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Current time:0:00Total duration:14:33

Video transcript

the central figure in Christianity is clearly Jesus but it's important to note that he does not establish the religion all by himself in fact at the time of his crucifixion and according to Christian beliefs resurrection and ascension the number of followers he has numbers in the low hundreds and the actual work of spreading and and creating the church falls on his disciples in particular the ones that are referred to as apostles when we looked at the Gospels which were the life and teachings of Jesus Christ the first four books of the New Testament Matthew Mark Luke and John we we talked about that twelve disciples those primary followers of Jesus they're often referred to as the Twelve Apostles as well because according to Christian beliefs between the resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus he tells the Apostles look go spread the word apostle comes from Greek for the one who spreads the word these were the first Christian missionaries now first amongst these apostles is often considered Peter this is Peter right over here he is mentioned in the Gospels he is beside Jesus at the time of the Transfiguration amongst Roman Catholics he is viewed as the first pope and he is really the head of the Church of the Christian followers and they're not even called Christians at this point in Jerusalem right over here but we're going to talk about another significant apostle as well in this video and this and that is Paul and as we'll see Paul is not mentioned in the first four books of the Bible he wasn't a contemporary of Jesus or at least he didn't he didn't know Jesus during his life he did live at the same time and you could see it on this timeline where Jesus is born slightly before the Common Era I started year 1 because there isn't a Year Zero and you can see that Peter is born historians believe around 1 AD and Paul would have been born shortly after that and what's interesting about Paul is Paul starts this lot as a very conservative Pharisee he starts his life of persecuting Christian people and then he has a fairly dramatic switch and you'll often view you'll often hear Paul or you might also hear the name Saul or Paul of Tarsus these are all referring to the same person Tarsus is right over here in modern-day southern Turkey and Paul as I mentioned he grew up in a conservative Jewish family but he also has Roman citizenship that's why he has this Roman name Paul and he has his Hebrew name Saul and he's educated in Jerusalem and he doesn't enter into the story until we get to the fifth book of the New Testament the Acts of the Apostles and the Acts of the Apostles talks a lot about Peter how he spreads the church how he is persecuted how he performs various miracles but it also is where we get introduced to Paul and when we first see him as I mentioned he is persecuting Christians so as the Church of Jerusalem is starts to get established Peter puts a fellow by the name of Stephen in charge of distributing arms to widows that are coming to them and Stephen and this is a narrative that you'll hear often in the New Testament he starts to get on the nerves of the religious establishment the Jewish religious establishment who think that he's a blasphemer that his beliefs are threatening them and so there's this famous trial once again with the Sanhedrin and the trial of Steven and here I have an account form of that trial or near the end of that trial from the book of Acts and during that trial Stephen goes into this long account of what the teachings of Jesus are and how they're justified by what is mentioned in the Old Testament he actually does a fairly long account of it and then he also it's fairly rebellious he says look you the establishment are what profit have you not persecuted before and so this really angers them and so we read from the book of Acts they all rushed at him dragged him out of the city and began to own him meanwhile the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul and we see him right over here depicted in this painting and Saul approved of their killing him on that great on that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and cement and Samaria godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him but Saul began to destroy the church going from house to house he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison so he is a pretty fervent persecutor of Christians and it goes even further so then we read we go on to read in the book of Acts meanwhile Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples he went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus so that if he found any there who belonged to the way whether men or women he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem as he neared Damascus on his journey so this is going to be interesting thing he's so fervent he goes to the High Priestesses I want to I want to I want to persecute these these Christians wherever they are I'm going to go to Damascus and see if I can persecute them there as he neared Damascus on his journey suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him he fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him Saul Saul why do you persecute me and this is an image of that that this narrative in the Bible who are you lord Saul asked I am Jesus whom you are persecuting he replied now get up and go into the city the city being Damascus and you will be told what you must do and Paul is blinded by this event he's blind for three days he goes to Damascus and he is healed by a follower of Christ and at that moment he completely does a 180 he goes from being one of the chief persecutors of the Christians to being one of the chief believers and he starts to aggressively spread the faith and so that brings us so let's go to this map because what's significant about Paul is Peter was you could really view him as the first head of the church especially after Jesus but he primarily viewed it as something to spread amongst the Jewish people there are events for example in Acts where he does realize hey maybe I should be that this this the word of Jesus should go beyond the Jewish people should go to the non-jews referred to as Gentiles but Paul and you can see in the map here he has this this revelation I guess you could say as he's approaching Damascus and he goes he goes back to Jerusalem and he tries to convince the other followers