Item description for Paul, Missionary of Jesus: After Jesus, Vol. 2 by Paul Barnett...
Overview Was Paul the "second founder" of Christianity, striking off in directions Jesus never envisaged and teaching lessons Christ never endorsed? In this study Paul Barnett sets out to establish that, current theories aside, the apostle was a true missionary of Jesus, authentically extending the Lord's mission. Barnett argues that Paul's own writings are supplemented by Luke's contemporaneously written narrative of the Acts of the Apostles. He follows Paul on a decade of travels, examining the apostle in a historic context as well as revealed by Paul's own writings. Along the way, Barnett addresses a number of questions, such as Why did Paul persecute Christians when his teacher, Gamaliel, was against it? Was Paul converted or "called"? Are the "new perspectives on Paul" true to the evidence? and Why was Romans so important as a statement of Paul's "gospel"? Including several maps of Paul's travels and five helpful appendixes, Paul, Missionary of Jesus is ideal for anyone interested in Pauline studies and for those seeking out the historical truth of Christianity. Paul, Missionary of Jesus is Volume 2 of a trilogy titled After Jesus, following volume 1, The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years. Volume 3 (forthcoming) will be Finding the Historical Christ.
Publishers Description Was Paul the ?second founder? of Christianity, striking off in directions Jesus never envisaged and teaching lessons Christ never endorsed? In this study Paul Barnett sets out to establish that, current theories aside, the apostle was a true missionary of Jesus, authentically extending the Lord's mission.
Arguing that Paul's own writings are supplemented by Luke's contemporaneously written narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, Barnett follows Paul on a decade of travels, examining him in his historical context and as revealed by his writings. Including maps of Paul's travels and five helpful appendixes, Paul: Missionary of Jesus is ideal for anyone interested in seeking out the historical truth of Christianity.
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Studio: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.65" Weight: 0.76 lbs.
Release Date Jan 14, 2008
Publisher WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
ISBN 0802848915 ISBN13 9780802848918
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More About Paul Barnett
Barnett is retired Bishop of North Sydney. He was also Head of Robert Menzies College, Macquarie University.
Paul Barnett has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Paul, Missionary of Jesus: After Jesus, Vol. 2?
Scholarly, but eminently readable Oct 16, 2008
I highly recommend this recent work by Paul Barnett, published this year by Eerdmans. This is the second of a projected three volume series on Christianity "After Jesus." Barnett demonstrates that Paul was not the "creator" of Christianity, but a faithful missionary who knew a great deal about Jesus' earthly life and ministry, and continued it in the way he lived his missionary life. Paul did indeed have "the mind of Christ"!
The treatment is not biographical, but it is not a theological work, either. It is an eminently readable kind of chronology of Paul's thought, as drawn from Acts (accepted as historically reliable in most respects) and the Letters (up to Romans). There is a wonderful appendix on the mind of Paul ("Mind and Spirit: How Paul Made Decisions"). Personally, I'll be reading this another time very soon, and expect to give it at least one more thorough going through before the Pauline Year ends.
A book of sound and reasoned scholarship with excellent insights Oct 2, 2008
This is a relatively slim volume but don't be fooled into thinking it is not weighty in content. Much is packed into this study of the claim that "Paul turned the proclaimer (Jesus) into the proclaimed". The author shows a good breadth of knowledge and makes a convincing case for Paul's continuity with Jesus. Saul who became the Apostle Paul was one who passed on what was first passed to him (1 Cor 15).
A Book Well Worth Reading Jun 20, 2008
Paul Barnett's book on the apostle Paul is a fine contribution to the literature. Barnett's writing style is flowing, easy to follow and often elegant. From page one, this volume is extremely interesting and, for its size, sheds an uncommon amount of light on Paul's life and mission. Its main thesis is that Paul was not "the real founder of Christianity." Barnett poses the issue in these terms (2):
Was Paul a true missionary of Jesus? Embedded in that question are others. Did Paul know about Jesus' life and teaching? Did Paul preach Jesus' message? Was Paul true to Jesus' intentions? Did Paul continue in the trajectory begun by Jesus?
