The Fundamentals of Christianity a Study of the Teaching of Jesus and Paul

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Fb&c Limited, 14‏/06‏/2015 - 284 من الصفحات
Excerpt from The Fundamentals of Christianity a Study of the Teaching of Jesus and Paul

The specific sources for the writing of such a book as this are, of course, the Gospels, for the teaching of Jesus, and the Epistles of Paul, for the teaching of the apostle. But we cannot understand these without taking into account the whole literature of the Hebrew people, of which these writings are an inseparable part. Though the modern Jew refuses to recognize the later collection of writings known to us as the New Testament, he cannot deny that it is as Jewish as the older collection. The apostles may have been apostate Jews, but they were certainly Jews. Only a single gentile writer, so far as we know, contributed aught to the New Testament; and even Luke was Jew by conviction, if not Jew by birth.

These writings are, without exception, deeply imbued with the spirit of the people who produced them and of the times in which they were composed. Jew and Christian are agreed in regarding them as a divine revelation (though the Jew, of course, would deny this character to the later collection), but all intelligent people of both religions have come to recognize in these books a human element, as well as a divine. They were not handed down from heaven, or even dictated by God to human amenuenses, but composed under the guidance of the divine Spirit by men who had the limitations of other men. The writers were not of a uniform grade of mentality or spiritual insight, and so great differences arc discernible in the writings; in particular, the older books give us a different ideal of God and teach different ethics, from the later. Men can no longer shut their eyes to this fact; the wonder is that for ages they were able so completely to ignore it.

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