the Sin of the World
the Christian Doctrine of Salvation
At the time I received Professor Kepnes's text I was working on a project that involved a study of Paul's life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. This event decisively shaped his religious thought, which in turn had an enormous impact on Christian theology, most notably on the understanding of salvation. Here is how Paul himself described it:
For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the tradition of my ancestors. But when God, who had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being. ( Gal. 1:11-16)
Let me isolate three key elements implied in the story of Paul's religious transformation. First, his violent persecution was clearly identified as a wrongdoing, and yet justice was not carried out but unmistakably transcended. And both of these things happened in the single act of offering grace: God did not punish Saul for his wrongful persecution but instead sought to make a friend from an enemy. Second, it was precisely this act of grace that changed the direction of Saul's,
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Publication information: Book title: Christianity in Jewish Terms. Contributors: Tikva Frymer-Kensky - Editor, David Novak - Editor, Peter Ochs - Editor, David Fox Sandmel - Editor, Michael A. Signer - Editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 313.