Epistles Of Paul Case Study

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Case Study Paper: #93089102 Related Topics: Jerusalem, Christian Leadership, Theology, New Testament
Excerpt from Case Study :

Paul went through many difficulties in Corinth. Corinth was an immoral city with many various religions. "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1-2, NIV). People were not told to follow certain rules and were sexually immoral. It was hard for someone with Christian values to come in, share his views with the populace, and be accepted.

Although Paul was accepted by some and gained followers, there were some problems that arose. Some of these problems had to do with old habits and immorality. Others had to deal with grief, mourning, and death. That being said, Paul addressed such pastoral difficulties in an epistle.

Corinthians or the epistle was written by Paul in Ephesus located on the west coast of what is now Turkey. Paul's letter was written during his time in Ephesus. There are seven parts to the epistles and in Salutation; Paul immediately addresses concerns regarding opposition to his apostleship as well as defends the issue through claiming it was given unto him via a revelation from Jesus Christ. Thus, the first section (The Salutation) reinforces the legitimacy of his apostolic claim. This can be seen as a pastoral difficulty because it deals mainly with the idea of proving legitimacy. As a leader, people must view the person as sufficient to guide and lead. By addressing the concerns primarily, Paul shows he is suitable enough for leadership.

Another pastoral difficulty Paul had to contend with was immorality in Corinth from 5:1-6:20. There were issues with resolving personal disputes as well as sexual purity. In fact, sexual immortality was especially highlighted through the sin of an unnamed person (Christian) in Corinth. The man had his father's wife, essentially sleeping with his stepmother. To make matters worse, the Corinthian Christians appeared to take lightly the sins committed, unconcerned for such behavior. Perhaps it was because Corinth was such an immoral city that had pagan religions, which did not place value on a person's sexual purity. This was a clear problem for Paul.

The third pastoral difficulty was dealing with properly expressing Jesus Christ's resurrection. This is explained in 1 Corinthians 15. Paul discusses Jesus' resurrection appearances. He uses this resurrection to explain the resurrection for Christianity. The idea of resurrection played an important role for Paul in guiding mourners by assuring them resurrection to a good and better life. Paul mentions resurrection of the flesh: 1 Corinthians 15: 52: "the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." In addition to baptism of the dead. He also explains Christ will come back into power and put his opponents under his feet, destroying the last enemy, death. This was a great way for Paul to handle some of the suffering (the Christians had when a loved one died) and it strengthened their faith in Christ and God.

Paul did an excellent job of guiding his followers through struggle. "In verse 10, as Paul summarized his initial preaching to them, he concluded with a reference to Christ's return and the coming judgment, which became the central emphasis of the entire letter (4:13-5:11)" (Polhill, 1999, p. 190). He gave them hope. He guided them towards a better and deeper understanding of god. Most importantly, he reinforced his teachings and heightened their spiritual awareness.

He taught them that sexual purity is an important aspect of the Christian religion. He taught them about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He showed them that life can be lived a moral and just way. His writings gave valuable lessons and information to his followers.

2.

Some scholars have the notion that Galatians 2:1-10 and Acts 15 describe the same events, but from two dissimilar viewpoints. This is due to the numerous similarities these two events share in common. Aside from the things in common, both events have the same people (Paul, James, Barnabas, and Judaizers) involved. Another interesting aspect of the two events is the same subject matter, which was Gentile participation and acceptance in both fellowship and salvation. Similarly, both events have people suggest circumcision...

...

Lastly, both of the passages refer to Christian believers internal struggles.

Even though they share so many things, they may not be discussing the same event. There are some differences. For example, in Acts 15, Paul mentions three visits. In Galatians, Paul mentions two visits to the city of Jerusalem. (Acts 15:1-29). Another difference is the start of the debate. In Galatians, Paul begins the quarrel in Jerusalem. However, in Acts 15, such a quarrel was already started (going on) when Paul got there. Lastly, in Galatians, the discussion is in private. In Acts 15, it was discussed openly in public.

3.

