6. Paul’s epistle to Galatians provides strong evidence explaining controversy between Jews and Christian Gentiles. Paul claims that Galatian churches, which he founded, departed from Jesus’ Gospel and began preaching their own version of Mosaic Law (Book of Act, 16:6).
Paul is sure that it was Jews, who made Galatians preach a ‘different gospel’ and is angry about it. Paul’s letter contains such evidence, revealing such controversies as Gentile’s adherence to Sabbath, circumcision and Mosaic Covenant, and claims that Judaizers destroyed Christian gospel. Another example of controversy is mentioning of Galatians questioning Paul’s authority, which is due to significant divergence of religious canons.
7. Paul was arrested and imprisoned by Romans, who prevented his death by hand of Jews in Jerusalem, who blamed him for taking the Gentiles into the Temple. Paul was placed under house arrest according to Acts 28: 30-31.
Obviously, this gave him much free time and he continued his preaching of gospel and teaching about Jesus Christ. Years of prison were important experience, because Paul managed to create Christian philosophical system, which became dominant in future Catholic and Orthodox Churches. It is best exemplified by the Letter to Romans, where he develops his philosophical system of Christianity. Paul also evidences new wave of Christians’ persecutions, initiated by brutal Emperor Nero. Renan claims that these persecutions were motivated by the desire to create the image of Christians as aliens to Roman people and incite them against them (Renan, 2007).
Mass persecutions are often tied with Roman fire, for which Christians were blamed by Nero. These persecutions had far-reaching implications for strengthening Christian faith, raising new martyrs and proponents. These suffering were also very often connected with the coming Apocalypses. Besides this, the saints’ cult quickly spread and new defenses and interpretations of Christianity flourished.
Legal basis was found and Christianity was considered to be a ‘superstition’, that is a religion without traditions and harmful for society.
As for the historical relationships between Paul, Peter and John, it should be noted that both Paul and Peter engaged in missionary work, but Paul was mainly focused on spreading Christianity between Gentiles and acknowledged that he was Apostle to them and Peter was Apostle to Jews. Peter had missionary journey to Joppa, Caesarea and Lydda. The relationships between Peter and Paul were not so smooth. In Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (New Testament, Galatians 2:11-14), Paul blames Peter for treating Jewish Christians superior to Gentile converts. Besides this, Peter was Patriarch in Antioch, which shows his great role in the process of Christian Church development (Ehrman, 2006).
Paul and John had the same position at the Jerusalem council, which broke Christian ties with Mosaic Law. John welcomed Paul’s mission among Gentiles, but Paul, however, further refused to obey to Jerusalem church. As Apostle Paul, another famous Apostle John, who is often mentioned as the ‘disciple, whom Jesus loved’, spread Christianity among Gentiles in Asia Minor and had strong moral authority in Jerusalem church. To sum it up, the abovementioned Apostles had much in common, which is explained by their important role in early Christianity development.
8. According to the Book of Acts, persecution of Christian began after Peter speech in the Temple, where he said to Jews that they ‘killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead…”. Soon after this John and Peter were imprisoned. The first martyrdom happened when Christian Stephen was stoned to death by fanatic mob. According to the New Testament, persecutions should strengthen Christian’s belief in salvation and create firmness of spirit. Persecutions and possible death are nothing in comparison with immortality of soul and Jesus’ love. Pressures on those, who encounter persecution, such as faintheartedness, uncertainty and cowardice may be overcome only by strong belief. For instance, in Matthew Gospel, the idea of Christian persecution is central. Blessings are given for those, who suffering from Judaist and Roman persecutions for the right cause of Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount and punishments are promised for those, who make people suffer.
Ehrman, Bart D. (2006). Peter, Paul, And Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History And Legend. Chapter 6, Oxford University Press, US.
Renan, Ernest (2007). Antichrist. Kessinger Publishing.