Semănătorul (The Sower)

September 2021, Volume 2, Number 2

Is there a Key to Pauline Theology?

Hamilton Moore

Pauline theology is to be found in the beliefs and doctrines expressed in the New Testament writings of Paul, the former Jewish Pharisee and later  hristian
apostle. This article will attempt to assess the influences upon Paul or from where we can trace the roots of his theological thinking. Paul’s past and  resent links with his Graeco-Roman environment, and his Jewish heritage are first discussed. But it is suggested that the real key to his theology is his  xperience in meeting the risen Christ on the Damascus Road. Paul theology is rooted in a sudden conversion experience. Two passages of Scripture, Galatians 1v10-24 and 1 Timothy 1v 12-17 are expounded to reveal Paul’s radical new personal understanding and world view. Added to these influences was finally the rich heritage upon which he drew as he became part of the Christian community. He takes over this teaching on Christ’s person and saving work even though he supplemented it. We will suggest that Paul is more an interpreter of Christ in his theology, influenced by what he has found in Church tradition, but adding to it that extra dimension which came uniquely from his conversion and calling as an apostle.
KEY WORDS: Theology, Hellenistic environment, Jewish heritage, conversion, Christian tradition.