Christianity did not start as an inner-Jewish renewal movement; it began when initially autonomous

Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque
Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israelite, baptismal and gnostic movements, represented in the Gospels by the great disciples James, John and Simon Peter, joined forces.

The interpretation of Jesus’ death

Because Jesus was famous long before his time as Messiah, his death was discussed everywhere, but particularly in Sebaste, as Samaria was called in Roman times, and interpreted in the light of his life and work. This interpretation did not take place among his followers, because there weren’t any.

Rather, this interpretation took place in the various social and religious movements and networks that defined spiritual life. Samaritan Judaism, the baptismal sect around John the Baptist and the Gnostics around Simon Magus deserve particular mention.

There was certainly a wide range of opinions about Jesus within these movements. We are particularly interested in the opinions that interpret Jesus’ fate in a positive light.

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