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Paul: A Critical Life

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Traditionally the Acts of the Apostles has provided the framework for biographies of the Apostle Paul. In recent years, however, the historical value of the Acts has come into question. Many scholars argue that, despite the accuracy of many details, the text as a whole reflects the interests of Luke rather than objective reality.
This book presents a completely new, and m
Published September 3rd 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published July 18th 1996)
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Jul 05, 2015 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
VERY good. I learned more about Paul in this book than I've ever known. Which, surprisingly, isn't saying that much. Paul has always frankly pissed me off. I have a more sympathetic feeling toward him now, although I still suspect that he would have annoyed the crap out of me in person. Picture one of those really committed people who has no time for anyone who disagrees with him (or her) and is smart enough to talk circles around you when you try to argue.

This is really a chronology of Paul's
Jul 01, 2012 Bill rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Unfortunately, I could not finish this book because of the treatment that the author made regarding Luke as a source of information for the life of Paul.

While Jerome Murphy-O'Connor does a great job pulling out details of Paul's life from Paul's own writings and the writings of other historians, he almost completely dismisses the historicity of Luke's writings in the book of Acts.

The author often treats Luke's knowledge of Paul's life and ministry as so limited that he accuses Luke of exaggerati
Nov 26, 2015 Chris rated it it was ok
Interesting but far too dry for my taste. When I picked up this 200+ page book I wondered how the author could spend so much time on what I figured we actually have relatively little data on. The first chapter quickly answered that question--the author is very thorough in laying out his (admittedly tenuous) arguments about things and supplying lots of information from what concurrent sources exist. Oddly, the author's arguments often felt like they weren't quite fleshed out well enough, as there ...more
May 06, 2008 Ned rated it really liked it
an empirical approach from Oxford.
Sharp, imaginative without being creative.
Throws out a lot of misconceptions because they're not historically sound or provable, but has a startling number of insights based on this very empirical method.
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