A meaningful pattern of the development of the organization and doctrine of the New Testament Church becomes apparent if we organize the books in the order and the context in which they were written. The dates the books of the New Testament were written can’t be known with absolute certainty, but for our purpose, the order and historical context in which books were written is what matters, and can be determined for the most part by internal evidence.
Chronological New Testament
|15-34||Acts 22:3||Paul, a Pharisee, studies the Law under Gamaliel, opposes Jesus & denounces His sect|
|29||Acts 2-8:1||Crucifixion, Holy Spirit given at Pentecost, apostles and Jewish believers continue meeting in the temple|
|32||Acts 6-8||Stephen stoned, persecution of Messianic Jewish sect by Jewish religious rulers including the Pharisee Saul / Paul|
|32-42||Acts 8, 11:19||Persecution in Jerusalem scatter believers in this Jewish sect who at first continue to witness to Jews only|
|34-37||Acts 9||A leading Pharisee, Saul, joins Messianic sect, smuggled out of Judea when his previous colleagues target him for death, indicating how great a threat he poses to their authority|
|37-47||Galatians 1:17-21||Paul spends 14 years in isolation from Messianic headquarters at Jerusalem, restudying Law and matching to Jesus’ teaching|
|40||Acts 10-11||Cornelius first uncircumcised Gentile accepted into fellowship with Jewish believers, by Peter|
|43||Acts 11:20-26||Gentiles converted in numbers & called Christians at Antioch in Syria prior to Paul’s involvement|
|43||Acts 12||Herod Agrippa I (d. 44) kills James son of Zebedee at Jerusalem, James bro of Jesus assumes leadership|
|45 – 62||James 1:1-3||Epistle of James written by brother of Jesus, to encourage “the twelve tribes” under tribulation|
|47||Acts 11:26||Barnabas brings Paul from Tarsus (Turkey) to Antioch (Syria) to help in existing ministry to Gentiles|
|47-48||Acts 13-14||Paul’s 1st missionary journey thru cities in Galatia (Turkey), meets at synagogues, evangelizes Jews & Gentiles|
|49||Acts 15||Enough Gentiles have joined the Jewish sect in Antioch that a Church Council meets to settle question of requirement of Gentile believers to follow Mosaic Law, Paul opposes this.|
|49-53||Acts 16-18||Paul’s 2nd journey delivers decrees to existing churches in Galatia, crosses over to Europe at Macedonia & Greece|
|52||Acts 18:4-8||Paul leaves Corinth synagogue when they blaspheme, meets in the first house church mentioned in the Bible, with Jewish and Gentile believers|
|52-53||Acts 18:1-18||Letter to Galatians to strongly counter persistent Judaizers, 1st & 2nd letters to Thessalonians to encourage during tribulation, written by Paul from Corinth|
|54-59||Acts 18:23-21||Paul’s 3rd missionary journey|
|50-55||I Peter 5:13||Mark’s biography of Jesus written from Rome in collaboration with Peter to present Jesus as Messiah|
|55-56||Acts 19:1-10||Paul leaves Ephesus (Turkey) synagogue, meets daily in schoolhouse, great church growth|
|56||Acts 20:1-2||1st letter to Corinthians written from Macedonia by founder Paul in response to church problems|
|58||Acts 20:2||Romans is written from Corinth|
|58||Acts 20:3-4||2nd letter to Corinthians followup on previous instructions, references great tribulation, Paul meets personally with Ephesus elders|
|58||I Peter 5:13||1st letter from Peter backs up Paul’s ministry to his Gentile churches, and supports them in their fiery trial of tribulation|
|58||Acts 21||Paul at Jerusalem denies the charge that he teaches Jews to forsake Mosaic Law|
|58-60||Acts 22-24||Paul imprisoned at Caesarea by Romans to protect from illegal Jewish plot against his life, witnesses to Roman governors Felix and Festus, Jewish King Herod Agrippa II, appeals to Caesar|
|55-60||Mathew 1:1||Matthew writes biography of Jesus to prove to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah. Such biographies were “a genre of Greco-Roman literature interested in describing the goals, achievements, failures, and character of ancient historical persons and whether or not they should be imitated.”|
|60-63||Acts 28:16-31||Paul imprisoned at Rome, reaches out first to Jewish leadership and only to Gentiles after Jews unaccepting|
|60||Luke 1:1-4||Luke’s biography of Jesus is written in collaboration with Paul, possibly for evidence in trial before Caesar|
|62-63||Philippians, Colossians, Philemon written by Paul from prison in Rome.|
|62-63||Act 1:1||Acts by Luke at this time or later. James stoned to death by High Priest at Jerusalem as Jewish nationalistic aspirations heighten.|
|63||Letter to Ephesian Gentiles is written by Paul from Rome to encourage picking up their qualified leadership roles after his outreach to Jewish leadership is repulsed. Paul is aware of gathering storm in Judea from insight into current events as fulfillment of Jesus’ warning to “this generation”, predicting Jerusalem doomsday by 70 AD.|
|63||Hebrews written to Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus as Messiah explaining overrriding identity, and leadership rights, as Hebrew priests under High Priest Melchizedek, in preparation for transition of leadership from Jews to Gentiles.|
|63||Paul is acquitted and released, leaves Rome|
|64||I Timothy 1:3||1st letter to Timothy, Titus is Written from Macedonia|
|64||The Great Fire of Rome triggers a seven year great tribulation by the Roman Empire of followers of Jewish Messiah|
|64||II Peter 1:1, 2:1-3||2nd letter by Peter written from Rome prior to Paul’s death, supporting Paul’s transfer of leadership from Jews to Gentiles.|
|64-67||Peter is martyred under Nero,|
