RBL Reviews: Four New Books on Paul and Pauline Studies

Freshly printed by the Review of the Biblical Literature, four new books related to Paul, Pauline studies, writings, theology, themes, mission, and interpretation—plenty of 1 and 2 Corinthians here.

Celebrating Paul: Festschrift in Honor of Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.
Spitaler, Peter, editor
Washington: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2011 pp. xxviii + 439. $25.00

Description: The nineteen essays in this Festschrift honor the contributions to Pauline studies of Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. Murphy-O’Connor and Fitzmyer contribute to the volume as do James D. G. Dunn, William S. Campbell, Mark D. Nanos, John J. Pilch, Stanley K. Stowers, Pheme Perkins, Frank J. Matera, Jan Lambrecht, Ekkehard W. Stegemann, Brendan Byrne, Helmut Koester, Jean-Noël Aletti, Robert Jewett, Gregory Tatum, David E. Aune, Raymond F. Collins, and Thomas F. Martin.”

 

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Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission: A Social Identity Perspective on Local Leadership Development in Corinth and Ephesus
Barentsen, Jack
Eugene: Pickwick, 2011 pp. xviii + 378. $44.00

Description: Where did Paul find leaders for his new churches? How did he instruct and develop them? What processes took place to stabilize the churches and institute their new leadership? This book carves a fresh trail in leadership studies by looking at leadership development from a group-dynamic, social identity perspective. Paul engages the cultural leadership patterns of his key local leaders, publicly affirming, correcting, and improving those patterns to conform to a Christlike pattern of sacrificial service. Paul’s own life and ministry offer a motivational and authoritative model for his followers, because he embodies the leadership style he teaches. As a practical theologian avant la lettre, Paul contextualizes key theological themes to strengthen community and leadership formation, and equips his church leaders as entrepreneurs of Christian identity. A careful comparison of the Corinthian and Ephesian churches demonstrates a similar overall pattern of development. This study engages Pauline scholarship on church office in depth and offers alternative readings of five Pauline epistles, generating new insights to enrich dogmatic and practical theological reflection. In a society where many churches reflect on their missional calling, such input from the NT for contemporary Christian leadership formation is direly needed.”

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Description: This book is a controversial new biography of the apostle Paul that argues for his inclusion in the pantheon of key figures of classical antiquity, along with the likes of Socrates, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and Augustus. It first provides a critical reassessment of the apostle’s life in its historical context that focuses on Paul’s discourse of authority, which was both representative of its Roman context and provocative to his rivals within Roman society. It then considers the legend that developed around Paul as the history of his life was elaborated and embellished by later interpreters, creating legends that characterized the apostle variously as a model citizen, an imperial hero, a sexual role model, an object of derision and someone to quote from. It is precisely this rewriting of Paul’s history into legend that makes the apostle a key transformative figure of classical antiquity.”

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The Son of Man as the Last Adam: The Early Church Tradition as a Source of Paul’s Adam Christology
Lee, Yongbom
Eugene: Pickwick, 2012 pp. xx + 167

Description: Most New Testament scholars today agree that Jesus used an enigmatic self-designation, bar nasha (“the Son of Man”), translated into Greek as ho huios tou anthropou in the Synoptic Gospels. In contrast, Paul, the earliest New Testament writer, nowhere mentions the phrase in his letters. Does this indicate that the Gospel writers simply misunderstood the generic sense of the Aramaic idiom and used it as a christological title in connection with Daniel 7, as some scholars claim? Paul demonstrates explicit and sophisticated Adam Christology in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. In contrast, there is no real equivalent in the Synoptic Gospels. Does this indicate that Adam Christology in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 was essentially a Pauline invention to which the Evangelists were oblivious? In this study Yongbom Lee argues that in addition to the Old Testament, contemporary Jewish exegetical traditions, and his Damascus Christophany, Paul uses the early church tradition—in particular, its implicit primitive Adam-Jesus typology and the Son of Man saying traditions reflected in the Synoptic Gospels—as a source of his Adam Christology.”

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Categories: Periods, Roman, Religion, 1 Corinthians, Religion, 2 Corinthians, Religion, St. Paul

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