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Paul: The Man and the Myth opens the window into the humanity of the most influential apostle of the early Christian church and, in doing so, offers a fresh view of this important historical figure. In examining the apostle and his theology, Calvin J. Roetzel vividly depicts Paul's world - the land where he grew up, the language he spoke, the scriptures he studied, and the lessons he learned in letter writing and rhetoric. Roetzel presents an evangelist anxious about the welfare of his churches, a theologian facing fierce opposition, a missionary at the mercy of the elements, and a man suffering physical assault, slander, and imprisonment. In contrast to the powerful hero described in Acts and the Apocryphal Acts, Roetzel's portrayal presents a physically weak, even sickly, theologian; a letter writer; and a preacher unskilled in speech. Questioning the historicity of widely held beliefs about the apostle - including his Roman citizenship - Roetzel suggests that Paul never abandoned ties to his native Judaism or to the Hellenistic culture of his childhood. Roetzel underscores that no matter how Paul's image has changed through history, he remains forever tied to support for the weak and vulnerable, faith in one God, and the transgressing of social boundaries.
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Editorial Reviews

Characterizes the most influential apostle of the early Christian church as an evangelist anxious about the welfare of his churches; a theologian facing fierce opposition; a missionary at the mercy of the elements; and a man suffering physical assaults, slander, and imprisonment. Also contrasts the depiction in the Bible by presenting him as physically weak, even sickly, and a letter writer and preacher unskilled in speech. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800631734
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/30/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Calvin J. Roetzel is Sundet Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis. He also serves on the Council of the Society of Biblical Literature.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Early Paul 8
2 The Apostle to the Gentiles 44
3 The Letter Writer 69
4 The Theologizer 93
5 "The Model Ascetic" 135
6 The Mythic Apostle 152
Excursus on Pauline Chronology 178
Notes 185
Bibliography 229
Index of Scriptural Passages 245
Index of Subjects 259
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