and you could imagine they're quite skeptical of this person who was shortly before persecuting them but he eventually convinces them and he goes on multiple missionary journeys spreading the faith and his center of operations is at Antioch and he's a significant figure who helps build the church at Antioch and what's interesting about the Church of Antioch it ends up being a very significant Church is that it Antioch the Christians or the the Christian faith is not just spread to the Jewish people they're spread to the non-jews to the Gentiles and it's actually at the Church of Antioch that the followers of Jesus Christ according to biblical accounts were first referred to as Christians and so what you see on this on this map here are the various missionary journeys that Paul who is a Roman citizen was able or so depending on which name you want to use was able to do through especially the eastern Roman Empire so in the mid 40s here let me in the mid 40s right over here he does a missionary journey once again Antioch is his base he goes to Cyprus and southern mid what we would call Turkey today and in the early fifties he goes on this fairly long journey through through modern-day Turkey through Macedonia through Greece and as he's doing this he's spreading the word of Jesus Christ he's starting to help established churches in these significant places Philippi Thessalonica Corinth all of these various places you see his you see his third journey here very similar in path and yellow to the second journey he does that in the late 50s see II and once again he's constantly establishing these churches and the important thing to realize about Paul there's it's a controversy to what degree should the teachings of Jesus be spread to the Gentiles to the non-jewish people there are these famous debates and Paul's view is no we should not force the Gentiles to do everything that the Jews have to do the circumcision the the Jewish dietary laws and you can imagine this doubly angers the the church leaders not only is he is he spreading the word of Jesus that it has annoyed them to no end but he also wants to spread it to the Gentiles but he doesn't think that the Gentiles need to perform all of the things that the Jewish leaders believe are dictated by the the laws of Moses by the the Jewish faith the and circumcision is actually a major debate circumcision the dietary habit etc etc so eventually he goes back to Jerusalem to to face this leadership and now this is in the early 60s and they once again they put him on trial as a Jewish citizen he says hey I have a right to see the Emperor so then he is taken to Rome and along the way they get caught in a storm but eventually he makes his way to Rome where he is held prisoner and it is believed that both Peter and Paul were killed by Nero we talked in previous videos the fire of in 64 C II in Rome that destroys a large chunk of the city some people think Nero actually set the fire to clear some land so that he could build his palace but he famously blames the fire on Christians and there's a large purge of Christians that occur after that and a lot of accounts say that Peter was crucified by Nero he requests according to these accounts to be crucified upside down because he's deserve to get the same crucifixion as Jesus and Paul some accounts say that he was beheaded once again they're dying in these Christian purges that Nero is performing so you can see it right over here if those accounts are true now what's really interesting I already talked about Paul being this missionary to the Gentiles he is the one especially at the Church of Antioch where Christianity starts to really separate from Judaism starts to become a faith in its own right and that was even further accelerated in a few years after their death or might have been roughly coincident with their dependence depending on when their deaths were from 66 to 70 you have from 66 to 70 you have the Jewish rebellion sometimes called the first Roman Jewish war and it ends with the Roman Empire destroying the temple at Jerusalem the center of the Jewish faith the Second Temple of Jerusalem the one that was rebuilt partially by Cyrus the Great and so this causes the Jewish people to have to leave and they no longer have this the center of of their people and you have the Jewish Diaspora that gets spread throughout the Roman Empire and other empires like the the Parthians in Persia and they really there's a famous battle in 73 of Masada this mountain fortress where the Romans essentially will to mass suicide but it's this bloody extermination of the Jewish people in and around Jerusalem so they are spread and that's obviously a significant series of events for the Jewish people but it's also significant for Christianity because Jerusalem was a center of the Christian faith and now the Christian followers are going to be spread around and many of these other places that Paul spread the gospel become centers of Christianity now to emphasize the importance of Paul to Christianity these are this is a listing of the books of the Bible Jesus his life and teachings is primarily coming from the Gospels right here most of what I've told you in this video this is this is excerpts from the fifth book of the New Testament Acts of the Apostles and then most modern orderings of the Bible the neck several or many books are called epistles or letters and they're primarily the epistles of Paul letters that he wrote to his followers in different places and so you can see most of these names these are cities that you see where Paul was a missionary Corinthians Corinth is right here these are letters that Paul is sending to the church there Galatians you see Galatia right over here in central modern-day Turkey Ephesians in Ephesus Philippians in Philippi right over here Coliseum's in colossi Thessalonians and Thessalonica right over here and this is a major chunk of the Bible that is either written by Paul or people or some people think it was written by followers described to Paul and what I have here in this deeper orange these are the books that historians think were actually written by Paul this lighter orange there's some debate and the yellow ones are the ones where people think it probably wasn't written by Paul but as you can imagine this is a significant chunk of the New Testament that was actually written or ascribed to Paul and he was really the significant missionary that created the Christian faith beyond the Jewish people