Was Paul the founder of christianity - Essay Example

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Originally known as Saul of Tarsus, Saul famously converted to Christianity on his way to Damascus and later changed his name to Paul. Although the debate as to…
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Was Paul the Founder of Christianity? Insert (s) Was Paul the Founder of Christianity? Apostle Paul is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most important figures in the history of Christianity. Originally known as Saul of Tarsus, Saul famously converted to Christianity on his way to Damascus and later changed his name to Paul. Although the debate as to whether Paul or Jesus was the true founder of the religion of Christianity has remained contentious to date, experts concur that Paul’s contributions were significant in the early growth and spread of Christianity from a little known sect of Judaism to a worldwide religion that is open to all. Paul is not only known as a prominent Apostle to the Gentiles and interpreter of Jesus’ mission, but also as the author of a considerably good part of the New Testament (Wright, 1997, p.34).
One of the major reasons why Paul was is so important and is often given the title of being the founder of Christianity is his role in interpreting and transforming the teaching of Jesus Christ into a system or movement which Jesus actually never founded himself. For example, Paul was the first known missionary who successfully preached the gospel and doctrines of Christianity to the non-Jewish people (Gentiles), thereby transforming Christianity into a timeless global religion. This is an illustration of a servant providing a platform for the Gentiles to build a spiritual life that is filled with God’s glorification. Moreover, this move helps in reinforcing messages that were once communicated by ancient servants like John the Baptist’s warning to the Pharisees that God could turn stones to worship him if they continued with their hypocrisy.

Another important contribution of Paul to Christianity is that he authored a good part of the New Testament including the 13 epistles that he presents. Interestingly, many of the epistles reinforce the lessons that Jesus had taught earlier. Paul, through his epistles, offers a lot of insight into what a Christian life should be like following a person’s decision to get baptized or live a converted life. His insight offers a ground for redefinition of the faith that a true Christian ought to believe in and live by. Particular examples of the teachings include: how a person should live after giving his life to Jesus; the things we should do and the things we should never do if our Christian journey is love-guided; an elaborated explanation of the resurrection process following the second advent of Jesus Christ; importance of doing joint fellowship; meaning of humility in service; how the law can help us recognize sin along with a detailed explanation of life after death along with a list of evidences that can help Christians establish whether their daily lives yield to the desires of the flesh or the holy spirit.
In conclusion, Paul is so often called the founder of Christianity not only because of his significant contributions to the spread of Christianity to various parts of the world, but also for being the first Christian missionary who authored a good part of the New Testament including the 13 epistles and successfully interpreted Jesus’ mission to the Gentiles.
Wright, N. T. 1997. What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? New York: W.B. Eerdmans Publishers. Read More
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