V  5   The phases of early Christianity

The dominant master narrative about the phases of early Christianity is closely based on the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles; it states that Christianity

Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar)
Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar)

emerged as a renewal movement within Judaism. Jesus proclaimed a new religious message and gathered a circle of followers. He appointed twelve disciples and went to Jerusalem with them, where they expected his mission to be successful.

When Jesus was unexpectedly executed, his disciples scattered. Within days, Jesus appeared to them in visions that restored their self-confidence and their trust in Jesus and his divine mission. They gathered in Jerusalem and began to spread Jesus’ message.

Initially the Apostles preached to the Jews; then they also addressed the Gentiles. After they had agreed on the allocation of mission areas at the Apostolic Council, the mission to the Gentiles began on a large scale with the Apostle Paul’s great missionary journeys.

And these are my theses about the phases of early Christianity:

Jesus the governor
The first phase of Christianity began with the veneration of Jesus the governor between 6 and 32 AD. Jesus was not a teacher of wisdom; he did not found a religious or philosophical school and gathered no disciples.

Jesus the governor was popular and his policy of imitating the Augustan model of rule was welcomed by many Jews in Palestine and in the whole Roman empire.

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