Compare And Contrast Jesus And Paul

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Jesus and Paul are two crucial characters in the New Testament. They both depict the Gospel on which Christianity is based upon, but there is debate about rather these two versions of the Gospel are complementary. Scholars like George Shaw claim that Paul is “anti-Christian,” and he “produced a fantastic theology” (Shaw 415-416). On the other hand, I believe that even though Jesus and Paul may present the Gospel different at times, they are still advocating the same religion. Through the understanding of the Gospels and Paul’s letters it is clear that Jesus and Paul have the same underlining goals and values. For starters, Jesus chose Paul specifically to spread his word and filled him with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:1-19). Shaw claims that…show more content…
After all, “God is a God not of disorder put of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). It is important to first understand the contexts of each of their teachings. Jesus ministered to Jews and was sent to fulfill the law. Jesus states, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus was preaching to a group that understood the prophecies and was attempting to convince the Jews of his identity by fulfilling the law. Conversely, Paul ministered to Gentiles who were apart from the law. Instead of the law creating opportunities for Jews to come to Jesus, it was dividing the church and creating problems. This may help explain why Paul seemed to focus more on grace. The two were preaching the same religion, but presenting it in a different way to fit to what their audience needed to hear at that time. Paul writes to the Romans that, “sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). This does not imply that the law is now completely irrelevant and that “we [should] sin because we are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:15). Instead, “through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). Therefore, we should have a desire to not sin and please God since Jesus has provided us so much grace. Jesus actually does teach about grace, but not in a way as straightforward as Paul’s letters. One example is the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. The landowner hired workers who could not find a job and then was “generous” in providing wages, paying everyone the same no matter how many hours they worked (Matthew 20:1-16). Jesus may have been indirect in his teachings of grace because he taught the Gospel before his resurrection, which means the people could not yet fully comprehend the large amount
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