Describe Paul’s gospel in regards to the elements he learned from the disciples in Jerusalem and in regards to those elements he received by revelation. To whom did Paul talk when he went to Jerusalem? How do we know? Show the similarities and differences between tradition and revelation in Paul’s gospel.
Three years after his conversion, Paul went to Jerusalem to meet with Cephas (Peter). He remained in Jerusalem for fifteen days. After this time, he also met with James, the Lord’s brother. It was from Peter that Paul learned of the tradition, i.e., the details of Jesus’ teachings during His earthly ministry. It was important for Paul to inquire about the teachings that the disciples had received from the Lord during his time on the earth. Paul was especially mindful to meet with the same two individuals who had seen Jesus after the resurrection, namely, Peter and James.
The elements of the gospel which Paul learned from the disciples (tradition) are found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time…then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” The elements received by revelation on the Damascus Road were that the 1) the church is the body of Christ, made up of individual Christians (Paul conceived this element of truth based on Jesus’ statement at his conversion that when Paul persecuted the church, he is really persecuting Jesus Christ himself); 2) believers are “in Christ” (a truth which breaks down all walls of race, class and gender differences and 3) that reconciliation and unity are God’s ultimate purpose. This purpose is accomplished by Jesus Christ. . Paul’s gospel received by tradition conveys...
Bibliography: Bruce, F.F., Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983.
Menoud, Philippe H. “Revelation and Tradition: The Influence of Paul’s Conversion on His Theology.” Interpretation 7, no. 2 (April 1, 1953): 131-141. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 4, 2013.)
Winger, Michael. “Tradition, Revelation and Gospel: A Study in Galatians.” Journal For The Study of the New Testament no. 53 (March 1, 1994): 65-86. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 4, 2013).
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