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Biblical Traditions: What evidence do Paul's letters provide for the diversity of early Christianity - Essay Example

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Biblical Traditions: What evidence do Paul's letters provide for the diversity of early Christianity

One way of identifying these diversities within earlier forms of Christianity is through the letters that the disciple Paul wrote to his followers (Class notes). These letters were based on different topics and were not similar to each other as he addressed each congregation in their own way being well aware in the differences of their needs and the topics that may need to be discussed. Through studying the various letters that Paul sent out to the Christians located in different regions, one is able to establish the various diversities that were in existence within early Christianity and determine how large these differences really were (Class notes). It should be noted however, that despite the various diversities that existed, the main teachings such as the forgiveness of others, Christ as the son of God and other main beliefs remained the same throughout the various regions that Christianity was practiced. The first source from Paul’s letters that indicate the diversity in early Christianity can be seen from the simple factor of location (that is, the regions that Paul sent his letters to). As divulged from the various letters that Paul sent to the different congregation of followers, it can be determined that even its early stages, Christianity had already began to spread throughout different parts of the land. The congregations that Paul sent his letters to were not situated in one particular region but were based in different locations such as Rome, Galatia and Corinth (Class notes). There were members found in all these areas, and thus the positioning is one form of diversity that can be derived from early Christianity. There were also different groups present within these regions as well that can be seen through the study of Paul’s letters as well. A good example of this diversity would be the Jewish Christians that were present within Rome indicated by the use of the word “Nevi’im in Tanakh” (Isaiah 52:15) which can be considered to have been used for the purpose of impressing this particular contingent of Christian believers. Paul also began his various letters differently when dealing with the people of various regions. For example, when dealing with the congregation in Galatia he would begin “To the churches of Galatia…” while when writing to his brethren based in Rome, his letters would start with the introduction “To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints…” It should be seen that Paul does not refer to the congregation in Galatia as “in God” while he does not refer to those based in Rome as “a church.” These differences in terms can be said to show that there indeed was the presence of diversity within the realms of early Christianity. Individuals living within Corinth were also referred to as “the church” while those in the Philipi were also referred to as “saints in Christ Jesus”. The form of address depended on the particular region that Paul was addressing and it can be noted that he did not use the term Church when addressing the Romans (Class notes). Another issue that can be said to bring about the diversity that existed in Christianity is the fact that unlike in 1st Corinthians, Paul places a great emphasis on the act of baptism as the initiation ritual whereby one is made “ ...Show more

Summary

Instructor Date Biblical Traditions: Diversity of Early Christianity The introduction of Christian religion to the masses was not done so in an open and carefree manner in the beginning due to the persecution that was faced by the believers of this period in time and thus the teachings and other associations such as practices was often done in secret (Class notes)…
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Biblical Traditions: What evidence do Pauls letters provide for the diversity of early Christianity essay example
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