and so Paul is taking up a collection among his Gentile communities to help meet the needs of the Christians in in Jerusalem Paul appears to be expecting that he'll be confronted with Jewish Christians there in Jerusalem who may be suspicious of his gospel which says that a person is made right with God God up from becoming a Jew apart from following the Jewish law it's possible that he's writing the letter to the Romans in part in order to allow him to develop his views about the relationship of Jews and Gentiles in Christ as a kind of trial run for his trip to Jerusalem that's a possibility in addition Paul indicates that he is soon going to start a Christian mission to the west and he suggests in this letter that he would like to use the Roman Church has a base of operation chapter 1 verses 10 through 15 he more he moreover indicates in the letter that there are people in the Roman community who have some misperceptions about his teachings for example in the last lecture I mentioned Romans chapter 3 verse 8 where Paul says that some people claim that he thinks we should do evil so that good might come in other words that Paul's gospel apart from the law leads to lawlessness Paul may be writing this letter in order to correct the misperceptions about him and to assure his readers in Rome that he stands for the same gospel that they stand for precisely so that they might support him in his mission to the west that too is a possibility for why he writes this letter in any event it's clear that this letter is quite different from the others while the other letters that Paul wrote are directed to needs within his own communities in Romans Paul is not directing directing his council at any of his communities instead he's writing a systematic exposition of his understanding of the gospel to a community he's never visited he wants to explain his view of God's work of salvation through Christ either as a dry run for what's going to happen to him in Jerusalem or possibly even more likely in order to acquire support of this community for his westward mission we've already seen some of the basic features of Paul's understanding of the importance of Christ as the way to salvation in earlier lectures in Romans we will find the clearest development of Paul's theological reflections a close reading of Romans indicates that Paul has different ways of conceptualizing how God used Christ's death to bring about salvation that is to say Paul has different conceptual models for how salvation works I should emphasize that these are models for understanding salvation Paul has ways of talking about how the death of Christ brought about a right standing before God these are models that he uses they aren't the thing themselves we're going to talk in this lecture about two of Paul's major models that you find in the letter to the Romans the way the reason I'm laying things out this way is because Paul says things in Romans that would be confusing unless you understood that he has different conceptual models at work at the same time the first model that Paul appears to use is one in which he tries to understand salvation in legal or judicial terms legal or judicial terms this judicial model of salvation imagines God's activities to be comparable to a legal procedure it works like this according to this way of conceptualizing things God is likened to a cosmic lawgiver who has given his laws for people to follow all people not just jews all people are governed by god's laws the jews of course have their law found in the torah of moses but all people know the right thing to do all people have laws that God has given that they need to follow so God is a lawgiver under this model god also the judge who enacts punishment for the violation of his laws unfortunately everyone has broken these laws in one way or another that is to say everyone has committed an act or more likely many acts of transgression against God or sins as a result everyone falls under the judgment of the court and the penalty for breaking these laws of God is death but according to this model Christ is one who does not deserve death because he himself has not violated any of God's laws Christ's death then is not to pay a penalty that he himself owes instead Christ's death pays the penalty owed by others in this model God shows that he accepts the payment of the penalty that Jesus has made for others by raising Jesus from the dead the logic is that once once the death penalty has been paid it no longer needs to be continued to be inflicted and so God raises Jesus from the dead to show that payment has been accepted human beings can avail themselves of this payment of their debt simply by trusting that God will find Christ's death adequate the only alternative is for a person to pay the penalty of death him or herself those who trustingly accept Christ's death as a payment for their sins that is those who have faith in Christ's death are treated as if they're not guilty by the court even though in fact they're completely guilty that is they are justified they are put into a right standing before God this model of salvation is commonly called Paul's doctrine of justification by faith or more fully Paul's doctrine of justification by faith apart from the law the term justification comes from a Greek word which is that which has the same root as the term right miss rightness it refers to the act of God in which God puts a person into a right relationship with himself so to be justified is to be put into a right relationship with God according to this model then the