The New Testament talks about the coming of Jesus Christ to the World. It gives chronologically the events that took place during His lifetime and the challenges He faced as a human being. The New Testament also shows how the ministry of Christ started and grew from the Jews to the Gentiles.
New Testament questions.
Who were Jesus main opponents during His public ministry time? Why did they oppose him and how. The main opponents of Jesus Christ mainly involved high officials in the Jewish Society. These officials included the Pharisees and the Sadducee s. The pharisees were highly committed and spiritual people who were in positions of authority in the Jewish religion and customs. They laid a lot of emphasis on the law and didn’t agree with the teachings of Jesus because they seemed to undermine the law. The other opponents were the Sadducee s who were wealthy lay nobles,priests and aristocrats. They opposed Jesus ministry because they thought the teachings threatened their power and status.
Paul’s missionary work created a controversy in the church. What was the nature of the Jew-Gentile controversy and how did the church handle it.
A lot of Jewish Christians didn’t agree with Paul missionary work of allowing Gentiles to become Christians before being circumcised, this brought about a lot of controversies. Paul on the other hand proposed that it was not necessary for gentile Christians to be circumcised. A council of Apostles was conveyed in Jerusalem and they deliberated on the issue which was concluded that new Christians did not need to be Circumcised or observe all of the laws of Moses. The Apostles in the council established this principle that has guided the church for centuries. (Grant,M.1977 p.156).
What are three most important themes and issues Paul dealt with in his later letters.
Paul speaks of persecution and suffering as a Christian. In his letter to the Corinthians he talks of how he has be in prison,flogged and exposed to death all for the sake of the gospel. Paul brings out also the theme of justification and explains it to the Corinthians as God’s declares all sinners who believe in Christ are fully exonerated,acquitted of all wrong and are in a right legal standing before him.
In another letter to the Romans he focuses on the righteousness of God as the main theme. He declares righteousness as God’s gift and it is to be reckoned by a believer. He describe Christ as believer’s righteousness from God and associates it with faith in Christ.
Paul further brings out another theme still in his writings to the Romans,he informs them that there is no disparity between people because all have fallen short of the glory of God and committed sin. He declares that all races and every single person within those races are exactly in equal position by nature. He strongly emphasis on the issue of unity and interrelations of believers as one body of Christ,he clearly indicates that we all depend on each other just as the parts of a body are related to each. In his writings to the Galatians he shares one basic thought and theme:salvation is not something that a person earns by living a good life rather it is a gift of God made freely with no strings attached and our main response to this gift should be thanksgiving
What caused persecution of the early church. The early Church faced a lot of persecution especially from the roman empire. The roman empire did not recognize Christianity as another kind of pietas that is a religious attitude that encouraged solidarity and loyalty to the state but as a superstition actually according to Pliny a roman empire governor writings circa 110AD he referred to Christianity as a “superstition taken to extravagant lengths”. The roman empire displeasure for Christianity arose in large part from its perception that it was bad for the nation. Another reason for resentment of Christians originated from the belief that impeccable piety to the roman gods helped to maintain the well being of the cities and its people. Christians were far much disbelieved in part because of the private and misconceived nature of their worship. They were assumed to be involved in incest,orgies,cannibalism and all kind of perversity. (Casey,P.1991 p.234).
How should Christians handle persecution? Christians should learn to profit from it and be strengthened. Persecution brings maturity according to Apostle James,according to his teachings in James 1:2-4 .
Christians are encouraged to be submissive to persecution and allow God to be their avenger. They should keep in mind that God is control and is going to use them in a special way. Christians are also encouraged to be bold and use these persecutions as opportunities to preach. Finally they are advised to be filled with the holy spirit and not try to maneuver things with their own strength or sapience just as when Peter and John addressed the Sanhedrin, which was the Jewish Supreme Court, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they experienced success in their situation because they submitted to the Holy Spirit.
What would you say are the major teachings about the kingdom and the Messiah that are revealed in the record of Jesus last week? During Jesus’ last week his main teachings concerned the last supper and his resurrection. Jesus Christ predicted that he would be denounced by one of his disciples, and would then be put to death. He informed the disciples that he would resurrect after three days and go to his father to prepare a place for them. He gave the disciples a the great commission to go and preach the gospel beyond Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria. (Meier,J.P.3 vol., 1991–2001 p.415).
Grant,M (1977),An Historian’s View of the Gospels .
Casey,P. (1991),From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God .
Meier, J.P(3 vol., 1991–2001),A Marginal Jew .