Reinventing Paul

Paperback | April 15, 2002

byJohn G. Gager

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Throughout the Christian era, Paul has stood at the center of controversy, accused of being the father of Christian anti-Semitism. In this highly accessible book, John Gager challenges this entrenched view of Paul, arguing persuasively that Paul's words have been taken out of their originalcontext, distorted, and generally misconstrued. Using Paul's own writings, Gager brilliantly sets forth a controversial interpretation of the apostle's teaching as he takes us in search of the "real" Paul. Through an exhaustive analysis of Paul's letters to the Galatians and the Romans, he provides illuminating answers to the key questions: DidPaul repudiate the Law of Moses? Did he believe that Jews had been rejected by God and replaced as His chosen people by Gentiles? Did he consider circumcision to be necessary for salvation? And did he expect Jews to find salvation through Jesus? Gager tells us that Paul was an apostle to theGentiles, not the Jews. His most vehement arguments were directed not against Judaism but against competing apostles in the Jesus movement who demanded that Gentiles be circumcised and conform to Jewish law in order to be saved. Moreover, Paul relied on rhetorical devices that were familiar to hisintended audience but opaque to later readers of the letters. As a result, his message has been misunderstood by succeeding generations.

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Throughout the Christian era, Paul has stood at the center of controversy, accused of being the father of Christian anti-Semitism. In this highly accessible book, John Gager challenges this entrenched view of Paul, arguing persuasively that Paul's words have been taken out of their originalcontext, distorted, and generally misconstrued...

John G. Gager is William H. Danforth Professor of Religion at Princeton University. The author of The Origins of Anti-Semitism and many other books and articles, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:April 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195150856

ISBN - 13:9780195150858

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"In his thoughtful, incisive, and lucidly written book, John Gager presents a radical challenge to the way that people have read Paul for 2000 years. Reinventing Paul is essential reading for anyone concerned with the history of religion and the relationship between Jews and Christians."--Elaine Pagels, author of The Gnostic Gospels and The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letter