The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon
ISBN: 0061430722
EAN13: 9780061430725
Language: English
Pages: 240
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 5.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
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Book Overview
Two of today's top Christian scholars seek to restore the radical teachings of Paul from domestication by the church.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover Bestselling authors of The Last Week and The First Christmas , Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join once again to present a new understanding of early Christianity--this time to reveal a radical Paul who has been suppressed by the church. Paul is second only to Jesus as the most important person in the birth of Christianity, and yet he continues to be controversial, even among Christians. How could the letters of Paul be used both to inspire radical grace and to endorse systems of oppression--condoning slavery, subordinating women, condemning homosexual behavior? Borg and Crossan use the best of biblical and historical scholarship to explain the reasons for Paul's mixed reputation and reveal to us what scholars have known for decades: that the later letters of Paul were created by the early church to dilute Paul's egalitarian message and transform him into something more acceptable. They argue there are actually Three Pauls in the New Testament: The Radical Paul (of the seven genuine letters), The Conservative Paul (of the three disputed epistles), and The Reactionary Paul (of the three inauthentic letters). By closely examining this progression of Paul's letters--from the authentic to the inauthentic--the authors show how the apostle was slowly but steadily deradicalized to fit Roman social norms in regards to slavery, patriarchy, and patronage. In truth, Paul was an appealing apostle of Jesus whose vision of life in Christ--one of his favored phrases--is remarkably faithful to the message of Jesus himself.
From the front Cover Bestselling authors of The Last Week and The First Christmas , Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join once again to present a new understanding of early Christianity--this time to reveal a radical Paul who has been suppressed by the church. Paul is second only to Jesus as the most important person in the birth of Christianity, and yet he continues to be controversial, even among Christians. How could the letters of Paul be used both to inspire radical grace and to endorse systems of oppression--condoning slavery, subordinating women, condemning homosexual behavior? Borg and Crossan use the best of biblical and historical scholarship to explain the reasons for Paul's mixed reputation and reveal to us what scholars have known for decades: that the later letters of Paul were created by the early church to dilute Paul's egalitarian message and transform him into something more acceptable. They argue there are actually Three Pauls in the New Testament: The Radical Paul (of the seven genuine letters), The Conservative Paul (of the three disputed epistles), and The Reactionary Paul (of the three inauthentic letters). By closely examining this progression of Paul's letters--from the authentic to the inauthentic--the authors show how the apostle was slowly but steadily deradicalized to fit Roman social norms in regards to slavery, patriarchy, and patronage. In truth, Paul was an appealing apostle of Jesus whose vision of life in Christ--one of his favored phrases--is remarkably faithful to the message of Jesus himself. -- Booklist (starred review)

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