Exploring Religious Themes

Religious Themes

Religion is prospectively a belief that is fully enshrined and observed by a good number of global populations in terms of philosophical and historical guidelines that they adhere to. Christianity is one of the major religions that are observed by a large population. It has various aspects that shall be discussed here in after as religious themes.

Death and Resurrection

The New Testament is equipped with the early life, mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament prophets well foretold all that was scheduled to be done by Jesus in the New Testament in the Old Testament books. He underwent all that he experienced in his life, including the mission that included parables coupled with baptism and teachings. The actualization stage of all that was meant for the fulfillment of Jesus was through his death and resurrection.

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The mission of Jesus was to enhance repentance of sins and be able to baptize people to symbolize sinlessness and lastly be tortured and die on behalf of the believers. The suffering of Jesus is meant to bring salvation and imply that human life is prone to despair, and people should be ready to suffer as they intend to achieve their mission. From in Christianity perspective, the death of Jesus and his resurrection is commemorated annually to express gratitude for he died for their sins. Through death and resurrection, all the believers' sins are forgiven, and they should be able to live in a life that signifies purity.

Philosophically, however, it is believed that dead men do not rise, and some individuals disbelieve this aspect of resurrecting and ascending to heaven. The Humes argument is that human life should be personalized in what they believe and make a sole decision without the comfort of knowing that Jesus died for your sins. The aspect of disbelief, however, is also portrayed in the historical perspective of Jesus not ascending. This is regarding the scanty evidence of the resurrection, such as the empty tomb and the first-century Jewish contexts. It also included the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection, in which the few people he appeared to could not justify the belief of resurrection evidence.

In apologetics, it is the religious perspective of protecting the beliefs and doctrines of religion through proper systematic dispensations of ideologies. The religious beliefs and principles can be portrayed through systematic argumentation and discourse that also believe that the resurrection of Jesus after his death implies that he is still within our midst and able to control our day-to-day activities.

Through the resurrection of Jesus, the believers who are Christians accept that they have successfully outthrown the power of death and can now distinguish between bad and good. The death of Jesus and his resurrection also signifies the presence of life after death and that the believers should strive to live a sinless life.

The Bible in the book of Corinthians says that Jesus died after suffering and resurrected and this symbolized the need for Christian believers to embrace the life of salvation. This is regarded as the path towards having eternal life that focuses on the life of Jesus. For human being to receive forgiveness and repentance should therefore be at the fore from intent of the Christians.

Old Testament and New Testament

The vital relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament is depicted in the transition of the doctrines. Various events, circumstances, and person of the New Testament are well put and introduced in the Old Testament by the prophets. For example, Jeremiah denoted the Messiah who would come from the lineage of David. This is fulfilled in the New. Testament when Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph of the family of David, conceived through the power of the holy spirit. Similarly, the suffering and death of Jesus was well prophesized by Isaiah and came to be fulfilled in the New Testament. Jesus also in the New Testament read Isaiah's scroll from the Old Testament that signified that the prophecy had been fulfilled through him.

Old Testament and the New Testament clearly show how they co-exist and depend on each other. From the Christian doctrines, the Messiah was prophesized in the Old Testament by prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah. All the commandments were given to the Israelites in Old Testament through Moses, commonly known as the Ten Commandments or the mosaic law, are adhered to and strictly followed in the New Testament. The Abrahamic covenant that was symbolized with the circumcision of all male children in the line of Abraham is followed in the New Testament when Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day after birth in the temple. These practices and rituals show the interdependence of the two testaments. In the book of Samuel, it is prophesized that the Messiah would establish an everlasting kingdom. This is fulfilled in the New Testament through the birth, mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Messiah means that who has been called to as the saviour to the Christians. This mission was well depicted in the Old Testament teachings in the Old Testament through God's Covenant with David. Promises of giving David an heir that would rule forever is fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

The Prophetic Expectations signified the spiritual person of Jesus as would be replaced with the holy spirit. In the New Testament, the Messianic Expectation by the Jewish is related to the Old Testament scenario when the people of Israel demanded a king from Samuel after his sons had failed the test of time. These, therefore, uses the Old Testament understanding of a leader as it was during the Jewish demand for a physical king. The prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament are all attained in the New Testament, and all the believers are strictly following beliefs that were enacted in the Christian family. The doctrine has been the only available resource that has been used to justify the authenticity of the ideologies on the relationship between the old and New Testament.

Jews and the Gentiles

The mission of Jesus is to bring salvation to all, but in Israel, there were two initially conflicting groups of the gentiles and Jews. Still, in Matthew 8:11, Jesus stated that many Gentiles would live and dine together with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all Jews in heaven.

