To Christians, the Gospels are both the end and the beginning. The coming of Jesus was the fulfilment of the prophesies in the Old Testament, as was his crucifixion. The resurrection and its meaning heralded the beginning of the new religion of Christianity.
To Judaism, the Gospels mean nothing. They did not accept Jesus was the Messiah and are still waiting for the one they believe is the genuine one. I have nothing against either Judaism or Jews in general. They have their beliefs, Christians have theirs. It is not my place to say who is right and who is wrong.
Originally, in 2011, I only ever intended to create the narrative of the combined Gospels. Now, some seven years later, I feel it necessary to create a similar narrative concerning what happened next. Principally, what did the apostles do after the crucifixion, and how did Christianity develop?
With the combined Gospels, I tried to include the original verses as they were, only modifying the words to ensure a continuous flow. In this section, I will not be duplicating the whole of the New Testament, but only concentrating on the key points. It will be very much a subjective summary of what occurred, as I understand it.
The main reason I am attempting this, is to make a narrative that is easy to understand for lay people and minimizes what they need to read. As with the combined Gospels, I will include references for people to do their own research. Being a layman myself, I must state right now that I have no qualifications that enable me to do this. It will be purely my understanding.
Trying to make something simple from a subject so complex is not going to be an easy task, and it will be very much a “work in progress”. I need to do a lot of research and cross-checking to ensure what I am saying agrees with what most qualified people accept to be true.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with the Bible, or that one version is more correct than another. I am merely saying you don’t need to read the whole lot to understand how Christianity began, developed and the link between it and the Gospels. Neither am I saying one denomination is more correct than another. My aim is to tell the story, not to promote one belief over another.
To begin, I am creating two pages – one that explains the subject of Roman rule, and one that explains the role of the Sanhedrin. Both figure prominently in the Gospels and these pages are designed to consolidate the relevance they played for the Jews at the time. Since they continue to play a vital part in the development of Christianity, they may help people understand what happened, both in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament.
My plan is to then create the narrative, with an index of topics – as I did with the Gospels.