Rabbi Paul by Bruce Chilton
An Intellectual Biography

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Synopsis

A brilliant new biography of Saint Paul, whose interpretations of the life and teachings of Jesus transformed a loosely organized, grassroots peasant movement into the structured religion we know today

Without Paul, there would be no Christianity. His letters to various churches scattered throughout the Roman Empire articulated, for the first time, the beliefs that make up the heart of Christian practice and faith. In this extraordinary biography, Bruce Chilton explains the changing images of Paul, from the early Church period when he was regarded as the premiere apostle who separated Christianity from Judaism to more recent liberal evaluations, which paint him as an antifeminist, homophobic figure more dedicated to doctrine than to spiritual freedom. By illuminating Paul’s thoughts and contributions within the context of his time, Chilton restores him to his place as the founding architect of the Church and one of the most important figures in Western history.

Rabbi Paul is at once a compelling, highly readable biography and a window on how Jesus’ message was transformed into a religion embraced by millions around the world. Drawing on Paul’s own writings as well as historical and scholarly documents about his life and times, Chilton portrays an all-too-human saint who helped to create both the most beautiful and the most troublesome aspects of the Church. He shows that Paul sought to specify the correct approach to such central concerns as sexuality, obedience, faith, conscience, and spirit, to define religion as an institution, and to clarify the nature of the religious personality—issues that Christians still struggle with today.
 

About Bruce Chilton

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BRUCE CHILTON is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and priest at the Free Church of Saint John in Barrytown, New York. He is the author of many scholarly articles and books, including the widely acclaimed Rabbi Jesus.
 
Published May 27, 2010 by Image. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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That Jesus of Nazareth must be understood in his Jewish context is very old news to scholars, but it may still be a revelation to the popular audience whom Chilton addresses here.

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Kirkus Reviews

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had to submit to the Torah as God-fearers—remaining Gentiles but acknowledging the Law of Moses.” But Paul—a native of Tarsus, that center of Greco-Roman stoic philosophy, and early inclined against mysticism by virtue of his training as a Pharisee and in all events a onetime persecutor of Christ...

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Publishers Weekly

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In this follow-up to Rabbi Jesus , Chilton turns his attention to the life and work of Christianity's most enigmatic figure, Paul of Tarsus.

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