Insights about Mack and Frederiksen

"Christ Cult"

"Denationalizing Christ"

Paul saw worship of Jesus as a way to bring together both Jews and Gentiles.

Paul took the message of Jesus to non-Jews as well.

The Christ cult was an alternative to Judaism rather than a variant of it.

The term "Christ" (peculiar to Judaism) now becomes a term for everyone.

Belief in Jesus as the Christ could replace or equal belief in the Torah and make Gentiles "honorary Jews".

The last days and redemption now are for the world, not just the Jewish nation.

The Christ cult developed rituals for worshipping Jesus such as baptism and the Eucharist.  Paul gives those rituals cosmic significance.

The historical Jesus is removed from Davidic genealogy to become a cosmic figure.

The belief that Jesus died for the sins of all is a major characteristic of the Christ cult.

Paul emphasized Jesus's divine spirit and guidance rather than the historical Jesus.

Paul makes Jewish apocalyptic into a universal cosmic design, foreseen from the beginning of time.

Paul shifted away from the necessity of identification with the nation of Israel.


Paul de-emphasized the Jewish roots of the movement.


Paul emphasized Jesus's death and resurrection more than his teachings.


Paul de-emphasized those aspects of Torah that were difficult for non-Jews to accept.