Jesus Had No Passion For Converting The Gentiles.

Everything we read about Jesus had to be put in two contexts. One is that if such a person lived where it is claimed he lived, he was an orthodox Jew and nothing else. Another is that whatever is attributed to him we can assume was actually the voice of the unknown authors writing after Jesus was dead.

What the Bible shows is that the authors portraying Jesus’ life as a preacher seemingly did not want him converting gentiles to Judaism. There is no specific reference to such preaching by Jesus in the four cannon gospels.

The reason people believe Jesus was gung ho about converting the Gentiles is the passages attributed to him after he came back to life. Then, and only then, he told his followers to preach to the world. Further, he said anyone who failed to believe was doomed to hell.

So, the question is this. Why did the writers not have their Jesus character preaching to Gentiles early on? Why did they have Jesus telling his followers to preach to Gentiles when he, himself, did not do it?

My theory is that the original writers had in mind a pure Jewish society in which there was a local hero. As time passed, the goal of the movement changed. By the time the hand written texts had been recopied for years, the broader mission was inserted.

The texts were changed to have Jesus advocating for converting Gentiles. When the gospels authors wanted to deliver some important message, they would insert it in the quotes from Jesus.

[A Christian’s view of Jesus and the gentiles can be linked in comments.]

12 Responses

    1. Geoffrey

      You make very good points about the Bible itself, which many of us Christians fail to remember: It wasn’t written during the time Jesus would have walked the earth: ~5BC to ~33 AD (or C.E. for pedants).

      However, I don’t understand the thinking that the letters somehow “changed” the Jesus of the gospels into allowing Gentile converts. The 4 canonical gospels themselves were written after most of the letters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible#The_New_Testament

      Remember, too, that the religion started as an oral tradition, with all literary sources coming long after people started practicing it. If anything, the Bible (gospels and letters) followed what the people were already doing.

  1. dean

    Jon, to my knowledge, Jews today and in the past have never really wanted conversions to Judeism. It was only when writers of the new testament realized that a new religion, ( that be Chistianity) was at hand, and there were benefits, ( power and money) to be had, that they went into the expansion mode which exists to this day. Sound plausible?

    1. dean 2:52 Jon, to my knowledge, Jews today and in the past have never really wanted conversions to Judeism. It was only when writers of the new testament realized that a new religion, ( that be Chistianity) was at hand, and there were benefits, ( power and money) to be had, that they went into the expansion mode which exists to this day. Sound plausible?

      Good point, Dean.

      1. entech

        From what I understand Judaism is one of the hardest religions to convert to and Christianity one of the easiest.

        1. entech 6:45 From what I understand Judaism is one of the hardest religions to convert to and Christianity one of the easiest

          I don’t know what is required to call oneself a Jew. As for Christians, there is seemingly no bar or requirement to be met. It is certainly not required that someone believe in the literal Jesus nor that a Jesus died for sin. Maybe there is a requirement one not be both a Hindu and Christian at the same time.

          1. Kerry West

            There is a requirement. Foremost, that you believe Jesus died for your sins, that He rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father. All the rest He takes care of as you grow as a Christian, but make no mistake, there are consequences for how we behave even in our Christian lives. We are held to a standard, just as our parents held us to a certain standard.

          2. Kerry 2:26 Thanks for taking time to comment here.

            There is a requirement. Foremost, that you believe Jesus died for your sins, that He rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father.

            I realize you have this very strongly held opinion as to what it means to be a Christian. It turns out, however, this is not a requirement. I know a head preacher of a very large United Church of Christ church who has said publically he does not believe Jesus died for our sins. There is no credible record that this is actually true.

            As to punishment to whoever does not believe all this, we don’t know about any case so far where someone has been punished in any afterlife for not believing Jesus died for our sins.

            I hope you will continue to share your thoughts on this.

          3. Chuck Z

            There are no credible words in The Bible on what it takes to be a Christian, but there are plenty of credible words that Jesus cared not about converting the Gentilles…….according to you. Amazing.

          4. Chuck Z. 5:47 There are no credible words in The Bible on what it takes to be a Christian, but there are plenty of credible words that Jesus cared not about converting the Gentilles…….according to you. Amazing

            On not converting the Gentiles I was quoting from the link. I really haven’t looked for myself. On being a Christian, I said all kinds of people who believe all kinds of things call themselves Christian. It’s not necessary to take what’s in the Bible literally, any part of it, to call oneself a Christian.

            I know this is “wrong”…according to you. Amazing.

          5. Geoffrey

            I think you are conflating two things: 1) Calling oneself a Jew and 2) Converting to Judaism.

            It is easy to call oneself a Jew. I can do it right now – I am a Jew. I am not however, a member of any Jewish religion, faith, or temple.

            The same is true of Christianity, for most branches. Take Catholicism, for example. To join the faith, you technically must have received two sacraments of initiation: baptism (usually any denomination will do) and confirmation (converts usually must take RCIA classes). Furthermore, you are technically supposed to follow 5 precepts/rules of the church to be a member “in communion” with the church. Violate any of those and, regardless of what you believe, you are no longer a formal member.

            The opposite is also true – you can be a formal member, while not believing any of the Jesus stuff – you can just go through the motions. The real distinction is that belief and membership are different.

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