Tuesday, February 2, 2010

THE FIRST PAUL: The Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Reactionary Icon

In The Last Week, top Biblical scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan separated truth from myth on the subject of the last seven days of Jesus’s life. They turned the traditional understanding of Passion Week on its head to reveal previously unknown historical facts about the events of the week preceding Jesus’s death.

Just released in paperback, Borg and Crossan’s latest book takes the same revelatory approach to the history of one of the Church’s most controversial figures, the apostle Paul. The apostle’s later letters have been used to justify systems of oppression–endorsing slavery, subordinating women, and condemning homosexual behavior. In The First Paul Borg and Crossan show how some of the later passages were actually imposed by the early Church, meant to dilute Paul’s radical egalitarian message and transform him into something more “acceptable.”

Praise for The First Paul:
“The apostle Paul has a mixed reputation. On the one hand, he’s known as the quintessential Christian, the man who wrote almost half of the New Testament. On the other, he’s long been read as misogynistic boor, urging slaves to obey their masters and wives to obey their husbands. Marcus Borg ... reveals the crucial fact ... many of Paul’s letters were written by somebody else.”—Interfaith Voices

If you are interested in adopting this book for a class, you may order an exam copy. If you have already ordered the book for a class, please order a complimentary desk copy.

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