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Paul's mission and his deeds

2020-08-11 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Report范文


下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 -- Paul's mission and his deeds,文章讲述公元50年见证了耶路撒冷的使徒会议,这对基督徒来说是一个令人难忘的案例,其中的一个争议主要是讨论是否应对信奉基督的非犹太人进行特别的犹太人的礼节,割礼,安息日和安息日。正如《使徒行传》第十五章所记录的那样,犹太人和外邦人对于遵守犹太信徒所遵循的每条规则,法规,制度和习俗的不同意见引起了冲突。


Paul's mission and his deeds

50 AD witnessed the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem, a memorable case for Christians, where a controversy was mainly discusses whether such distinctively Jewish observances as circumcision, food laws and Sabbath should be conducted for non-Jewish people who believed in Christ. As was recorded in the fifteenth chapter in Acts, conflicts were aroused by different opinions by Jewish and gentiles on the obedience of every rules, regulations, institutions and customs which Jewish believers adhered to.


Referring to the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem, Paul, who presided over the council and played a vital role in the ensuing changes of early Christianity could not be avoided or neglected. Paul himself has a very intriguing and winding life experience. Born and brought up in Greek cultural environment, Paul is actually a Jewish with Roman citizen identity. He is able to write in Greek fluently, which has been proven by his employment of the language of κοινωνία in the description of Jerusalem collection. The diversity in his individual identity to a great extent accounts for the complexity and contradiction of his ideas as well as exerts influence on his choices and decisions in his mission. This council stands as a monument for Paul’s efforts to distinguish Christianity from the rabbinic Judaism. However, what is to be emphasized is not the opposite state between early Christianity and Judaism, but the internal development and external extension of Christianity as an emerging and independent religion which, however, cannot be cut off from Judaism. As is universally known, Paul is a Jewish. Contrary to some interpretations, he is far from disdaining or despising this racial attribution. In fact, it seems that he is glad to accept and then underline an accepted perspective of Jewish Christians that “we who are Jews” many times, indicating he maybe appeals to this kind of Jewish sensibilities.


What tells Paul from other apostles may lie in his persistent insist and emphasis on the faith of God. In accordance with many eschatological theories, people will be judged by God through their behaviors and performance to decide the destination after their death. Then, a question occurs that how could one be selected by God. The answer given by Judaism is to demonstrate one’s loyalty to God by strictly observing works of laws as a fulfilment of an eschatological event. Apart from Jews, the Gentiles should even more strictly comply with these laws as an expression of their moral and social obligation towards the Jews. It is this view that Paul objects to. He proposes that the justification by God is carried out by criterion of faith alone. These works of law prescribed and advocate by Jews can never be regarded as a measurement. Thus it is not imperative to impose them on gentiles. At the same time, he denies the peculiarity and superiority of Jews who, being the first and most loyal group of people, observe works of law, ritual and customs consider themselves the initial acceptor of God’s will but turns to an direction that only faith is the standard of God’s justification. In explaining justification by God in faith, he stresses the uniqueness that faith is in sole possession of by enumerating that faith serves as not only the judging method but also the source. To have faith in God can be the primary condition for a qualified believer. This view, with no doubt, elevates the position of faith from an abstract notion or spiritual covenant to something with actual power and mighty. It is probable that this proposal paves way for gentiles’ conversion to Christianity because the rigid and restricted observations will pose no obstacles for them from an objective perspective. As is written in Acts that “For in him we have life and motion and existence; as certain of your verse writers have said, For we are his offspring”, God will never abandon his believers as long as their faith in God always remains from the beginning to the end. In his eyes, these numerous works of law or observances are to some degree a kind of representatives or symbol of a people community so that there is no need to turn them into some universal doctrines to be followed by all.     


Holding this opinion in mind, Paul exceedingly promotes the expansion and spread of Christianity. The Apostolic Council in Jerusalem and a series of activities as whole speed up the separation of early Christianity from Judaism. The newly-established Christian principles such as the abolishment of some observances which originate from Judaism on one hand conduce to forming a relatively fresh image of Christianity and on the other hand encourage more and more gentiles to believe in God and become a Christian. In generally, this council and Paul’s activities contribute a great deal to the independence and further development of early Christianity.


