In Christianity, the Apostolic Age is the period from the death of Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles. It holds special significance in Christian tradition as the age of the direct apostles of Jesus; the earliest followers of Jesus were principally from apocalyptic Jewish sects during the late Second Temple period of the 1st century. They were Jewish Christians, who adhered to the Jewish commands. Jerusalem had an early Christian community, led by James the Just and John. Paul the Apostle, a pious Jew who had persecuted the early Christians, converted c. AD 33–36 and started to proselytize among the gentiles. According to Paul, gentile converts could be allowed exemption from most Jewish commandments, arguing that all are justified by faith in Jesus; this led to a gradual split of early Christianity from Judaism, as Christianity became a predominantly gentile religion. The years following Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles is called the Apostolic Age, after the missionary activities of the apostles.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, the Jerusalem church began at Pentecost with some 120 believers, in an "upper room," believed by some to be the Cenacle, where the apostles received the Holy Spirit and emerged from hiding following the death and resurrection of Jesus to preach and spread his message. Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus is first recorded in Acts 9:13-16. Peter baptized the Roman centurion Cornelius, traditionally considered the first gentile convert to Christianity, in Acts 10. Based on this, the Antioch church was founded. According to Acts, that it was there. After the death of Jesus, "Christianity emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine." The first Christians were all Jews, either by birth or conversion, who constituted a Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology. The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that an early Jewish Christian community centered on Jerusalem and that its leaders included Peter, the "brother of Jesus", John the Apostle.
The Jerusalem Church "held a central place among all the churches,". The relatives of Jesus were accorded a special position within this community, as displayed by the leadership of James the Just in Jerusalem. According to a tradition recorded by Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis, the Jerusalem church fled to Pella at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Revolt. Jewish Christians were faithful religious Jews, only differing in their acceptance of Jesus as the messiah, they believed Yahweh to be the only true God, the god of Israel, considered Jesus to be the messiah, as prophesied in the Jewish scriptures, which they held to be authoritative and sacred. They held faithfully to the Torah, including acceptance of gentile converts based on a version of the Noachide laws, they employed the Septuagint or Targum translations of the Hebrew scriptures. The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.
Liturgical services were based on repeating the actions of Jesus, using the bread and wine, saying his words. The rest of the liturgical ritual is rooted in the Jewish Passover, the Passover Seder, synagogue services, including the singing of hymns and reading from the scriptures. At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus' death, Sunday was being regarded as the primary day of worship; the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Christian missionary activity spread Christianity to cities in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire, throughout the Hellenistic world and beyond the Roman Empire.
Apostles and preachers traveled to Jewish communities around the Mediterranean Sea, attracted Jewish converts. Within 10 years of the death of Jesus, apostles had spread Christianity from Jerusalem to Antioch, Corinth, Cyprus, Crete and Rome. Paul was responsible for bringing Christianity to Ephesus, Corinth and Thessalonica. Over 40 churches were established by 100, most in Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia, some in Greece and Italy. Early Christian beliefs were proclaimed in kerygma [preaching), some of which are preserved in New Testament scripture; the early Gospel message spread orally originally in Aramaic, but immediately in Greek. Christian groups and congregations first organized themselves loosely. In Paul's time there were no delineated functions yet for bishops and deacons; the sources for the beliefs of the early Christians include oral traditions, the Gospels, the New Testament epistles and lost texts such as the Q source and the writings of Papias. The texts contain the earliest Christian creeds expressing belief in the risen Jesus, such as 1 Corinthians 15:3–41: For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ
Role of Christianity in civilization
The role of Christianity in civilization has been intricately intertwined with the history and formation of Western society. Throughout its long history, the Church has been a major source of social services like schooling and medical care. In various ways it has sought to affect Western attitudes to virtue in diverse fields. Festivals like Easter and Christmas are marked as public holidays; the cultural influence of the Church has been vast. Church scholars preserved literacy in Western Europe following the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, the Church rose to replace the Roman Empire as the unifying force in Europe; the cathedrals of that age remain among the most iconic feats of architecture produced by Western civilization. Many of Europe's universities were founded by the church at that time. Many historians state that universities and cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by monasteries; the university is regarded as an institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting, born from Cathedral schools.
