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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle
Eisenbaum, Pamela

New York: HarperOne, 2009 pp. 336. $24.99



Description: Paul Was Not a Christian is a groundbreaking work that systematically overturns both scholarly and popular conceptions held by Christians and Jews, liberals and conservatives alike. As Eisenbaum reveals, Paul is not the true founder of Christianity as is often claimed, nor does Paul understand Jesus Christ as having superseded the Torah and thereby replacing Judaism with Christianity. Although Paul unabashedly proclaimed his faith in Jesus, such proclamations were not inherently "Christian," since no such religious category existed in Paul's time. Jesus, rather, represented the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to the nations. Eisenbaum's work reverses the image we have of Paul as a model for Christian conversion and greatly increases our understanding of both Judaism and Christianity. Provocatively argued and far-reaching in its implications, Paul Was Not a Christian is a much-needed corrective to the traditional portrait of Paul and his divisive legacy.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, Literature

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Review by Yung Suk Kim
Published 3/2/2010
Citation: Yung Suk Kim, review of Pamela Eisenbaum, Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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