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Showing 1-10 of 50 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 83 reviews
on October 24, 2015
These books (this one and What Jesus Meant) are excellent. Wills has a deep knowledge of the Bible, a sophisticated, literate understanding of scripture, and many interesting ideas. Paul is a particularly difficult writer, and Wills helps by providing cultural context, historical background, and an understanding of the existing literature on this subject.
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on October 7, 2016
Interesting but mostly speculation!
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on March 17, 2007
Garry Wills has a lucid writing style that one expects from a professional historian. Thus, his interpretation of the Paul revealed in the seven epistles that are generally attributed directly to his authorship is easy to grasp. It reveals Paul to be a Jewish male within a Jewish society before a separate Christianaiy is formed. This allows a look at Jesus before the internicine warfare separates the believers in Jesus Messiah from traditional Jews, and before the society of believers began to isolate women, laity,and clergy. Although the interpretation is somewhat controversial, I believe this allows one to assess Jesus's contributions to mankind in a more fundamental way. I only whish that the book was more fully annotated, and that Dr. Wills had placed his soteriology within contemporary church teachings.
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on May 28, 2017
I am working on an historical fiction volume of the early Brothers and Sisters in the world of Lydia the purple dye maker . This book and it's references will prove invaluable in the quest.
One of the most valuable characteristics of this volume is the efforts to see Paul as he was in the first century CE not as he would appear in our world and culture now.
Thank you , Mr. Willis.
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on February 10, 2007
if you are tired of the discussions of the New Testament that don't acknowledge when and how it was written, then read this work by Gary Wills. A teacher of the classics, he explains how the genuine letters from paul, the ealiest extant works of the Christian canon were actually written (in a language that was at best the second language for the audience). This work is equally not part of the Jesus Project. so written by a person who definitely is still a follower of jesus - and after all is said and done, that's what gives this its power.
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on October 2, 2008
Wills has written three books of interest: What Paul Meant, What Jesus Meant, and What the Gospels Meant. In What Paul Meant Wills puts forth the notion that Paul's writings (not the pseudo Paul) provide a clearer picture of Jesus than the Gospels because he was closer to the time of Jesus, knew and talked with many people who knew Jesus and had a much better sense of Jesus than the Gospels which were written much later. He makes a good point of this notion. It serves to underscore the emphasis on Pauline theology in some Christian traditions. He carries this theme through the other two books he's written in the "meant" series. Anyone who's interested in the development of Christianity will find all three useful. Start with What Paul Meant and go for it.
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on August 11, 2017
I loved the research done for this book. Though I don't agree with all the conclusions (but then I'm not a Scripture scholar, nor a Protestant), this book has stirred me to do more investigating on the subject myself and reading Pauls letters more attentively.
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on January 14, 2014
In this book, the follow-up to his' "What Jesus Meant" and his other recent books on Christianity in general, as well as his critiques of the modern Catholic Church, Garry Wills offers a fresh, frank, and honest reading of the New Testament that has enhanced my personal renewal of faith. Erudite but not dense, this book reflects Mr. Wills' sharp grasp of modern biblical scholarship and a remarkable ability to synthesize these sacred writings in the terms of life today.
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on March 5, 2014
We choose this book for our Sunday school study. The author properly reminds us of the "time" inn which Paul wrote his letters and the politics involved. He allows us to understand Paul as a real person rather than some character in a Bible story.
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on May 18, 2017
Fresh perspective on timeline issues in reference to gospels. Gave me new appreciation for the turmoils of the era. Refreshing!
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