human problem of sin cannot be solved by trying to keep the Jewish law both Jews and Gentiles have violated the law in one way or another even religious Jews who do their best all people stand under the same penalty of death because they broken the law and therefore all must be saved from death in the same way the law can't bring about salvation because it's the law that brings condemnation because it's by violating the law that one gets condemned the letter to the Romans provides an exposition of this understanding of Paul's doctrine of justification by faith I want to take just a minute to show how this doctrine gets played out in the early chapters of Romans Romans chapters 1 through 3 the letter begins as most Paul's letters do by Paul introducing himself and indicating to whom he's riding he's he begins with Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle he goes on to indicate that he's writing to God's beloved who are in Rome at the early at an early part of this letter after saying how much he wants to visit these Christians Paul launches into the subject of the letter which is his own gospel message chapter 1 verses 16 and 17 Paul sets out the thesis of this book where he says I am not ashamed of the gospel it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith to the Jew first and also to the Greek for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith for as it is written the one who is righteous by faith will live let me take just a second to unpack this Paul says he's not ashamed of the gospel the gospel being a word for good news the good news of God's salvation why is he not ashamed of this gospel because it provides God's power for salvation to everyone who has faith to the Jew first and also to the Greek why to the Jew first well because the message of salvation first came to the Jews because it's in fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures but it also goes to those who are non-jews or as Paul calls them here the Greek for the gospel reveals God's righteousness his upright way of dealing with people his upright way of dealing with people is from beginning to end on the basis of faith for as it is written the one who is righteous by faith will live in other words a person will have eternal life if they are made right with God through their faith that's the thesis of the book of Romans where Paul is going to go on then to show that in fact a person is made right with God through faith not by works of the law the beginning chapters of this book lay out the human problem that make God's provision of salvation necessary in the next verse verse 18 of chapter 1 Paul launches into the human dilemma it's the dilemma that all people have violated God's law not just Jews who have broken the Torah but also Gentiles who don't have the Torah chapter 1 verse 18 the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth Paul goes on to talk about pagans who know that there's only one God the Creator but nonetheless choose not to worship God but instead to worship idols by committing rank acts of idolatry pagans are given over to all sorts of immoral acts which further estranged them from God chapter 1 then deals with pagan immorality pagan sin pagan disobedience to God chapter 2 turns to the Jews who have also broken God's law even though they knew better they have the Torah and yet they violate the Torah by the time that Paul is done which happens 1 & 2 there's nobody left the pagans are sinners before God and God's wrath is revealed against them and the Jews even though they have the law are no better off because they also have sinned Paul sums it up at the beginning of chapter 3 then by saying that everybody stands under God's condemnation whether they have the Torah or not all people he says chapter 3 verse 9 are under the power of sin verse 20 no human being he says will be made right in God's sight by deeds of the law because the law through the law comes the knowledge of sin all people stand under God's condemnation and then Paul begins to discuss God's solution to this human dilemma this is a packed passage chapter 3 of Romans verses 21 through 26 where Paul shows that even though everybody has violated God's law God has acted on their behalf by having Christ died for them so that they could be made right with him Paul says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God but now they are justified that is made right with God on the basis of his grace his unmerited favor has a gift through the redemption that is provided by Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood Jesus dies as a way of bringing atonement his is a sacrifice for the sake of others God did this to show that he is right because in His divine forbearance he passed over sins previously committed it was to prove at the present time that he himself is right just he's upright and he makes right the one who has faith in Jesus a person is made right with God by having faith in Jesus because Jesus has died to pay for the penalty pay the penalty of sense cause on then most interestingly in chapter 4 of Romans to show that this understanding that a person is justified by God apart from the law Paul goes on to show that this doctrine of justification by faith is actually taught by the law itself this is an interesting irony that Paul wants to wants to claim that being made right with God apart from the law is a doctrine taught by the law it may seem like a peculiar argument but it's the one he wants to maintain chapter 3 verse 31 do we overthrow the law by this faith by no means on the