New College, University of Edinburgh
Who Founded Christianity? Apparently Paul.

Who Founded Christianity? Apparently Paul.

(Helen Bond) Last Wednesday, CSCO teamed up with two student theology groups to host an end of semester debate on Who Founded Christianity? Possible candidates were Jesus (Paul Foster), St Paul (Larry Hurtado), Marcion (Sara Parvis) and Irenaeus (Paul Parvis). Amid general hilarity and some particularly hammy acting (mentioning no names, PF!), the packed Martin Hall heard Jesus argue that he was the obvious founder of the movement bearing his name, St Paul protest that if it were not for him Christianity would have remained a Jewish sect, Marcion argue that it was his radical severance of Jewish elements after the Bar Kochba revolt that really got the ball rolling, and Irenaeus peacefully note that it was his theological vision which made Christianity what it is today (as we all read in his five books).

We used a special clicker voting system which allowed students to choose their favourite speaker. Jesus and St Paul made it through to the final, and the perhaps slightly surprising final outcome was a narrow win for St Paul. So, you heard it first on the CSCO website – St Paul founded Christianity!

Thanks to all those who took part!

  • CSCO Team,
  • 3rd December 2011


  • reyjacobs, 3rd December 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply

    I’d say it was Marcion….because I just can’t convince myself that Paul isn’t merely his literary creation.

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