For someone who has exercised such a profound influence on Christian theology, Paul remains a shadowy figure behind the barrier of his complicated and difficult biblical letters. Debates about his meaning have deflected attention from his personality, yet his personality is an important key to understanding his theological ideas. This book redresses the balance. Jerome MurFor someone who has exercised such a profound influence on Christian theology, Paul remains a shadowy figure behind the barrier of his complicated and difficult biblical letters. Debates about his meaning have deflected attention from his personality, yet his personality is an important key to understanding his theological ideas. This book redresses the balance. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's disciplined imagination, nourished by a lifetime of research, shapes numerous textual, historical, and archaeological details into a colourful and enjoyable story of which Paul is the flawed but undefeated hero. This chronological narrative offers new insights into Paul's intellectual, emotional, and religious development and puts his travels, mission, and theological ideas into a plausible biographical context. As he changes from an assimilated Jewish teenager in Tarsus to a competitive Pharisee in Jerusalem and then to a driven missionary of Christ, the sometimes contradictory components of Paul's complex personality emerge from the way he interacts with people and problems. His theology was forged in dialogue and becomes more intelligible as our appreciation of his person deepens. In Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's engaging biography, the Apostle comes to life as a complex, intensely human individual. ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
May 1st 2004
by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published March 18th 2004)
I quite enjoyed this history of paul. While it's told from a most catholic background, I could still enjoy the history while trying to tease out the religious bias(?). I suppose for me, most of all this made Paul into a man instead of a semi-mystical character. I could come away with a 'picture' of someone striving at his utmost to share the gospel message while still plagued by his own shortcomings. I recommend it.
*Yawn* It's thorough and speculative. It's as much about how the timeline could have worked based on how Paul might have seen things. Helps in understanding Paul's mindset, but often overlooks the influence of the Holy Spirit.
This book book occupies a fairly unique place in works of its kind, it is part history and part historical narrative. The narrative is based on a large part on the authors earlier work, Paul: A Critical Life, and the two books should almost be read as companion volumes. Where it succeeds is in enfleshing Paul, and in the process getting the reader to ask questions that they would not otherwise have asked.
A Great Introduction to Paul's life and letters. Before reading this I didn't have much understanding of how Paul's life and personality influenced his writings. Murphy O'Connor does a great job of bringing out the life of Paul based on the evidence that has survived and making his personality, theology and concerns come to life. A great read.
This book really needs a second read through, and you need a good basic knowledge about Paul in order to get much out of it. I had a hard time sticking with it, seemed to jump around a bit but I did learn a few things and that was the point.