Essay Paul of Tarsus

1167 WordsFeb 24, 20115 Pages
By: Stephanie Cairns - SOR The Second Most Important Man Towards Christianity Question: Analyse the contribution that Paul of Tarsus had on the development and expression of Christianity. Paul of Tarsus or Saint Paul is considered by many Christians today to be the most important disciple of Jesus, and beside this the second important found in the development of Christianity. Saint Paul had a major impact on the spread of Christianity, contributing to the underlying unity of the religious tradition by helping expand Jesus’ original teachings into a developed integrated belief system. The reason why Paul of Tarsus was one of the most significant persons in Christianity is because of his contributions of the development of…show more content…
He became an advocate for the inclusion of the Gentiles among the true followers of Christianity. Until Paul’s challenge, Jewish Christians believed that non-Jews had to convert to Judaism and follow the law, which included restrictions and circumcision. Gentiles who worship in the synagogue but did not become proselytes were called god-fearers and were only second-class citizens in the synagogue. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision_controversy_in_early_Christianity) As the Gentiles did not follow kashruth, many Christian Jews refused to eat with Christian Gentiles, believing them to be unclean and not acceptable. This had implications for church fellowship and for the ritual celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Paul challenged this belief, (Galatians 2: 11-14) most strongly at the Council of Jerusalem in 50 CE. This lead to the decision by the early Christian leaders to enable Gentiles as well as Jews to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth and to call themselves Christians. Permitting freedom from the laws of kashruth and circumcision allowed Christianity to spread more freely amongst the Gentiles and is why Paul is so significant today. (Christianity vs. Judaism worksheet). Paul’s writings on social issues were just as influential on the life and beliefs of the Christian culture, and are still considered part and parcel of the broader Christian doctrine by the more conservative Christians. Paul condemned sexual immorality; homosexuality in
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