contrary we uphold the law well how does Paul think that he upholds the law by saying the laws of no use for salvation Paul turns to a passage in the book of Genesis the first book of the Torah in which the father of the Jews is discussed Abraham Abraham the first person according to Paul to be made right with God how is Abraham made right with God abraham believed in God and that was counted to him as righteousness Abraham is made right with God by believing not by doing anything Abraham of course is is the father of the Jews it was to Abraham that God gave the law of circumcision that all of his descendants should be circumcised but Paul asks when Genesis says that abraham believed God and reckon his righteousness was that before or after Abraham was circumcised dwell in fact that verse abraham believed god it was reckoned him as righteousness is found in Genesis chapter 15 it's not until Genesis chapter 17 that Abraham is circumsized receives the law of circumcision so that being made right with God occurs before the act of circumcision which means that the act of circumcision has nothing to do with being made right with God in other words Paul wants to use the Torah the law itself especially the look of the book of Genesis to show that being made right with God is not a matter of following law it's a matter of having faith this then is Paul's doctrine of justification by faith this is his judicial or legal way of understanding salvation but Paul understand salvation in other ways as well he has other models to unpack what it means to say that Christ's death brings about salvation you can see from the letter of Romans itself that Paul does not always think about salvation in judicial terms this can be seen most clearly by what Paul says about sin clearly for Paul sin is not only an act of disobedience to God notice the following things that Paul says Paul says sin was in the world sin is in the world chapter five verse thirteen sin rules people 5:21 people can serve sin six-six people can be enslaved to sin 6:17 people can die to sin 6:11 people can be freed from sin 6:18 in these passages the term sin isn't referring to an act of disobedience in these passages sin is being understood in a in an apocalyptic way as a kind of demonic power that's in the world trying to enslave people to do its will sin here is a demonic power Paul speaks of death also as a kind of demonic power an evil force that's opposed to God that can enslave people thus Paul sometimes conceives of the act of salvation not in legal or judicial terms but also in apocalyptic terms we might call this mode of conceptualization Paul's participation estas al vation this participation is model contains many surface similarities to the judicial model in this model as well the problem humans have is called sin in this model as well sin leads to death and in this model the solution to the human problem is Christ's death and resurrection but the meaning of these terms and the way the model works is completely different from the way the judicial model does in the participation of sin is a cosmic power that enslaves people everyone according to this way of thinking of things everyone is enslaved to the power of sin and no one has the power to escape Christ though did escape this power how does Paul know that Christ escaped the power of sin because Paul knows through his own experience that Jesus was raised from the dead since Jesus was raised from the dead that shows that he defeated the power of death if he defeated the power of death he must have defeated the other power the other powers in the world including the power sin so Christ has defeated the powers aligned against God in this model people can themselves escape the power of sin by participating in Christ's own victory how does a person participate in Christ's victory it's by being united with Christ in his own death this happens when a person is baptized Romans chapter 6 Paul says that a person is unified with Christ in his death when the person is baptized when you're unified with Christ in his death then you participate in his victory over death and the other powers including the power of sin so those who have been baptized into Christ have escaped the nefarious powers of sin and death and are freed for eternal life that's the participation estelle it might be useful for us to compare and contrast the two models in one model sin is thought of as an act of disobedience in the other it's an evil cosmic power in one model the human problem is a penalty of death that comes from violating God's law in the other the problem is an enslavement to an alien power in one the divine solution is for Christ to pay the penalty that humans owe in the other the solution is for Christ to break the enslaving power of death to bring liberation in one cell vation comes by a trusting acceptance that Christ's death has paid the penalty in the other it comes by participating in Christ's victory by being United with him in Baptism Paul did not see these two models as being at odds with one another he nowhere explicitly lays out the models or Planes their similarities or differences for us instead they're presupposed throughout the letter to the Romans and throughout his other writings but it's important to think about these two models when you read this book and Paul's other other letters because otherwise what Paul says sometimes won't make sense because they'll be talking about sin in different ways or death in different ways or the meaning of Jesus death in different ways these models seem to interact