During his mission, he gave direction to his disciples and instructed the Apostles to leave alone the Gentiles and focus on making sure that they bring the Jews to salvation.

They could be considered as the prodigal sons of the word of God. He depicted that he came for all and could not acknowledge any division among the people of God, who is considered the sole creator of everything on earth. A "Jew" was anyone who had a direct relationship with the twelve tribes of Israel as it follows on the 12 children of Jacob. In this regard, anyone who belonged to any of the twelve tribes of Israel was the one whose mission of Jesus was to be fulfilled throng (Aejmelaeus, 2018, pp 18). Jesus as well belonged in the Jews group and the level of interaction between the Jews and other groups was always victimized. A Gentile was any other person and everyone else who was perceived not to be a Jew. Everyone else in this perspective was also limited in his or her interaction with the genuine Jews. in Latin the word Gentile and meant belonging to the people, but in the Gospels, "Gentile" meant any non-Jewish

The gentiles and the Jews had various difference in all their cultural believes and way of life. This meant that it was easier to distinguish between these two groups. The point of interest was who did Jesus come for? In the regard of salvation and the prophetic mission fulfillment. Even their spiritual beliefs were openly different. The Jews believed in the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob and followed the Old Testament cultural life that upheld the observance of the ten commandments. Jews believed in one transcendent God who created the universe and everything in it. They also thought that they were God's chosen people. This made them feel superior to any other group like the Gentiles.

Jews and Gentiles did not do any activity together as they had different believes but Jesus envisioned a time that the two groups would do everything together, including but not limited to even dining together. When Gentiles would dine with the Jews could reveal his mission of making human beings understand that all people are to one another. The segregation of the Gentiles by the Jews was a sign of weak Christian belief of what a true disciple should do.

The Jewish were the original people who followed the doctrines and teachings of Jesus. This made them believe that they were the only intended people to access salvation. The spiritual prowess made them look down upon anyone who interacted with Jesus and even themselves. The relevance of the experience between the Jews and the gentiles showed the gap between spirituality and self-life actualization (Lindemann, 2017, p 558). The doctrine had intentionally not dawned on them that Jesus was to be universally accepted. The rest of the world they referred to as Gentiles were also part of Jesus's mission. Therefore, this was mainly a massive issue and point of concern to the early church and its mission. The Jews had to accept all other people and embrace a unified religious mission rather than segregation of persons.

Because the earliest followers of Jesus were all Jewish, the Jews were therefore looked at as the people of God. With this tag of being the people of God, the Jew had a direct relationship with Jesus, but it should be considered that He was not the Jewish Messiah. We may think that it is evident that that gospel was for all – Jew and Gentile alike, but it wasn't obvious. To many Jews at the time, saying that Gentiles could be saved as Gentiles would be like someone saying to us, 'you don't need to be a Christian to be saved!'

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Theologically the mission of a religious activity should be universally, and the chosen should be ready to invite others to be part of the mission that they are to achieve. The animosity between the Jews and Gentiles is relevant in the modern world, with different denominations embracing Christianity (Ryken, 2019). A specific Christianity group considers others not to be relevant because they view them as lesser or sinful and could not access eternal life. So, what are the relevance of this to the Jews and the outcome of a good life is seen as human?

Finally, the relevance we consider key is that we have already seen and understood the concept and the ideology of choice or selection or the idea of the election of one people who are the Jews in this case for the sake of all the other population, and the gospel as restoring and bringing up and nurturing a relationship not just between God and the human being but also between human beings and fellow human beings. Therefore, as human beings, we ought to embrace acceptance and incorporate everyone in everything we do religiously. The religious mission is never for a few people, but everyone needs the opportunity to seek salvation.

Reference

Aejmelaeus, A., 2018. The Origins of the Septuagint—for Jews or Gentiles?. In Translation and Transmission: Collection of Articles (pp. 13-21). Ugarit-Verlag.

Blomberg, C.L., 2018. A New Testament Theology. Baylor University Press.

Lindemann, A., 2017. The Resurrection of Jesus: Reflections on Historical and Theological Questions. Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 93(4), pp.557-579.

Purzycki, B.G., Henrich, J., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q.D., Baimel, A., Cohen, E., McNamara, R.A., Willard, A.K., Xygalatas, D. and Norenzayan, A., 2018. The evolution of religion and morality: a synthesis of ethnographic and experimental evidence from eight societies. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 8(2), pp.101-132.

Ryken, L., 2019. Words of life: A literary introduction to the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers.


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