Edwin D. Freed
A careful analysis of Paul's letters shows that in every church there were two main groups of converts: those who were baptized and those being instructed for baptism. Such analysis also makes it possible to determine which parts of each letter were directed towards which group. Baptism was the rite by which converts were forgiven their past sins and became members of a renewed community of God, from which any who continued to sin were expelled. The Morality of Paul's Converts argues that Paul was always more concerned with how converts behaved than with what they believed about Christ. Paul remained a Jew even after he accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Paul eventually developed beliefs about Jesus as the Son of God in order to win Gentile converts to faithfulness, but this careful analysis of his writings reveals that his primary concern was always the morality of converts. His message always remained focused on faithfulness toward God and moral probity.