Battling Ingrained Religious Beliefs - Reza Aslan's ZEALOT Pt 1

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1 Sahil Badruddin = ""Paul’s conception of Christianity may have been anathema before 70 C.E. But afterward, his notion of a wholly new religion free from the authority of a Temple that no longer existed, unburdened by a law that no longer mattered, and divorced from a Judaism that had become a pariah was enthusiastically embraced by converts throughout the Roman Empire. Hence, in 398 C.E., when, according to legend, another group of bishops gathered at a council in the city of Hippo Regius in modern-day Algeria to canonize what would become known as the New Testament, they chose to include in the Christian scriptures one letter from James, the brother and successor of Jesus, two letters from Peter, the chief apostle and first among the Twelve, three letters from John, the beloved disciple and pillar of the church, and fourteen letters from Paul, the deviant and outcast who was rejected and scorned by the leaders in Jerusalem. In fact, more than half of the twenty-seven books that now make up the New Testament are either by or about Paul. This should not be surprising. Christianity after the destruction of Jerusalem was almost exclusively a gentile religion; it needed a gentile theology. And that is precisely what Paul provided. The choice between James’s vision of a Jewish religion anchored in the Law of Moses and derived from a Jewish nationalist who fought against Rome, and Paul’s vision of a Roman religion that divorced itself from Jewish provincialism and required nothing for salvation save belief in Christ, was not a difficult one for the second and third generations of Jesus’s followers to make."-Zealot, Reza Aslan "