Document the linguistic, historical, and theological connections between the Pauline corpus and the Gospels, and explore how the intertwining of those distinct genres came to be interpreted by Christian thinkers in the years that immediately followed the apostolic era. Edited by distinguished scholar Michael Bird, these two volumes of collected essays feature some of the world’s pre-eminent and most prolific scholars. They zoom in on specific, narrow topics that directly impact how we read the New Testament and how we understand the emergence of Christianity as a unified and coherent religion in its nascent years. A pointed topic of debate in recent years, these volumes employ sound historical and biblical scholarship to help students of the New Testament navigate the complex issues involved establishing the nature of early Christian thought.
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This volume looks at the imprint and influence that Paul’s writings had in the second century by examining the Pauline corpus in relationship to key second century figures, texts, and events. As such, this volume is an exercise in the Wirkungsgeschichte or “effective-history” of Paul. It investigates the impact of Paul’s legacy and examines how this legacy shaped the Christianity that emerged in the second century as represented by the Apostolic Fathers, the early Christian Apologists, and Gnostic groups. The contributors are experts in their respective areas. Each contributor in turn examines how a given document or group reflects the influence of Paul’s life, letters, and theology and the various and even competing ways in which Paul’s legacy may be seen to have been appropriated. As such, this is the first volume to present an extended juxtaposition of Paul’s thought with such a wide selection of writings from the second century.
The substantial contribution of many of the essays in this volume comes in documenting which aspects of Pauline thought and which texts influenced with second-century church father in what way.
—Tom Wilson, Anvil
Joseph R. Dodson is assistant professor of biblical studies at the Ouachita Baptist University.
This volume, which collects together the work of several established scholars, attempts to situate the Apostle Paul, the Pauline writings, and the earliest Christian Gospels together in the context of early Christianity. It addresses the issue of how the Christianity depicted in and represented by the individual Gospels relates to the vision of Christianity represented by Paul and the Pauline writings. This raises such questions as to what extent did Paul influenced the canonical and non-canonical Gospels? In what way are the Gospels reactions to Paul and his legacy? A comparison of the Gospels and Paul on topics such as Old Testament Law, Gentile mission, Christology, and early church leadership structures represents a fruitful area of study. While a number of volumes have appeared that attempt to assess the relationship between the historical Jesus and the Apostle Paul, relatively few studies on Paul and the Gospels have been published. This volume excellently fills this gap in New Testament studies and makes a valuable contribution to studies on Christian origins, Pauline research, and the Gospels.
Joel Willitts is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park University in Chicago.
Michael Bird teaches New Testament and Greek at Highland Theological College in Scotland. He has authored numerous books including Evangelical Theology, Are You the One Who Is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question, New Covenant Commentary: Colossians and Philemon, Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period, The Saving Righteousness of God.