Paul's Religion


Welcome back to another five minutes in Church history for this episode. I am sitting here with a book in my hand. It is J. Gresham Megan's the origin of Paul's religion. It was first published in nineteen twenty one and that was when it was copyrighted. And this edition. Looks like it's from nineteen twenty five and autographed. It says with warm regards. Day Gresham Megyn October. Six Nine thousand nine hundred twenty seven. He gave it to George Fisher and George Fisher. Meticulously underlined and put in margin notes throughout this whole book. Sometimes you find books with notes and they stop after the first chapter to these notes. Go all the way through. Well that's the particular book but let's talk about this book Paul's religion. This book originated in lectures. In fact. There's a page here at the beginning that says the James Sprint lectures in nineteen eleven Mr James Sprint of Wilmington North Carolina gave to the Trustees of union theological seminary in Virginia. The some of thirty thousand dollars since increased by his generosity to fifty thousand dollars and it goes on to say that the purpose of that money was to set up a lectureship and in nineteen twenty two twenty one the lectures the sprint lectures were given by the Reverend. Dr John Grissom the year before the lectures were given by G Campbell. Morgan from London. The Great London pastor and the year after making the lectures were given by none other than the honorable William Jennings Bryan the nineteen twenty one thousand nine hundred ninety two lectures just three years before Brian would get into that courtroom in Dayton Tennessee. Well let's talk about mentions sprint lectures. He gave it the title the origin of Paul's religion there were actually three views floating around testament scholarship of the origin of Christianity. You see these New Testament scholars. German English turn of the nineteenth into the twentieth century. Made a distinction between the Jesus of the Gospels and the religion of Paul and they saw Jesus as one who talked about behavior ethics and made religion essentially how we live. Paul's the great systematize her and turned all of those systems of behavior into belief codes that you had to believe. And so that was the argument there was the Jesus of the Gospels the religion of Paul. And so where did? Paul's religion come from while German scholar Adolf von Harnack argued. That Paul was not a foundation not building on a foundation of the Gospels but was his own sort of mix off of the gospels. Harnack did not like Paul. He didn't like John Either. He only liked this synoptic gospels and then not even all of them and he certainly didn't like things like the Apostles Creed Harnack said Paul Deified Christ and turned him into somebody that Christ never claimed to be. There was also the German scholar of Rada and he said that Paul founded the Christian religion on certain Jewish elements from the enter testament period. But certainly not from Jesus and then there was another scholar boo set. And he said Oh wasn't founded on Judaism at all. Paul founded his religion on the Greek Pagan religions. Well Megan did not agree with that at all. An in this very scholarly book which was about three hundred pages when it was done. Amazing wanted it to be five hundred pages but the publisher said No. That's too much But in this very scholarly book Mason makes the case that the origin of Paul's religion is from Jesus himself the very end. This is what made us Paulin. Ism was not a philosophy. It was not a set of directions for escape from the misery of the world was not an account of what had always been true on the contrary it was an account of something that had happened and what had happened was the death and resurrection of Jesus. Megan says this he loved me and gave himself for me. There lies the basis of the religion of Paul. There lies the basis of all of Christianity. Well that's Mason on Paul's religion and I'm Steven. Thanks for joining us for five minutes in Church history

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