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Book Title: The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon|
The author of the book: Marcus J. Borg
Date of issue: March 3rd 2009
ISBN 13: 9780061430725
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.98 MB
Read full description of the books The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon:
Bestselling authors of The Last Week and The First Christmas, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join once again to present a new understanding of early Christianity—this time to reveal a radical Paul who has been suppressed by the church.
Paul is second only to Jesus as the most important person in the birth of Christianity, and yet he continues to be controversial, even among Christians. How could the letters of Paul be used both to inspire radical grace and to endorse systems of oppression—condoning slavery, subordinating women, condemning homosexual behavior? Borg and Crossan use the best of biblical and historical scholarship to explain the reasons for Paul's mixed reputation and reveal to us what scholars have known for decades: that the later letters of Paul were created by the early church to dilute Paul's egalitarian message and transform him into something more "acceptable." They argue there are actually "Three Pauls" in the New Testament: "The Radical Paul" (of the seven genuine letters), "The Conservative Paul" (of the three disputed epistles), and "The Reactionary Paul" (of the three inauthentic letters). By closely examining this progression of Paul's letters—from the authentic to the inauthentic—the authors show how the apostle was slowly but steadily "deradicalized" to fit Roman social norms in regards to slavery, patriarchy, and patronage. In truth, Paul was an appealing apostle of Jesus whose vision of life "in Christ"—one of his favored phrases—is remarkably faithful to the message of Jesus himself.
Read information about the authorBorg was born into a Lutheran family of Swedish and Norwegian descent, the youngest of four children. He grew up in the 1940s in North Dakota and attended Concordia College, Moorhead, a small liberal arts school in Moorhead, Minnesota. While at Moorhead he was a columnist for the school paper and held forth as a conservative. After a close reading of the Book of Amos and its overt message of social equality he immediately began writing with an increasingly liberal stance and was eventually invited to discontinue writing his articles due to his new-found liberalism. He did graduate work at Union Theological Seminary and obtained masters and DPhil degrees at Oxford under G. B. Caird. Anglican bishop N.T. Wright had studied under the same professor and many years later Borg and Wright were to share in co-authoring The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, an amicable study in contrast. Following a period of religious questioning in his mid-thirties, and numinous experiences similar to those described by Rudolf Otto, Borg became active in the Episcopal Church, in which his wife, the Reverend Canon Marianne Wells-Borg, serves as a priest and directs a spiritual development program at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon. On May 31, 2009, Borg was installed as the first canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, OR. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, he was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007.
Described by The New York Times as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars," he has appeared on NBC's "Today Show" and “Dateline,” PBS's "Newshour," ABC’s “Evening News” and “Prime Time” with Peter Jennings, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars. His work has been translated into eleven languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Russian, and French. His doctor's degree is from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel and South Africa) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian Institutions.
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