The Apostle Paul
Paul saw himself as straddling the past and the future, the Jews
and the Gentiles, the old covenant and the new. How did Paul,
a Pharisaic Jew, become the champion of Christianity?
Pauls Understanding of Jesus
Paul believed that
in Jesus, Gods future for Israel had arrived. In Jesus,
the God of Israel was personally present. In Jesus, God had come
to defeat the powers of the world. How did Paul, a monotheistic
Jew, come to believe that Jesus was divine?
Gods New Creation
Paul believed that in Jesus, God had brought the future redemption
into the present. In Jesus, the new Exodus from slavery to freedom
had arrived. What did Paul mean by this?
Pauls View of Resurrection
were to be, in the midst of the Roman Empire, a colony for Gods
kingdom on earth. At the end of the age, all they would be changed.
But changed into what?
Gods New People
Paul tells his readers in Galatia and in Rome that God had declared
those in Christ to be justified and declared righteous.
How were Gods redeemed to live and act? What
instructions does Paul give to his churches and followers?
Paul For Today
According to Paul, in
the person of Jesus, the new eschatological age had arrived.
Then why is Gods creation still groaning and suffering?
What is Pauls word for today?
The Four Gospels
to the gospels--authorship, when and where written, and sources
- and why they were written and the stories they tell.
Matthew: The Scriptures are Fulfilled!
Matthew tells his
readers that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament messianic prophecies--and
also fulfilled Israels story. Matthews
Jesus is Emmanuel -- God-with-us.
Mark: Read this Quickly!
is a revolutionary tract written for Christians hiding in the
catacombs in Rome and on the run. Marks Jesus is the Son
of God for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Luke: The Kingdom of God is the True
Luke writes as
an historian and connects Jesus story with events in history
and in the world. Rome ruled the world, but now a new king has
come: Jesus of Nazareth.
John: On a Clear Day You Can See
is very different from the other three in terms of content, style
and christology. Johns Jesus is very clear about who he
is and about his mission.
Many Gospels, One Jesus.
The gospels explain
the meaning of Jesus crucifixion and death. They all say,
in different ways, that in Jesus the living God of the universe
was present on earth as a human being, and that in his death
and resurrection he dealt with the plight of Israel, the plight
of the world and the plight of every individual.
The Historical Jesus
Jesus? What was his message? Why was he put to death? What are
scholars today saying about Jesus?
Jesus: The Resurrected Messiah
movements ended with the death of their founder. Why did the
Jesus movement survive not only survive, but flourish?
What did Jesus followers mean when they said that Jesus
was raised from the dead?
The Jewish Understanding of Resurrection
What did first-century
Jews believe about resurrection? What caused Jesus (Jewish)
followers to come to a different understanding of resurrection?
Pauls Understanding of Jesus
For Paul, Jesus
resurrection was the first fruits of the new creation
and all who are in Christ will be raised like him,
though their resurrection bodies will be different than their
earthly bodies. What does Paul say about our tobe
The Gospel Writers Understanding
of Jesus Resurrection
Are the Gospels
witness to Jesus resurrection credible? Are they in conflict
with each other?
Jesus Resurrection Today
It is hard to account
for the rise in Christianity if Jesus was not raised from the
dead. What about today? How are we to understand Jesus
Pauls Letter to the Romans
Pauls letter to the Romans stands like Shakespeares
Hamlet or Beethovens Fifth Symphony: the master-work of
a master craftsmen. In this letter, Paul creates a tradition
of Christian thought where none had existed before.
Romans 1-4: Gods Justice Revealed
Paul believed that Gods
purpose is to bring order and celebration to all of creation,
which has been distorted because humankind, like Adam and Eve,
worships the creature rather than the creator.
Romans 5-8: Gods New Exodus
Gods action in Christ is the new exodus. Through Adams
disobedience, sin came into the world; through Christs
obedient faithfulness to Gods saving plan, the effect of
Adams disobedience has been reversed.
Romans 9-11: Gods Faithfulness
to Abraham have been fulfilled in Christ--not for ethnic Israel,
but for all people--which is being accomplished through the ongoing
work of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12-16: Gods People in
Paul tells his readers how to live as Christians in pagan Rome:
by presenting themselves as visible, living witnesses to God.
He ends the letter with greetings to his many friends in Rome.
Romans Then and Now
The main theme
of Romans is Gods plan to redeem the world, which was accomplished
in and through Jesus death and resurrection. The gospel--the
good news--has the power to bring people to faith, and so to
justification, and to challenge the principalities and powers
of the world.