Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

Synopsis

Compact, intelligent primer on the New Testament from a renowned scholar In this coherent and integrated introduction to basic issues in the study of the New Testament, James Dunn has gathered texts from three sets of lectures that he gave in 2009 to Catholic and Jewish audiences in Italy, Spain, and Israel. Each of these lectures aimed to introduce otherwise well-informed people to topics that were new or unfamiliar to them -- making this book ideal for readers and students of various theological backgrounds both within and beyond the Christian community. Some of the topics illuminated by Dunn in this volume: • Where, why, and how the Gospels were written and what we should expect from them • The reliability and historicity of the Gospels • The continuing significance of the Apostle Paul and his teaching • Points of continuity and discontinuity between the teaching of Jesus and of Paul -- and how to bridge the two

Excerpt

In the course of just over three weeks in April and May 2009, I was privileged to give several lectures and series of lectures. This was partly the result of the decision of Pope Benedict xvi to celebrate the year 2008-9 as the bimillennial year of Paul. in my view, the celebration came a few years too late, since I think it more likely that Paul was born close to what we now regard as the turn from bce to ce (or from bc to ad). Nonetheless, the interest in Paul which this bimillennial year of Paul aroused among Catholics has been entirely welcome, and I found myself recipient of a number of invitations to lecture on Paul to Catholic (and other) gatherings. the invitations were too inviting for me to turn them all down, and I was more than happy to accept several, though the quickening of the work pace was somewhat more than I had bargained for. But how could I refuse? It was such a thrill for a mere Protestant to know that his Catholic brothers and sisters wanted to rediscover Paul — or as a senior Catholic friend corrected me: ‘Not rediscover, but discover Paul’!

The first was a series of lectures to an International Seminar on Saint Paul organised by the Societa Sao Paolo at its centre at Ariccia on Lake Alban. the Society kindly invited my wife and me to spend a few days in Rome before and after my one day at the Seminar, an invitation not hard to accept. We are most grateful to Brother Walter Rodriguez for organising our whole visit, including special arrangements for various excursions in Rome. the invitation to the Seminar was for me to speak on the main themes of Paul’s theology. But since I had already written at length on Paul’s theology, in the event it seemed more appropriate for me to focus on why Paul remains such a crucial . . .

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