closely though with one another in Paul's mind you can see the close interaction of the two models by seeing the various things that Paul says why is everyone guilty before God for Paul well it's because they've committed acts of transgression that's the judicial model Romans 3:23 well but why is everybody done that why is everybody committed acts of transgression because everybody is under the alien power of sin that's the participation Espada chapter 3 verse 9 well why is everybody under the alien power of sin well it's because the first man Adam committed an act of disobedience the judicial model chapter 5 by Adam committing an act of disobedience that allowed the power of sin to come into the world the participation this model and so it goes the two models are closely intertwined throughout the letter as Paul himself saw both of these models have profound implications for understanding the nature of Judaism since both models insist that it's only through Christ's death and resurrection that God brings about salvation for that reason Paul has to deal with the question of whether God has changed the rules or even worse whether he has rescinded his eternal covenant that he made with Israel as God now started giving a different way of salvation than he had for the Jews in the Hebrew Bible Romans chapters 9 through 11 represents Paul's attempt to deal with those thorny issues of the relationship of God's salvation through Christ with the historic existence of the people of Israel Paul insists that in fact God remains faithful and true to his covenant he has not gone Conner's promises even though his own people have rejected him when they rejected the Messiah still God had planned all along to bring Gentiles into the people of God that is part of God's plan for all people Jew and Gentile to be saved in the end God will be faithful to his promises to Israel and will bring them to into the kingdom in conclusion the letter to the Romans is unique in that it's not directed to the needs of one of Paul's own congregations but is the the Apostles exposition of his own understanding of the gospel written in order to garner support for his mission by the large and influential Church in Rome throughout the exposition Paul applies to two modes of conceptualization to the salvation that comes in Christ to judicial model and a participation is model his overarching point is that all people do or Gentile need God's salvation and that the salvation comes only through Christ's death not by works of the law this though is not contrary to the Jewish religion the Jews for Paul remain God's chosen vehicle for bringing salvation into the world salvation that now is available to Gentiles as well on equal terms even though the salvation comes apart from the works of the law that does not mean that those who live in Jesus who believe in Jesus can live lawlessly one might well ask after looking at this exposition how Paul's emphasis on the saving work of Christ's death relates to the teachings of Jesus himself that people need to repent and keep the Jewish law in view of the coming Son of Man is this sophisticated theology of Paul's at all like this simple preaching of Jesus that will be the question that I'll address in our next lecture [Music] now that we've nearly completed our study of Jesus and Paul the two most important figures of early Christianity it might be useful to take a step back and to compare what we've discovered that will be the goal of the present lecture to compare and contrast the teachings of these two men to see whether they are completely compatible as most people who haven't given a good deal of thought to the matter probably assume or whether instead they stand at odds with one another in some of their key ideas after making that comparison will compare Paul's writings with one other book of the New Testament the Epistle of James which since the sixteenth century has been thought by some to stand in direct opposition to Paul's teaching of justification by faith apart from works the overarching question that these comparisons indeed that this entire course is trying to answer is whether early Christianity was one solid monolith or was extremely diverse whether it was one thing or lots of things whether there was in fact one early Christianity or several early Christianity's it's interesting to compare the fundamental teachings of Jesus and Paul on a point by point basis it's important to recall as we engage in this kind of comparison that when we talk about the historical Jesus we're not referring to Jesus just as he's portrayed in one or another of the Gospels I'm presupposing for this comparison that we've reconstructed what the historical Jesus himself actually taught of course that's done on the basis of the surviving Gospels but is applying the various criteria to these Gospels that we've already explored what did the historical Jesus teach in comparison with what the historical Paul taught as you might expect there are a number of similarities the Queen Jesus and Paul's teachings after all both men were first century Jews who like most Jews believed in the one God the creator of all who had made a covenant with his people Israel and given them his law both men were apocalypta cysts who thought that the end of history was imminent to be brought in a cataclysmic judgment by a cosmic judge from heaven both men thought that people needed to prepare for this coming climax of history both taught that keeping the letter of the law would have no effect on one standing before God and that the law could