Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul
In the beginning of the new era, the Christians were just another Jewish sect. The others were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, and many we probably never heard of. By the end of the first century, “thirty sects of Christians might be reckoned in Asia Minor, in Syria, in Alexandria, and even in Rome” (Beyond Religion vol. I, The Carrot and the Stick, essay # 28, by the same author).
Peter had to find a way to establish his, or Yeshûa’s, followers as a recognized entity, which followed a similar set of rules, or at least the same teaching. With others competing for the hearts and minds of people around, it couldn’t have been easy.
And the teaching of Yeshûa was characterized by the Master’s often-repeated phrase: “Why do you not understand my speech?” (John 8:43). There is a touch of mystery there; perhaps even irony?
Do we understand the teaching today? Yet Peter had to. He was the ‘Rock’. What could have it been that was so incomprehensible even to his chosen few?