Re-Thinking Paul

Neither Paul nor the apostles had any conception that following Jesus meant that Jews or Gentiles would operate outside of Judaism and Jewish space. That’s a very controversial issue, I know. It was certainly a controversial idea in the Apostolic Era—at least the part about Gentiles coming into Jewish space without having to become Jewish.

Source: Re-Thinking Paul


  1. Thanks David. Of course, it should never have been controversial. The Hebrew prophets spoke very often of Gentile salvation. The bigger question is why the Jewish people in general in the first century, including the apostles, were blind to it. Part of it was due to a strong nationalism that arose as a reaction to Greek influence and rule in the second and third centuries BC, and then toward Roman rule after that. The disintegrating of national Israel, at that time reduced largely to only Judah, or Judea, caused strong movements to reestablish independence to save the state. This manifested itself also in the realm of religion. An exclusivist mindset took hold that did not exist in prior centuries. Gentiles were seen as a threat. The apostles were greatly influenced and affected by it, as all were, and became blind to God’s intention, that had always existed, of bringing salvation “to the ends of the earth.” It took the salvation of Cornelius, and what was essentially an undeniable Gentile Pentecost, for Peter to get it. Paul (Saul) was even more strident in his beliefs and blindness and we know what it took for him to get the big idea. Praise the Lord Jesus for going to the cross and providing the salvation He has made possible for all. Be blessed.

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