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Paul: A Very Short Introduction
(formerly The Past Masters Series)
From The Publisher:
Paul is the most powerful human personality in the history of the Church. A missionary, theologian, and religious genius, in his epistles he laid the foundations on which later Christian theology was built.
Following his conversion from persecutor of the Christian movement to apostle, Paul began preaching a simple missionary gospel. As problems arose out of his message, he provided impassioned and vigorous answers, but these do not make up a single system in which each argument is methodically related to the others. He thought that the one God of the world was the God of Israel, and also that God sent Christ to save all people, without regard to whether or not they were Jewish.
In this highly original introduction to Paul's life and thought, E. P. Sanders, whose research on Paul has substantially influenced recent scholarship, pays equal attention to Paul's fundamental convictions and the sometimes convoluted ways in which they were worked out.
Missionary, theologian, and religious genius, Paul is one of the most powerful human personalities in the history of the Church. E.P. Sanders, an influential Pauline scholar, analyzes the fundamental beliefs and vigorous contradictions in Paul's thought, discovering a philosophy that is less of a monolithic system than the apostle's convictions would seem to suggest. This volume offers an incisive summation of Paul's career, as well as his role in the development of early Christianity. Both lucid and judicious, it is the most compelling short introduction to Paul now available.
"An incisive summation of the essentials of Paul's career and role in development of early Christianity. Sanders highlights key elements in Pauline thought."
Harry Rosenberg, Colorado State Univ.
"This book is lucid and judicious. It's the most concise introduction to Paul I've seen, and it is excellent as a quick intro at the beginning of a course, preparing the students for further study of Paul's letters themselves."
Jeffrey A. Trumbower, St. Michael's College
"This short readable volume is packed with the wisdom and insights of a scholar whose contribution to the field of Pauline studies is respected around the world."
J. Samuel Escobar, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Written clearly, and the focus is on the most important issues. The 'participation' business is treated well."
David P. Efroymson, La Salle University
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About the Author
E.P. Sanders is Arts and Sciences Professor of Religion at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. His other Fortress Press books include Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People (1983) and Jesus and Judaism (1985), winner of the 1990 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Paul and Palestinian Judaism received the 1978 National Religious Book Award, Scholarly Book Category, from Religious Book Review.
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