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Paul of Tarsus

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Saint Paul, also called Paul the Apostle, the Apostle Paul or Paul of Tarsus (Template:Lang-grc, Template:Lang-he Šaʾul HaTarsi (Saul of Tarsus)[1]) (died c 64-65[2]), was a Hellenistic Jew,[3] who called himself the "Apostle to the Gentiles",[4] and was, together with Saint Peter and James the Just,[5] the most notable of early Christian missionaries. His efforts to accept gentile converts and to define the Torah as superseded by Christ were successful and decisive.[6]

According to the Acts of the Apostles, his conversion (or metanoia) took place on the road to Damascus, where he experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus after which he was temporarily blinded.[7] Unlike Jesus' apostles in Jerusalem, Paul had not known Jesus in person. Paul asserted that he received the Gospel not from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ,[8] Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[9]

Thirteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, of which seven are considered absolutely genuine, three are decidedly not from Paul, and the other three are in dispute.[9] Paul apparently dictated all his epistles through a secretary (or amanuensis).[10][11] These epistles were circulated within the Christian community, where they were read aloud in church along with other works. Paul's epistles were accepted early as scripture and later established as Canon of Scripture. Critical scholars regard Paul's epistles (written 50-62[9]) to be the earliest-written books of the New Testament, being referenced as early as Clement of Rome[12] (c. 96).

Paul's influence on Christian thinking arguably has been more significant than any other New Testament author.[13] Christianity is commonly said to owe as much to Paul as to Jesus.[9][14][15] Paul declared that faith in Christ made the Torah unnecessary for salvation, exalted the Christian church as the body of Christ, and depicted the world outside the Church as under judgment.[16] Augustine's foundational work on the gospel as a gift (grace), on morality as life in the Spirit, on predestination, an on original sin all derives from Paul, especially Romans.[16] Martin Luther expressed Paul's doctrine of faith most strongly as justification by faith alone.[16] John Calvin developed Augustine's predestination into double predestination.[16] Karl Barth's commentary on the Letter to the Romans had a political as well as theological impact. In the East, church fathers reduced the element of election in Romans 9 to divine foreknowledge, as have the Western humanists.[16]

Contents

Sources of information

The book of Acts contains an account of Paul's travels and deeds, his conflicts with pagans, and his interactions with the other apostles. The account of Acts, however, is widely challenged. It was written from a perspective of reconciliation between Pauline Christians and their opponents, so portrays Paul as a law-abiding Jew and omits his dispute with Peter. Acts schematizes Paul's travels and takes liberties with his speeches. The primary source for historical information about Paul's life is the material found in his seven letters generally thought to be authentic. These letters contain very little information about Paul's past, and even Acts leaves important parts of Paul's life undocumented.[16]

Many scholars, such as Hans Conzelmann and 20th century theologian John Knox (not the 16th century John Knox), dispute the historical accuracy of Acts.[17][18] Even allowing for omissions in Paul's own account, which is found particularly in Galatians, there are many differences between his account and that in Acts.[19] (Please see the full discussion in Acts of the Apostles). Acts sometimes contradicts Paul's own epistles, such as its account of Paul visiting Jerusalem in Acts 11:27-30, which doesn't fit the account in Paul's letters.[16] Most scholars consider Paul's accounts more reliable than those found in Acts.[9]

Life

Prior to conversion

Paul, according to his own saying, was: “of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews”,[20] and in religious respect: “as touching the law, a Pharisee”.[20]

Prior to his conversion to Christianity, he, according to his own testimony, “violently persecuted” the “church of God” ( followers of Jesus).[21][22]

Conversion and mission

Saul's conversion can be dated to around AD 33 by his reference to it in one of his letters.[16] According to the Acts of the Apostles, his conversion (or metanoia) took place on the road to Damascus, where he experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus after which he was temporarily blinded.[23] Unlike Jesus' apostles in Jerusalem, Paul had not known Jesus in person. Paul asserted that he received the Gospel not from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ,[24] Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[9]

Conversion and Early Work

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File:Ananias house.jpg
The house believed to be of St. Ananias in Damascus
File:Damascus-Bab Kisan.jpg
Bab Kisan, believed to be where St. Paul escaped from persecution in Damascus

Following his stay in Damascus after his conversion, where he was cured and baptized by Ananias of Damascus,[25] Paul says that he first went to Arabia, and then came back to Damascus (Template:Bibleverse). He describes in Galatians, how three years after his conversion, he went to Jerusalem, where he met James, and stayed with Simon Peter for 15 days (Template:Bibleverse).

Paul's narrative in Galatians states that 14 years after his conversion he went again to Jerusalem (Template:Bibleverse). It is not known exactly what happened during these so-called "unknown years," but both Acts and Galatians provide some details.[26] At the end of this time, Barnabas went to find Paul and brought him back to Antioch (Template:Bibleverse).