The Reformation brought an end to religious unity in the West, but the Renaissance masterpieces produced by Catholic artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael at that time remain among the most celebrated works of art produced. Christian sacred music by composers like Pachelbel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Verdi is among the most admired classical music in the Western canon; the Bible and Christian theology have strongly influenced Western philosophers and political activists. The teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, are among the important sources for modern notions of Human Rights and the welfare measures provided by governments in the West. Long held Christian teachings on sexuality and marriage and family life have been both influential and, in recent times, controversial. Christianity played a role in ending practices such as human sacrifice, slavery and polygamy. Christianity in general affected the status of women by condemning marital infidelity, incest, birth control and abortion.
While official Church teaching considers women and men to be complementary, some modern "advocates of ordination of women and other feminists" argue that teachings attributed to St. Paul and those of the Fathers of the Church and Scholastic theologians advanced the notion of a divinely ordained female inferiority. Women have played prominent roles in Western history through and as part of the church in education and healthcare, but as influential theologians and mystics. Christians have made a myriad contributions to human progress in a broad and diverse range of fields, both and in modern times, including the science and technology, fine arts and architecture, literatures, philanthropy, ethics and business. According to 100 Years of Nobel Prizes a review of Nobel prizes award between 1901 and 2000 reveals that of Nobel Prizes Laureates, have identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference. Eastern Christians have contributed to the Arab Islamic Civilization during the Ummayad and the Abbasid periods by translating works of Greek philosophers to Syriac and afterwards to Arabic.
They excelled in philosophy, science and medicine. Some of the things that Christianity is criticized for include the oppression of women, condemnation of homosexuality and various other cases of violence. Christian ideas have been used both to end slavery as an institution; the criticism of Christianity has come from the various religious and non-religious groups around the world, some of whom were themselves Christians. Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century arising out of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth; the life of Jesus is recounted in the New Testament of the Bible, one of the bedrock texts of Western Civilization and inspiration for countless works of Western art. Jesus' birth is commemorated in the festival of Christmas, his death during the Paschal Triduum, what Christians believe to be his resurrection during Easter. Christmas and Easter remain holidays in many Western nations. Jesus learned the texts of the Hebrew Bible, with its Ten Commandments and became an influential wandering preacher.
He was a persuasive teller of parables and moral philosopher who urged followers to worship God, act without violence or prejudice and care for the sick and poor. These teachings have been influential in Western culture. Jesus criticized the privilege and hypocrisy of the religious establishment which drew the ire of the authorities, who persuaded the Roman Governor of the province of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, to have him executed; the Talmud says Jesus was executed for leading the people into apostacy. In Jerusalem, around 30AD, Jesus was crucified; the early followers of Jesus, including Saints Paul and Peter carried this new theology concerning Jesus throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, sowing the seeds for the development of the Catholic Church, of which Saint Peter is remembered as the first Pope. Catholicism, as we know it, emerged slowly. Christians faced persecution during these early centuries for their r
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers. There is no definitive list; the era of these scholars who set the theological and scholarly foundations of Christianity ended by AD 700. In the past, the Church Fathers were regarded as authoritative and more restrictive definitions were used which sought to limit the list to authors treated as such. However, the definition has widened as scholars of patristics, the study of the Church Fathers, have expanded their scope. In both the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church traditions there are four Fathers who are called the "Great Church Fathers": In the Catholic Church, they are collectively called the "Eight Doctors of the Church", in the Eastern Orthodox Church, three of them are honored as the "Three Holy Hierarchs"; the Apostolic Fathers were Christian theologians who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been influenced by them.
Their writings, though popular in Early Christianity, were not included in the canon of the New Testament once it reached its final form. Many of the writings derive from the same time period and geographical location as other works of early Christian literature that did come to be part of the New Testament, some of the writings found among the Apostolic Fathers' seem to have been just as regarded as some of the writings that became the New Testament, his epistle, 1 Clement, was copied and read in the Early Church. Clement calls on the Christians of Corinth to maintain order, it is the earliest Christian epistle aside from the New Testament. Ignatius of Antioch was a student of the Apostle John. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, the role of bishops, the Incarnation of Christ, he is the second after Clement to mention Paul's epistles. Polycarp of Smyrna was a Christian bishop of Smyrna.
It is recorded that he had been a disciple of "John." The options/possibilities for this John are John, the son of Zebedee, traditionally viewed as the author of the Gospel of John, or John the Presbyter. Traditional advocates follow Eusebius of Caesarea in insisting that the apostolic connection of Polycarp was with John the Evangelist, that he was the author of the Gospel of John, thus the Apostle John. Polycarp tried and failed to persuade Pope Anicetus to have the West celebrate Passover on the 14th of Nisan, as in the Eastern calendar. Around A. D. 155, the Smyrnans of his town demanded Polycarp's execution as a Christian, he died a martyr. The story of his martyrdom describes how the fire built around him would not burn him, that when he was stabbed to death, so much blood issued from his body that it quenched the flames around him. Polycarp is recognized as a saint in both the Roman Eastern Orthodox churches. Little is known of Papias apart from what can be inferred from his own writings.
