Answer Paul in particular was quite instrumental in shaping western churches and Christianity, especially during and after the Reformation. Initially, of course, he was the apostle appointed to take the gospel to the Gentile world Rom.
For more than a century some scholars have claimed that Paul should be understood as the "second founder of Christianity. It is also the religion that preaches about Jesus. And more than any other person, it was the apostle Paul who shifted the focus of the religion from the proclamation of Jesus to the proclamation about Jesus.
One could in fact make a case that without Paul, Christianity as we know it today would never have been possible, and that the Western world--which continues to be, nominally, at least, Christian--would never have adopted this faith, and would have remained firmly committed to the various polytheistic religions of the Roman empire.
Paul's importance to Christianity, and hence, to world history, can be seen in three areas. First, with respect to the book that stands at the foundation of the Christian religion, the New Testament.
Without Paul, the New Testament would be radically different, if it had come into existence at all. The New Testament contains a total of 27 books written by early Christian leaders for other Christian communities and individuals.
Of these 27 books, 13 claim to be written by the apostle Paul although scholars think that some of these 13 are pseudonymous, written by followers of Paul in his name. One other book--the epistle to the Hebrews--was accepted as part of Scripture because early church fathers thought it was written by Paul.
One other book--the Acts of the Apostles--was largely written about Paul. That means that 15 of the 27 books, in one way or another, are directly tied to Paul.
And that's not counting the books, such as the epistle of James, that appear to be reacting to Paul's teachings, or others such as 1 Peter or the Gospel of Mark, which appear to be influenced by his ideas.
All told, it is safe to say that without Paul, there would be nothing like the New Testament as we know it today. Second, with respect to the development of Christian beliefs and theology: According to our most reliable ancient records, Jesus preached about the coming of God's kingdom, when God would overthrow the forces of evil and establish a utopian kingdom here on earth, to be ruled by his special representative, the messiah.
Paul, however, transformed this proclamation of Jesus to the proclamation about Jesus, teaching that what really mattered for a human's relationship with God was not repentance from sin Jesus' own emphasisbut the death and resurrection of Jesus himself.
Anyone who trusted Christ's death and accepted the fact of his resurrection would be right with God, and so would enter into God's kingdom when it arrived. And most important, this was true of all people, whether Jew or Gentile. For Paul--and this was a radical teaching at the time, even if it seems commonplace today--a person did not have to become a Jew in order to be a Christian.
For in Christ, God's promises are fulfilled to all people, both Jew and Gentile, on equal terms; it is through his death that people are reconciled with God.
Third, with respect to the spread of Christianity: As one of the earliest, the best known, and arguably the most effective of early Christian missionaries, Paul established churches in key urban areas of the northern Mediterranean, especially in Asia Minor modern TurkeyMacedonia, and Achaia modern Greece.
These churches then grew and spread, leading to the Christianization of many of the provinces of the Roman Empire. It took several centuries, but eventually this new religion became the official religion of the Empire itself. What is particularly important is that for Paul, this Christian mission was to go not simply to Jews scattered throughout the world, but to both Jews and Gentiles.
And in fact, in Paul's churches, most of the converts were Gentile--former pagans one-time adherents of the various polytheistic religions of the Roman world. Within a generation or so of Paul's death, the vast majority of all converts were from the ranks of paganism.
Had this shift from Jew to Gentile never happened, arguably the conversion of the Roman empire would never have taken place, since Christianity would have remained a form of Judaism, not a religion open to all peoples. What would have happened had the empire never converted? The vast majority of people living in it would have remained polytheists; and Christianity would have remained a sect within Judaism--a group of Jews who believed that the Jewish messiah had come for the Jewish people.People today often think of Paul as the second-founder of Christianity, after Jesus.
Or even as the founder of Christianity. In my view that is assigning way too much importance to Paul. The second important founder of Christianity is Paul of Tarsus (originally Saul of Tarsus, ~ AD)who, even though he was a young contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, never even met lausannecongress2018.com fact, he spent part of his early career rooting out Jewish Christian communities and prosecuting them.
Christianity developed in Judea in the mid-first century CE, based first on the teachings of Jesus and later on the writings and missionary work of Paul of Tarsus.
Originally, Christianity was a small, unorganized sect that promised personal salvation after death. Paul's Influence. Question. his impact on the entire church was dramatic. Insofar as the western church and western Christianity developed in the wake of Paul's Gentile mission work, Paul's impact was tremendous.
Reformers of "over-Paulinization," suggesting that Reformed theology emphasizes Paul's teaching to the detriment of the. - "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important" (C.S.
Lewis). Christianity is a religion based on the life and teaching, in the New Testament, of Jesus. Paul's importance to Christianity, and hence, to world history, can be seen in three areas.
First, with respect to the book that stands at the foundation of the Christian religion, the New Testament.