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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Jesus, Paul, and Power: Rhetoric, Ritual, and Metaphor in Ancient Mediterranean Christianity
Talbott, Rick F.

Eugene, Ore.: Cascade, 2010 pp. xxiii + 194. $24.00

Description: Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus represent two of the most influential figures of history because of the expansion of later Christianity. But Christianity's historical development includes a checkered and troubling past of abusive power that also impugns both Jesus and Paul. European colonialism carried the "gospel" to the world, claiming Jesus and Paul as architects of its oppressive empire building. Modern churches in America quote Jesus and Paul to inspire, inform, and justify a host of cultural values that often include the subordination of women and marginalization of others who differ in beliefs, values, and lifestyles. Talbott analyzes how Jesus and Paul responded to the systems of oppressive power in their day, and how each in turn used power to form their respective communities. The conclusions are based on the most recent scholarly approaches to Jesus and Paul and will enable modern readers to judge for themselves how Jesus and Paul envisioned the use of power among their communities.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins

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Review by Jan Willem van Henten
Published 10/3/2013
Citation: Jan Willem van Henten, review of Rick F. Talbott, Jesus, Paul, and Power: Rhetoric, Ritual, and Metaphor in Ancient Mediterranean Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2013).

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