be summed up in the commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself and so on the one hand there are broad raging similarities between Jesus and Paul that you would expect from two first century apocalyptic Jews on the other hand there are also a number of striking differences between the two the historical Jesus that is the man himself not that Jesus portrayed in one or other of the Gospels the historical Jesus taught that the cosmic judge coming from heaven was someone that he called the son of man as we saw in an earlier lecture Jesus did not appear to be talking about himself but as some other divine like figure coming from heaven on the clouds Paul on the other hand thought that the coming judge was Jesus himself Jesus taught that to escape judgment a person must keep the central teachings of the Jewish law as he Jesus himself interpreted them Paul interestingly enough never mentioned Jesus interpretations of the law and Paul was quite insistent that keeping the law would never bring salvation the only way to be saved for Paul was to trust Jesus death and resurrection Jesus taught that people who repented and kept the law would enter into the kingdom Paul taught that repentance and keeping the law would never allow someone into the kingdom salvation came only through Christ's death and resurrection jesus saw his own importance as lying in his proclamation of the coming end and his interpretation of the law Paul saw Jesus importance as lying exclusively in his death and resurrection for sins one of the ways to see this difference between Jesus and Paul on such central issues as how one attained salvation how one enters into the kingdom how one understands Jesus himself is by comparing a couple of passages one that relates to the historical Jesus and one relates to Paul himself I want to talk about a passage from the Gospel of Matthew which is found in only one of our sources going back to the M source but it's a passage that I think can with some confidence be traced back to the historical Jesus himself for reasons that I'll explain in a moment this passage is the famous parable of the sheep and the goats found in Matthew 25 verses 31 and following Jesus says when the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him then he will sit on the throne of his glory so Jesus is talking about the cosmic judge who's coming in judgment on the earth does not seem to be referring to himself he continues all the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left then the king will say to those at his right hand come you who are blessed by my father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry and you gave me food I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink I was a stranger and you welcomed me I was naked and you gave me clothing I was sick and you took care of me I was in prison and you visited me then the righteous will answer him Lord when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink and when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing and when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you and the king will answer them truly I tell you as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family you did it to me then he will turn to those at his left hand you that are accursed depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels for I was hungry and you gave me no food I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink I was a stranger and you did not welcome me naked and he did not give me clothing sick and in prison and you did not visit me and then they also will answer Lord when was that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not take care of you then he will answer them truly I tell you just as you did not do it to one of the least of these you did not do it to me and these will go into eternal punishment and they the righteous into eternal life it's a very interesting passage that I think must go back to the historical Jesus how is it that people inherit eternal life according to this passage it's by doing good things for others it's by manifesting the commandment of love you shall love your neighbor as yourself by loving others even others they don't know people inherit eternal life salvation in this passage comes by following the law of commandment in Leviticus chapter 19 verse 18 it does not explicitly does not come to people salvation has not come to people by believing in Jesus in fact in this passage the sheep who enter into the eternal Kingdom don't even know Jesus they don't even recognize Jesus let alone believe in him it seems unlikely that Christians would have invented a passage which says that eternal life comes to those who do good things without believing in Jesus that's the reason for thinking that the passage must go back to the historical Jesus himself how though does this teaching about salvation on the basis of doing good works relate to what Paul has to say have we as we've seen from the book of Romans chapter 3 Paul is also quite explicit no human being will be justified in his sight by doing deeds prescribed by the law for through the law comes the knowledge of sin or as Paul says in the letter to the to the Galatians chapter 3 even more clearly he says we ourselves are Jews not Gentile sinners we know that a person is justified not by doing the works of the law but through faith therefore we have come to believe in Christ so that we might be justified by faith in Christ not by doing works of the law because no one will be justified by works of the law these seem to