It has been said that the person who had the most influence on Christianity wasn’t Jesus, but rather St. Paul.
Paul, who was a devout, first-century Jew who followed Jesus, wrote most of the books in the New Testament of the Bible. While Paul never met Jesus personally, he had a notable conversion experience that filled him with a zeal and drive that inspired him to travel extensively, founding churches, ministering to new congregations, and writing letters that have turned into some of the most popular writings in the history of the English language. Click here to learn more about this course and how to take it.
That’s why understanding who Paul was and what he wrote is so important to us as we seek to build our personal faith. Each of Paul’s letters is important to understand within its historical context. Each was written with identifiable intentions and messages and to a certain person or community. This course shows us the ways that Paul was in fact not the inventor of Christianity but rather the apostle who, inspired and directed by God, furthered the mission of Jesus Christ after His death. Paul was a radically progressive champion of both Judaism and Christianity who spread the Good News of our salvation through the grace of God and the life and death of Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah. Paul reminds us that the story of salvation is at once individual, corporate, and cosmic. It is thanks to Paul that we know better how to live in community and in the spirit of Christ.
If you are interested in learning more about Paul or in better understanding some of his letters, this course is perfect for you.
Dr. George Guthrie is a professor of the Bible at Union University in Jackson, TN. He has written numerous articles for numerous Bible commentaries and has participated in many Bible translation projects.