This is an up-to-date and engaging introduction to the study of Paul offering prompting fresh interpretations of this crucial figure in biblical studies. The Apostle Paul is the most influential theologian in the Christian tradition while also being the most controversial and probably the least understood. He has been regarded simultaneously as an anti-Semite, a figure who would surely support the state of Israel, a misogynist, a feminist, a conservative, and a radical. Just as at various times over the last two millennia, Paul is again at the center of a range of controversies, beginning especially with E. P. Sanders’s groundbreaking work in the late 1970’s on Paul’s relationship to Judaism. Since then, the field of Pauline studies has been a hot-bed of vigorous and creative debate. This book will serve as an upper-undergraduate level engagement with these various controversies and debates, introducing students to the historical and hermeneutical dynamics that have given rise to the variety of discussions before then rigorously working through them.
The book starts with placing Paul historically in his first-century context and throughout church history. Gombis will then introduce the most significant debates in the study of Paul, drawing out the lines of argument of the major players in Pauline studies before then commending a way of processing the issues involved. The format of discussions, then, will be somewhat of a broad survey of advanced discussions, but will include Gombis’ own advocacy of a preferred view in each case. Continuum’s Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Tim Gombis has painted a picture of the apostle Paul by applying the fresh paint of recent scholarship to a traditional canvas of authorship and history. The results are a careful exposition of important issues that winsomely engages a variety of viewpoints and a book that will orient a new generation of students to the latest scholarly conversations about Paul.
—J.R. Daniel Kirk, Fuller Theological Seminary
Just when scholarly discussion on the Apostle Paul has produced an intricate tangle of debate, Timothy Gombis rescues the non-specialist by providing a delightfully accessible book on Paul. Sifting carefully through the best scholarship, Gombis presents a clear, fresh, and compelling portrait of Paul’s theological framework. For those needing a helpful roadmap for locating Paul’s life and theology, this is the place to begin. And for those who assume the road is all too familiar, Gombis offers plenty of welcome surprises.
— Justin K. Hardin, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, UK
Seminal reading for teachers and students in post-sixteen education... I also commend the volume to Christian and inter-faith groups.
—Theological Book Review
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by a world-class set of research and study tools. 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.
Timothy G. Gombis is Associate Professor of New Testament at Cedarville University, Ohio, USA.