Paul Among the People

Just finished Sarah Ruden’s Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in his Own Time. A wonderful book in many ways. Ruden is a good author, and the background she provides from the classics sheds interesting and often helpful light on the cultural context of Paul’s letters and thoughts. For some evangelicals, there may be some hesitancy because she generally follows critical approaches to authorship of the letters and because not all of her personal conclusions match those traditionalist evangelicals (or Catholics, for that matter). And there are self-professed limits to the study; it doesn’t address much of the Jewish background for Paul, which I do think leaves some gaps. But still, I think it was well worth reading. And it’s a sympathetic reading of Paul which deserves some attention.

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