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The Cambridge Companion to St Paul (Cambridge Companions to Religion) Paperback – November 10, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0521786942 ISBN-10: 0521786940
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Editorial Reviews


"This is an excellent introduction to the person of Paul: his letters, his theology, and his legacy."
Dennis R. Lindsay, Stone Campbell Journal

"The present volume is a good introduction to the mainstream of Pauline scholarship." - Christopher Stenschke, Wiedenest Bible College

Book Description

The apostle Paul has been justifiably described as the first and greatest Christian theologian. His letters were among the earliest documents to be included in the New Testament and, as such, they shaped Christian thinking from the beginning. The Cambridge Companion to St Paul provides an important assessment of this apostle and a fresh appreciation of his continuing significance today. With eighteen chapters written by a team of leading international Pauline specialists, the Companion will have wide appeal and provide an invaluable starting point and cross check for subsequent studies.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Religion
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521786940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521786942
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bibliophile on November 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Cambridge Companion Series is designed to provide a solid introduction to a particular topic for new readers and non-specialists. This particular volume provides such a service by acquainting the reader with the current issues being discussed in the area of Pauline Studies. The most appropriate audience for this text would seem to be college or seminary-level students being introduced to the life and letters of St. Paul for the first time. Edited by James D.G. Dunn, this book contains articles about St. Paul from some of the foremost Pauline scholars today.

Beyond simply providing commentary on specific Pauline epistles, this text offers articles which discuss topics of the life of St. Paul himself. The introduction, written by Dunn, provides key information so the beginning student will understand some of the debates in Pauline scholarship over the past two centuries. To this end Dunn briefly surveys F.C. Baur, the History of Religions School and the New Perspective.

After the introduction, the book is divided into four primary sections. The first section which is titled "Paul's life and work" includes the following contributions: "Paul's Life" (Klaus Haacker); "Paul as missionary and pastor" (Stephen C. Barton). This section is primarily designed to show the reader what historical information about the life of the Apostle can be gleaned from biblical texts.

The second section titled "Paul's letters" examines the Pauline epistles themselves with general commentary on the text. This section contains the following articles: "1 and 2 Thessalonians" (Margaret Mitchell); "Galatians" (Bruce Longenecker); "1 and 2 Corinthians" (Jerome Murphy-O'Connor); "Romans" (Robert Jewett); "Philippians" (Morna Hooker); "Colossians" (Loren T.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T. Hall on June 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays is a fine collection, offering challenges to interpretations of Paul that have dominated Western Protestant Christendom since the Reformation. I only have one caveat to offer. Many seem to have as a particular, though implicit, target the so-called 'Lutheran Paul.' The previous reviewer writes, in a concise precis of this critique, 'Rather than preach a reductive "doctrine of justification", Paul emerges from his letters (via this book) as being someone who has a rather mystical understanding of the eucharist as union, sees salvation as pertaining to a particular community (not merely individuals), and preaches "justification" as being far more than a type of legal status: it is being brought into the family of God (via baptism) as a child of God, participating now in God's new work in the world.' There is only one problem - with a little nuance here and there, that is precisely the Lutheran understanding of Justification in its relation to the Incarnate Christ's Person and Work. In short, we would look at all that and say, yes, that's justification all right. So let this book enlighten you as to the many fresh readings of Paul that you can find out there, but realize that the putative target of many critical challenges is in fact a straw man. In fact, if you're not careful it just might make you a Lutheran.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By benjamin on February 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have never taken the time to study St. Paul; having read both the letters of Paul and the deutero-Pauline letters in the New Testament, this book comes as a welcome next step in understanding him. As those who have read him know, Paul is not always the easiest to follow, especially given his intricate weaving together of different styles of thought within his letters: Pharisaic/Rabbinic, Hellenistic, apocalyptic and early Christian.
This book covers what you would expect a "companion" to cover: Paul's life and context, historiographical issues, his letters and his purported letters (the "deutero-Pauline epistles": those letters in the New Testament that most scholars do not believe were written by Paul). However, several other essays whose topics might be unexpected - such as interpretations of Paul in the second century (the most enjoyable and fascinating essay in the book for this particular reader) - also find their way into the book.
While many simply see Paul as some sort of proto-Reformation-era de-/re-former (a la Luther), this book moves beyond these tired (and, it would seem at this point, largely incorrect) interpretations of Paul. Paul is not so easily reduced to a late-Medieval Roman Catholic reformer; he stands - however ambiguously and uncomfortably (for us no less than him!) - without such hermeneutical concealing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Deyes on January 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Cambridge Companion To St. Paul is considered to be an authoritative text on the life of the apostle Paul. With detailed analyses on Paul's theology, it is a `must-read' for all wishing to understand the man who, apart from Jesus himself, has influenced and continues to be the foremost influence in Christianity today. Paul was a controversial figure questioned not only by the Jews with whom he originally oppressed the early followers of Christ but also by Christ followers themselves with whom he later worked. While many a writer has portrayed Paul as a `liberator' who allowed the early followers of Christ to `shake the shackles' of Judaic legalism others such as John Dunn, editor and contributor to the book, have focused more on Paul's work as an `integrator' who sought to include gentiles as well as Jews in his doctrine of `justification through faith'.

Biblical scripture shows us that Paul was a Benjamite Jew born in the city of Tarsus and brought up in Jerusalem under the tutelage of a rabbi by the name of Gamaliel. Paul was therefore well-educated and had as one of the strongest convictions before his conversion, to persecute and destroy anyone who professed a faith in Christ. His encounter with Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus was the watershed event that lead to his transformation. After a subsequent visit to Jerusalem, during which he was despised by the Jewish authorities, Paul returned to Tarsus where, it is speculated, he continued with his education. It was not until sometime later that Barnabas brought Paul to the city of Antioch where, for the first time, he served as a church leader.
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