For the hundred years since W. Wrede ( Paulus, 1904) made the provocative claim that Paul should rightly be regarded as 'the second founder of Christianity', scholars have debated vigorously on the relationship between Jesus and Paul. Past studies on the Jesus-Paul debate have largely been confined to either the literary or the theological level. This study looks at the issue afresh by combining the historical and the theological approaches. The discussion focuses on the issue of faith, paying special attention to two groups of Jesus' sayings ('Faith that can remove mountains' and 'Your Faith has healed/saved you') and Paul's use of Gen. 15:6 and Hab. 2:4. The distinctive methodology of this study is to compare Jesus and Paul against the backdrops of the Jewish biblical tradition and Hellenistic parallels. The picture of the Jesus-Paul relationship that emerges is a most complex one. To a great extent the similarity between Jesus and Paul is due to their common Jewish heritage. The early Church plays a part in influencing Paul's concept of faith and Paul himself reinterprets the Jewish Scriptures in an innovative manner. At the same time, Paul is found to be greatly indebted to Jesus for his concept of faith. The method of placing Jesus and Paul against the Jewish and Hellenistic backgrounds permits a fuller appreciation of the historical and theological continuities between Jesus and Paul than has hitherto been possible.
Maureen W. Yeung
Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. K
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