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Overview of Christian Scriptures: The Beginnings of the Jesus Movement

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Major points:

  1. Diversity in Mediterranean religious marketplace: Paganism, Synagogues
  2. Diversity in early Jesus movement, many explanations of the crucifixion and it’s meaning, “variegated” practices.
  3. Roman mobility provides for religious innovation, cross-pollination: Gentiles enter the Synagogue.
  4. Paul’s innovation: bring Gentiles into equal status within Judaism.
  5. Paul looses power struggle with Peter and James. Paul turns toward urban centers around the Aegean sea.
  6. 10 year Aegean ministry of Paul: urban, mix of social classes and gender, theological arguments
  7. Apocalyptic expectations in Judea; Execution of Paul, Peter and James
  8. Revolt, writing by Josephus

Learning objectives covered:

Describe the essential elements of the Apostle Paul’s theology. The discussion of Paul in Antioch begins at 19:00. From there we learn about Paul's teaching as a practical matter. But more information about his letters and teachings really begins at 37:45 and continues to 40:25.

Major concepts:

Religious innovation. The part of religious disruption that makes it possible to provide religious benefits to those who were previously unserved (primarily because of time, money or education). In this case it resolved the problem of dietary law and circumcision for incorporating Gentiles into Judaism. It also provided opportunity for women to participate in ecclesiastic affairs.

Religious commitment. The degree to which people will follow a proscribed spiritual practice to gain the support of God. The revolt as a means of forcing God to act. Absolutism.