Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus Donald Harman Akenson  
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In Saint Saul, Donald Harman Akenson offers a lively and provocative account of what we can learn about Jesus by reading the letters of Paul. As the only direct evidence of Jesus we have that were composed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE forever altered the outlook of the Christian and Jewish faiths, Akenson claims that these letters are the most reliable source of information. He dismisses the traditional method of searching for facts about Jesus by looking for parallels among the four gospels because they were handed down to us as a unit by a later generation. Akenson painstakingly recreates the world of Christ, a time rich with ideas, prophets, factions, priests, savants, and god-drunk fanatics. He insistently stresses throughout the Jewishness of Jesus, referring to Jesus and Paul as Yeshua and Saul, as they were then known. As an eminent historian, Akenson approaches his subject with a fresh eye and a scholarly rigor that is all too rare in this hotly disputed field.

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Jew Among Jews: Rehabilitating Paul Kimberly Ambrose  
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Misunderstanding of Paul had started already in his lifetime, and his letters offer many examples of this. Throughout the centuries, Paul has continued to be misunderstood by both Jews and Gentiles, especially in relation to his view of the law and the covenant. Paul has often been misunderstood because his form of argument, his use of Scripture, his view of Jews and Gentiles in Christ (especially of those Jews who were not convinced that Jesus was Messiah), and his view of what constitutes true Judaism do not seem to conform to our expectations and perceptions of the apostle. We have been accustomed to read his letters as of one who was emancipating people from Judaism, as one who sought to obliterate all ethnic and other distinctions rather than maintaining the identity of Jews and Gentiles even in Christ. By building on some of the insights of the New Perspective, and developing other more recent insights as well, a more consistent and credible Paul as a first-century Diaspora Jew organizing a mission to Gentiles will be presented.

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Four Views on the Apostle Paul Michael F. Bird  
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The apostle Paul was a vital force in the development of Christianity. Paul's historical and religious context affects the theological interpretation of Paul's writings, no small issue in the whole of Christian theology. Recent years have seen much controversy about the apostle Paul, his religious and social context, and its effects on his theology. In the helpful Counterpoints format, four leading scholars present their views on the best framework for describing Paul's theological perspective, including his view of salvation, the significance of Christ, and his vision for the churches. Contributors and views include: Reformed View: Thomas R. Schreiner Catholic View: Luke Timothy Johnson Post-New Perspective View: Douglas Campbell Jewish View: Mark D. Nanos Like other titles in the Counterpoints: Bible and Theology collection, Four Views on the Apostle Paul gives theology students the tools they need to draw informed conclusions on debated issues. General editor and New Testament scholar Michael F. Bird covers foundational issues and provides helpful summaries in his introduction and conclusion. New Testament scholars, pastors, and students of Christian history and theology will find Four Views on the Apostle Paul an indispensable introduction to ongoing debates on the apostle Paul's life and teaching.

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A Theology of Luke and Acts: God's Promised Program, Realized for All Nations Darrell L. Bock, Andreas J. Kostenberger  
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Zondervan's Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series has for years provided pastors, students, and readers with valuable analyses of New Testament books and their contents. In this latest installment, Darrell L. Bock examines Luke and Acts, drawing from his years of experience in biblical theory and interpretation to write an informative resource sure to prove invaluable for seekers of holistic biblical understanding. A Theology of Luke andamp; Actsidentifies and evaluates the contribution of Luke, both to the New Testament and to the Bible as a whole text. Bock aims to demonstrate Luke's significance and his influence in the development of theological discourse. Features include: * Lukan themes and thematic relevance * Interpretation and significance of language and vocabulary * Contextual importance of Luke's placement in the Bible Continuing the valuable tradition of the Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series, Bock's theories regarding Luke and Acts will prove a lasting resource for pastors and aspiring biblical scholars alike.

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Paul: Pioneer For Israel's Messiah Jakob Van Bruggen, J. Van Bruggen  
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This detailed yet eminently readable description of Paul’s life clearly shows that all sources converge to present a pioneer life: adventurous, unpredictable, nonlinear, full of risks.

An analysis of Paul’s place in the development of the Christian church shows that Paul was not a marginal figure, operating out of reaction. He was instead a driven pioneer for a Christianity that is aware of Christ’s kingship, and that realizes it is not a new religion but the fulfillment of the messianic promises made to Abraham. Thus Paul was above all the pioneer for the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Included are maps, charts, appendixes on chronology, bibliography, and indexes.

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Paul and the Creation of Christian Identity William S. Campbell  
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Paul is traditionally viewed as separating from the churches of Peter and of Jewish Christ-followers to promote his own mission, eventually triumphing in the creation of a church with a gentile identity. In Paul and the Creation of Christian Identity, Campbell argues that the Pauline mission represents only one strand of the Christ-movement that should not be universalized to signify the whole. In conjunction with his gentile mission, Paul acknowledges Jewish identity as an abiding reality, rather than as a temporary, weak form of faith in Christ. Paul's gentile mission was not a reaction to his Jewish heritage, but a transformation based on his vision of Christ: thus the identity of Christianity cannot be that of a new religion.

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Paul's Jewish Matrix Edited by Thomas G. Casey, Justin Taylor  
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A compilation of essays by international Jewish and Christian scholars that tackles a series of issues foundational for the proper understanding of Pauline thought.

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Paul at the Crossroads of Cultures: Theologizing in the Space Between Kathy Ehrensperger  
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Based on recent studies in intercultural communication Kathy Ehrensperger applies the paradigm of multilingualism, which includes the recognition of cultural distinctiveness, to the study of Paul. Paul’s role as apostle to the nations is seen as the role of a go-between – as that of cultural translator. This role requires that he is fully embedded in his own tradition but must also be able to appreciate and understand aspects of gentile culture. Paul is viewed as involved in a process in which the meaning of the Christ event is being negotiated ‘in the space between’ cultures, with their diverse cultural coding systems and cultural encyclopaedias. It is argued that this is not a process of imposing Jewish culture on gentiles at the expense of gentile identity, nor is it a process of eradication of Jewish identity. Rather, Paul’s theologizing in the space between implies the task of negotiating the meaning of the Christ event in relation to, and in appreciation of both, Jewish and gentile identity.

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

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