be very different teachings on how one attains salvation how does one account for the differences between them the traditional view is that the difference between Jesus and Paul on salvation is due to the fact that Jesus was teaching prior to his death and resurrection and that Paul was teaching afterwards so that Paul could emphasize that it's the death and resurrection of Jesus that bring salvation whereas Jesus obviously couldn't emphasize that because he hadn't died or been raised yet some interpreters though questioned this why would tea why would Jesus teach people that they could enter into God's kingdom by keeping God's law if it weren't true for Paul if a person could be good enough to enter into the kingdom as he says in the letter to the Galatians then Christ died in vain in other words there'd be no reason for Christ who have died if in fact a person could enter into the kingdom simply by being good enough Paul doesn't think it's possible Jesus does seem to think it's possible at least in some of these materials that appear to go back to him an alternative view then is that Paul represents a significant development of Jesus own teaching that in fact he altered the basic message of Jesus in light of his own experience of Jesus resurrection that because of his experience of Jesus resurrection this visionary experience whatever it involved Paul decided that the death of Jesus was the point the death of Jesus was according to the plan of God that it's the only way that one can receive salvation rather than Jesus Proclamation rather than doing the good things prescribed by the law according to this point of view that's been supported by scholars for well over a century Paul transformed the religion of Jesus into a religion about Jesus Paul transformed the religion of Jesus the religion Jesus had to a religion about Jesus many scholars to that today think that this way of putting things is probably a little bit too simple in part because any transformation that took place of Jesus religion took place before Paul came on the scene Paul should not be seen as a major innovator when it comes to early Christianity because Paul himself indicates that he received his gospel message from others in the passage that we read earlier from first Corinthians chapter 15 where Paul indicates what he preached to the Corinthians in order to convert them he says 1st Corinthians 15 verse 3 I handed on to you as of first importance that which I in turn had received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures Paul himself had received a Christian message before he started to proclaim it so that the transformation of Jesus teaching probably happened before Paul developed his own theology yet we are stuck with the differences between Jesus and Paul Jesus appeared to proclaim that a person could be made right with God by doing what God demanded repenting loving one's neighbor as much as oneself Paul insisted that a person could never be right with God by doing these things this raises the question do Paul and Jesus represent the same religion this raises a corollary question which is whether Paul actually knew about the religion that Jesus himself propounded did Paul know what Jesus himself taught or what Jesus himself did I want to explore this question next it's a question that hasn't occurred to a lot of people because they simply assume that Paul must have known everything about Jesus after all we can pick up our New Testaments and read about what Jesus said and did surely Paul living closer to the time also knew it's important to recall though that Paul's letters were being written before the gospel accounts 10 15 20 years before the Gospels were written which means that Paul hadn't read the Gospels did he know what was going to be in the Gospels it's a very interesting question how would one go about deciding how much Paul knew about Jesus I don't think that we can simply assume that he knew everything that we know or that we think we we know what kind of evidence exists for Paul's knowledge about Jesus life his words his deeds as I indicated in an earlier lecture Paul doesn't tell us very much about Jesus life he indicates the paul that jesus was born of a woman that he was jewish he gives an indication that he he one plate the point that he thinks jesus came from the line of David Romans chapter 1 verse 3 he knows that Jesus had brothers one of whom was named James he knows that Jesus ministry was principally among Jews that he had twelve disciples he knows that he had a last meal with his disciples in which he instituted the Lord's Supper Paul seems to know that Jesus was betrayed he certainly knows that he was crucified and as I've indicated he repeats two of Jesus teachings attributing them to Jesus namely that his followers should not get divorced but that they should pay their ministers that's all Paul gives us in terms of what Jesus said and did between the time of his birth and the time of his death he doesn't indicate that he knows anything else he doesn't know anything about the virgin birth birth and Bethlehem the baptism the temptation the Transfiguration casting out demons telling parables preaching about the coming kingdom on and on and on how does one account for the paucity of this material how does one explain the fact that Paul doesn't tell us anything more than he tells us about Jesus well it's a very interesting question and it's one that could have different suit different answers to it I want to lay out three possible ways of answering the question each of these ways strikes me