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For some of us, the apostle Paul is intimidating, like a distant and difficult uncle. We're told he's pretty important. We've even read some of the good parts of his letters. But he can come across as prickly and unpredictable. Not someone you'd like to hang out with at a coffee shop on a rainy day. He'd make a scene, evangelize the barista, and arouse looks across the room. For a mid-morning latte, we'd prefer Jesus over Paul.
But Paul is actually the guy who from Ephesus to Athens was the talk of the marketplace, the raconteur of the Parthenon. He knew everyone, founded emerging churches, and held his own against the intellectuals of his day. Maybe it's time to give Paul a break, let go of some stereotypes, and try to get to know him on his own terms.
If you're willing to give Paul a try, Rediscovering Paul is your reliable guide. This is a book that reacquaints us with Paul, as if for the first time arrested by Christ on the Damascus Road, holding forth in the marketplace of Corinth, working with a secretary in framing his letter to the Romans, or dealing with the messiness of emerging churches from Ephesus to Rome.
Drawing on the best of contemporary scholarship, and with language shaped by teaching and conversing with today's students, Rediscovering Paul is a textbook that has passed the test. Now in an expanded edition, it s better than ever. There are fresh discussions of Paul s letter writing and how those letters were received in the churches, new considerations of pseudonymity and the authenticity of Paul s letters, and updated coverage of recent developments in interpreting Paul. In addition, the So What? feature much loved by students has been expanded. For considering the full range of issues, from Paul s conversion and call to his ongoing impact on church and culture, this second edition of Rediscovering Paul comes enthusiastically recommended.
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About the Author
Rodney Reeves (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of The Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry and professor of biblical studies at Southwest Baptist University, both in Bolivar, Missouri. Previously a pastor with churches in Arkansas and Texas, Reeves is author or coauthor of A Genuine Faith, Spirituality According to Paul, and Rediscovering Jesus. His articles have appeared in journals such as Perspectives in Religious Studies, Biblical Illustrator, Southwestern Journal of Theology, and Preaching.
E. Randolph Richards (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is provost and professor of biblical studies in the School of Ministry at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is a popular speaker and has authored and coauthored dozens of books and articles, including Paul Behaving Badly, A Little Book for New Bible Scholars, Rediscovering Jesus, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, The Story of Israel, and Paul and First-Century Letter Writing.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: The Challenges of Rediscovering Paul
1. Rediscovering Paul in His World
2. The Christophany
3. Paul, the Letter Writer
4. The Itinerant Paul: Galatians
5. The Itinerant Paul: The Thessalonian Letters
6. The Itinerant Paul: The Corinthian Letters
7. The Itinerant Paul: Romans
8. The Imprisoned Paul
9. The Pastoral Paul
10. Paul's Theology and Spirituality
11. Paul's Legacy
12. Paul's Letters to Our Churches
Author Index subject Index
What People are Saying About This
"Many people who think they understand Paul actually misunderstand him. Professors Capes, Reeves and Richards have given the beginning student of Paul a much-needed, readable and insightful entrée into the apostle's social world, ministry, letters, theology and legacy. The Paul they help us rediscover speaks the gospel of Christ crucified and raised not only to the first century, but also to the twenty-first."
Michael J. Gorman, Dean, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology, and Professor of Sacred Scripture, St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore, Maryland
"Several good textbooks cover the background, life, letters and theology of Paul at a seminary or graduate-school level, which some advanced college students can handle. But nothing currently in print accomplishes all of these tasks well, with the representative undergraduate as its primary target audience, at least not from an evangelical perspective. Capes, Reeves and Richards now admirably fill this gap, not only with excellent, readable content but also user-friendly sidebars explaining the significance for modern life of numerous ancient events and customs. At the same time, they teach us to think more like members of Paul's first-century Mediterranean audiences to interpret Paul's writings more accurately. A rare gift to both the church and to academia!"
Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
"It is unusual that Bob Dylan, Larry Norman and the movie The Godfather all make it into a book about Paul the apostle. But they do here! David Capes, Rodney Reeves and Randolph Richards have written an introductory textbook to Paul that attempts to place him with one foot firmly in his own world and the other squarely in today's. The authors correct a number of misconceptions about the world in which Paul lived and wrote, and help us as readers to come to terms with the significance of his letters and theology for our times. This book will serve as a useful introductory guide to undergraduates and seminarians alike."
Stanley E. Porter, president, dean and professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
"A vast, sometimes overwhelming array of data and issues confronts today's student stepping into the study of Paul for the first time. Yet weaving together insights from recent research, Rediscovering Paul offers a helpful, accessible introduction to the rich tapestry of cultures, events, theology and mission that shaped the great apostle and his writings."
George H. Guthrie, Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible, Union University