Ancient Christianity Symbols

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According to Krister Stendahl, the main concern of Paul's writings on Jesus' role, and salvation by faith, is not the individual conscience of human sinners, and their doubts about being chosen by God or not, but the problem of the inclusion of gentile (Greek) Torah observers into God's convenant. [92][93][94][web 13] The inclusion of Gentiles posed a problem for the early Christian community, since the new converts did not follow all "Jewish Law" and refused to be circumcised,[95] as circumcision was considered repulsive in Hellenistic culture. [web 14] According to Fredriksen, Paul's opposition to male circumcison for Gentiles is in line with Old Testament predictions that "in the last days the gentile nations would come to the God of Israel, as gentiles (e. g. , Zechariah 8:20-23), not as proselytes to Israel. "[web 15] For Paul, Gentile male circumcision was therefore an affront to God's intentions. [web 15] According to Hurtado, "Paul saw himself as what Munck called a salvation-historical figure in his own right," who was "personally and singularly deputized by God to bring about the predicted ingathering (the “fullness”) of the nations (Romans 11:25). "[web 15]