Decades after setting the study of Paul on a profoundly new footing with Paul and Palestinian Judaism (Fortress Press, 1977), E. P. Sanders now offers an expansive introduction to the apostle, navigating some of the thorniest issues in scholarship in language accessible to the novice and seasoned scholar alike. Always careful to distinguish what we can know historically from what we may only conjecture, and these from dogmatically driven misrepresentations, Sanders sketches a fresh picture of the apostle as an ardent defender of his own convictions, ever ready to craft the sorts of arguments that now fill his letters but—as Sanders carefully argues—were not the basis for his own beliefs and attitudes. He also gives sustained attention to a historical sketch of Paul's context, particularly Second Temple Judaism, in order to set comparisons of Paul and that context on solid ground. Here are familiar themes from Sanders's earlier work—the importance of works in Paul's thought, the relationship of "plight" and "solution"—in a presentation that reveals a career's reflection, along with new thinking regarding development in Paul's thought. All of the letters are carefully introduced in a text that will prove a worthy guide to the student and interested reader.
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E. P. Sanders is the Arts and Sciences Professor of Religion Emeritus at Duke University. He previously taught New Testament studies at McMaster University and at Oxford University as Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture and as fellow of The Queen's College. He is the author of numerous landmark books including, from Fortress Press, Paul and Palestinian Judaism: A Comparison of Patterns of Religion (1977), Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People (1983), Jesus and Judaism (1985), as well as Studying the Synoptic Gospels (1989), Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah (1990), and Judaism: Practice and Belief, 63 BCE–66 CE(1992).
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