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History of Christian Thought: The Rise of Christianity - The First 600 Years Dissertation - Research Paper Example

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History of Christian Thought: The Rise of Christianity - The First 600 Years Dissertation

It’s important to remember that Jesus was not teaching from these New Testament books as they did not exist during his earthly lifetime. Jesus was Jewish and the laws and teachings he spread were straight from the Hebrew canon. He refers to Moses’ laws, the messianic prophecies of Isaiah and some Psalms (Cohen 1998). He oftentimes used parables as well, which may or may not have been thinly veiled social commentary (Cohen 1998). Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God but many now believe he was teaching about the social injustice of the Roman Empire (Crossan 1998). Soon enough his teachings in the synagogues were not well received by the Pharisees and he began preaching out of doors where anyone could come and listen (Barnett 155).
Jesus most often spoke in parables as a way to reach ordinary people. But these parables are open to interpretation in the absence of context (Crossan 1998). Again these parables are written down with a combination of spoken word beliefs and political implications as Christianity was a persecuted religion. Jesus does not declare himself Christos or ‘the anointed one” in the Greek, but canonical Gospels tend toward that declaration as coming from Peter, as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (“Jesus,” Wikipedia.org). To those who knew him, Jesus was a teacher or rabbi, strictly adhering to the Hebrew scriptures pertaining to God and Heaven but differing from them in ritual fasting, purity and Sabbath (Hall n.d). Jesus, in Matthew 5:17, Jesus purports to say, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill,” (King James). Regardless of the political undertones, Jesus’ primary message was one of love, kindness and forgiveness (“The Teachings of Jesus,” Gospel-Teachings.net). Jesus taught a radical form of Judaism but one that was not separate from Judaism. Like ordinary Jews, he does teach in the synagogues; but he also teaches outdoors. Jesus directs his teachings to everyone and not just to the educated class or to a particular religious group. His message is not secretive or esoteric but is directed towards anybody 'who has ears to hear' (Hall n.d.) Several scholarly resources list Jesus’ ministry as lasting anywhere from one to nine years. Despite the conflicts of dates, the Four Gospels and other resources describe Jesus ministry as beginning in Nazareth, his home-town. After his preaching anger the church elders (Barnett 155), he takes his ministry on the road to Israel (Jordan, Jericho and Samaria), then to Galilee, again to Judea, then Peras, and returning to Jerusalem where he is arrested and executed (Bible 1979). 2. The Work of Paul/Pauline Reaction “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for ye are all one in Jesus Christ” (Boyarin 1, quoting Paul) Saul of Tarsus described himself in the first century A.D. as a Pharisee and a Zeolot, admitting to persecuting the Jewish church violently against the defense of traditional rabbinic law from the new messianic sect (Barnett 223). In his Roman position his responsibilities included arresting Jews for a failure to do homage to the ...Show more

Summary

The Ministry of Jesus
“It's a life that we don't know in detail until his death”. It has been said that history is written by the victorious. Nowhere is this more evident than the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. For hundreds of years after the death of Jesus, common Christians had no written documents to describe Jesus’ ministry…
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History of Christian Thought: The Rise of Christianity - The First 600 Years Dissertation essay example
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