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Founders Midterm Review 2.pdf

Course Code
HUMA 2830
Philip Harland
Study Guide

of 11
AP/HUMA 2830 Founders of Christianity Midterm #1 Review 11/29/2013
essay info: paul
1. Apocalyptic worldview of Paul:
Paul believed that Jesus was coming for his followers to save them from God’s
wrath (Ehrman, 330)
passed this strong apocalyptic message onto the Thessalonian converts
“This world was soon to end, when the God who created it returned to judge it;
those who sided with this God would be delivered, and those who did not would
experience his wrath” (Ehrman, 330)
Paul preached that the way to side with this God was to believe in his son, Jesus,
who died for us and who would later return for us (330)
Paul seems to have embraced this idea of the world coming to an end even before
his conversion, when he was still a Jewish apocalypticist
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul is very descriptive about the end of world
and had to convince the converts of the basic notions of such an apocalypse: said
that the end would come suddenly, like labor pains for a woman, like a thief in the
because a lot of what Paul described and preached about the end was rooted in a
Jewish apocalyptic outlook, the best way to describe his conversion of the
Thessalonians is that he transformed them into Jewish apocalypticists, “who
believed that Jesus was the key to the end of the world” (Ehrman, 330)
2. How Does This Worldview Relate To Paul’s Judaenness:
relates to his Judaeness because he would have held the belief that the end was
near prior to his conversion, when he was still a Jewish apocalypticist
3. Ideas found in the Rule of the Community and Paul’s Letter:
both documents urge the followers of God to stay away from evil, to avoid those
things that they may lust or sin after, and to live their life according to what is good
tells people not to worship false idols; to stay true to their belief in God and not
follow a path of idol worship in their hearts
both believe that it is the God of Israel who will set them free; the same god who
gave commandments to Moses
share the belief that God will come one day at the end and will take those who
worship him to heaven, whereas the others will go to hell
both documents urge people to be eager for the day of judgement, when God and
Jesus would come again to judge the living (and the dead)
Ehrman, Chapter 21: At A Glance:
1. Thessalonians is the earliest of Paul’s epistles and thus the earliest book of the New
Testament and the earliest surviving Christian writing of any kind
2. It can be used to provide clues concerning how Paul went about his missionary
a. He evidently did not preach on the street corner or stage evangelistic rallies, and he
did not (contrary to the book of Acts) begin by preaching in a local synagogue
b. He instead started up a business in town and talked to his customers, convincing
them about the Christian message
c. Virtually all of his converts were pagan; he needed to convince these people that the
Jewish God was the only true god, that Jesus was his son who had died for their sins,
and that God had raised him from the dead and was sending him back, soon, in
3. This kind of preaching activity made Paul appear like philosophers in the Greco-
Roman world
4. His converts formed closely knit communities that gathered together periodically for
worship, and saw themselves as a group that stood over against outsiders
5. After Paul left the Thessalonian church, problems arose; particularly concerning the
fate of those who had already died prior to Jesus’ return in judgement, which had
been expected to be very soon
6. Paul’s letter addresses this and other problems, assuring the Thessalonians that they
can retain their hope in the apocalyptic end of the world to be brought by Jesus and
that those who had already died had not missed out on the benefits of the apocalyptic
kingdom soon to arrive
4. Paul and the Galations: Background Info
- have to use paul’s own writings and the Acts of the Apostles in order to discern details
about Paul and his life
- two sources to assess the events and happenings/incidents
- Paul rarely quotes Jesus; but the rare time he does, he doesn’t do what he says (how
teachers are to be supported by their students) (1st corinthians)
Autobiographical info about paul from letter to Galatians:
- sometimes reveals details about himself in his letters
- usually trying to defend himself when he reveals info about himself in letters;
defending accusations, proving himself to be equal to other leaders of the Christian
- Paul says that God wanted him to be the apostle of the Gentiles
- only letter that indicates years of time when he went places, did his preachings
- time significant because he goes away after his revelation; doesn’t talk to anyone
about the revelation prior; long time to go away after going from persecutor to
- the movement that follows Jesus has to have been going into Damascus before Paul
goes there; there also has to have been some time of Paul persecuting the Christians
prior to his conversion (revelation)
- only specific chronological writing of Christianity
- Example:
26CE- assumed time of Jesus’ death
30CE- assumed that it took 3 years for Christianity to spread through to Syria before
Paul would have heard of it and persecuted the followers of Jesus
36CE- 3 years after Paul’s revelation; first time going to Jerusalem; goes to Jerusalem
to meet with Peter (Cephas) and James (meets with them for 15 days)
-so his authority would have been straight from god because he hardly new the other
apostles and only spent a short time with them
47CE or 50CE- Paul goes to Jerusalem again: Acts & Paul’s letter differ in that Paul’s
version has a positive outcome about the apostles telling him to continue doing what
he’s doing; Acts portrays that James responds to the controversy over circumcision;
content of James’ speech and letter, was that Gentiles don’t have to be circumcised to
belong to the Jesus movement, but also that they have to follow the Torah in that they
can’t eat meat/sacrifice it, can’t eat anything that has been chocked; no eating animals
with blood in them, strangulation, fornication, no worship of other gods; so the
outcomes in the Acts narrative is that Gentiles do need to follow food laws, but
not law of circumcision; whereas Paul acclaims that they don’t need to follow the food
Letters to the Galatians:
- characterizes circumcision as a “yolk”
- different gospel; his gospel and the other “perverted” gospels
- defends his authority
- his main argument in his letter is that his authority and knowledge comes directly from
God; what he preaches is directly from God (he got his message straight from God)
- he had a “calling”
- same incidents in the letter vs Acts: the topic of the meeting in Jerusalem is the same,
but the occasion for it differs; Acts portrays that the assembly (church) of Antioch of
jesus’ followers appointed Paul & Barnabas to go to Jerusalem; whereas Paul says it
is another revelation
- nature of the meeting during Paul’s second trip to Jerusalem: it is private, only
between Paul and the other Apostles; wanted some conformation that what he is doing
is the right thing (despite his revelations from God); wants to play down the authority
of the other Apostles but also needs their guidance with his purpose
- outcome of the meeting: Paul was right with his purpose all along
5. Dead Sea Scroll & The Community Rule
Dead Sea Scroll:
whole set of scrolls dating from approx. 200 BCE to the 1st century CE
all discovered in a cave on the edge of the Dead Sea
this discovery gave us a whole view of Judaean culture that we didnt have before,
gave us insight as to their culture and examples of a Judaean apocalyptic group
1945 year of discovery