The authors are two leading Christian scholars that have shelves of volumes on some of the better known and lesser known aspects of both the Bible and also the people from that world. This one, however, despite some interesting information, takes a somewhat jerky approach that needed a stronger editorial hand. One problem is that it attemtps to be both a travelogue and tour guide, neither of which are succesful. But, that does not mean the book is worthless, when it tackles the unique way that Paul shaped early Christianity and that changed it from a small Jewish sect to a worldwide movement, it soars. While a lot of the information is not new, the authors do present it in a fresh way. Of particular interest is how Paul has been watered down from his fiery oratory (in many, but not all cases) and how his comments on women are placed in the social context of the time, and how later "authors" pseudoeppigrphically "adjust" Paul to the current climate, especially the so-called "Catholic" letters.
A wonderful book to find out about the geographic and social details of the world that St Paul lived in. Gives the latest academic opinions on which letters attributed to Paul are definitely his, the ones that are probably written by others in his name, and the ones that are definitely not written by him; and the reasoning behind these opinions. Brings St. Paul and his times to life.
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