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Did Paul Change the Gospel?

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Lesson

There is no question that Jesus and Paul sound different, but are their differences complementary or contradictory? What effect would their different contexts have on how they speak and what they write about?

Outline

1. Challenge

a. Critical scholarship

b. Popular approach

c. Another popular approach

2. “Jesus I believe. I don’t have to believe Paul”

a. Why do you believe Jesus?

b. Who wrote the Gospels?

c. But who was Paul?

d. Who were Mark and Luke?

e. Red letter Bibles

f. Real danger in picking and choosing

3. Are Jesus and Paul incompatible?

a. Challenge: Jesus is a kind, gentle, loving person, but Paul is harsh, judgmental, and demanding

b. Misunderstands Jesus. Jesus could be:

1) Harsh (Matt 23)

2) Judgmental (Matt 5:20; 7:21–23)

3) Demanding (Luke 14:26)

c. Hard to find any characteristic in Jesus that you can’t find in Paul, and vice versa

4. Are they theologically incompatible?

a. Justification

b. Clean and unclean

5. Critical Scholarship

a. Challenge: Paul changed Jesus into God (circular argument)

b. Jesus thought he was more than just a human

c. Gospel writers see him as more than a man

d. Paul

e. Why did Paul not cite Jesus more?

6. Conclusion