In 70 CE for early Christianity the time of the apostles, inspired by the Holy Spirit and sent directly by God, was over.

Volcano Pichincha, crater floor
Volcano Pichincha, crater floor

 The authority of the church was given to the local churches and their elders. In the gospels, the Acts and the late letters, the time of Jesus and the apostles is considered to be a completed era whose heroes the Christians after 70 CE could not and did not want to compare themselves with.

As in Rome of the same time, the Christians saw the epoch as over and made a fresh start. The gospels and the Acts ask for the significance of Jesus and the apostles, for the meaning of the fall of Jerusalem.

As a model for interpretation they used the epic poetry of the pagan Ancient World. Redefining the Christian identity they accepted – now bindingly for all Christians – the Jewish culture of the Old Testament as the predecessor culture.

The two cultures were linked accordingly to the well-known system of promise and fulfilment, with promise in the Old Testament and fulfilment in the New Testament.

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  1. Erasmus also prepared the way for one of Luther’s most radical ideas: that the Bible belongs to everyone, including common people. Luther translated the Bible into German in 1534 so that everyone could read it for themselves.

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