Do most scholars say that Jesus never viewed himself as creating a new religion per se, just reforming Judaism?

While there are different opinions on the matter, many scholars do argue that Jesus did not view himself as creating a new religion but rather as a reformer of Judaism.

One of the main arguments in support of this view is that Jesus was a Jew himself and his teachings were steeped in Jewish traditions and beliefs. He often quoted from the Hebrew Bible and drew upon Jewish ideas such as the concept of the Kingdom of God. Moreover, his followers continued to attend synagogues and observe Jewish customs even after his death.

Another argument put forth by scholars is that Jesus did not explicitly reject Jewish law but rather criticized the way it was being interpreted and applied by the religious leaders of his time. He called for a return to the original spirit of the law and emphasized the importance of compassion and mercy over legalism.

Furthermore, Jesus' teachings were not aimed at creating a new religious system but rather at calling people to repentance and a closer relationship with God. His message was one of love, forgiveness, and the establishment of a new community based on these principles.

However, it should be noted that not all scholars agree with this view. Some argue that Jesus did in fact intend to create a new religion, citing his emphasis on personal salvation and his claim to be the Son of God. They also point to the fact that his followers eventually separated from mainstream Judaism and developed their own distinct beliefs and practices.

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Jamie Larson