as somewhat problematic but I think they're the three major options one option may be Paul knew a good deal more about Jesus than he lets on but given the occasional nature of his letters Paul had no reason to provide us with more information in other words it maybe that he knew lots about what Jesus said and did that he had a full inventory of knowledge but that he had no occasion to mention it one reason for thinking that Paul might have known far more than he lets on is that according to Paul himself he knew some of Jesus disciples remember in Galatians he insists that he didn't go to Jerusalem right away to consult with the apostles but he does say in Galatians chapter one that after three years he went to Jerusalem and consulted with Cephas who is thought by most people to be Peter Cephas is an Aramaic word which means rock Petros Peter is a Greek word that means rock this is actually a nickname and be it's comfortable to the modern rocky his real name was Simon if Cephas is in fact Peter the disciple then Paul met with Cephas Peter in Jerusalem and he did know the brother of Jesus James he spent some time with them two weeks according to Galatians if he knew these people then presumably they told him something about what Jesus said and did while he was living so that would be an argument that in fact he must have known a good deal more but didn't but didn't just didn't say more because the occasion never demanded it there are problems though with this solution throughout Paul's letters Paul constantly reminds his readers what he himself taught them while he was with them if Paul talked his his converts the things that Jesus had said and the things Jesus had done why doesn't he ever remind them of that if he's constantly reminding them of what he himself taught them now some people have thought that Paul couldn't possibly have established churches without teaching people what Jesus had said and done but I'm not sure that's true if Paul's belief was based on Jesus death resurrection and the idea that Jesus was coming back soon as the judge of the earth Paul might well have taught people that might well have taught people about Jesus death and resurrection and his imminent return and might will have taught that Jesus is a fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures which talked about his death resurrection in return that doesn't necessarily mean that he taught them the things that Jesus said and did especially the things Jesus said and did in the Gospels if he did teach them these things it is odd that he never reminds them that he taught them those things as he does remind them that he of the things that he himself taught moreover on rare occasions Paul does cite something about Jesus as we've seen for example the teachings of Jesus at the at the Last Supper Paul reminds the Corinthians of what Jesus taught at the Lord's Supper so he's not disinclined to tell people what Jesus taught on occasion why doesn't he do it then more often if he has more information at his disposal for example in Romans chapter 13 Paul tells his readers in Rome that they ought to pay their taxes why doesn't he say you should pay your taxes because remember Jesus himself said render under Caesar the things that are Caesar's why doesn't he quote Jesus if he wants to urge people to do something that he knows Jesus himself urged them to do or when he says that you should love your neighbor as yourself to fulfil the law why doesn't he say because that's what Jesus himself said remember our Lord said you should love your neighbor as herself why doesn't Paul say these things if in fact he knew more about Jesus well that's the problem with the first option that Paul did no more but simply didn't in didn't say more because they were this information about Jesus was irrelevant a second option Paul knew a good deal more about Jesus according to this option but that he considered the facts about Jesus life to be irrelevant for his own mission he knew more but he considered this information about Jesus to be irrelevant this is closely related of course to the first option it's worth noting that to the in the first letter to the Corinthians Paul says to them I knew nothing among you except Christ and him crucified in other words the only thing Paul taught among the Corinthians was about Jesus crucifixion that might suggest that the teachings and actions of Jesus were irrelevant to Paul the problem with that option of course is that Paul does occasionally mention the teachings of Jesus and a few of the other data from Jesus life and so if he thought they were completely irrelevant why does he bring them up on occasion a third option is that Paul may not have known much more than he mentions about Jesus it may be that Paul thought that the death and resurrection of Jesus were of such earth-shattering importance that he didn't even inquire into what Jesus said and did while he was alive people object to this point of view because as we know Paul did meet with some of the disciples in Jerusalem surely they weren't talking about the weather when they got together on the other hand it's not clear that they were getting together in order to talk about the life of Jesus Paul indicates that the reason they were talking together was to discuss the Gentile mission it may well be that they didn't go over the facts of Jesus life to get them straight before Paul returned to the mission field in the long run I'm afraid we really don't know the answer to why Paul doesn't say more about Jesus it is clear that he doesn't give us a lot