The apostles were common Jewish men that Jesus sought after and then followed him. Some of their former professions were the despised like tax collecting and being a Zealot. None were the high roles of being apart the educated and esteemed such as the Pharisees. Yet Jesus chose them.
In the New Testament we read how the disciples consistently were quarrelsome and had difficulty understanding Jesus and his message. Yet after Pentecost they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spread Jesus and his message for and wide. They even begrudgingly let in a New Disciple to replace Judas – Paul. A man who formerly persecuted Christians and never met Jesus while he was on this earth.
My main question here is how inspired are the disciples letters? The inerrant view is that God used the disciples as instruments and every word they said is straight from God. I explain elsewhere how I cannot believe this.
Peter and Paul quarreled with each other. There is different emphasis’s in different gospels at the least and straight contradictions at the worst. Some theology can be seen as better than others. But my main focus is on Jesus and the cross.
What I wonder is did the disciples Jewishness and amazement of Jesus color their theology and even cause them to make errors? Or perhaps our modern translations or understandings have made errors? Either way I tend to think the answer is yes.
The Jews being disciples I think they were set on the Old Testament idea that their had to be blood sacrifices for sin. Jesus dying on the cross only confirmed it for them. Now, the cross did its job in ending the belief that there needed to be any more blood sacrifices, but the disciples framed their theology of the cross as a necessary thing in that it changed God and the nature of reality rather than the cross was necessary for humanity’s psychological development and understanding of God.
I also wonder if the disciples seeing the way Jesus acted and the wise words he said…the disciples seeing the miracles he performed and the truly miraculous rising from the dead…seeing these things concluded that Jesus was otherworldly…That he was God’s only Son, forgetting that Jesus called other Sons and daughters of God? I think so. I think they elevated Jesus to the place of God and now we worship him rather than believe that we can be like Jesus and do what he did.
Romans is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I think it has a lot of wisdom in it. But it doesn’t read as coming from the mouth of God to me. Obviously it has a lot of wisdom and inspiration in it. But to me, the book sounds like its coming from a man who has been changed and is seeking to make sense of things. He’s trying to make it all make sense. Just as I’m doing, just as Christians do today. Now I would elevate the level of Paul’s writing over my own and many others. But I don’t think its perfect and had everything perfectly understood.
I think the process of truth and inspiration did not stop after the Bible. Its still going on today and we’re all participating in that process. My next posts will expound on these points.