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Paul: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) Paperback – September 23, 2010
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Tim Gombis has painted a picture of the apostle Paul by applying the fresh paint of recent scholarship to a traditional canvas of authorship and history. The results are a careful exposition of important issues that winsomely engages a variety of viewpoints and a book that will orient a new generation of students to the latest scholarly conversations about Paul. — J.R. Daniel Kirk, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA.
Just when scholarly discussion on the Apostle Paul hasproduced an intricate tangle of debate, Timothy Gombis rescues thenon-specialist by providing a delightfully accessible book on Paul. Siftingcarefully through the best scholarship, Gombis presents a clear, fresh, andcompelling portrait of Paul's theological framework. For those needing ahelpful roadmap for locating Paul's life and theology, this is the place tobegin. And for those who assume the road is all too familiar, Gombis offersplenty of welcome surprises. — Justin K. Hardin, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, UK.
Seminal reading for teachers and students in post-sixteen education... I also commend the volume to Christian and inter-faith groups. — Theological Book Review
This short work succeeds in giving a succinct overview of aspects of Pauline thought, unencumbered by complex scholarly apparatus. — Sanford Lakoff
From the Back Cover
The Apostle Paul is the most influential theologian in the Christian tradition while also being the most controversial and probably the least understood. He has been regarded simultaneously as an anti-Semite, a figure who would surely support the state of Israel, a misogynist, a feminist, a conservative, and a radical. Just as at various times over the last two millennia, Paul is again at the center of a range of controversies, beginning especially with E. P. Sanders's ground-breaking work in the late 1970's on Paul's relationship to Judaism. Since then, the field of Pauline studies has been a hot-bed of vigorous and creative debate.This book will serve as an upper-undergraduate level engagement with these various controversies and debates, introducing students to the historical and hermeneutical dynamics that have given rise to the variety of discussions before then rigorously working through them. The book will begin by placing Paul historically in his first-century context and throughout church history. Gombis will then introduce the most significant debates in the study of Paul, drawing out the lines of argument of the major players in Pauline studies before then commending a way of processing the issues involved. The format of discussions, then, will be somewhat of a broad survey of advanced discussions, but will include Gombis's own advocacy of a preferred view in each case.
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This book is an excellent introductory overview and evaluation of Pauline scholarship from a perspective that affirms traditional authorship. Well written and easy to understand, the author does a great job of communicating his perception of the big picture(s) of Pauline thought and how recent scholarship has informed that.