Jesus and Paul Before Christianity
V. George Shillington
Who was the real founder of Christianity as it is known today--Jesus or Paul? What, if any, was the connection between them? These and other questions about the two historical figures have occupied biblical scholars and the Christian church for many years up to the present time. This book proposes new ways of framing the questions as well as new approaches to answering them.
Neither Jesus nor Paul spoke of a new world religion, separate from Judaism, that would envelop the planet and last for millennia. This study seeks to locate both figures in their respective places in the first century, in Jewish contexts and within the larger Greco-Roman society. The aim is to transcend the language and thought patterns of later generations of theologians in order to hear more clearly the prophetic voices of Jesus and Paul on their terms and in their social locations. By so doing, Shillington lays the groundwork for a more authentic translation of their vision and mission into modern alternatives, including better Jewish-Christian relations.