When a famine happened in Judaea, around 45–46,[27] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[28] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative centre for Christians, following the dispersion after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch, Acts reports, that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians" (Template:Bibleverse).

First missionary journey

Luke, writing c 85-90, arranges Paul's travels into three separate journeys.[9] The first journey, led by Barnabas, takes Paul to from Antioch, to Cyprus, southern Asia Minor (Anatolia), and back to Antioch.[9][29] Antioch serves as a major Christian center for Paul's evangelizing.[9]

Council of Jerusalem

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File:Saint James the Just.jpg
Icon of James the Just, whose judgment was adopted in the Apostolic Decree of Template:Bibleverse, c. 50 AD.

Most scholars agree that a vital meeting between Paul and the Jerusalem church took place in AD 49 or 50.[16] Paul refers to this meeting in Galatians, and Luke describes it in Acts 15.[16] Most think that Galatians 2:1 corresponds to the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15.[30][31] The key question raised was whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised (Template:Bibleverseff; Template:Bibleverseff). At this meeting, Peter, James, and John accepted Paul's mission to the Gentiles.

Some Jerusalem meetings are mentioned in Acts, some meetings are mentioned in Paul's letters, and some appear to be mentioned in both.[30] For example, it has been suggested that the Jerusalem visit for famine relief implied in Template:Bibleverse corresponds to the "first visit" (to Cephas and James only) narrated in Template:Bibleverse.[30] F. F. Bruce suggested that the "fourteen years" could be from Paul's conversion rather than the first visit to Jerusalem.[32]

Incident at Antioch

Despite the agreement achieved at the Council of Jerusalem as understood by Paul, Paul recounts how he later publicly confronted Peter, also called the "Incident at Antioch" over his reluctance to share a meal with Gentile Christians in Antioch.[33]

Writing later of the incident, Paul recounts: "I opposed [Peter] to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong". Paul reports that he told Peter: "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?"[34] Paul also mentions that even Barnabas sided with Peter.[35]

The final outcome of the incident remains uncertain. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "St. Paul's account of the incident leaves no doubt that St. Peter saw the justice of the rebuke." In contrast, L. Michael White's From Jesus to Christianity states: "The blowup with Peter was a total failure of political bravado, and Paul soon left Antioch as persona non grata, never again to return."[36]

The source for the Incident at Antioch is Paul's letter to the Galatians.

Paul's visits to Jerusalem in Acts and the epistles

This table is adapted from White, From Jesus to Christianity.[30]

Acts Epistles
  • First visit to Jerusalem (Template:Bibleverse)
    • after Damascus conversion
    • preaches openly in Jerusalem with Barnabas
  • Second visit to Jerusalem (Template:Bibleverse)
    • With Barnabas and Titus
    • Possibly the "Council of Jerusalem"
    • Paul agrees to "remember the poor"
    • Followed by confrontation with Peter in Antioch (Template:Bibleverse)

Resumed mission

File:Saint-Paul.JPG
Saint Paul, Byzantine ivory relief, 6th–early 7th century (Musée de Cluny)

Around AD 50-52, Paul spent 18 months in Corinth.[16] The reference in Acts to proconsul Gallio helps ascertain this date.[16] Here he worked with Silas and Timothy.[16]

After Corinth, the next major center for Paul's activities was Ephesus.[16] Ephesus was an important center for early Christianity from the AD 50s. From AD 52-54, Paul lived here, working with the congregation and apparently organizing missionary activity into the hinterlands.[37] Paul's time here was marked by disturbances and possibly imprisonment. Finally, he was forced to leave.[16]

Next he traveled to Macedonia before going probably to Corinth for three months (AD 56-57) before his final visit to Jerusalem.[16]

Arrest and death

Paul arrived in Jerusalem c AD 57 with a collection of money for the congregation there.[16] Acts reports that the church welcomed Paul gladly, but it was apparently a proposal of James that that led to his arrest.[16] Paul caused a stir when he appeared at the Temple, and he escaped lynching by being taken into custody.[16] He was held as a prisoner for two years until, in AD 59, a new governor reopened his case.[16] He appealed to Caesar as a Roman citizen and was sent to Rome for trial.[16] Acts reports that he was shipwrecked on Malta on this journey.[16] He arrived in Rome c AD 60 and spent two years under house arrest.[16]

Paul's death is commonly dated to c 60-62[38] or c 62-65.[16]

Writings

Template:Main Thirteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, of which seven are considered absolutely genuine, three are decidedly not from Paul, and the other three are in dispute.[9] Paul apparently dictated all his epistles through a secretary (or amanuensis), who would usually paraphrase the gist of his message, as was the practice among first-century scribes.[39][40] These epistles were circulated within the Christian community, where they were read aloud in church along with other works. Paul's epistles were accepted early as scripture and later established as Canon of Scripture. Critical scholars regard Paul's epistles (written 50-62[9]) to be the earliest-written books of the New Testament, being referenced as early as Clement of Rome[41] (c. 96).

