MembersParadox and Time in Pauline Messianism

Paul was a remarkable religious thinker and author. One of his fewer known contributions is on the messianic idea in general, not only early Christian forms of messianism.

By Solomon Kirsch | | Topics: Jewish Messianism, Pauline Messianism
Photo: Rembrant's Saint Paul Wikimedia Commons

In Paul’s letters written as early as the 30-40s of the first century are the earliest Jewish texts utilizing the term messiah, albeit in Greek, referring to the classic redeemer of Israel and son of David.

Scholars argue which of the New Testament letters by Paul were actually written by him, but it is relatively safe to assert, even among the critical academics, that these seven letters were original, in addition to Paul’s followers who are writing and attributing letters to him. For example: 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Romans, and Philemon. This is important to know when engaging with critical literature and teachers.

The case of Jesus of Nazareth and his followers is the earliest full-fledged messianic figure, movement, and literature, and as such Paul’s letters are the earliest of the New Testament writings. We should therefore take special interest in the spiritual ideas of his messianic thought.

Time is a major factor here. Jesus comes and departs. Leaving his followers, he has gone to heaven according to his followers. He is expected...

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