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Paul Today
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The two-volume set Essential Inquiries is designed to provide students, clergy, and other interested readers with an overview of a number of issues or problems that can arise in the study of texts from Paul or the Gospels. Stephen W. Need presents a profile of such issues and gives the reader a working knowledge of what's at stake in trying to understand and interpret a particular text or problem, and to stimulate further reading on topics and texts that are of particular interest.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 A Portrait of Paul - Painting a Picture of the Apostle to the Gentiles Chapter 3 Paul and Jesus - A New Testament Conundrum Chapter 4 Paul and Ephesus - Texts, History, and Archaeology Chapter 5 Contextualizing Paul - Marriage and Slavery in 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Discerning the Body - Food, Conscience, and the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 Paul and Women - Setting the Record Straight Chapter 8 Paul and Homosexuality - What's the Problem? Chapter 9 A Revolution in Pauline Studies - Considering the "New Look" on Paul Chapter 10 Paul and Christ - Christology, Ethics, and Ecclesiology Chapter 11 The Fall and Original Sin - The Real Meaning of Romans 5:12-21 Chapter 12 Justification by Faith? - Paul's Theology of Righteousness Chapter 13 Epilogue Chapter 14 Bibliography

About the Author

Stephen W. Need is dean of St. George's College in Jerusalem, Israel.

Reviews

Well-informed overviews of important texts and critical issues initiate the reader painlessly into the complexities of interpreting the Pauline letters. -- Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, professor of New Testament, Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, Jerusalem There is a freshness and clarity to Paul Today that both encourages and inspires the reader to grapple with thorny aspects of Pauline thought. Stephen Need is a gifted theologian-teacher-scholar and writes with great pastoral insight, guiding us sensitively through polemical issues and highlighting layers of historical confusion. Paul the pastor emerges, 'a thundering type of personality' who never left Judaism at all, but received a radical reorientation within it, so that Christ and not the Law became the source of justification. Whether he is discussing women, homosexuality or original sin, Stephen Need steers us gracefully through the misguiding lenses of later theological controversies to rediscover the authentic pastoral concerns of Paul himself. This is a book to be greatly welcomed and cherished by students and pastors who struggle, like Paul, to deepen faith in all its contextual complexities. -- Mary Grey, professor emerita of theology, University of Wales, Lampeter Those who have a negative image of Paul's teaching, or who associate him with such doctrines as 'original sin' and 'justification by faith', will find this book enlightening. Focusing on some notoriously difficult passages, Stephen Need distils recent scholarly work on Paul and shows how many common beliefs about his theology are gross misinterpretations of his thought. Paul Today will help many who have previously dismissed Paul as a bigot and a bore to study his letters with renewed interest and respect. -- Morna D. Hooker, Lady Margaret's Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge Need writes at an introductory level providing an overview of the issues for the student, the busy pastor, and the informed layman. He identifies the issues, shows why they are important and summarizes the various ways scholars have addressed the matter. The author's style is precise with an introduction of each issue, a clear statement of how he will approach the issue, his exploration of the subject and then a concise summary... Need's studies could be useful to individuals seeking to understand the contours of contemporary New Testament scholarship. The Christian Librarian, Fall 2009

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