Part 1 is available here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here.
KRT: What role did the war in A.D. 70 between Rome and Israel play? Did it hurt the Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem, while at the same time sort of pave the way for the spread of the theology of Paul, who had been martyred by that point in time?
AP: We believe that's what happened because we have so few remnants of their theology there with the group associated with Jerusalem–six or eight Gospels, I would say. Let's consider a passage in Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History, which was written at the beginning of the fourth century. He tells us that the Holy Spirit inspired the Judeo-Christians of Jerusalem to go out beyond the Jordan, knowing that great carnage was on its way. That hostility did come during the First Great Revolt against Rome, which ended with the defeat of the Jews and the destruction of the city and its temple. There could be some truth in Eusebius' mention of the Judeo-Christians of Jerusalem leaving the city prior to the destruction of the city. But it would have only been a few of them. The vast majority would have remained in the city and perished at the hands of the Romans. Why do I say that? Well, had more left the city we would have a larger historical record of their writings than what we have today. Of course, someone could say that the early church was already at that point in time burning those apocryphal Gospels.
KRT: Wouldn't just one survivor from this community in Jerusalem have had enough authority to discredit Paul's theology? Or what about another community that had been evangelized by the group in Jerusalem?
AP: They certainly fought against his theology. Just read the letters to the Philippians, the churches in Galatia, and Romans. But by the year A.D. 70 both Jesus and those who had direct contact with him as disciples had all died. It was after that point that the four Gospels, now known as canonical, were written. At that point, who could have said an interpretation was wrong or exaggerated? And Paul's theology was the most comfortable and the powerful. No one could have stopped it. There was no future in a Christianity that highlighted the Jewish traits of Jesus after the war in A.D. 70, and especially after A.D. 135, when Hadrian did all he did. A very Jewish Christianity simply was not appealing after that.