Authorship

Paul's letters are largely written to churches which he had founded or visited; he was a great traveler, visiting Cyprus, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), mainland Greece, Crete, and Rome bringing the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth with him. His letters are full of expositions of what Christians should believe and how they should live. He does not tell his correspondents (or the modern reader) much about the life of Jesus; his most explicit references are to the Last Supper (Template:Bibleverse) and the crucifixion and resurrection (Template:Bibleverse 1 Corinthians 15). His specific references to Jesus' teaching are likewise sparse (Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse-nb), raising the question, still disputed, as to how consistent his account of the faith is with that of the four canonical Gospels, Acts, and the Epistle of James. The view that Paul's Christ is very different from the historical Jesus has been expounded by Adolf Harnack among many others. Nevertheless, he provides the first written account of what it is to be a Christian and thus of Christian spirituality.

Of the thirteen letters traditionally attributed to Paul and included in the Western New Testament canon, there is little or no dispute that Paul actually wrote at least seven, those being Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, First Thessalonians, and Philemon. Hebrews, which was ascribed to him in antiquity, was questioned even then, never having an ancient attribution, and in modern times is considered by most experts as not by Paul (see also Antilegomena). The authorship of the remaining six Pauline epistles is disputed to varying degrees.

The authenticity of Colossians has been questioned on the grounds that it contains an otherwise unparalleled description (among his writings) of Jesus as 'the image of the invisible God,' a Christology found elsewhere only in St. John's gospel. On the other hand, the personal notes in the letter connect it to Philemon, unquestionably the work of Paul. More problematic is Ephesians, a very similar letter to Colossians, but which reads more like a manifesto than a letter. It is almost entirely lacking in personal reminiscences. Its style is unique; it lacks the emphasis on the cross to be found in other Pauline writings, reference to the Second Coming is missing, and Christian marriage is exalted in a way which contrasts with the grudging reference in Template:Bibleverse. Finally it exalts the Church in a way suggestive of a second generation of Christians, 'built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets' now past.[42] The defenders of its Pauline authorship argue that it was intended to be read by a number of different churches and that it marks the final stage of the development of Paul of Tarsus's thinking.

The Pastoral Epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus have likewise been put in question as Pauline works. Three main reasons are advanced: first, their difference in vocabulary, style and theology from Paul's acknowledged writings; secondly, the difficulty in fitting them into Paul's biography as we have it.[43] They, like Colossians and Ephesians, were written from prison but suppose Paul's release and travel thereafter. Finally, the concerns expressed are very much the practical ones as to how a church should function. They are more about maintenance than about mission.

2 Thessalonians, like Colossians, is questioned on stylistic grounds, with scholars noting, among other peculiarities, a dependence on 1 Thessalonians yet a distinctiveness in language from the Pauline corpus.

Paul and Jesus

Atonement

Little can be deduced about the historical life of Jesus from Paul's letters. He mentions specifically the Last Supper (Template:Bibleverseff), his death by crucifixion (Template:Bibleverse; Template:Bibleverse), and his resurrection (Template:Bibleverse). In addition, Paul states that Jesus was a Jew of the line of David (Template:Bibleverse) who was betrayed (Template:Bibleverse). Paul concentrates instead on the nature of Christians' relationship with Christ and, in particular, on Christ's saving work. In Mark's gospel, Jesus is recorded as saying that he was to "give up his life as a ransom for many."[44] Paul's account of this idea of a saving act is more fully articulated in various places in his letters, most notably in his letter to the Romans.

What Christ has achieved for those who believe in him is variously described: as sinners under the law, they are "justified by his grace as a gift"; they are "redeemed" by Jesus who was put forward by God as expiation; they are "reconciled" by his death; his death was a propitiatory or expiatory sacrifice or a ransom paid. The gift (grace) is to be received in faith (Template:Bibleverse; Template:Bibleverse).

Justification derives from the law courts.[45] Those who are justified are acquitted of an offence. Since the sinner is guilty, he or she can only be acquitted by someone else, Jesus, standing in for them, which has led many Christians to believe in the teaching known as the doctrine of penal substitution. The sinner is, in Paul's words "justified by faith" (Template:Bibleverse), that is, by adhering to Christ, the sinner becomes at one with Christ in his death and resurrection (hence the word "atonement"). Acquittal, however, is achieved not on the grounds that we share in Christ's innocence, but on the grounds of his sacrifice (crucifixion), i.e., his innocent undergoing of punishment on behalf of sinners who should have suffered divine retribution for their sins. They deserved to be punished and he took their punishment. They are justified by his death, and now "so much more we are saved by him from divine retribution" (Template:Bibleverse).