In a nutshell, the answer to all of the above is yes. Barnett starts out with a discussion of Paul's relation to the historical Jesus. By means of a serviceable table of references to Jesus in Paul's letters (18-20), it is argued persuasively that the apostle, by one means or the other, had more than a passing acquaintance with the Jesus of the gospels. Consequently, in comparing the teaching of the Pauline epistles with the teaching of Jesus, and by bringing alongside of Paul Luke's contemporaneously written account in Acts, it cannot be, contends Barnett, that Paul struck out on an independent course from his Lord, thereby becoming "the real founder of Christianity." The whole is encapsulated in a quotation from J. Ross Wagner: "Paul's mission...is nothing less than the outworking of Jesus' own mission" (99). The heart of the book is chapter 7, in which Barnett demonstrates that Paul's mission to the Gentiles was but the logical extension of "Jesus' promise to the nations" (Joachim Jeremias), as forwarded by the synoptic gospels especially.
As a member of "the choir" I hardly needed to be convinced of Barnett's conclusion that "there is no wall between Jesus and Paul, but only level ground between them" (22). Thus, the principal value of the book, I would propose, resides in the insights it offers into Paul's life and apostleship. Among the many insights of the book I would single out the way in which Barnett links the Christian Paul's reassessment of the significance of Jerusalem to Stephen's speech of Acts 7, especially vv. 44-53. Says Barnett:
Implicit in Stephen's criticism of the temple was a rejection of the eschatological centrality of Jerusalem. For him the mission of God for the gathering of the nations was not centripetal (pulling in to the center) but centrifugal (driving out from the center). That is to say, Stephen's antitemple polemic reversed the direction of the prophetic expectations, which saw God "pulling in" the nations to Jerusalem/the temple as the center of God's end-time plan for Israel and the nations (52).
The same is true of Philip the evangelist, who was called "the evangelist" not merely because he was a passionate preacher, but also because he understood that God's purposes were outward from Jerusalem, not inward to Jerusalem. By contrast, the apostles remained in Jerusalem, probably because they saw the Holy City as the center of God's end-time universe (52). Barnett continues: "The notion of Jerusalem as centrifugal and not centripetal in God's mission to the nations, which became so much associated with Paul, had its seeds in the vision of Stephen and the activities of Philip" (53).
The one flaw of the book is its less than accurate rendering of the "New Perspective on Paul." But that aside, this is a book well worth reading. If nothing else, Barnett has succeeded admirably in reminding us that Paul was a missionary theologian. With all our deliberations about Paul's theology, it is easy to overlook the most basic fact of all: Paul was a missionary. Consequently, the engagement of his insight and creative abilities in unpacking and applying the Scriptures of Israel was to the end of winning the nations for Christ.
Insightful research on Paul, his travels, and beliefs May 11, 2008
This is a wonderful book, which can be read either by a scholar or by the someone who just wants to learn more about Paul.
And there must be plenty of people out there confused about Paul. Over the last few centuries, many people have claimed that Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity. In the 1920's the history-of-religions theorists argued that Paul made up Christianity from Hellenistic myths. Into this thicket of charges and counter-charges Barnett brings sanity and logic, insisting that there really is no wall between Jesus and his enthusiastic missionary, Paul.
For those who claim Paul actually knew little about Jesus, Barnett offers a long list (p 20) of all the facts that can be gleaned from Paul's letter about Jesus. Paul also speaks of signs and wonders in connection with Jesus, (p 21) so Paul must have heard about the miracles.
Vital to understanding Paul is his meeting with Cephas in 36/37 which "provided the former Pharisee with an opportunity to learn about the historical Jesus" (p 84). This, and his meeting with James undoubtedly provided him with information he taught to others for the rest of his life.
Barnett takes the reader on Paul's many missionary journeys as well as revealing Paul's Jewish background, so vital for understanding Paul, the culture, and the issues discussed among the earliest of Christians. Readers will also be enlightened by scholarly tidbits Barnett tosses out, such as his speculations on Stephen's criticisms of the temple finding a response in Paul's mission to the gentiles(p 52).