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The Authentic Letters of Paul Paperback – November 1, 2010
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A magnificent book! The authors, four Jesus Seminar Fellows, combine their brilliant scholarship with a clear and readable prose to present Paul s thought to our day with a vibrant freshness. In the process they free Paul from the creeds and doctrines that have for so long distorted his message. This is the best book on Paul I have ever read. --John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Bishop Emeritus of Newark, New Jersey
Were the 13 letters in the New Testament ascribed to Paul s hand really written by Paul? Even in the letters that can be considered his, are there interpolations from a later hand that changed them significantly? In this brilliant new translation and introduction to Paul and his writings, the translators all fellows of the Jesus Seminar of scholars concerned with biblical authenticity attempt to answer these questions and to provide a dynamic rendering of Paul s letters that takes account of the mythic register of his language and the rhetorical flourishes of his style. They conclude that the extant authentic Pauline letters are 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Philemon, Philippians, and Romans, and these letters were likely written around the middle of the first century. In addition, the translators point out interpolations from later hands in the authentic letters, such as 1 Corinthians 13 (the famous love chapter). The translators arrange the letters in the chronological order in which they were most likely written. Given the exalted status of Paul and his writings, this exceptional new translation is sure to shatter some views of Paul s letters. --Publishers Weekly
In The Authentic Letters of Paul, Dewey, Hoover, McGaughy, and Schmidt have given us one of the most deeply satisfying Christian reads of recent time. Paul and Pauline literature have rarely been so accessibly, judiciously, and cordially presented as they are here, much less so beneficially. This is a work to be savored and pondered, employed, shared and, ultimately, praised. --Phyllis Tickle, Publishers Weekly
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The good news, and why I gave this book five stars, is that while most of the letters seem prosaic (these really were letters, and meant to be read as such), but the translation of the Letter to the Romans leaves my soul singing and I expect to remember it for the rest of my life.