For an understanding of the meaning of faith as that which justifies, Paul turns to Abraham, who trusted God's promise that he would be father of many nations. Abraham preceded the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. Abraham could not, of course, have faith in the living Christ but, in Paul's view, "the gospel was preached to him beforehand" (Template:Bibleverse); this is in line with Paul's belief in the pre-existence of Christ (cf. Template:Bibleverse.[46]

Within the last three decades, a number of theologians have put forward a "new perspective" on Paul's doctrine of justification, and even more specifically on what he says about justification by faith. Justification by faith means God accepts Gentiles in addition to Jews, since both believe in God. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith" (Romans 3:28-30). Faith is the central component of Paul's doctrine of justification -- it means that Gentiles don't need to become Israelites when they convert to Christianity, because God is not just the God of one nation, but Gentile and Jew alike.[47]

Redemption has a different origin, that of the freeing of slaves; it is similar in character as a transaction to the paying of a ransom, (cf. Template:Bibleverse) though the circumstances are different. Money was paid in order to set free a slave who was in the ownership of another. Here the price was the costly act of Christ's death. On the other hand, no price was paid to anyone — Paul does not suggest, for instance, that the price be paid to the devil — though this has been suggested by learned writers, ancient and modern,[48] such as Origen and St. Augustine, as a reversal of the Fall by which the devil gained power over humankind.

A third expression, reconciliation, is about the making of peace (Template:Bibleverse and Template:Bibleverse), another variant of the same theme. Elsewhere (Template:Bibleverse) he writes of Christ breaking down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile, which the law constituted.

Sacrifice is an idea often elided with justification, but carries with it either the notion of appeasing the wrath of God (propitiation) or dealing with sin (expiation).

As to how a person appropriates this gift, Paul writes of a mystical union with Christ through baptism: "we who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death" (Template:Bibleverse). He writes also of our being "in Christ Jesus" and alternately, of "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Thus, the objection that one person cannot be punished on behalf of another is met with the idea of the identification of the Christian with Christ through baptism.

These expressions, some of which are to be found in the course of the same exposition, have been interpreted by some scholars, such as the mediaeval teacher Peter Abelard and, much more recently, Hastings Rashdall,[49] as metaphors for the effects of Christ's death upon those who followed him. This is known as the "subjective theory of the atonement." On this view, rather than writing a systematic theology, Paul is trying to express something inexpressible. According to Ian Markham, on the other hand, the letter to the Romans is "muddled."[50]

But others, ancient and modern, Protestant and Catholic, have sought to elaborate from his writing objective theories of the Atonement on which they have, however, disagreed. The doctrine of justification by faith alone was the major source of the division of western Christianity known as the Protestant Reformation which took place in the sixteenth century. Justification by faith was set against salvation by works of the law — in this case, the acquiring of indulgences from the Church and even such good works as the corporal works of mercy. The result of the dispute, which undermined the system of endowed prayers and the doctrine of purgatory, contributed to the creation of Protestant churches in Western Europe, set against the Roman Catholic Church. Solifidianism (from sola fide, the Latin for "faith alone"), the name often given to these views, is associated with the works of Martin Luther (1483 — 1546) and his followers.

The various doctrines of the atonement have been associated with such theologians as Anselm;[51] John Calvin;[52] and more recently Gustaf Aulén;[53] none found their way into the Creeds. The substitutionary theory (above), in particular, has fiercely divided Christendom; some pronouncing it essential and others repugnant.[54] (In law, no one can be punished instead of another and the punishment of the innocent is a prime example of injustice — which tells against too precise an interpretation of the atonement as a legal act.)[55]

Further, because salvation could not be achieved by merit, Paul lays some stress on the notion of its being a free gift, a matter of Grace. Whereas grace is most often associated specifically with the Holy Spirit, in St. Paul's writing, grace is received through Jesus (Template:Bibleverse), from God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Template:Bibleverse, and especially in Template:Bibleverse). On the other hand, the Spirit he describes is the Spirit of Christ (see below). The notion of free gift, not the subject of entitlement, has been associated with belief in predestination and, more controversially, double predestination: that God has chosen whom He wills to have mercy on and those whose will He has hardened (Template:Bibleversef.).

Holy Spirit

Template:Unreferenced section In considering the manifestations of the Spirit, Paul is varied in his instructions. Thus, when discussing the gift of tongues in his first letter to the Corinthians (Template:Bibleverse), as against the unintelligible words of ecstasy, he commends, by contrast, intelligibility and order.

Paul argues that not all things permissible are good; he condemns eating meats that have been offered to pagan idols, frequenting pagan temples, and orgiastic feasting. On the contrary, he calls the Spirit a uniting force, manifesting Himself through the common purpose expressed in the exercise of their different gifts (Template:Bibleverse) He compares the Christian community to a human body, with its different limbs and organs, and the Spirit as the Spirit of Christ. The gifts range from administration to teaching, encouragement to healing, prophecy to the working of miracles. The fruits are the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Template:Bibleverse). Love is the "most excellent" of all (Template:Bibleverse).

