It is possible to distinguish several people who significantly contributed to the early spread of Christianity. Among them, one can distinguish such followers as Paul, Peter, and Mary Magdalene. Their activities continue to attract attention of theologians and historians. On the whole, it is possible to say that Paul played a key role in promoting the teaching of Jesus Christ.
There are several important issues that should be discussed. First of all, Paul popularized Christianity among Gentiles who did not have a monotheistic religion at that time (Ehrman 137). This is one of his major achievements. It should be mentioned that Paul did not emphasize the glory or happiness of believing in Jesus. More likely, he argued that Christians had to face hardships and struggle with injustice.
To some degree, the early followers of Jesus had to imitate his fate (Ehrman 137). This was the major distinctions of Paul’s rhetoric. This preaching attracted attention to Christianity because it differed from other religious cults that focused mostly on wellbeing of a person. Moreover, while preaching, Paul did not attach importance to the miracles that he performed.
Instead, he focused on his limitations or suffering that he had undergone in the past (Ehrman 137). Again, this rhetoric strategy helped him gain the trust of many people, especially Gentiles. This is one of the main aspects that can be identified. One can also say that Paul’s missionary activities transformed Christianity sectarian Jewish movement into a religion that transcended the borders of different states (Ehrman 122).
He did perceive Christianity as a movement that could be accessed only by the practitioners of Judaism (Ehrman 122). Such a view of Christianity was not acceptable to him. In other words, he emphasized the idea that the teaching of Jesus Christ was an including, rather that excluding religion (Ehrman 122). So, he made Christianity more appealing to others.
This is why his contributions cannot be overlooked by people who study the history of this religion. His missionary activities were vital for promoting the spread of the early Christianity in the ancient world. This is why his achievements are important for understanding the growth of this religious movement at its early stages.
Certainly, one should not overlook the role played by other followers. For example, it is possible to speak about Peter who also stressed the need to evangelize the Gentiles (Ehrman 122), However, it was Paul who managed to win the loyalty of these people. Additionally, historians should not forget about the activities of many disciples have not been examined sufficiently.
For instance, one can mention Mary Magdalene’s role which continues to be disputed by historians and theologians who try to understand the role that was played by different apostles. This is one of the main arguments that can be put forward.
It is also vital to speak about the story of Mary Magdalene because it suggests that the early Christianity could empower women. More importantly, this narrative suggests that the followers of Jesus could enter into conflict with one another. This is why her narrative should be taken into consideration. In particular, the resurrected Jesus first appeared to Mary, rather than other disciples.
This detail is confirmed in various Gospels. To a great extent, this example indicates that Jesus singled her out among other followers. This is one of the reasons why her story is important for contemporary historians. Moreover, one should take into account that other disciples were surprised or even angered by the fact that Jesus chose to speak with Mary in private (Ehrman 245).
Moreover, the apostles even asked Jesus whether they should obey Mary (Ehrman 245). On the whole, Mary’s story is significant because it indicates that historians do not know much about the role that this woman could have played. Moreover, she is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. This is one of the reasons the story of Mary Magdalene is significant.
This case indicates that the narratives presented in the New Testament include a great number of issues that have not been fully understood by historians. On the whole, this discussion suggests that various people could have contributed to the early spread of Christianity. The role that was played by some of them has not been fully examined by modern theologians and historians.
This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about Mary Magdalene. It is possible to argue that Paul facilitated the growth of Christianity. He made the teaching of Jesus Christ popular among other those people who did not practice a monotheistic tradition. Moreover, his rhetoric attracted the attention of many Gentiles. This is why his importance should not be disregarded.
He was one of those people who transformed Christianity into a global religion. Certainly, in the ancient world, Christianity was not one of the most influential religious movements in the world. Nevertheless, Paul laid the foundations of the missionary movement. This is the main point that can be made.
Ehrman, Bart. Peter, Paul & Mary Magdalene: The Followers Of Jesus In History And Legend, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.