Communicating the Gospel in the Early Church: Jesus, Peter, and Paul


The communication of the Gospel in the early church has two major aspects: global strategy and local methods. The global strategy focuses on the proclamation of the good news of God’s revelation in Jesus, Israel’s messiah and savior of the world, to as many people as possible. While Jesus’ ministry focused largely on the Jewish people, the ministries of Peter and Paul extended the proclamation of the good news of God’s revelation beyond the Jewish people to Syrians, Greeks, and Romans. We will discuss relevant promises and prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures, Jesus’ ministry, call, and commission, Peter’s global missionary vision, and Paul’s global missionary strategy. The global strategy of Jesus, Peter, and Paul is translated into tangible reality by local methods. We will discuss Jesus and the people of Galilee, Peter’s work among the people living in Jerusalem, Samaria, and Judea, and Paul’s work among the people living in cities in the eastern Mediterranean, with a focus on Paul’s missionary tactics. We will see that the geographical scope of Paul’s missionary work was not controlled by a grand global strategy which he used to decide in which cities he should start a new missionary initiative, such as focusing on big cities, or on Roman colonies, or on the regions in which the descendants of Japhet settled, or because he wanted to fulfill the "programme" of Isa. 66:19. The evidence indicates that Paul moved to geographically adjacent areas which were open for missionary work, which means that it was "local methods" that account for his geographical movements.