Paul: A Critical Life / Edition 1

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Traditionally the Acts of the Apostles has provided the framework for biographies of the Apostle Paul. In recent years, however, the historical value of the Acts has come into question. Many scholars argue that, despite the accuracy of many details, the text as a whole reflects the interests of Luke rather than objective reality.

This book presents a completely new, and much more vivid and dramatic, account of the life of Paul than any before. While continuing to give consideration to the Acts, Murphy-O'Connor reconstructs the apostle's life—from his childhood in Taursus and his years as a student in Jerusalem, to the successes and failures of his ministry—from his own writings. Reinforcing his critical analysis of Paul's letters with close attention to archaeology and contemporary texts, Murphy-O'Connor not only charts Paul's movements, but extracts a new understanding of his motives and the social and cultural aspects of his ministry. Most important of all, this biography transforms a fountain of theological ideas into a human being.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is likely to become the standard work on Paul's life for the next generation and is warmly recommended as such."—Choice

"An important scholarly biography of Paul based on an extensive analysis of his letters rather than on Luke's Acts of the Apostles, as is traditionally done....Recommended for academic libraries."—Library Journal

"Jerome Murphy O'Connor has brought to a climax 30 years of contributions to this field. His fine new work shows him apparently undaunted by the complexity of the task."—The Tablet

"Of the books I know that deal with Paul's life, this is by far the most detailed, the most carefully argued, and the most imaginative...This is an amazing book. It is characterized by erudition and precision."—The Princeton Seminary Bulletin

"...he offers many historical details and local color that illumine the social context of Paul's ministry."—Southwestern Journal of Theology

Bulletin Princeton Seminary
"Of the books I know that deal with Paul's life this is by far themost detailed, the most carefully argued, andthemost imaginatie... This is an amazing book. it is characterized by erudition and precision."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192853424
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,274,050
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor is Professor of the New Testament at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française, Jerusalem. He is a world expert on Paul, and a contributor both to the Oxford Companion to the Bible, and the forthcoming Oxford Bible Commentary.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
1 The Chronological Framework 1
2 Growing Up in Tarsus 32
3 A Pharisee in Jerusalem 52
4 Conversion and its Consequences 71
5 Learning with the Thessalonians 102
6 Meetings and Meals: Jerusalem and Antioch 130
7 The Years in Ephesus 158
8 Conflict in Galatia 185
9 Partnership at Philippi 211
10 Contemplation at Colossae 231
11 Confusion at Corinth 252
12 Corinth in Crisis 291
13 Looking Westward 323
14 The Last Years 341
Bibliography 372
Index of Passages Cited 396
General Index 410
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