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Are Jesus and Paul on the Same Page? (part one)

How to interpret the Gospels in relation to the Epistles

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One of the first challenges preachers face when preparing to preach the Gospels is understanding how the Gospels relate to the rest of the New Testament—specifically Acts and the epistles. A cursory reading of the New Testament reveals some marked differences between Jesus, or the evangelists who record his works and words, and Paul—not to mention the authors of the remaining epistles. Jesus talks a lot about repentance; Paul does not. Jesus talks a lot about the kingdom of God, while Paul says little about it. Paul develops the idea of "the flesh" as under the control of evil impulses and the idea of sinners being dead in their sin, yet this "radical language" does not appear in the Gospels.[1]

The problem cannot be explained by a mere development in the understanding of Jesus' life and teaching. While the Gospels give accounts of events that took place before Jesus' ascension, the evangelists who composed them did so after Jesus' ascension. ...

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