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Steward of God’s Mysteries: Paul and Early Church Traditions
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Steward of God’s Mysteries: Paul and Early Church Traditions


Eerdmans 2017

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Gathering Interest


One view that perennially springs up among biblical scholars is that Paul was the inventor of Christianity, or that Paul introduced the idea of a divine Christ to a church that earlier had simply followed the ethical teaching of a human Jesus. In this book Jerry Sumney responds to that claim by examining how, in reality, Paul drew on what the church already believed and confessed about Jesus.

As he explores how Paul’s theology relates to that of the broader early church, Sumney identifies where in the Christian tradition distinctive theological claims about Christ, his death, the nature of salvation, and eschatology first seem to appear. Without diminishing significant differences, Sumney describes what common traditions and beliefs various branches of the early church shared and compares them to Paul’s thought. Sumney interacts directly with arguments made by those who claim Paul as the inventor of Christianity and approaches the questions raised by that claim in a fresh way.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Discusses the connection between Paul’s theology and early church history
  • Compares early church beliefs and traditions to Paul’s teaching
  • Addresses the claim of Paul being the inventor of Christianity in a fresh light


  • Thinking about Paul’s Place in the Early Church
  • “Christ Died for Us”: The Meaning of the Death of Jesus
  • “Jesus Is Lord”: The Identity of Jesus
  • “For Our Sins”: Understandings of Salvation
  • “The Coming of the Lord”: Envisioning the Kingdom
  • “In Remembrance of Me”: The Lord’s Supper
  • “I Handed On to You . . . What I Received”

Product Details

  • Title: Steward of God’s Mysteries: Paul and Early Church Traditions
  • Author: Jerry L. Sumney
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 223
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Pauline Studies

About Jerry L. Sumney

Jerry L. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theological Seminary. His previous books include Paul: Apostle and Fellow Traveler and The Bible: An Introduction, now in its second edition.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition