Description: This is an up-to-date and engaging introduction to the study of Paul offering prompting fresh interpretations of this crucial figure in biblical studies. The Apostle Paul is the most influential theologian in the Christian tradition while also being the most controversial and probably the least understood. He has been regarded simultaneously as an anti-Semite, a figure who would surely support the state of Israel, a misogynist, a feminist, a conservative, and a radical. Just as at various times over the last two millennia, Paul is again at the center of a range of controversies, beginning especially with E. P. Sanders's groundbreaking work in the late 1970's on Paul's relationship to Judaism. Since then, the field of Pauline studies has been a hot-bed of vigorous and creative debate. This book will serve as an upper-undergraduate level engagement with these various controversies and debates, introducing students to the historical and hermeneutical dynamics that have given rise to the variety of discussions before then rigorously working through them. The book will begin by placing Paul historically in his first-century context and throughout church history. Gombis will then introduce the most significant debates in the study of Paul, drawing out the lines of argument of the major players in Pauline studies before then commending a way of processing the issues involved. The format of discussions, then, will be somewhat of a broad survey of advanced discussions, but will include Gombis' own advocacy of a preferred view in each case. Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Literature
Review by James S. Hanson
Citation: James S. Hanson, review of Timothy G. Gombis, Paul: A Guide for the Perplexed, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).
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