In Search of Paul
How Jesus's Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire With God's KingdomBook - 2004 | First edition
Draws on historical information and recent archaeological findings to present an analysis of the apostle Paul, discussing his role in the founding of Christianity, beliefs about Judaism, attitudes toward women, opinions about slavery, and championship of Jesus's teachings in a Roman-dominated world. 40,000 first printing.
"With dusty, tired, much-traveled Paul came Rome's most dangerous opponent,not legions but ideas, not an alternative force but an alternative faith. Paul too proclaimed one who was Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and Liberator. He announced one who was Divine, Son of God, God, and God from God. But Paul's new divinity was Christ, not Caesar. His was a radically divergent but equally global theology." -- from the Prologue
Many theories exist about who Paul was, what he believed, and what role he played in the origins of Christianity. Using archaeological and textual evidence, and taking advantage of recent major discoveries in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Syria, John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed show that Paul was a fallible but dedicated successor to Jesus, carrying on Jesus's mission of inaugurating the Kingdom of God on earth in opposition to the reign of Rome. Against the concrete backdrop of first-century Greco-Roman and Jewish life, In Search of Paul reveals the work of Paul as never before, showing how and why the liberating messages and practices of equality, caring for the poor, and a just society under God's rules, not Rome's, were so appealing.
Crossan and Reed's concise, engaging prose conjures up the complex and rich world of Paul's time, from the imperial intrigues of Rome to the theological infighting among Christian communities in Greece and Turkey to the beautiful landscapes and the cultural conflicts of the Middle East. The illustrations and short, rich, "you are there" descriptions help the reader to follow in the footsteps of Paul and, indeed, in the footsteps of Christianity.
Presents archaeological evidence and historical analysis to answer questions about Paul and the early Christians, contending that Paul worked for justice and equality against the oppressive power of the Roman Empire.