|65||II Timothy 4:6||2nd letter to Timothy written when Paul is imprisoned for 2nd and last time, mourning that the response to his letter to the Ephesians, the leading church of Asia was that “All in Asia be turned away from me“. Now who will pick up church leadership?|
|66||Paul martyred at Rome under Nero as the anticipated revolt by Judean Jews explodes, Messianic Jew flee across the Jordan river to Pella, Jerusalem church and Jewish leadership in shambles.|
|70||Jerusalem besieged, temple destroyed and Jews are deported|
|~80||Jude||Jude, brother of Jesus, exhorts believers to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” which he references as pre-Judaism believers.|
|~80||John, I, II, III John||John’s biography of Jesus written to Gentiles unfamiliar with Jewish customs, and three letters.|
|~89||Revelation is Written by last surviving apostle, John, to Paul’s Gentile churches in Turkey|
When we track the New Testament documentary timeline, we discover that initially all believers in YHVH’s Savior were exclusively Jewish.
They had to be. The church of YHVH’s Savior was the one sect of Judaism true to scripture in a medley of heretic self-important Jewish sects.
“What advantage then hath the Jew?…Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1-2)
For ye have heard of my [Paul’s] conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I…profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” (Galatians 1:13-14)
- Pharisaical Conservatives obsessively creating increasingly detailed laws to achieve salvation by works.
- the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat…do not ye after their works…For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (Matthew 23:1-4)
- “the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?…And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts…unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” (Luke 6:2-11)
- they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For…going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”(Romans 10:1-3)
- Herodians, whose religious affiliation was with, and for, political power.
- the Herodians, to catch him in his words…say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” Mark 12:13-17)
- the Sadducees / Social Liberals, who had become too broad-minded to believe in sin and resurrection.
- “the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection…asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were seven brethren…And the seven had her, and left no seed…In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them?…And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.” (Mark 12:18-27)
- “The Zealots were…founded by Judas of Galilee (also called Judas of Gamala) in the year 6 CE…shortly after the Roman Empire declared what had most recently been the tetrarchy of Herod Archelaus to be a Roman province. According to Josephus, they “agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord.” (18.1.6)”
- he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,)…and Simon called Zelotes…” (Luke 6:13-15)
When Paul is arrested and brought before a judge to determine if he has violated Jewish religious law, he denies these charges.
“My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee…saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That the Anointed One should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26)
When it pleased God…that I might preach him among the heathen; I came into the regions of Syria [Antioch, first Gentile congregation] and Cilicia [first missionary journey]; And was unknown by face unto the [exclusively Jewish] churches of Judaea which were in Christ.” (Galatians 3:15-23)
The text clearly connects the significant Gentile teaching ministry at Antioch to Paul’s missionary work to the Gentiles.
“Now there were in the church / assembly which included many Gentiles] that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers…the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:1-3)
The Pentacostal Jerusalem church was so grounded in the Old Testament prophets that its members could immediately accept in the same day the Jewish religion of YHVH’s Savior’s redemptive death and proof by resurrection as related by his righteous witnesses, and were saved by the thousands.
Gentiles? Not so. They needed to start with the Old Testament background leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is obviously why God chose a Pharisaical Jew obsessed with details of scripture to lead the conversion of Gentiles.
Paul also spearheaded all his new Gentile mission fields at the synagogues because this is where he would find Old Testament literate Jews and Gentile proselytes prepped to accept Jesus as the prophesied Savior.
“So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed
- And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews:
- they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day…many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas…the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.” (Acts 13)
- in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed….Long time therefore abode they. (Acts 14)
What is called Christian doctrine is found in Paul’s epistles, and they did not become available until after his first missionary journey, when he follows up with his first Gentile converts to reinforce his preaching and teaching. Those who know the Old Testament recognize that Paul is pervasively citing Old Testament scripture to prove his arguments. We can certainly conclude that Paul was preaching from the Old Testament.
