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Paul His Story

Author(s): N/A

ISBN13: 9780199283842

ISBN10: 0199283842

Publisher: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

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  • For someone who has exercised such a profound influence on Christian theology, Paul remains a shadowy figure behind the barrier of his complicated and difficult biblical letters. Debates about his meaning have deflected attention from his personality, yet his personality is an important key to understanding his theological ideas. This book redresses the balance. Jerome Murphy-OConnors disciplined imagination, nourished by a lifetime of research, shapes numerous textual, historical, and archaeological details into a colourful and enjoyable story of which Paul is the flawed but undefeated hero.

    This chronological narrative offers new insights into Pauls intellectual, emotional, and religious development and puts his travels, mission, and theological ideas into a plausible biographical context. As he changes from an assimilated Jewish teenager in Tarsus to a competitive Pharisee in Jerusalem and then to a driven missionary of Christ, the sometimes contradictory components of Pauls complex personality emerge from the way he interacts with people and problems. His theology was forged in dialogue and becomes more intelligible as our appreciation of his person deepens. In Jerome Murphy-OConnors engaging biography, the Apostle comes to life as a complex, intensely human individual.

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    Murphy-OConnor, a noted Pauline scholar, professor of New Testament at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francais in Jerusalem and author of a previous work on the life of Paul, approaches the apostle from a critical and academic standpoint. The present work combines the biblical record with a deep understanding of the culture and geography of the region to produce an excellent, albeit inventive, biography. OConnor draws from Pauls letters hints and shades of meaning that assist the reader in forming a consistent view of a sometimes conflicted but always fervent servant of God. The book is replete with conclusions drawn from inference, but the inferences are reasonable, and taken together, put flesh on the man. Beginning with Pauls childhood, and following him through his travels and finally to his death, Murphy-OConnor brings Paul to life as a real person with real passions. The author nimbly handles aspects of Pauls teachings that have generated controversy, such as his views on the Jewish law or the leadership role of women. Written at a popular level, this book will be helpful as enrichment for the lay reader. Critical issues such as authorship, translation, sources and textual accuracy are mentioned only as they fit into the larger context of Paul, the man. Several maps depict the travels of Paul, and a suggested reading list offers guidance for further study.

    - Publishers Weekly

    A sharply focused biography.

    - Sunday Telegraph

    A short but meaty biograph[y] ... a bold reconstruction.

    - New York Review of Books

    A relatively brief, fast-moving guide through Pauls life and activity, including both his writings and his founding and nurturing of new Christian communities around the Eastern Mediterranean. It is thoroughly readable, and both offers a vivid picture of the realities of Pauls life and shows how they lead on to his doctrine.

    - Church Times

    ... the authors unrivalled knowledge of Pauline terrain enables him to re-create imaginatively the great cities of Jerusalem, Antioch-on-the-Orentes, Corinth and others. Even more telling is the recreation of the constant labour and danger of travel, as Paul tramps ceaselessly over the infested paths of the Roman east.

    - The Tablet

    The present work combines the biblical record with a deep understanding of the culture and geography of the region to produce an excellent, albeit inventive, biography ... Murphy-OConnor brings Paul to life as a real person with real passions.

    - Publishers Weekly, USA

€27.99

Paul His Story