Furthermore, the new life is the life of the Spirit, as against the life of the flesh, which Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, so that one becomes a son of God. God is our Father and we are fellow heirs of Christ (Template:Bibleverse).

Relationship with Judaism

Template:Seealso

Paul's theology of the gospel accelerated the separation of the messianic sect of Christians from Judaism, a development contrary to Paul's own intent.[16] He wrote that faith in Christ was alone decisive in salvation for Jews and Gentiles alike, making the schism between the followers of Christ and mainstream Jews inevitable and permanent.[16] He successfully argued that Gentile converts did not need to become Jews, get circumcised, follow Jewish dietary restrictions, or otherwise observe Jewish Law.[16] Nevertheless, in Romans he insisted on the positive value of the Law, an attempt to demonstrate God's consistency.[16] Since Paul's time, the polemical contrast that he made between the old and the new way of salvation has usually been weakened, with an emphasis on smooth development rather than stark contrast.[16]

E. P. Sanders in 1977[56] reframed the context of Paul's theology to make law-keeping and good works a sign of being in the Covenant (marking out the Jews as the people of God) rather than deeds performed in order to accomplish salvation (so-called Legalism (theology)), a pattern of religion he termed "covenantal nomism." If Sanders' perspective is valid, the traditional Protestant understanding of the doctrine of justification may have needed rethinking, for the interpretive framework of Martin Luther was called into question.

Sanders' work has since been taken up by Professor James Dunn[57] and N.T. Wright,[58] Anglican Bishop of Durham, and the New Perspective. Wright, noting the apparent discrepancy between Romans and Galatians, the former being much more positive about the continuing covenantal relationship between God and his ancient people, than the latter, contends that works are not insignificant (Template:Bibleref2ff) and that Paul distinguishes between works which are signs of ethnic identity and those which are a sign of obedience to Christ.

Resurrection

Paul appears to develop his ideas in response to the particular congregation to whom he is writing (Template:Bibleverse). He writes of the hope given to all who belong to Christ, including those who have already died and been baptized vicariously by others on their behalf so that they may be included among the saved (Template:Bibleverse) (whether or not Paul of Tarsus approved of the practice, he was apparently prepared to use it as part of his argument in favor of the resurrection of the dead).

The World to come

Paul's teaching about the end of the world is expressed most clearly in his letters to the Christians at Thessalonica. Heavily persecuted, it appears that they had written asking him first about those who had died already, and, secondly, when they should expect the end. Paul regarded the age as passing and, in such difficult times, he therefore encouraged marriage as a means of happiness. He assures them that the dead will rise first and be followed by those left alive (Template:Bibleverseff). This suggests an imminence of the end but he is unspecific about times and seasons, and encourages his hearers to expect a delay.[59] The form of the end will be a battle between Jesus and the man of lawlessness (Template:Bibleverseff) whose conclusion is the triumph of Christ.

The delay in the coming of the end has been interpreted in different ways: on one view, Paul of Tarsus and the early Christians were simply mistaken; on another, that of Austin Farrer, his presentation of a single ending can be interpreted to accommodate the fact that endings occur all the time and that, subjectively, we all stand an instant from judgement. The delay is also accounted for by God's patience ((Template:Bibleverse).

As for the form of the end, the Catholic Encyclopedia presents two distinct ideas. First, universal judgement, with neither the good nor the wicked omitted (Template:Bibleverse), nor even the angels (Template:Bibleverse). Second, and more controversially, judgment will be according to faith and works, mentioned concerning sinners (Template:Bibleverse), the just (Template:Bibleverse), and men in general (Template:Bibleverse).

Influence on Christianity

Paul's influence on Christian thinking arguably has been more significant than any other New Testament author.[60] Christianity is commonly said to owe as much to Paul as to Jesus.[9][61][62] Paul declared that faith in Christ made the Torah unnecessary for salvation, exalted the Christian church as the body of Christ, and depicted the world outside the Church as under judgment.[16]

Split with Judaism

Before Paul, Christianity was essentially a Jewish sect, and Gentiles that wished to join the movement were expected to convert to Judaism, submit to circumcision, follow kosher food laws, and more. Paul insisted that faith in Christ was sufficient for salvation and that the Torah did not bind Gentile Christians. The success of Paul's efforts sped up the split between Christianity and mainstream Judaism, even though Paul wanted no such split himself.[16] Without Paul's success against the legalists who opposed him, Christianity would never have been more than a dissenting sect within Judaism.[63]

Lord's supper

Paul's writings include the earliest reference to the supper of the Lord, a rite traditionally identified as the Christian Eucharist, as instituted by Christ at the Last Supper.

