Paul’s Belief System

This week we do a little more on Paul.

  • Major premise. One of Paul’s beliefs, which was common at the time, was that the end of times was near. This was reinforced by his epiphany that Jesus himself came back from the dead, which Paul thought must be a further sign that the end is near. So when Paul says that Jesus will return soon, he meant it literally.
  • What was Paul’s major theme? Paul focused almost solely on the death and resurrection of Jesus. His theology (written mostly in Romans) was that the Jewish God (similar to the Roman and pagan gods at the time) required some form of sacrifice. Sacrifice was a common theme, even in the Jewish temples. According to Paul, Jesus’ death was also a sacrifice, but on a much larger scale.
  • What did the traditional Jewish leaders think? They were not appreciative. James (Jesus’ brother) and Paul had several go-rounds back in the day. The traditional Jewish leaders, even if they were following Jesus’ teachings, were all about following the Law and doing the ‘right’ thing. What was the ‘right’ thing? Getting circumcised, eating Kosher, and honoring the Sabbath and other Jewish laws. Paul was having none of that. 

Fun Facts:  Paul did not found the largest early Christian church, which was in Rome. This ‘large’ church had about 26 members, six of whom Paul addressed as Jewish.

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