Some many publications and theories try to explain who Jesus really was and his mission on the Earth. The historical Jesus is presented differently from the contemporary person of Jesus portrayed in the New Testament. The person of Jesus represented in the New Testament represents mostly his message and his teachings as brought out by His disciples (Thomas, 114). This is contrary to what or who Jesus is portrayed as the historical Jesus.
We will write a custom Essay on Historical Jesus and Paul in Early Christianity specifically for you
301 certified writers online
In understanding who the historical Jesus was, we deviate from his mission and teachings that largely covered three years. Portraying Jesus, in this sense, requires that we go back in time studying ancient evidence regarding his early life. The historical Jesus refers in an actual sense as the person Jesus was during his lifetime and not the Jesus of Christian doctrines (Donald, 223). It is the historical figure of Jesus before the onset of Christianity. The historical figure of Jesus and the theological figure of Jesus differ in their representation.
A short preview of the historical Jesus would be, born in the final years of king Herold’s reign at around 3 or 4 BCE, in a small village in Nazareth, Jesus was from a Jewish background. This was around the first century, according to many documents with the history of Jesus.
Jesus was referred to as a teacher in the literal sense of the word. He did not preach as such but presented his teachings in a rather simple and straight forward manner, sometimes using parables. His was a simple message according to the Christian doctrines, the message of salvation and everlasting life to all humankind (Donald, 225). This, he said, could be achieved by human beings riding themselves off any evil in their hearts and living a just and holy life. His was a message of hope and redemption to a greater life and not the political redemption that many Jews expected.
Among the earliest proponents of Christianity included John and Peter, both of who were disciples of Jesus. The early Christians, who were all Jews, regarded the Torah or the Old Testament as the Holy Scripture before the New Testament was introduced. This is where Paul’s significance comes into perspective for the early Christians. Paul, formally known as Saul, was considered a gentile and persecuted the Christian Jews of that time.
Paul got converted on his way to Damascus in his mission to persecute the Christian Jews of that time. After his conversion, he became one of the most aggressive emissaries of Christianity, traveling widely around the world in his mission. He wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament and had a significant conviction to the gentiles and the Jews alike since he had a strong and unmovable confession towards a faith he was initially not part of.
Donald S, G. Classic of Western Thought Series. California: Wadsworth publishers, 1988: 201-406.
Thomas, H, G. A Brief History of the Western World. California: Wadsworth Publishers, 2004. 140-407.