Some contemporary scholars hold that the Lord's supper had its origins in a pagan context, where dinners to memorialize the dead were common and the Jewish prohibition against drinking blood did not prevail.[64] They conclude the "Lord's supper" that Paul describes probably originated in the Christian communities that he had founded in Asia Minor and Greece.[65]

Eastern tradition

In the East, church fathers reduced the element of election in Romans 9 to divine foreknowledge.[16] The themes of predestination found in Western Christianity do not appear in Eastern theology.

Western tradition

Augustine's foundational work on the gospel as a gift (grace), on morality as life in the Spirit, on predestination, and on original sin all derives from Paul, especially Romans.[16]

In the Reformation, Martin Luther expressed Paul's doctrine of faith most strongly as justification by faith alone.[16] John Calvin developed Augustine's predestination into double predestination.[16]

Modern theology

In his commentary The Epistle to the Romans (Ger. Der Römerbrief; particularly in the thoroughly re-written second edition of 1922) Karl Barth argued that the God who is revealed in the cross of Jesus challenges and overthrows any attempt to ally God with human cultures, achievements, or possessions. Many theologians believe this work to be the most important theological treatise since Friedrich Schleiermacher's On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers.

As in the Eastern tradition in general, Western humanists interpret the reference to election in Romans 9 as reflecting divine foreknowledge.[16]

Church tradition

Various Christian writers have suggested more details about Paul's life.

1 Clement reports this about Paul:[66]

"By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the prize of patient endurance. After that he had been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in the East and in the West, he won the noble renown which was the reward of his faith, having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached the farthest bounds of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went unto the holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patient endurance."

Commenting on this passage, Raymond Brown writes that while it "does not explicitly say" that Paul was martyred in Rome, "such a martydom is the most reasonable interpretation."[67]

Eusebius of Caesarea, who wrote in the fourth century, states that Paul was beheaded in the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero. This event has been dated either to the year 64, when Rome was devastated by a fire, or a few years later, to 67. A Roman Catholic liturgical solemnity of Peter and Paul, celebrated on June 29, may reflect the day of his martyrdom, other sources have articulated the tradition that Peter and Paul died on the same day (and possibly the same year).[68] A number of other sources including Clement of Rome, say that Paul survived Rome and went to "the limits of the west."[69] Some hold the view that he could have revisited Greece and Asia Minor after his trip to Spain, and might then have been arrested in Troas, and taken to Rome and executed (Template:Bibleverse). A Roman Catholic tradition holds that Paul was interred with Saint Peter ad Catacumbas by the via Appia until moved to what is now the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome (now in the process of being excavated). Bede, in his Ecclesiastical History, writes that Pope Vitalian in 665 gave Paul's relics (including a cross made from his prison chains) from the crypts of Lucina to King Oswy of Northumbria, northern Britain. However, Bede's use of the word "relic" was not limited to corporal remains.

Paul, who was martyred in Rome, has long been associated with that city and its church. Paul is the patron saint of London.

Speculative views

Pauline Christianity

Elaine Pagels, professor of religion at Princeton and an authority on Gnosticism, argues that Paul was a Gnostic [70] and that the anti-Gnostic Pastoral Epistles were "pseudo-Pauline" forgeries written to rebut this. Pagels maintains that the majority of the Christian churches in the second century went with the majority of the middle class in opposing the trend toward equality for women. By the year 200, the majority of Christian communities endorsed as canonical the "pseudo-Pauline" letter to Timothy. That letter, according to Pagels, stresses and exaggerates the antifeminist element in Paul's views: "Let a woman learn in silence in all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent." She believes the letters to the Colossians and to the Ephesians, which order women to "be subject in everything to their husbands," do not express what she says were Paul's very favorable attitudes toward women, but also were "pseudo-Pauline" forgery.

Theologian Robert Cramer agrees that the "pseudo-Pauline" epistles were written to marginalize women, especially in the church and in marriage:

Since it is now widely concluded that the Pastoral Epistles were written around 115 AD, these words were written most likely about 50 years after Paul's martyrdom. Considering the similarity between 1 Corinthians 14:35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12, conclusions that I and others continue to draw are:
  1. that Paul wrote the bulk of what was in 1 Corinthians but that he did not write 1 Timothy, and
  2. that around 115 AD, the writer of 1 Timothy or a group associated with him added the 1 Corinthians 14:33-36 pericope to the body of letters that later became 1 Corinthians.
In this scenario this would have been done in part to lend further authority to a later (or more culturally acceptable) teaching that marginalized women. [71]

Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, agrees that the verses not favorable to women were "post-Pauline interpolations":

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are not a Corinthian slogan, as some have argued…, but a post-Pauline interpolation…. Not only is the appeal to the law (possibly Template:Bibleverse) un-Pauline, but the verses contradict Template:Bibleverse. The injunctions reflect the misogyny of Template:Bibleverse and probably stem from the same circle. Some mss. place these verses after 40. [72]

Talmudic scholar Hyam Maccoby contends that the Paul as described in the Book of Acts and the view of Paul gleaned from his own writings are very different people. Some difficulties have been noted in the account of his life. Additionally, the speeches of Paul, as recorded in Acts, have been argued to show a different turn of mind. Paul as described in the Book of Acts is much more interested in factual history, less in theology; ideas such as justification by faith are absent as are references to the Spirit.