of information and it's clear that whatever you make of it his gospel message is different from the message proclaimed by Jesus some people think that this difference is an irreconcilable discrepancy that Paul in fact represents a different religion from that of Jesus that's a fairly radical conclusion but you can see the compelling force behind it that Paul in fact says things that Jesus seems to have disagreed with and vice-versa other people think that Paul developed the teaching of Jesus after his death and resurrection so that there's basic continuity between the two in any event I think it's clear that Paul and Jesus are saying different things whether or not they're irreconcilable it may be fruitful at this point to compare Paul not just with the one who came before him Jesus but with someone who came after him James the Epistle of James in the New Testament is commonly attributed to Jesus own brother James the author of this book does claim to be someone named James he begins the book by naming himself James this person though does not claim to be James the brother of Jesus he doesn't claim to be a personal relation to Jesus I should point out that the name James was quite common in the ancient world we aren't sure for that reason who actually wrote the letter except I should point out that Jesus brother James would have been a lower-class Aramaic speaking peasant this epistle is written by a well-educated Greek speaking Christian it's possible that it is written by Jesus brother but it seems somewhat unlikely since it's being written by somebody who's highly literate in Greek whereas Jesus brother would have been a lower-class peasant in Palestine who spoke Aramaic the book consists of a number of moral excitations for its readers to behave in ways that are appropriate to their faith many of these expectations sound very similar to Jesus own teachings for example in the Sermon on the Mount we won't be able to look at the entire book of James I want to focus in on a particular passage that has struck readers over the years because the passage seems to stand in stark contrast with what Paul himself teaches for example in the book of Romans in the book of Galatians in the 16th century Martin Luther thought that this passage stood at odds with Paul so much that this book in fact did not proclaim the Gospel Martin Luther didn't much like the Epistle to James he called it a right straw epistle and when he translated the Bible into German he included the book of James at the end as one of the books in his appendix taking it out of the canonical order the passage in question is James chapter 2 verses 14 through 26 it's a very interesting passage because in it James indicates that a person is justified by works not by faith as James says what good is that my brothers and sisters if you say you have faith but you don't have works can your faith save you if a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food and one of you says go in peace be war and be filled yet you don't supply their bodily needs what good is that so faith by itself is it if it has no works is dead he goes on to show that works that faith without works is dead by appealing to Abraham was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar he concludes you see that a person is justified by works not by faith alone for just as the body without the Spirit is dead so faith without works is also dead very interesting because whereas Paul uses Abraham to show that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law James uses Abraham to show that a person is justified by works and not by faith are these two in contradiction to one another people have different opinions on the question one can understand why it looks like they are contradictory other people have pointed out that the contradiction may simply be on the surface that James when he says the person is justified by works means that a person has to do good things in order to demonstrate they really have faith that doesn't seem to be so far off from what Paul said when Paul indicates that if somebody really has faith in Christ they will live in ethical ways not that a person is justified by doing works of the law but once a person is justified one will do the ethical requirements of the law it may be in other words that the contradiction between James and Paul is simply on the surface and that they don't fundamentally stand at odds with each other it's possible in conclusion I should stress that we've seen in this course a good deal of diversity of early Christianity the different Gospels have different portrayals of Jesus there even appear to be discrepancies among them Jesus himself preached a message that was altered prior to being put into the Gospels in his Proclamation Jesus proclaimed the imminent intervention of God in the affairs of legal world through the appearance of the Son of Man and judgment people need to prepare for this by keeping the law Paul appears to have proclaimed a different message based on his view that salvation comes knocked through faithful obedience to the law but through faith in Jesus death and resurrection as we continue our discussion of the New Testament we're going to see even more diversity strikingly enough some of this diversity can be found in books that claim Paul as their author but that appeared to present a different understanding of the gospel from his that will be the subject of our next lecture hardest part of a dissertation State University of New York at Cobleskill.

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