Such in bare outline is the liberal view of the origin of Paulinism and of Christianity.
But the character of Paulinism does not depend upon one passage.
Even a history of Paulinism will be sought for in the book in vain.
Yet we cannot speak of any total effect of Paulinism, as there was no such thing.
This hypothesis represents the application to the problem of Paulinism of the method of modern comparative religion.
At this point, as elsewhere, Paulinism is based not upon later developments but upon the religion of the Prophets and the Psalms.
Paulinism has been explained by the influence upon Paul of various features of his environment.
If the account was true, the origin of Paulinism is explained; if it was not true, the Church is based upon an inexplicable error.
In very recent years, another account of the origin of Paulinism is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Irenæus immediately shows the influence of Paulinism very clearly.