On the other hand, according to Maccoby, there are no references to John the Baptist in the Pauline Epistles, but Paul mentions him several times in the Book of Acts. F.C.Baur (1792–1860), professor of theology at Tübingen in Germany and founder of the so-called Tübingen School of theology, argued that Paul, as the apostle to the Gentiles, was in violent opposition to the older disciples. Baur considers the Acts of the Apostles were late and unreliable. This debate has continued ever since, with Adolf Deissmann (1866–1937) and Richard Reitzenstein (1861–1931) emphasising Paul's Greek inheritance and Albert Schweitzer stressing his dependence on Judaism.

Maccoby theorizes that Paul synthesized Judaism, Gnosticism, and mysticism to create Christianity as a cosmic savior religion. According to Maccoby, Paul's Pharisaism was his own invention, though actually he was probably associated with the Sadducees. Maccoby attributes the origins of Christian anti-Semitism to Paul and claims that Paul's view of women, though inconsistent, reflects his Gnosticism in its misogynist aspects.[73]

Professor Robert Eisenman of California State University at Long Beach argues that Paul was a member of the family of Herod the Great.[74] Professor Eisenman makes a connection between Paul and an individual identified by Josephus as "Saulus," a "kinsman of Agrippa."[75] Another oft-cited element of the case for Paul as a member of Herod's family is found in Template:Bibleref2 where Paul writes, "greet Herodion, my kinsman." This is a minority view in the academic community.

Among the critics of Paul the Apostle was Thomas Jefferson who wrote that Paul was the "first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus." [76] Howard Brenton's play Paul also takes a skeptical view of his conversion.

F.F. Powell argues that Paul made use of many of the ideas of the Greek philosopher Plato in his epistles, sometimes even using the same metaphors and language. [77] For example, in Phaedrus Socrates says that the heavenly ideals are perceived as though "through a glass dimly."[78] These words are echoed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Notes

