A comparison of faith in Jesus and Paul with special reference to "faith that can remove mountains" and "your faith has healed/saved you"
This thesis aims to clarify the Jesus-Paul relationship with regard to the issue of faith. Two groups of Jesus' sayings ("Faith that can remove mountains" and "Your faith has healed/saved you") are chosen as the starting-point of comparison. Special attention is also paid to Paul's use of Hab 2:4 and Gen 15:6. The picture of the Jesus-Paul relationship that emerges is a complex one. To a great extent the similarity between Jesus and Paul is due to their common Jewish heritage. The early Church plays a part in influencing Paul's concept of faith and Paul himself reinterprets the Jewish Scriptures in an innovative manner. At the same time, Paul is found to be greatly indebted to Jesus for his concept of faith. First, there is evidence that Paul uses the Jesus tradition in his discussion of faith. Jesus' mounting-removing sayings are found to be the most probable source of Paul's statement in 1 Cor 13:2. Second, the distinctive teaching of Paul, namely, his doctrine of justification by faith as exemplified in his use of Gen 15:6, is found in its seminal form in Jesus. Paul's pistis christou is built on Jesus' claims for faith in his own person as expressed in his pronouncement: "Your faith has healed/saved you". Paul's reckoning language echoes Jesus' offer of a salvation that imparts purity to the ritually impure. In conclusion, the present study proposes that Paul should properly be viewed as a follower and interpreter of Jesus rather than as "the second founder of Christianity". With regard to the issue of faith, Paul's contribution lies in his development of the Christological and salvational aspects of faith inherent in the teaching of Jesus while assuming the theological and miraculous aspects of faith which are prominent in Jesus' sayings.