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Paul the Apostle - Book Report/Review Example

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Paul the Apostle

However, on the road to Damascus, Paul saw a blinding light and fell to the ground. He then heard a voice saying "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me" (Acts 9:4) It was this experience that brought upon the baptism of Paul, and eventually, his preachings in to Gentiles in different synagogues began. These teachings are what made Paul one the most important founders of Christianity and an effective and strong advocate of Christ's teachings.
Paul teachings are rooted in this vision and conversion, which has then resulted to his rethinking of his understanding of Christ and the law (Matera 2006). Paul realized that if the Crucified One has been glorified as God's right hand, then his relationship with God is unparalleled, being that he is the son of God and the appointed Messiah, and as such, he bears the image of God and is the eschatological Adam (Matera 2006).
Moreover, if the crucified one has been ressurected from the dead, then all those dead will be raised, and Christ will come again, and that the crucifixion was not God's punishment for Jesus and his violation of the law, but rather it is part of God's plan of redemption (Matera 2006).
Shires (1966) defined eschatology as "the branch of theology that deals with the last things of heaven and hell, judgement, resurrection, and eternal life." As Paul was greatly influenced by this vision of the resurrected Christ, his writings are very much indebted with eschatological expectation: because Christ was resurrected, He will come again to raise the dead (Matera 2006). In his first epistle to the Corinthians (15:16-17), Paul wrote: "For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in yer sins."
For Paul, the resurrection of Christ was not a single event; it was only the beginning of a series of occurrences that will once again transpire in the parousia or the second coming of Christ when the dead will be raised in eternity (Matera 2006). Again in the same chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians (15:52-53), Paul wrote that "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For the corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." Salvation, as H.M. Hunter has perceived, was the very "nerve" of Christianity (as cited in Shires 1966 p. 54).
In his writings, Paul implies what he has inherited from his Hebrew upbringing: the overlapping of two ages; the present age, and the future age (Harrington 2004). That time when Christ was resurrected, and the time when Christ will come again. It is from these two ages from where Paul derives his eschatological standpoint, yet also obvious in his writings was how he incorporated Jewish eschatology in his eschatological teachings (Shires 1966).
In this text it is evident how Paul was affected by the resurrection of Christ and how through this, he believed that we shall be redeemed again. His teachings were largely concerned with salvation and how people ...Show more

Summary

Born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, Paul was a product of Jewish Diaspora in Asia Minor and was not a native Palestine (Hooker 1996). Because of this diaspora, Paul gained a Roman citizenship (Murphy-O'Connor 1997). There is ambiguity in what is known about Paul, yet from Phillipians 3:5 it is known that Paul belonged to the tribe of Benjamin from where he was circumcised, then given the name Saul (Prat 1911).
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