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Title: The effect of contemporary conditions in the Jerusalem Church on the writing of the Epistle to the Romans
Author: Park, Yong-Man
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1979
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The apparent departure of most of the original apostles from Jerusalem some time after the Apostolic Council brought about the decisive decline of the moderate group's influence in the Jerusalem Church and the eventual transference of leadership from Peter to James, the Lord's brother, who was the virtual head of the Jerusalem Judaizers. Consequently, the agreement at the Apostolic Council came to be unilaterally annulled by the Jerusalem Judaizers and the Judaizing campaigns toward the whole Gentile churches became drastically intensified. Moreover, the incident at Antioch aggravated irrevocably the already antagonistic relations between the Apostle Paul and the Jerusalem Judaizers. As a result, James, the Lord's brother, and other Jerusalem Church leaders came to reach the solemn conclusion that, with a view to the unity of all churches under the leadership of ONE MOTHER CHURCH at Jerusalem, Paul should be removed by all means. On the other hand, in his firm belief that the Return of the Risen Lord was imminent, the Apostle Paul was determined to proclaim the Gospel even to those in Spain before His Advent took place. At the same time, however, he was deeply concerned about the future of the young and still weak Gentile churches in the face of the systematic campaigns of the Jerusalem Judaizers which would certainly be escalated all the more immediately after his departure for Spain. In these circumstances, the Apostle Paul made a grim resolution even at the risk of his own life (Cf. Rom. 15:30-32, Acts 21:11-14) to visit Jerusalem and appeal for the last time to a spark of conscience in the Jerusalem Judaizers led by James. Then, bearing in mind the possibility both of his death at Jerusalem and also that of a safe return from this city, the Apostle took two necessary measures. First, he took great pains (a) to bind the divided Roman congregation in his Gospel with the ultimate aim of making it the invincible protector of the true Gospel and (b) to check the danger of indiscreet enthusiasm among the Roman Christians in their expectation of the imminent Parousia. Such enthusiasm would directly threaten not only the very existence of the Roman Church itself but even that of all the churches in the Empire. Secondly, the Apostle obviously took his chance to effect his safe return from Jerusalem by removing the probable hostility against himself produced by the Jerusalem Judaizers among the Jewish Christians of the Roman Church and thus making the Roman Christians as a whole intervene positively between himself and the Jerusalem Judaizers for his safety. Despite all these painstaking efforts, the Apostle Paul failed to escape the deadly trap set by James, the Lord's brother, when he arrived at Jerusalem.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available