The Greatest Cannon in History

Temiloluwa Adeniyi-Ipadeola
4 min readSep 17, 2020

There is no argument on the greatest canon of historical or rather scriptural text; At least there shouldn’t be any arguments regarding this subject. The Bible (new and old testament) for the Christians, The Torah (includes the books of the prophet, books of wisdom, the writings, and Prophetic books) for the Jews (not just the ethnic identity but the religious adherents) has dominated history for the past two years. Even prior to the classical era, before the new testament was written the Torah and prophets had been an interest to the greek or gentile world. We know that due to the diaspora and deportation of Israel to Assyria and Judah to Babylon. Books like Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Isaiah which were prophet books, had many interesting things to say regarding the Jewish people and somethings to gentile leading ruling over the scattered jews. Much of the details of what is said in these books are theological but there is also a great about of historical evidence given as well.

The Exile was a period in Jewish history when Jews were influenced by foreign cultures and most importantly, foreign languages around them. so much so that by the 2B.C. we have the Torah and prophets with many other orthodox and unorthodox writing being translated from Hebrew to Greek Septuagint. Due to the Babylonian exile, There were pockets of Jewish settlements all over the Roman Empire and many of which no longer know the common tongue of their late ancestor, Hebrew. For the first, we see a divergence in the unity of the linguistic availability of the Torah. From this point forward due to the transformative influence of the Roman Empire (Roma Gloria) and infrastructures such as paved road and in some places security of Roman legions travel through the early Roman empire was possible. As a result, the Septuagint became the common text to circulate the roman empire as a source of Jewish scriptures.

“the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” -Act 11:26

while it’s true that the word Christian is nowhere to be found in the Gospels(all four Synoptics), it is, however, subsequently said to be used for the first time in Antioch in the book, The Acts of the Apostles. It is also used in 1 Peter 4:16 which is dated to be written in 62–63A.D. at most. Since Paul and Peter were martyred later that year by Nero, it had to be written before then. Meaning within 30 years of Jesus’s ministry, his followers have begun to be referred to as Christians. I thought that was pretty cool!

Regarding Paula Fredriksen's Christians, While I do agree that the practical minister of Jesus Christ was Mostly and predominantly directed at the Jewish in roman Providence of Judea(A mostly Jewish city in which he lived); And in all instances, he kept the laws of Moses except for the later pharisaic law that was generated during the four hundred years of silence. Compared to Paul’s ministry to the Gentile, which blanketed the Roman Empire as he traveled with the Gospel message sharing the message He claimed to receive from Jesus. What I learned is this, while Paula’s observation of the two ministries as somewhat distinct is true, She is correct in her assumptions. But as her chosen reference passages in the text reveals, her observations are incomplete.

To compare the ministry of Jesus and Paul, our comparison wouldn't be accurate if we began by comparing Paul‘s and Jesus’ ministry equally. What I mean by this is, Paul himself claimed to be a disciple of Jesus. If we assume Paul as a historical figure does truly believe himself to be a disciple of Jesus( which it's evident by the life lived post-conversion). Then we should explore how his ministry activities fit under Jesus' ministry. It would be inaccurate to assume pauls ministry is tangential to Jesus. After all, there is text evidence were Jesus includes the Gentile world as part of his ministry. ex:(A Canaanite (Gentile) woman Matthew 15:24, A Samaritan woman (John 4:5–42), Gadarene (Gentile) demoniac (Matthew 8:28–34), and many more). Jesus healed and taught gentiles in his ministry just as he did with Jews. In fact, most of the harsh words were towards his own Jewish people. (“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?” Matt. 23:23 and so on.) The verse below seems to point to an event that would happen to him which will unite all people ( both Jew and gentiles)

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32, ESV)

I suppose I’m interested in how to understand Pauls's actions in his ministry as he often describes himself. “Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news”