He is described as "an ancient man, a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp" by Polycarp's disciple Irenaeus. Eusebius adds. In this office Papias was succeeded by Abercius of Hierapolis; the name Papias was common in the region, suggesting that he was a native of the area. The work of Papias is dated by most modern scholars to about A. D. 95–120. Despite indications that the work of Papias was still extant in the Late Middle Ages, the full text is now lost. Extracts, appear in a number of other writings, some of which cite a book number; those who wrote in Greek are called the Greek Fathers. In addition to the Apostolic Fathers, famous Greek Fathers include: Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, the Cappadocian Fathers, Peter of Sebaste, Maximus the Confessor, John of Damascus. Justin Martyr was an early Christian apologist, is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century.
He was martyred, alongside some of his students, is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Irenaeus was bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, now Lyon, France, his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology, he is recognized as a saint by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. He was a notable early Christian apologist, he was a disciple of Polycarp. His best-known book, Against Heresies attacked them. Irenaeus wrote that the only way for Christians to retain unity was to humbly accept one doctrinal authority—episcopal councils. Irenaeus proposed that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John all be accepted as canonical. Clement of Alexandria was the first member of the church of Alexandria to be more than a name, one of its most distinguished teachers, he united Greek philosophical traditions with Christian doctrine and valued gnosis that with communion for all people could be held by common Christians.
He developed a Christian Platonism. Like Origen, he arose from Catechetical School of Alexandria and was well versed in pagan literature. Origen, or Origen Adamantius was a theologian. A
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most between AD 30 and 33. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although there is no consensus among historians on the exact details. According to the canonical gospels, Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink after saying I am thirsty, he was hung between two convicted thieves and, according to the Gospel of Mark, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages, they divided his garments among themselves and cast lots for his seamless robe, according to the Gospel of John.
According to the Gospel of John after Jesus' death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died blood and water gushed from the wound. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement; the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion are considered to be two certain facts about Jesus. James Dunn states that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command universal assent" and "rank so high on the'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus. Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him. John Dominic Crossan states that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.
Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Craig Blomberg states that most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable. Christopher M. Tuckett states that, although the exact reasons for the death of Jesus are hard to determine, one of the indisputable facts about him is that he was crucified. While scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it. For example, both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a "church creation". Geza Vermes views the crucifixion as a historical event but provides his own explanation and background for it. John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that, based on the criterion of embarrassment, Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.
Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation and the criterion of coherence help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event. Although all ancient sources relating to crucifixion are literary, the 1968 archeological discovery just northeast of Jerusalem of the body of a crucified man dated to the 1st century provided good confirmatory evidence that crucifixions occurred during the Roman period according to the manner in which the crucifixion of Jesus is described in the gospels; the crucified man was identified as Yehohanan ben Hagkol and died about 70 AD, around the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome. The analyses at the Hadassah Medical School estimated. Another relevant archaeological find, which dates to the 1st century AD, is an unidentified heel bone with a spike discovered in a Jerusalem gravesite, now held by the Israel Antiquities Authority and displayed in the Israel Museum; the earliest detailed accounts of the death of Jesus are contained in the four canonical gospels.
There are other, more implicit references in the New Testament epistles. In the synoptic gospels, Jesus predicts his death in three separate places. All four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, initial trial at the Sanhedrin and final trial at Pilate's court, where Jesus is flogged, condemned to death, is led to the place of crucifixion carrying his cross before Roman soldiers induce Simon of Cyrene to carry it, Jesus is crucified and resurrected from the dead, his death is described as other books of the New Testament. In each Gospel these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an hour-by-hour account of what is happening. After arriving at Golgotha, Jesus was offered wine mixed with gall to drink. Matthew's and Mark's Gospels record, he was crucified and hung between two convicted thieves. According to some translations of the original Greek, the thieves may have been bandits or Jewish rebels.
