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The Foundation of Paul’s Theology
by Bobby Bruno
05/01/14
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The theology of the Apostle Paul was built on a Jewish theology. Paul was a Jew through and through and believed in “one God; one people of God’ one future with God; one book from God; and one place to worship God” (p. 257). Paul never departed from any of these five beliefs at any time in his ministry. He never told any Jew not to stop being circumcised, only the gentiles. He never told any Jew to believe in the Torah any less except for the fact that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law. At his salvation, Paul became a Christian, but Jesus never told Paul that he had to give up his Jewishness or Jewish roots to follow Him.

In his letters, Paul bases his theology on both the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ. When speaking to his fellow Jews, he reiterates as Jesus did, that he is not saying that the Jews should give up the Law, but only that Jesus has fulfilled the Law by His life, death, and resurrection. In speaking to the Gentiles, Paul never told them to honor any of their gods, but only the One, True God of Heaven. As Jesus did, Paul used Old Testament Scripture to show that Jesus was God in the flesh and it was He on whom they should believe for life and salvation.

Romans 3:31 speaks of Jews still needing to follow the Law: “Are we abolishing Moses' Teachings by this faith? That's unthinkable! Rather, we are supporting Moses' Teachings” (GW). In the New Living Translation this verse reads, “Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law” (NLT). Paul was a Jew preaching a Jewish-born Savior’s message to all that the One, True, God is truly the God of all peoples.

References

Capes, D., Reeves, R., Richards, E. (2007) Rediscovering paul. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

Scripture marked (GW) is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation,copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.


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