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Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul?: A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity

ISBN: 9781441252692
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Students of the Bible are often drawn to Jesus’ message and ministry, but they are not always as positively inclined toward Paul. In this volume, Pauline scholar J. R. Daniel Kirk offers a fresh and timely engagement of the debated relationship between Paul’s writings and the portrait of Jesus contained in the Gospels. He integrates the messages of Jesus and Paul both with one another and with the Old Testament, and he demonstrates the continuity that exists between these two foundational figures. After laying out the narrative contours of the Christian life, Kirk provides fresh perspective on challenging issues facing the contemporary world, from environmental concerns to social justice to homosexuality. College and seminary students in New Testament and Pauline studies courses, pastors, and church leaders will value this work.

The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.

Resource Experts
  • Contributes to the debate between Paul’s writings and the portrayal of Jesus in the Gospels
  • Provides insight on a variety of modern topics sourcing both Jesus and Paul
  • Presents new ways to view Paul, attempting to draw away negative preconceptions
  • Jesus Stories in the Gospels and Paul
  • New Creation and the Kingdom of God
  • Christianity as Community
  • Living Out the Jesus Narrative
  • Judgment and Inclusion
  • Women in the Story of God
  • Liberty and Justice for All?
  • Sex in the Plot of God’s Stories
  • Homosexuality under the Reign of Christ
  • Living Interpretations

Top Highlights

“The silence of Jesus on the issue of homosexuality is powerful, because if he had opposed the Jewish law on this point we surely would have heard about it.” (Page 182)

“The Bible is not a rule book but a story of God’s plan of redemption.” (Page 191)

“Whereas homosexual activity regularly appears on lists of ways that one might show oneself to be straying from the path that leads to inheriting the kingdom, neither being a woman nor leading as a woman ever appears in such contexts.” (Page 180)

“The story of Jesus is not just about new relationship; it is also about new creation. It is not merely about Jesus as Lord of my heart; it is also about Jesus, the King of Israel, as Lord of the cosmos.” (Page 26)

“First, from beginning to end the Bible deals with homosexuality as something that makes us culpable before God.” (Page 183)

If a book about Jesus and Paul could ever be a page-turner, this is that book. Daniel Kirk invites us to learn from Paul as a faithful interpreter of Jesus, dispelling frequent misinterpretations of both the Lord and his apostle. As Kirk himself says, the heart of this volume is the claim that both Jesus and Paul tell the story of Israel’s God as a narrative that includes you, me, and the whole created order. If we listen to his wise counsel, we will become more faithful communities of the cross-shaped, life-giving gospel.

Michael J. Gorman, professor of biblical studies, moral theology, and history, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary & University

The perceived tensions between the presentation of the life and message of Jesus contained in the Gospels and Paul’s account of that message are well documented and have been the subject of much historical and theological wrestling. In this volume Daniel Kirk outlines a narrative approach to Pauline Christianity that deconstructs some common and problematic assumptions as well as presents a compelling vision of Paul’s gospel that is in deep continuity with the message of Jesus. In so doing, he renders a Paul who speaks powerfully to the church of the twenty-first century and the world to which it is called to bear witness.

—John R. Franke, theologian in residence, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA

[This book] may very well be a touchstone for the next generation of Christians who can’t accept the traditional Paul (on historical grounds) and yet who want to explore what Paul looks like if we begin with a more accurate understanding of Jesus, of Judaism, of the Bible’s Story . . . and of Paul himself.

Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University

The admirable and important goal of this study is to bridge the divide some Christians find between Jesus and Paul. . . . [Kirk] demonstrates that such a supposed divide does not do justice either to the gospels’ portrayal of Jesus or to Paul and his letters. . . . Kirk writes from an explicitly Evangelical background and vocabulary but Catholic readers will benefit, too, from his thoughtful approach.

The Bible Today

  • Title: Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul?: A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity
  • Author: J. R. Daniel Kirk
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 224

J.R. Daniel Kirk holds a PhD in New Testament from Duke University and has taught at North Carolina State University, St. Joseph’s University, Eastern College, and Fuller Theological Seminary. His previous books include Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? and Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God.


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