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” (Acts 17:2-3)
Sound familiar? This is exactly what Jesus preached to all the apostles.
“These are the words which I [Jesus] spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:44-48)
Notice how Paul’s exhortation to his Jewish pastoral student Timothy unquestionably references the Old Testament. The New Testament hadn’t been written when Timothy was a child.
“from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:15-17)
When, like Timothy, we know the Old Testament scriptures, we see that the plan of salvation by grace through faith, and not the works of the law, was not a new development revealed by Jesus to Paul. The Old Testament word of God revealed the fundamental doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. We can’t overlay an theological interpretation that Jesus gave Paul a unique revelation about a Gentile-only church,
|New Testament||Old Testament|
|I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Ro 1:15-16||I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame. Psa 119:46|
|For therein is the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Ro 1:17||Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Hab 2:4|
|For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. Ro 1:18-19||They spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out…can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth…because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: though he had …rained down manna upon them to eat…He rained flesh also upon them as dust… But while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them. Psa 78:19-31|
|For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Ro 1:20||The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psa 19:1-3|
|Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Ro 1:21||The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Psa 14:1|
|But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. Ro 2:2||….he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. Psa 96:13|
|Who will render to every man according to his deeds. Ro 2:6||…thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jer 32:19|
|Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: Ro 2:9-10||…Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation…Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet:…I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. Isa 28:16-17,22|
|For there is no respect of persons with God. Ro 2:11||Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. Lev 19:15|
|For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.) Ro 2:12-13||Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you… Deut 5:32-33|
|For when the Gentile, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Ro 2:14-15||And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelechin a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? And she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. Gen 2); 2-5|
|In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Ro 2:16||The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool….The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek…He shall judge among the heathen…Psa 110:1-6|
|Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God…through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. Ro 2:17-24||Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? They that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD, and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Isa 52:5|
|For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Ro 2:25||Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart. Jer 9:25-26|
|Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? Ro 2:26||And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. Josh 5:3 (because that generation had not been circumcised throughout the 40 years they had foregone the promised land.)|
|For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.||Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. Jer 4:4|
|What advantage then has the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much in every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. Ro 3:1-2||For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the first, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. Deu 4:32-36|
|What then? Are we better than they? No in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Ro 3:9-11||The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psa 14:2-3|
|Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Ro 3:27 For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9||And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron…And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me…I will smite them…And Moses said unto the Lord…The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression…Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles…and have not hearkened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers… Nu 14:1-23|
|Conviction of sin|
|And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid…And he said…Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said…I did eat. Gen 3:9-12||For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Ro 3:23|
|Notice that death would follow sin|
|And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:16-17||For the wages of sin is death… Ro 6:23|
|Announcement that another life, in the blood, could substitute for the sinner’s|
|Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Gen 3:21 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering. Gen 4:4||But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Ro 5:8|
|And the Lord God said unto the serpent…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Gen 3:15||Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Ro 3:24-25|
|The heir to David’s throne would save all humanity from their sin|
|Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David…I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom…for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him… I Chr 17:7-14 …I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. See ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way…and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isa 55:3-7||Then Paul stood up, and…said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience…God…said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus…And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou are my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David…Be it know unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Act 13:16-39|
The book of Job was undoubtedly one of Paul’s documentary sources for proving that the law of Moses, given to Moses by God about 2,500 years after God gave the promise of salvation to all humanity through identification with the Seed of the Woman, was never an alternative means of salvation for a select group of people which was replaced when Jesus died on the cross.
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ…In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:1-2)
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning [quoted in his writings], that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures [accepted and internalized by the reader] might have hope / confidence [of eternal life].” (Romans 15:4)
The Old Testament clearly states the doctrine that all nations – i.e. Gentiles – are saved by grace through faith.
“the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
Bear in mind, Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrians, a vicious nation comparable to Nazi Germany. It had dispersed and obliterated the identity of many nations including the northern half of Israel, and Judah had narrowly escaped the same fate under King Hezekiah. As we know, initially Jonah refused this mission in the conviction that they didn’t deserve to be saved from a Sodom and Gomorrah fate. Not to mention his likely fate at Ninevah’s hands. It took awhile with the whale incident, but eventually Jonah did go to Ninevah.
“So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh…and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrwn…
word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh…neither man nor beast…feed, nor drink water: be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God…turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way, and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry…I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil…
said the LORD…should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jonah)
This is exactly what John the Baptist preached.
“when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” (Matthew 3:7-8)
This is exactly what Jesus preached.
“the Pharisees…said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?…Jesus said unto them…go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:10-13)
And this is exactly what Paul preached.
“Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, [the Jews] and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Acts 26:19-2)
Oh, but that’s so embarrassingly Jewish
If it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD / YHVH, choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:14)