While continuously reading about Paul, I have began to think that people are trying to put Paul into a specific box. The options are either Jewish or Christian. In reality, Paul does not really fit into either box; in a way, Paul was both. Paul called himself a Pharisee, but he lived in a Roman lead community, spoke Greek but was a Jew. This is normal, in a way. Now, we are kind of all over the place as well. It is rare to find someone who comes 100% from a specific area. But I do understand why people are so conflicted or intrigued by his mixture. From last week’s reading, we saw that there was different types of Jewish people in the community. Someone stated as a comment that it was similar to Christian denominations. I believe this is a very good way to break it down, because they are like denominations, it makes sense.
In reading these articles and passages, I believe it was not a conversion that Paul made, but more of an expansion. He broke the typical ways of Judaism and decided to give that to gentiles. He made new “rules” for the gentiles. He spoke in a way so that those who were not use to hearing could now understand. I believe that is why there is a lot of controversy because he mentions that circumcision is not necessary but that followers must follow Jewish customs. I think this is a way to break the way that there was before. Because, this becomes into trying to fit people into a perfect mold. It is like them saying that it does not matter if you truly believe, as long as the rules are followed, then you’re okay. This is when the faith or religion becomes a routine, and I believe Paul was trying to break away from that.