Template:Reflist

References

  1. . Bauer lexicon; Template:Bibleverse, from "The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: According to the Received Greek Text" (University Press, Cambridge 1876)
  2. . Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 411
  3. . Encyclopedia Britannica, Saint Paul the Apostle, 2008, O.Ed.
  4. . Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse
  5. . "The Canon Debate," McDonald & Sanders editors, 2002, chapter 32, page 577, by James D. G. Dunn: "For Peter was probably in fact and effect the bridge-man (pontifex maximus!) who did more than any other to hold together the diversity of first-century Christianity. James the brother of Jesus and Paul, the two other most prominent leading figures in first-century Christianity, were too much identified with their respective "brands" of Christianity, at least in the eyes of Christians at the opposite ends of this particular spectrum. But Peter, as shown particularly by the Antioch episode in Gal 2, had both a care to hold firm to his Jewish heritage, which Paul lacked, and an openness to the demands of developing Christianity, which James lacked. John might have served as such a figure of the center holding together the extremes, but if the writings linked with his name are at all indicative of his own stance he was too much of an individualist to provide such a rallying point. Others could link the developing new religion more firmly to its founding events and to Jesus himself. But none of them, including the rest of the twelve, seem to have played any role of continuing significance for the whole sweep of Christianity—though James the brother of John might have proved an exception had he been spared." [Italics original]
  6. . "Decisive" is per Harris. Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 411
  7. . Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse-nb, Template:Bibleverse-nb
  8. . Template:Bibleverse
  9. . 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 316-320
  10. . Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 316-320. Harris cites Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse
  11. . Joseph Barber Lightfoot in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians writes: "At this point [[[:Template:Bibleverse]]] the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (Template:Bibleverse; Template:Bibleverse) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries… In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his handwriting may reflect the energy and determination of his soul."
  12. . Clement 47:1
  13. . Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church ed. F.L. Lucas (Oxford) entry on St. Paul
  14. . The Jesus Seminar says Peter and Paul authored traditional Christian faith. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "What do we really know about Jesus" p. 527-534.
  15. . Historian Will Durant called Paul the founder of Christian theology. Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1972
  16. . 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 16.20 16.21 16.22 16.23 16.24 16.25 16.26 16.27 16.28 16.29 16.30 16.31 16.32 16.33 16.34 16.35 "Paul, St" Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  17. . Template:Cite book
  18. . Template:Citation
  19. . Template:Cite book
  20. . 20.0 20.1 Template:Bibleverse
  21. . Template:Bibleverse
  22. . Template:Bibleverse
  23. . Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse-nb, Template:Bibleverse-nb
  24. . Template:Bibleverse
  25. . Template:Cite book
  26. . Barnett, Paul The Birth Of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2005) ISBN 0802827810 p. 200
  27. . Ogg, George, Chronology of the New Testament in Peake's Commentary on the Bible (Nelson) 1963)
  28. . Barnett p. 83
  29. . Map of first missionary journey
  30. . 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Template:Cite book
  31. . Raymond E. Brown in Introduction to the New Testament argues that they are the same event but each from a different viewpoint with its own bias.
  32. . Paul: Apostle of the Free Spirit, F. F. Bruce, Paternoster 1980, p.151
  33. . Catholic Encyclopedia: Judaizers see section titled: "The Incident At Antioch"
  34. . (Template:Bibleverse).
  35. . Catholic Encyclopedia: Judaizers: "On their arrival Peter, who up to this had eaten with the Gentiles, "withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision," and by his example drew with him not only the other Jews, but even Barnabas, Paul's fellow-labourer."
  36. . Template:Cite book
  37. . "Paul, St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  38. . White, From Jesus to Christianity
  39. . Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 316-320. Harris cites Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse, Template:Bibleverse
  40. . Joseph Barber Lightfoot in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians writes: "At this point [[[:Template:Bibleverse]]] the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (Template:Bibleverse; Template:Bibleverse) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries… In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his handwriting may reflect the energy and determination of his soul."
  41. . Clement 47:1
  42. . Brown, R.E., The Churches the Apostles left behind p.48.
  43. . Barrett, C.K. the Pastoral Epistles p.4ff.
  44. . Template:Bibleverse
  45. . Oxford Dictionary of the Christian church (Oxford 1958) article on Justification
  46. . Hanson A.T., Studies in Paul's Technique and Theology (SPCK 1974) p. 64
  47. . Gathercole Simon, "What Did Paul Really Mean?" (Christianity Today, 2007)
  48. . Christus Victor, Gustaf Aulen (SPCK 1931)
  49. . Rashdall, Hastings, The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology (1919).
  50. . Markham I.S., in Theological Liberalism: Creative and Critical ed. J'annine Jobling & Ian Markham
  51. . Cur Deus Homo'; Dillistone (ibid.) p. 190 ff
  52. . (ibid.) p. 195ff
  53. . (ibid.) p. 102
  54. . (see penal substitution
  55. . (ibid.) p. 214
  56. . Paul and Palestinian Judaism 1977 SCM Press ISBN 0–8006–1899–8
  57. . J.D.G. Dunn's Manson Memorial Lecture (4.11.1982): 'The New Perspective on Paul' BJRL 65(1983), 95–122.
  58. . New Perspectives on Paul
  59. . Rowlands, Christopher Christian Origins (SPCK 1985) p.113
  60. . Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church ed. F.L. Lucas (Oxford) entry on St. Paul
  61. . The Jesus Seminar says Peter and Paul authored traditional Christian faith. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "What do we really know about Jesus" p. 527-534.
  62. . Historian Will Durant called Paul the founder of Christian theology. Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1972
  63. . Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 331
  64. . Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. p. 139-140.
  65. . Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. p. 139-140.
  66. . The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 5:5–6, translated by J.B. Lightfoot in Template:Cite book
  67. . Template:Cite book
  68. . Lactanius, John Chrysostom, Sulpicius Severus all agree with Eusebius' claim that Peter and Paul died under Nero. Lactantius, Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died II; John Chrysostom, Concerning Lowliness of Mind 4; Sulpicius Severus, Chronica II.28–29
  69. . The apocryphal Acts of Paul, the apocryphal Acts of Peter, the Muratorian Fragment and First Epistle of Clement 5:6 all say Paul survived Rome and traveled west
  70. . Pagels, Elaine. The Gnostic Gospels. Vintage Publishers, 1989, p.62
  71. . Cramer, Robert N. "Women's roles in early church—real history, revisionism, and making things right." Online: http://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa078.htm#1 Accessed October 5, 2007
  72. . New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J, and Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990, pages 811-812)
  73. . Maccoby, Hyam. The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity. HarperCollins, 1987. Ch. 1
  74. . See Paul as Herodian, JHC 3/1 (Spring, 1996), 110-122. http://depts.drew.edu/jhc/eisenman.html
  75. . Antiquities, Book XX, Chapter 9:4. http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-20.htm
  76. . The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Being his Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, and Other Writings, Official and Private. Published by the Order of the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library, from the Original Manuscripts, Deposited in the Department of State, With Explanatory Nites, Tables of Contents, and a Copious Index to Each Volume, as well as a General Index to the Whole, by the Editor H. A. Washington. Vol. VII. Published by Taylor Maury, Washington, D.C., 1854.
  77. . Powell, F. F.Saint Paul's Homage to Plato, worldandi.com retrieved on Nov. 16, 2008.
  78. . Plato Phaedrus translated by Benjamin Jowett

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