For someone who has exercised such a profound influence on Christian theology, Paul remains a shadowy figure behind the barrier of his complicated and difficult biblical letters. Debates about his meaning have deflected attention from his personality, yet his personality is an important key to understanding his theological ideas. This book redresses the balance. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's disciplined imagination, nourished by a lifetime of research, shapes numerous textual, historical, and archaeological details into a colourful and enjoyable story of which Paul is the flawed but undefeated hero. This chronological narrative offers new insights into Paul's intellectual, emotional, and religious development and puts his travels, mission, and theological ideas into a plausible biographical context. As he changes from an assimilated Jewish teenager in Tarsus to a competitive Pharisee in Jerusalem and then to a driven missionary of Christ, the sometimes contradictory components of Paul's complex personality emerge from the way he interacts with people and problems. His theology was forged in dialogue and becomes more intelligible as our appreciation of his person deepens.
In Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's engaging biography, the Apostle comes to life as a complex, intensely human individual.
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(224mm x 145mm x 19mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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UK Kirkus Review »
The Apostle Paul is famous chiefly for his dramatic conversion and for writing theologically difficult letters. Father Murphy-O'Connor's sympathetic and stimulating biography transforms the bare facts of Paul's life into a highly readable story. A lifetime's Pauline scholarship is distilled into clear, confident prose that rings with conviction. The centuries roll away as Father Murphy-O'Connor reveals Paul to be an intelligent, flawed and passionate man whose theology stems not from dry academic speculation but from the pressing need to address the problems faced by new converts in the churches he establishes as he travels across Asia Minor and into Europe. Paul's personal transformation and commitment to a gospel of grace is constantly refined and tested in a world where travel is worryingly dangerous, news takes a frustratingly long time to reach it's destination and people misunderstand and oppose each other just as they do today. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's 'wonderful adventure' is a magnificent achievement. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Jerome Murphy-O'Connor
Jerome Murphy-O'Connor OP was born in Cork, Ireland, and educated at the Christian Brothers College, Cork, and Castleknock College, Dublin. He entered the Irish Province of the Dominican order in September 1953 and, after studies at the the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1960. After he completed his doctorate, he researched the Dead Sea Scrolls at Heidelberg University, Germany, and New Testament theology at Tubingen University, Germany. Since 1967 he has been based at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, Jerusalem, where he is Professor of New Testament.