Chapter

Apostles and Evangelists

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199246955.003.0007

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Apostles and Evangelists

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The authors of the four gospels not only provided support for oral tradition as memories of Jesus faded but also interpreted it for succeeding generations. The continued story of the Church in Acts constitutes the best source for the history of the missionary activities of Peter and Paul among the Gentiles. The Jerusalem church retained authority, especially among Jewish Christians, even after the church in Rome, centre of the Gentile world and scene of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, came to be seen as the most important of the Christian churches. The deaths of Peter and Paul created a vacuum in authority in which various notions, including early Gnostic ideas, surfaced in particular churches. Early Christians came from a cross section of society, and their diversity in origins and language caused them to be seen as a ‘third race’, neither pagan nor Jew.

Keywords: Acts of the Apostles; early Christians; gospels; Jerusalem; Paul; Peter; Rome; social composition

Chapter.  4983 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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