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Chapter 5: LK-Acts and The Construction of Christian Origins in the Second Century

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Chapter Summary

The prominence of Paul in the New Testament, in which the Jesus of the four gospels stands alongside the Paul of the Acts of the Apostles and the collection of Pauline letters, has exerted an enormous influence on the construction of Christian origins. As a result of the shape of the New Testament, Jesus and Paul have become the two central figures for reconstructing the beginning of Christianity. The shape of the Christian New Testament is a reconfiguration of the relationship of literary texts on the basis of specific theories of Christian origins, a debate about origins whose background lies in the diversity of first-century Judaism. The New Testament itself represents a polemical construction of Christian origins proposed at the end of the second century to bring order to a diversity of religious movements associated with Jesus.

Keywords: Christian origins; first-century Judaism; Jesus; New Testament; Pauline letters

10.1163/9789047401377_006
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