According to Mark's Gospel, he endured the torment of crucifixion for some six hours from the third hour, at 9 am, until his death at the ninth hour, corresponding to about 3 pm. The soldiers affixed a sign above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was in three languages, divided his garments and cast l
Historical background of the New Testament
Most scholars who study the historical Jesus and early Christianity believe that the canonical gospels and life of Jesus must be viewed within his historical and cultural context, rather than purely in terms of Christian orthodoxy. They look at Second Temple Judaism, the tensions and changes in the region under the influence of Hellenism and the Roman occupation, the Jewish factions of the time, seeing Jesus as a Jew in this environment. In 64 BCE, the partially Hellenized Judea was incorporated into the Roman Republic as a client kingdom when Pompey the Great conquered Jerusalem; the Romans treated Judea as a valued crossroads to trading territories, buffer state against the Parthian Empire. Direct rule was imposed in 6 CE, Roman prefects were appointed to maintain order through a political appointee, the High Priest. After the uprising by Judas the Galilean and before Pilate, in general, Roman Judea was troubled but self-managed, occasional riots, sporadic rebellions, violent resistance were an ongoing risk.
Throughout the third quarter of the first century, the conflict between the Jews and the Romans gave rise to increasing tensions. Before the end of the third quarter of the first century, these tensions culminated with the first Jewish-Roman War and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem; this war flattened Jerusalem, the city was rebuilt as the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina, in which Jews were forbidden to live. Historians seek to understand where Jesus and his followers fit among other Jewish factions at the time. According to the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, the three parties in contemporary Judaism were the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes, the last of these three being marginalized and in some cases retired to quasi-monastic communities. Josephus speaks of a "Fourth Movement", Lestai or Sicarii; the Pharisees were a powerful force in 1st-century Judea. Early Christians shared several beliefs of the Pharisees, such as resurrection, retribution in the next world, human freedom, Divine Providence.
After the fall of the Temple, the Pharisaic outlook was established in Rabbinic Judaism. Some scholars speculate. In Jesus' day, the two main schools of thought among the Pharisees were the House of Hillel, founded by the eminent Tanna, Hillel the Elder, the House of Shammai. Jesus' assertion of hypocrisy may have been directed against the stricter members of the House of Shammai, although he agreed with their teachings on divorce. Jesus commented on the House of Hillel's teachings concerning the greatest commandment and the Golden Rule. Historians do not know whether there were Pharisees in Galilee during Jesus' life, or what they would have been like; the Sadducees were powerful in Jerusalem. They accepted the written Law only, rejecting the traditional interpretations accepted by the Pharisees, such as belief in retribution in an afterlife, resurrection of the body and spirits. After the fall of Jerusalem, they disappeared from history; the Essenes were apocalyptic ascetics, one of the three major Jewish schools of the time, although they were not mentioned in the New Testament.
Some scholars theorize. Among these scholars is Pope Benedict XVI, who supposes in his book on Jesus that "it appears that not only John the Baptist, but Jesus and his family as well, were close to the Qumran community."The Zealots were a revolutionary party opposed to Roman rule, one of those parties that, according to Josephus inspired the fanatical stand in Jerusalem that led to its destruction in the year 70 CE. Luke identifies Simon, a disciple, as a "zealot", which might mean a member of the Zealot party or a zealous person; the notion that Jesus himself was a Zealot does not do justice to the earliest Synoptic material describing him. Alternatively, according to Dale Martin of Yale and supported by Bart Ehrman, as well as an essay by James Still, Jesus has been cast in a Zealot/violent apocalyptic light. During this period serious theological differences emerged between the Pharisees. Whereas Sadducees favored a limited interpretation of the Torah, Pharisees debated new applications of the law and devised ways for all Jews to incorporate purity practices in their everyday lives.
Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees believed in the concept of the Resurrection of the Dead in a future, Messianic Age or World to Come. These beliefs seem to have influenced Christians' belief in a resurrected Jesus. During this time a number of individuals claimed to be prophets, in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha; the Talmud provides two examples of such Jewish miracle workers around the time of Jesus. Mishnah Ta'anit 3:8 tells of "Honi the Circledrawer" who, in the middle of the 1st century BCE, was famous for his ability to pray for rain. On one occasion when God did not answer his prayer, he drew a circle in the dust, stood inside it, informed God that he would not move until it rained; when it began to drizzle, Honi told God that he was not expected more rain. He explained. Mishnah Berakot 5:5 tells of Hanina ben Dosa, who in the generation following Jesus cured Gamaliel's son by prayer. A story tells of a lizard that used to injure passers-by. Hanina ben
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the New Testament, therefore the final book of the Christian Bible. It occupies a central place in Christian eschatology, its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation". The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon; the author names himself in the text as "John", but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Melito the bishop of Sardis, Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation. Modern scholarship takes a different view, many consider that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet; some modern scholars characterise Revelation's author as a putative figure whom they call "John of Patmos".
