St Paul: The Misunderstood Apostle
St Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. But as Karen Armstrong demonstrates in St Paul: The Misunderstood Apostle, he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the world than any other figure in history.
It was Paul who established the
On to my review:
This is a much-needed defense of the Apostle Paul. For a number of reasons, it has become fashionable in many quarters for people to treat Paul as a villain who corrupted the ...more
After re-thinking this book, I took all but one star off. It made me so angry with the Bible that I didn't read it for two years. Anything that takes you from the Word of God is not good, from my POV. I don't recommend this at all.
Original review after this point.
Good, solid book that definitely made me think about the Bible and if I follow the belief that every word is God inspired or if it's made up by men who are fallible and sometimes had an agenda of their own.
I admit, I ...more
I will probably revisit as this book is rich with reference detail.
Armstrong is no stranger to challenging topics: the monotheistic ...more
For starters, I always assumed that Paul was one of the original 12 apostles. Turns out he wasn't. Paul became part of the "Jesus Cult" (the author's term) after Jesus revealed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus.
I've been working my way slowly ...more
Who was St. Paul? The historical record identifies him as Saul of Tarsus, a zealously devout Jew who became who believed in strict obedience to Jewish law. In other words, a Pharisee. He was critical of the Jesus movement, if not an outright ...more
Armstrong vividly paints the communities Paul visited, all of them with their own cultural characteristics. This is the strongest point of this book, together with the differences she convincingly shows between Ephesians and Colossians on one hand and the authentic Pauline letters on the other.
But in general she gives a superficial overview of Pauline ...more
My main problem is that the author doesn't think the Bible is accurate and disputes the reliability many times. While that is her prerogative to believe I wish there had been more evidence shown to back up these claims and a balanced view rather than an opinion presented as obvious fact like below where you are like ...more
Read by the author, Karen Armstrong.
Duration: 5 hours, 21 minutes.
Karen Armstrong is a multiple award-winning author of more than 25 books, the great majority of them exploring religion. She is particularly interested in Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
This book is aimed at the informed layman - not at other historians or religious experts. I read A LOT of history and have gone to church my entire life, but I can get lost in the weeds pretty ...more
There were a couple of bold, controversial statements thrown in there, which to my mind seemed to be lacking supporting evidence; one example being when Armstrong states baldly that Paul believed that Jesus only became God's son after the resurrection, citing (in the end notes) Romans 1:4, which in fact says that Christ was 'declared to be Son of God ...more
It was common practice in the ancient world for students and unknown authors to write "in the name of" a great teacher. Much of the negativity we feel today toward Paul stems from sections of later letters - what religious scholars such as Armstrong call Deutero-Pauline, i.e. most ...more
The author's foundational premise - that Paul is only the author of seven of the New Testament Epistles - was not news to me, but this is the first book I've read to unpack the implications of that to attempt to get to the 'real Paul'. And it's not the most encouraging portrait, as Paul emerges as a radical egalitarian and unifier (great!) who was constantly having to fight against competing versions of the gospel and personal slanders from other ...more
He preached in the East and the West, winning a noble reputation for his faith. He taught righteousness to all the world. In ...more
Both books were very enlightening to someone who knew little about St Paul other than what he heard during mass. I had no idea there was such a schism between Paul and the ...more
Her work has been translated into 45 languages. In 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and began working with TED on the Charter for Compassion, ...more