The first two verses from Romans 6 make it extremely clear that Paul is dealing with the very question of whether the follower can live a life in sin after he/she has come to Christ.

In a website dedicated to discussing such passages, they discuss the verses as well as Paul believing sinners can be given a second chance.

Can he go on in a lifestyle that is basically wrong and sinful? Can he live as an alcoholic, or a swindler, or an adulterer, or a homosexual, or a slanderer? Is it possible to maintain such a lifestyle and be a Christian? The apostle's answer -- as we have already seen in the first two verses -- is, "By no means!" (Romans 6:2a NIV). It is impossible, Paul says, because, as he puts it in these four little words, "We died to sin," (Romans 6:2b NIV). Paul's conclusion is: "How can we go on living in it any longer?" (Romans 6:2c NIV) (Stedman, 2015).

Of course, Christians cannot lives as Christians as well as live a life of sin. However, there are ways to become Christian and leave the life of sin behind. Baptism is Christianity's way of giving a sinner a second chance.

Paul himself was a sinner, wishing to do away with the early disciples of Jesus around Jerusalem. Jesus appeared unto the then Saul and showed him he could change. What was once a cruel and angry man became a man of Christ who wished to preach and spread the message of the Lord. That is why baptism can give people (like Saul) a second chance because as a sinner is before baptism, is not the way a Christian can be. When a person becomes a Christian, truly receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior, one cannot go on living a life of sin. Paul introduces baptism and grafting (a branch or a plant grafted onto a tree) to explain the process of change.

Baptism of water, of spirit, it all starts the process of becoming one with God and becoming a true Christian. Christian ideals and beliefs cannot coincide with a sinful life. With baptism, it gives a clean slate to others and produces a chance for people to perform an action that symbolizes their connection to God (Calvin et al., 1960, p. 50).

4.

The traditional view on Paul's authorship of the Letter to the Ephesians is that he indeed wrote the letters. While Eramus (1519) questioned Pauline authorship of the Ephesian Letter it was not until much later on that it was seriously questioned. Mid-nineteenth century and onward, Pauline authorship of such letter is regularly dismissed. People believe someone close to Paul, perhaps Luke, wrote the letter. Another possibility is that the letter was written by Paul, but edited by someone else (Calvin et al., 1965, p. 23).

There are some arguments against Pauline authorship of the Letter to Ephesians. The first is style and vocabulary of the letter. Over 80 words from Ephesians is not found anywhere else in Pauline literature. Furthermore half of which is not found in the New Testament. Based off this, many argue that someone wrote the Ephesians late in the first century. Additionally, the frequently used Pauline term "brethren" lacks except in 6:23. Neither does the writer use "to justify," a commonly used verb in Romans and Galatians. It seems as though the writings are from a later Christian utilizing sources rather than talking to or being influenced by Paul himself

Implied in 1:15; 3:2-3; 4:21, Paul does not seem to know his audience at all. Paul does not mention any particular church nor explicitly references the city of Ephesus. There is also clear address to Gentile Christians although the church within Ephesus was mixed congregation. There are also no formal greetings which Paul normally does in his other epistles. The reference pertaining to the "dividing wall" within 2:14 is seen as an insinuation to the obliteration of the Temple in A.D. 70, which places the writing of the letter after this time.

There are also several arguments for Pauline authorship of the Letter to Ephesians. The epistle parallels Colossians as well as other Pauline letters.…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Authors, V. (2008). Holy Bible (NIV).

Calvin, J., Parker, T., Torrance, D. And Torrance, T. (1965). The epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

Calvin, J., Torrance, D., Torrance, T. And Mackenzie, R. (1960). The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

Grant, M. (1986). A guide to the ancient world. [Bronx, N.Y.]: H.W. Wilson.
Stedman, R. (2015). The True Baptism of the Spirit | Romans 6:3-14 | RayStedman.org. [online] Raystedman.org. Available at: http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/romans/the-true-baptism-of-the-spirit [Accessed 31 Jul. 2015].


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