The Corinthian Incident is recorded to take place in Paul’s absence from Corinth when the Christian church is undergoing a chaotic and instable period of time. Intruders mainly the Judaizers who preach the gospel of circumcision storm in Corinthian church and attack people who pose opposition to circumcision. They attacks Paul’s gospel, apostleship and even carries out personal attack, for example, they scold Paul for his lack of oratory skills, individual charms and wisdom. These attacks are gradually escalated and culminated in the Corinthian Incident where Paul’s gospel and apostleship faces a denial from his opponents and he also suffers from ad Hominem. Paul hears about the Corinthian Incident while in Ephesus. Intriguingly, instead of keeping silent, Paul fights back bravely with those insane intruders and criticizes them that they are completely stupid and used by others and they never deserves trust because they acts as representatives of Satan. These could be seen as really severe comment. When the disturbance ends and peach returns, Paul begins to introspect and reflect on the incidents. Still staying in Macedonia, Paul decides to resume the collection for Jerusalem and undertakes to write his letters to Corinth. These letters are exactly two Corinthians.


There are some differences in the emphasis of the Two Corinthians. The former one tells about the challenges and pains the Christian churches are confronted with in a perverting gentile society and straight puts forward the standard of God’s judgment and the authority as well as authenticity of this judgment. His ideas about church conflicts, moral disorder, marriage, sacrifice and worship are revealed. While in the latter one, Paul concentrates more on the relationship between himself and his disciples.


These Corinthians have a deep and long-term impact on Paul’s mission and his theology. Corinthians can be considered a proclamation of his battle with Jews who disagree with his mission, for in Jews’ eyes, he is the traitor of God’s will as well as his Jewish identity with his proposal to abolish some Jewish observances such as circumcision for gentiles. They perceive this behavior as a sinful and unforgivable obstruction of God’s mission. However, Paul’s intention of writing those letters is to illustrate that the whole ambition and church’s business are based on the conviction that the advent of the eschatological kingdom of God has brought about a new socio-economic order. The appropriate towards the changing world is to conform to the new rules where God’s will and preference presents. If old-fashioned habits and customs cannot be abandoned, how could it be guaranteed that people do certain things in accordance with God’s design? One of the most apparent examples is that it is dependent on nothing more than faith itself with the hypothesis that god’s verdict in favor of an individual comes to effect through his faith. He repeats in his letters that a man is not justified by works of law except through faith in Jesus Christ. We are justified not only through faith in Christ but from faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is the only sufficient and necessary response that God looks for in justifying anyone. With the gospel, God does not abandon people to their destined and certain death, which he must conduct in the last judgment, but intervenes creatively in the history. Once old rules are broken or breached, new ones should be founded. This serves as a ground for Paul to point out his novel ideas on economic, moral and ethical aspects in terms of principles of Christian churches and followers.


In contrast with the traditional picture of Paul as a dichotomy supporter who introduces religious innovations to Judaism and leads to early Christianity’s breaking with Judaism, a new perspective can be accepted that Paul is not a Christian critiquing Judaism who seems hold plenty of hostility and dissatisfaction towards Judaism and make it his own responsibility of Christianity’s completely remove from Judaism. Rather, he addresses issues of social, ethnic, and cultural difference and group identity and solidarity from his Jewish perspective. For example, he lays emphasis on the absolute purity and innocence of the morals in Cristian churches. In this frame, Paul’s thinking about faith, the Law, Gentile salvation, and Christology has its home in Jewish thought. The value and innovation in light of ethics and morality as well as the interpersonal communications and social operation to some extent are deliberately ignored or outshined by its religious meaning. With this kind of new and fresh thoughts, Paul speeds up his mission of attracting more and more gentiles to converse to Christianity. His winding and abundant experiences and the inner complicity in his identities which has further shaped his characteristics as well as thinking method enabled him to stand as a leading figure under unstable and disturbing social circumstances to publicize his doctrines and to make Christianity popular and charming. In another word, the heaviness and toughness of Paul’s mission has determined his life fraught of controversies and battles.




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