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All of these successes were interpreted to mean that God would protect them in battle and give them victory over their enemies. They produced some of the apocalyptic literature to which Paul makes reference in one of his letters to the Thessalonians. By virtue of his power as a divine being, he would rise from the dead and ascend back to the heaven from whence he came. The soul journeys to another world unencumbered with the difficulties that have attended its existence in a mortal body. The miracles were manifestations of God's power, which is always available to those who are prepared to make use of it. Paul reports very little concerning the teachings of Jesus, but his interpretation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has had a profound influence on Christian history. A resurrection of the dead and a judgment of all the people who have lived on the earth will occur. Later generations looked back upon it as a kind of golden age in the history of the Israelite people. The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament was written primarily for those who were suffering persecution from the Syrians under Antiochus Epiphanes during the period that preceded the Maccabean wars. Written accounts of what Jesus did during the course of his life were not considered necessary by the earliest Christians, who believed that Jesus would return to earth in the very near future and establish the messianic kingdom. Another reason for believing in the immortality of the soul lies in the fact that ideas present in the soul have neither beginning nor end. Many of them were men of the finest character, representing in some instances Judaism at its very best. Because a human being is composed of both matter and spirit, a struggle is constantly going on within one's own nature. Christianity began with the belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Judaism always made a sharp distinction between the human and the divine. They were written long before any of the Gospels that we now have were in existence. But it is also in connection with these same biographies that readers of the New Testament encounter difficult problems. Souls that yield to the demands of the flesh are deserving of a different fate than those that follow the prompting of the spirit. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. The books comprising the New Testament include narratives of Jesus’ life, an account of the spread of early Christianity, letters to various churches and individuals by important Christian leaders, and the final showdown between good and evil. Removing #book# All of them were concerned primarily with the means of obtaining salvation. Christian sources are no doubt biased too, but in the case of both Christian and non-Christian sources, we know the direction in which each of them is biased, and we can make proper allowances. After Paul's death, other leaders of the movement continued to write letters to churches; in this way, they hoped to strengthen the organization and prepare its followers for any emergencies. This conflict between duty and desire became an intolerable situation for Paul; because of it, he gave up his plans for becoming a rabbi. The stoning of Stephen was one of these incidents. Reconstructing the original stories as they existed prior to later interpretations of them has been one of the main tasks of what is known as "form criticism." Nor were the rulers the only ones deified by their followers. Our chief source of information is the New Testament itself, but there are some references to Jesus and the Christian movement in Roman history and in Jewish literature pertaining to the period in which he lived. Although there are variations in the different apocalyptic texts, some of these writings convey the idea that the Messiah will be a heavenly being who will descend to earth and inaugurate the new era. When Socrates' friends visit Socrates in prison during his last hours, Socrates explains that his imminent death is not an occasion for sadness because the time is close at hand when his soul will be released from the body in which it has been imprisoned for so many years. However, sometimes this power was used more to promote selfish interests than to benefit people as a whole. This argument provides a solution for the problem concerning the suffering of comparatively innocent persons: They may be receiving just punishment for deeds done in a former existence, or they may be given an appropriate reward in a future one. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. Jesus' coming into the city is described by the gospel writers as a triumphal entry, for evidently many people welcomed him, believing that the time was at hand when the promised Messiah would take part in the establishment of God's kingdom. Jesus taught to love others as much as yourself and to love God as the … To say just how much of the New Testament was influenced either directly or indirectly by Greek conceptions is difficult, but such influences are recognized readily in the doctrine of the Logos, which may be translated as Word or Reason; in ethical conceptions having to do with the conflict between flesh and spirit; and in the belief in immortality. Before beginning his own public ministry, Jesus, like many of Israel's prophets, retired to the solitude of the wilderness for a period of fasting and meditation. In both of these instances, the writings were addressed to communities composed of Gentile and Jewish Christians. Because the priesthood was controlled by the Sadducees and appointments had to be confirmed by officials of the civil government, this sect was able to exercise political power. From these scrolls, much has been learned concerning the history of the period that preceded the writings that constitute the New Testament. The dominant characteristic of apocalyptic messianism was a conviction that the kingdom of God would not come about by a gradual transformation of society under the leadership of a great and good king. Removing #book# Approximately one third of the New Testament consists of letters, or epistles, written by the apostle Paul and addressed to the Christian churches of his day. As the number of Christians increased and their influence was felt in various parts of the then-known world, opposition to the movement arose from different quarters. A century and a half later, the southern kingdom suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Babylonians. Shortly thereafter, Jesus began to proclaim the coming of the heavenly kingdom on earth and called upon his fellow men to make preparation for it. For example, this process happened in the case of the Greek ruler who came to be known as Alexander the Great. Studying the books in the chronological order in which they were written does have some advantages in that it enables us to trace more directly the development of Christian thought through the period during which the New Testament was being written.

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