The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian, the evidence tends to confirm this. The book spans three literary genres: the epistolary, the apocalyptic, the prophetic, it begins with John, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, addressing a letter to the "Seven Churches of Asia". He describes a series of prophetic visions, including figures such as the Seven Headed Dragon, The Serpent and the Beast, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus; the obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history. The name Revelation comes from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: ἀποκάλυψις, which means "unveiling" or "revelation"; the author names himself as "John", but modern scholars consider it unlikely that the author of Revelation wrote the Gospel of John. Pope Dionysius of Alexandria set out some of the evidence for this view as early as the second half of the third century, noting that the gospel and the epistles attributed to John, unlike Revelation, do not name their author, that the Greek of the gospel is stylistically correct and elegant while that of Revelation is neither.
Tradition ascribes the authorship to John the Apostle, but it seems unlikely that the apostle could have lived into the most time for the book's composition, the reign of Domitian, the author never states that he knew Jesus. All, known is that this John was a Jewish Christian prophet belonging to a group of such prophets, was accepted as such by the congregations to whom he addresses his letter, his precise identity remains unknown, modern scholarship refers to him as "John of Patmos". The book has been written about 95 AD; the date is suggested by clues in the visions pointing to the reign of the emperor Domitian. The beast with seven heads and the number 666 seem to allude directly to the emperor Nero, but this does not require that Revelation was written in the 60s, as there was a widespread belief in decades that Nero would return. Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy with an epistolary introduction addressed to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. "Apocalypse" means the revealing of divine mysteries.
The entire book constitutes the letter—the letters to the seven individual churches are introductions to the rest of the book, addressed to all seven. While the dominant genre is apocalyptic, the author sees himself as a Christian prophet: Revelation uses the word in various forms twenty-one times, more than any other New Testament book; the predominant view is that Revelation alludes to the Old Testament although it is difficult among scholars to agree on the exact number of allusions or the allusions themselves. Revelation quotes directly from the Old Testament, yet every verse alludes to or echoes older scriptures. Over half of the references stem from Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah, with Daniel providing the largest number in proportion to length and Ezekiel standing out as the most influential; because these references appear as allusions rather than as quotes, it is difficult to know whether the author used the Hebrew or the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, but he was often influenced by the Greek.
He frequently combines multiple references, again the allusional style makes it impossible to be certain to what extent he did so consciously. According to several studies including a review by Dr James Tabor and Dr J. Mass
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle known as Saint Paul and known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, he took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. According to writings in the New Testament and prior to his conversion, Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem" when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light, he was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Half of the book of Acts deals with Paul's life and works.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it was unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul's surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems. Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East.
Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive", among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide, it has been popularly assumed that Saul's name was changed when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, but, not the case. His Jewish name was "Saul" after the biblical King Saul, a fellow Benjamite and the first king of Israel. According to the Book of Acts, he was a Roman citizen; as a Roman citizen, he bore the Latin name of "Paul"—in biblical Greek: Παῦλος, in Latin: Paulus. It was typical for the Jews of that time to have one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Jesus called him "Saul, Saul" in "the Hebrew tongue" in the book of Acts, when he had the vision which led to his conversion on the Road to Damascus. In a vision to Ananias of Damascus, "the Lord" referred to him as "Saul, of Tarsus".
When Ananias came to restore his sight, he called him "Brother Saul". In Acts 13:9, Saul is called "Paul" for the first time on the island of Cyprus—much than the time of his conversion; the author indicates that the names were interchangeable: "Saul, called Paul." He thereafter refers to him as Paul Paul's preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul's missionary style, his method was to put people at their ease and to approach them with his message in a language and style to which they could relate, as in 1 Cor 9:19–23. The main source for information about Paul's life is the material found in Acts. However, the epistles contain little information about Paul's pre-conversion past; the book of Acts recounts more information but leaves several parts of Paul's life out of its narrative, such as his probable but undocumented execution in Rome. Some scholars believe Acts contradicts Paul's epistles on multiple accounts, in particular concerning the frequency of Paul's visits to the church in Jerusalem.
Sources outside the New Testament that mention Paul include: Clement of Rome's epistle to the Corinthians. Paul was born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD; the Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, but Helmut Koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. He was from a devout Jewish family in the city of Tarsus, one of the largest trade centers on the Mediterranean coast, it had been in existence several hundred years prior to his birth. It was renowned for its university. During the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, Tarsus was the most influential city in Asia Minor. Paul referred to himself as being "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; the Bible reveals little abou