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Student Research Projects

St. Paul of Tarsus and St. Augustine of Hippo: A Comparison of the New Testament Writer and the Early Church Father

Student Frederick Swift
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Clayton Drees
Department History
Course History 460: Senior Project Seminar


One of the critiques of early Christian theology is that it was not truly a Jewish sect, but based on Hellenistic influences. St. Paul of Tarsus was said to be one of the major Hellenistic influences of this new cult. This paper will attempt to show that the influences brought to early Christianity by St. Paul of Tarsus were closely aligned with the Judaism of his period, and that Hellenistic and Neo-Platonic influences were added later by early Patristic fathers, many of whom came to Christianity from Pagan and Neo-Platonic backgrounds. St. Augustine of Hippo is an example of the early patristic fathers who came to Christianity from other pagan beliefs and is compared in this paper against Paul to illustrate the Hellenistic influences of this early theologian and church father against the more comparably Jewish beliefs of St. Paul.


Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, March, 2008 at CNU


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