Monday, December 21, 2015

The earliest Christian creed

There was no Bible to direct Paul on his missionary journeys or to guide his letters to the converts.  He had to tell them what he had been told in the period of time between his Damascus Road experience (about 4-5 years after the resurrection) and the beginning of his ministry.  This was a time when the disciples of Jesus were able to school him in the truths of the gospel until he was ready to go out on his own. They gave him this creed. Also, Paul’s letters were circulating before the four Gospels. He teaches using a form of a creed--a statement of belief--which had been taught to him.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:

That Christ died for our sins
According to the Scriptures
That he was buried
That he was raised on the third day
According to the Scriptures
And that he appeared to Peter
And then to the Twelve.”

1 Corinthians 15: 3-5

He preceded that statement of faith by reminding them that this is the gospel that saved them, otherwise their belief is in vain.  And also ours.

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