Paul Among the People

Author: Sarah Ruden

Publisher: Image

ISBN: 0307379027

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 7193


It is a common—and fundamental—misconception that Paul told people how to live. Apart from forbidding certain abusive practices, he never gives any precise instructions for living. It would have violated his two main social principles: human freedom and dignity, and the need for people to love one another. Paul was a Hellenistic Jew, originally named Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, who made a living from tent making or leatherworking. He called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and was the most important of the early Christian evangelists. Paul is not easy to understand. The Greeks and Romans themselves probably misunderstood him or skimmed the surface of his arguments when he used terms such as “law” (referring to the complex system of Jewish religious law in which he himself was trained). But they did share a language—Greek—and a cosmopolitan urban culture, that of the Roman Empire. Paul considered evangelizing the Greeks and Romans to be his special mission. “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The idea of love as the only rule was current among Jewish thinkers of his time, but the idea of freedom being available to anyone was revolutionary. Paul, regarded by Christians as the greatest interpreter of Jesus’ mission, was the first person to explain how Christ’s life and death fit into the larger scheme of salvation, from the creation of Adam to the end of time. Preaching spiritual equality and God’s infinite love, he crusaded for the Jewish Messiah to be accepted as the friend and deliverer of all humankind. In Paul Among the People, Sarah Ruden explores the meanings of his words and shows how they might have affected readers in his own time and culture. She describes as well how his writings represented the new church as an alternative to old ways of thinking, feeling, and living. Ruden translates passages from ancient Greek and Roman literature, from Aristophanes to Seneca, setting them beside famous and controversial passages of Paul and their key modern interpretations. She writes about Augustine; about George Bernard Shaw’s misguided notion of Paul as “the eternal enemy of Women”; and about the misuse of Paul in the English Puritan Richard Baxter’s strictures against “flesh-pleasing.” Ruden makes clear that Paul’s ethics, in contrast to later distortions, were humane, open, and responsible. Paul Among the People is a remarkable work of scholarship, synthesis, and understanding; a revelation of the founder of Christianity.

Paul Among the Postliberals

Author: Douglas Harink

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1625642687

Category: Religion

Page: 284

View: 6614


"Paul Among the Postliberals" sheds new light on Paul's letters by creating links between contemporary scholarship and the writings of theologians. Harink argues that Paul's central doctrine of justification by faith has been widely misunderstood; he emphasizes instead that the goal of the gospel is to free Christians for faithful action.

The People beside Paul

Author: Joseph A. Marchal

Publisher: SBL Press

ISBN: 1628370971

Category: Religion

Page: 354

View: 6727


Who are the people beside Paul, and what can we know about them? This volume brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars with a broad range of expertise and a common interest: Philippi in antiquity. Each essay engages one set of contextual particularities for Paul and the ordinary people of the Philippian assembly, while simultaneously placing them in wider settings. This 'people's history' uses both traditional and more cutting-edge methods to reconsider archaeology and architecture, economy and ethnicity, prisons and priestesses, slavery, syncretism, stereotypes of Jews, the colony of Philippi, and a range of communities. The contributors are Valerie Abrahamsen, Richard S. Ascough, Robert L. Brawley, Noelle Damico, Richard A. Horsley, Joseph A. Marchal, Mark D. Nanos, Peter Oakes, Gerardo Reyes Chavez, Angela Standhartinger, Eduard Verhoef, and Antoinette Clark Wire. Features An examination of the social forms and forces that shaped and affected the Philippian church Essays offer insight into standard questions about the letter s hymn and audience, Paul's 'opponents,' and the sites of the community and of Paul's imprisonment A focused exploration of more marginalized topics and groups, including women, slaves, Jews, and members of localized cults

St. Paul among the Philosophers

Author: John D. Caputo,Linda MartÃn Alcoff

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253003636

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 5346


In his epistles, St. Paul sounded a universalism that has recently been taken up by secular philosophers who do not share his belief in Christ, but who regard his project as centrally important for contemporary political life. The Pauline project -- as they see it -- is the universality of truth, the conviction that what is true is true for everyone, and that the truth should be known by everyone. In this volume, eminent New Testament scholars, historians, and philosophers debate whether Paul's promise can be fulfilled. Is the proper work of reading Paul to reconstruct what he said to his audiences? Is it crucial to retrieve the sense of history from the text? What are the philosophical undercurrents of Paul's message? This scholarly dialogue ushers in a new generation of Pauline studies.

