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 differently at times, they are still advocating the same religion. Through the understanding of the similarities, differences, and contexts of the Gospels and Paul’s letters, it is clear that Jesus and Paul have the same underlining values and practice the same religion.
Paul’s conversion from Saul to the Apostle Paul helps explain the reconcilable forms of the Gospel. For starters, Jesus chose Paul specifically to spread his word and filled him with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:1-19). Alternatively, Shaw claims that “the conversion of Paul was no conversion at all [but] it was Paul who converted the religion” (Shaw 415). This is a bold statement and neglects the fact that a disciple named Ananias was also involved in the conversion, which validates that this was not Paul’s imagination. God, instead, “promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures” that Paul would “be an apostle” (Romans 1:1-2). Additionally, others believe that Jesus chose Paul but still suppose Paul taught a different religion. Jesus is omniscient, though. The Apostles prayed to Jesus and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart” (Acts 1:24). Since Jesus knew Paul’s heart, he would not have chosen him if Paul was going to rebuild “it [the Gospel] from the bottom upwards in his...
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...he law comes the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). Therefore, we should have a desire to not sin against God but instead please Him 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 he 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 of grace he offered. The churches in Paul’s letters, though, seem to understand that Jesus “was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
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