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Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee [Paperback]

By Alan F. Segal (Author)
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Item description for Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee by Alan F. Segal...

In this revisionist work, Segal maintains that Paul's life can be better understood by taking his Jewishness seriously, and that Jewish history can be greatly illuminated by examining Paul's writings". . . . a blockbuster of a book about Paul that blazes a new trail".--New Theology Review.

Publishers Description
An account of Paul's work in which the author argues that Paul's life can be better understood by taking his Jewishness seriously and that Jewish history can be illuminated greatly be examining Paul's writings.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Yale University Press
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.12" Height: 1.12"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 29, 1992
Publisher   Yale University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0300052278  
ISBN13  9780300052275  

Availability  0 units.

More About Alan F. Segal

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Alan F. Segal (1945-2011) was professor of religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. He taught two of the college's most popular courses: "Life After Death" and "Introduction to the Hebrew Bible." He was the author of a number of books, including Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in Western Religion, Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul of Pharisee, and Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World.

Alan F. Segal was born in 1945 and died in 2011 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Professor of Religion, Barnard College Columbia University.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Paul
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism

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Reviews - What do customers think about Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee?

Paul; a Jew in a Hellenistic world  Dec 21, 2007
If you are interested in Paul then I would highly recommend this book; it's another stone for the foundation.
This book does a good job examining Paul's conversion and his experience in a Hellenistic social setting.
Book on Paul the Apostle  Sep 2, 2007
I love this book!! This was an assignment for World Civ, but it was the best book I think I have ever read as an assignment. I wouldn't have read it had it not been brought to my attention by the instructor. Boy, I would have really missed some good stuff. Read this book.
Excellent exegesis of Paul's influence.  Nov 14, 2004
Let me say at the outset that I am not a scholar and have no academic credentials. However I am reasonably well read in the history of the birth of Christianity. I bought this book because it had been well-mentioned in reviews in Anglican journals I receive. I was not disappointed. This is an excellent work written from a Jewish perspective, and as such it brings a new and exceedingly important dimension to the understanding of first century Judaism and the influence of Paul in the growth of the Christian church which had begun life as a sect within then (as now) heterodox Judaism. I think, as does Mark Stover in The Library Journal and the first reviewer, that Professor Segal has done a superb job in explaining to us what first century Judaism looked like and the birth pangs of the early Christian church and how it eventually separated itself from Judaism and Paul's role in this. The book is not easy to read, but the subject matter is difficult. It is not something easy or cut and dried. I think Professor Segal writes exceedingly well, and that anyone seeking an understanding of Judaism and Christianity in our own time will find this book extremely rewarding. I urge potential buyers to pay no attention to the previous review. It is valueless.
A good sociological examination of Paul and his new life.  Oct 1, 1997
In this 1990 work by Alan Segal, the author argues that the best way to understand Paul is by using the conversion language prevalent in the first century. Largely reacting to the writings of Krister Stendahl and E.P. Sanders, Segal writes that Paul did in fact undergo a conversion. This conversion was not an emotional or crisic experience, but was demonstrated in Paul's willing change of social setting. So Paul then, a Jew, lives as a non-observant in a Gentile community.

Segal uses this distinction to explain the struggle that Paul had with opponents in his letters. While Segal finds that conversions did occur in the first century, Paul's problems started in earnest when he tried to reconcile the observant and non-observant wings of the church. Segal's thesis is that Jews supported the idea of converting Gentiles, but were repulsed by non-observnt Gentiles and observant Jews worshipping TOGETHER.

The weakness of this work in its tendency to describe Paul as a kind of first-century religious quester. A position that does not fit with the self-description of the man in his letters. It is also a bit unnecessarily long, especially in the first 70 pages or so, when Segal spends much space describing the religious attitudes of various religions in the first century. Much of this does not apply to his larger arguement, and provides detail for the sake of detail. It is, however, an excellent examination of the sociological implications of Paul and his work. A worthy read for any student of Paul and his literature.

Doug Ward


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