Paul Among the Gentiles: A "Radical" Reading of Romans

Author: Jacob P. B. Mortensen

Publisher: Narr Francke Attempto Verlag

ISBN: 3772000754

Category: Religion

Page: 366

View: 2119


This exciting new interpretation of Pauls Letter to the Romans approaches Pauls most famous letter from one of the newest scholarly positions within Pauline Studies: The Radical New Perspective on Paul (also known as Paul within Judaism). As a point of departure, the author takes Pauls self-designation in 11:13 as apostle to the gentiles as so determining for Pauls mission that the audience of the letter is perceived to be exclusively gentile. The study finds confirmation of this reading-strategy in the letters construction of the interlocutor from chapter 2 onwards. Even in 2:17, where Paul describes the interlocutor as someone who calls himself a Jew, it requests to perceive this person as a gentile who presents himself as a Jew and not an ethnic Jew. If the interlocutor is perceived in this way throughout the letter, the dialogue between Paul and the interlocutor can be perceived as a continuous, unified and developing dialogue. In this way, this interpretation of Romans sketches out a position against a more disparate and fragmentary interpretation of Romans.

Paul Among the Apocalypses?

Author: J. P. Davies

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0567667294

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 3180


A vibrant and growing field of discussion in contemporary New Testament studies is the question of 'apocalyptic' thought in Paul. What is often lacking in this discussion, however, is a close comparison of Paul's would-be apocalyptic theology with the Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature of his time, and the worldview that literature expresses. This book addresses that challenge. Covering four key theological themes (epistemology, eschatology, cosmology and soteriology), J. P. Davies places Paul 'among the apocalypses' in order to evaluate recent attempts at outlining an 'apocalyptic' approach to his letters. While affirming much of what those approaches have argued, and agreeing that 'apocalyptic' is a crucial category for an understanding of the apostle, Davies also raises some important questions about the dichotomies which lie at the heart of the 'apocalyptic Paul' movement.

The Least of These

Author: Carla Swafford Works

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 1467458821

Category: Religion

Page: 205

View: 1186


Jesus cared for the least, but did Paul? The apostle Paul has a reputation for being detached from the concerns of the poor and powerless. In this book, Carla Swafford Works demonstrates that Paul’s message and ministry are in harmony with the teaching of Jesus. She brings to light an apostle who preaches and models good news to the “least of these”—the poor, the marginalized, the disadvantaged, and the vulnerable. The Least of These begins by highlighting the presence of the marginalized in Paul’s ministry by looking at poverty in Paul’s churches, the involvement of slaves and freedpersons in the community, and the role of women in the Pauline mission. Works then examines the significance of the marginalized in Pauline theology by investigating how the apostle employs metaphors of the “least.” Like Jesus, Paul cared deeply for people at the margins. Paul’s ministry is consistent with that of Jesus. Both men cared for the poor. Paul served the least in his mission, modeling his apostolic ministry after the cross of Christ. Works shows that Paul, far from being an abstract thinker, was a practical theologian teaching a message and leading a life of compassion, kindness, and care.

Meet Paul Again for the First Time

Author: David Christian Clausen

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1666719587

Category: Religion

Page: 268

View: 3900


This bold, new look at the apostle Paul will challenge longtime thinking about the “apostle to the gentiles.” Unfortunately, common misperceptions and outdated characterizations continue to prevail in mainstream teaching and preaching about Paul. Meet Paul Again for the First Time introduces readers to a brand-new Paul which, as it turns out, was the original Paul all along. With clarity and purpose, Clausen rejects unfounded preconceptions about the apostle. For example, he did not teach a “law-free gospel,” he did not reject Judaism or the law, and he did not see himself as a miserable sinner who found forgiveness only in Christ. Based on a reappraisal of first-century Judaism, recognition of the pagan targets of Paul’s mission, and an appreciation for Paul’s skill as a Greco-Roman rhetorician and interpreter of Jewish scripture, Meet Paul Again brings consistency and clarity to critical Pauline concepts including the new covenant, works of the law, preservation and deliverance, the future of Israel, and the status of gentiles in God’s family. Paul’s was a mission of inclusiveness. His primary objective was to preserve sinning gentiles from God’s wrath, and welcome them in worship beside their Jewish brothers and sisters, before the imminent arrival of the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

The Christian Church

Author: Hans Schwarz

Publisher: Fortress Press

ISBN: 9781451409291

Category: Religion

Page: 388

View: 2580


With thoroughness and clarity, Hans Schwarz presents a historical and systematic understanding of the church - its worship and piety, its traditions and doctrines, its forms and structures. This skilled assessment outlines the impact of the church today and analyzes its prospects for the future.

Philo and Paul Among the Sophists

Author: Bruce W. Winter,Dr John Court, B.A., PH.D.

Publisher: CUP Archive

ISBN: 9780521591089

Category: Religion

Page: 289

View: 1296


A study of Philo and Paul and the first-century sophistic movement.