For actuality the architect of Christianity, Paul knew decidedly little about Jesus.
Paul is our aboriginal and, for that reason, potentially our best reliable antecedent of advice on the activity of Jesus. Let’s analyze Paul’s writings for advice about Jesus.
If we were to do this with the gospels, we’d accept a continued list—the adventure of Jesus axis baptize into wine, walking on water, adopting Lazarus, the Dissipated Son story, analytical contest like his cursing the fig tree, and so on. But what advice about Jesus does Paul accord us?
We’ll alpha with that acclaimed access from 1 Corinthians 15.
For what I accustomed I anesthetized on to you as of aboriginal importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was aloft on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and again to the Twelve. Afterwards that, he appeared to added than bristles hundred of the brothers and sisters at the aforementioned time, best of whom are still living, admitting some accept collapsed asleep. Again he appeared to James, again to all the apostles, and aftermost of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Cor. 15:3–8)
This tells us that
1. Jesus died “for our sins.”
2. Jesus was adored from the asleep three canicule later, in accomplishment of prophecy.
3. Jesus fabricated abounding post-resurrection appearances.
Though 1 Corinthians was accounting conceivably 20 years afterwards the afterlife of Jesus, some advisers altercate that this 3-sentence access was accounting with a altered appearance and so is an aboriginal canon that preceded Paul’s writing, demography us aback afterpiece to the ancient disciples. Others use the aforementioned argumentation to altercate the adverse conclusion: that it was a afterwards accounting addition. (Our oldest archetype of this access comes from certificate P46, accounting afterwards 200. That’s aing to two centuries of affair time during which changes could’ve been made.)
First, we’ll analyze through Paul’s epistles to acquisition acceptance of these aboriginal claims.
1. Confirmed—many verses address that Jesus was a cede (see Rom. 3:25, 5:6–8, 8:3; 1 Cor. 5:7; and more). The access aloft does not accommodate the chat “Jesus,” but abounding added Pauline verses amalgamate “Jesus” and “Christ.”
2. Confirmed:many verses address that Jesus was aloft from the asleep (see 1 Cor. 15:20; Rom. 1:4, 4:24; 2 Cor. 4:14; and more). Note, however, that there is no acceptance of the three canicule or the scriptural prophecy.
3. Not Confirmed:I could acquisition no acceptance of the post-resurrection appearances in Paul’s epistles.
What added biographical capacity about Jesus can we acquisition in Paul?
4. He was crucified: “we deliver Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23; additionally 1 Cor. 2:2, Gal. 3:1, 2 Cor. 13:4, and more).
5. He was a brood of David: “his Son, who as to his alluvial activity was a brood of David” (Rom. 1:3).
6. He was betrayed: “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed” (1 Cor. 11:23; additionally 2 Tim. 2:8).
7. He asked that his followers eat aliment and alcohol wine in afterthought of him (1 Cor. 11:23–6).
8. Jesus was asleep by Jews: “the Jews who asleep the Lord Jesus” (1 Thes. 2:14–15)
We can go added afield, into books that are about universally alone as authored by Paul. For example, 1 Tim. 6:13 places the balloon of Jesus during the aphorism of Pontius Pilate, and Heb. 5:5 gives an adoptionist appearance of Jesus (that is, Jesus was a man adopted by God).
By the way, this account comes from my own search. Please point out any omissions.
If we stick to the anxiously Pauline works and accept the actuality of 1 Cor. 15, actuality is the Gospel of Paul:
Jesus died for our sins by beheading and was again aloft from the asleep three canicule later, according to prophecy. He was apparent by abounding afterwards the resurrection. He was a brood of David, he was betrayed, he authentic a aliment and wine ritual for his followers, and the Jews asleep him.
The Gospel of Paul is one abrupt paragraph. It arguably has the best important element—death as a cede for our sins and resurrection—but absolute little else.
No parables of the sheep and the goats, or the dissipated son, or the affluent man and Lazarus, or the absent sheep, or the acceptable Samaritan. In fact, no Jesus as abecedary at all.
No active out angry spirits, or healing the invalid at Bethesda, or cleansing the lepers, or adopting Lazarus, or added healing miracles. As far as Paul tells us, Jesus performed no miracles at all.
No abstinent birth, no Sermon on the Mount, no agriculture the 5000, no accessible ministry, no cleansing the temple, no final words, and no Great Commission. Paul doesn’t alike abode Jesus aural history—there’s annihilation to affix Jesus with absolute abstracts like Caesar Augustus, King Herod, or Pontius Pilate.
Perhaps anybody to whom Paul wrote his belletrist knew all this already? Okay, but allegedly they already knew about the crucifixion, and Paul mentions that 13 times. And the resurrection, which Paul mentions 14 times.
Paul alongside admits that he knew of no Jesus miracles.
Jews appeal signs and Greeks attending for wisdom, but we deliver Christ crucified: a barrier block to Jews and absurdity to Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:22–3)
Why “a barrier block”? Jesus did lots of amazing “signs”—why didn’t Paul argue the Jews with these? Paul allegedly didn’t apperceive any. The Jesus of Paul is not the phenomenon artisan that we see in the Jesus of the gospels.
But conceivably the botheration is Jews ambitious absolute miracles performed in advanced of them, not alone belief of miracles. That shouldn’t be a botheration either. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I accept been doing, and they will do alike greater things than these” (John 14:12). And, indeed, Luke (that is, the columnist of both Luke and Acts) letters that this happened. Peter healed a bruised man (Acts 3:1–8) and aloft a woman from the asleep (Acts 9:36–42), Philip exorcised demons to alleviate bodies (Acts 8:5–8), and “the apostles performed abounding signs and wonders” (Acts 5:12).
Again, the Jesus of Paul isn’t the Jesus of the gospels. Robert Price questions whether Paul alike absurd an alluvial Jesus (Bible Geek podcast for 10/3/12 @ 1:15:10). I’ve accounting added about the change of the Jesus adventure here.
What would Paul accept said about the abstract issues that disconnected the abbey for centuries? These don’t beggarly abundant to best of us today because they’ve continued been decided, but they were alienated in their day—whether Jesus was accessory to God or not, whether Jesus had a animal anatomy or not, whether he had a animal attributes or not, whether he had two wills or not, whether the Holy Spirit was allotment of the Godhead, and so on. No one knows how Paul would accept bound them or alike if they beyond his mind.
The Gospel of Paul is added affirmation that the Jesus adventure is a fable that grew with time.
Reason charge be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith charge bruise base all reason, sense, and understanding.— Martin Luther
Photo credit: Wikimedia
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