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The Paul Quest: The Renewed Search for the Jew of Tarsus
     

The Paul Quest: The Renewed Search for the Jew of Tarsus

by Ben Witherington, Ben Witherington III
 

A Christianity Today 1999 Book of the Year!

Who was the real Paul?

Some of Paul's contemporaries seem to have asked the same question. For some he was Paul the tentmaker. For others he was Paul the heretic, Paul the peripatetic philosopher, Paul the would-be apostle, Paul the prophet, or Paul the founder of Christian communities and missionary hero.

For

Overview

A Christianity Today 1999 Book of the Year!

Who was the real Paul?

Some of Paul's contemporaries seem to have asked the same question. For some he was Paul the tentmaker. For others he was Paul the heretic, Paul the peripatetic philosopher, Paul the would-be apostle, Paul the prophet, or Paul the founder of Christian communities and missionary hero.

For more than a decade there has been a renewed quest for the real Paul behind the Acts of the Apostles and the collection of Pauline letters. Although this quest has not gained the visibility of the renewed quest of the historical Jesus, it is a thriving enterprise joined by Protestant, Catholic and Jewish scholars as well as those interested in Paul as a figure of the first-century Greco-Roman world.

One of the great gains of this quest for the historical Paul has been a fresh encounter with Paul the Jew. The flood of new insight into Judaism of the first century has illuminated features of Paul that were previously obscured. A scholarly reacquaintance with the classical Roman world has filled in even more details.

In this book, Ben Witherington III examines and evaluates the various profiles of Paul that have been newly discovered or recently refurbished. We encounter Paul as an ancient Mediterranean personality and watch him operate in a social environment where honor, shame, patronage and corporate identity are daily considerations. We discover new dimensions of Paul's epistles as we observe him dictating letters and gauging his rhetoric. We enter into the field of controversy where Paul the apostle and prophet meets his opponents. We reconsider the nature of the human body and Christian community as we meet Paul the anthropologist and champion of woman and slave. Paul, the man of the big idea, shows himself to be in truth a storyteller and interpreter of Israel's holy history.

In and through all of these complexities, we discover Paul to be a consistent and coherent theologian and ethicist whose thinking reaches out across nearly two thousand years to engage men and women today. With The Paul Quest Witherington leads an exploratory tour and reappraisal of the historical Paul, a sweeping survey of the contemporary rediscovery of the Jew from Tarsus.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830815036
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
10/01/1998
Pages:
347
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.41(d)

What People are Saying About This

Max Turner
An academically robust, illuminating, comprehensive yet admirably lucid portrait of Paul in the social, cultural and religious setting(s) of the eastern Mediterranean. A 'must' for all students of Paul.

Meet the Author

Ben Witherington III (Ph.D., University of Durham, England) is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of many books on the New Testament, including Women and the Genesis of Christianity (Cambridge University Press), Jesus the Sage (Fortress Press), The Jesus Quest (InterVarsity Press) and The Paul Quest (InterVarsity Press).

With Hershel Shanks he is coauthor of The Brother of Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco), a book on the controversial James ossuary. A frequent contributor to Beliefnet.com, Witherington has also appeared on numerous TV news programs such as Dateline, 60 Minutes, 20/20 and the Peter Jennings ABC special Jesus and Paul—The Word and the Witness.

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