Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle

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9780060722913: Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle

Paul Was Not a Christian is a groundbreaking work that systematically overturns both scholarly and popular conceptions held by Christians and Jews, liberals and conservatives alike. As Eisenbaum reveals, Paul is not the true founder of Christianity as is often claimed, nor does Paul understand Jesus Christ as having superseded the Torah and thereby replacing Judaism with Christianity. Although Paul unabashedly proclaimed his faith in Jesus, such proclamations were not inherently "Christian," since no such religious category existed in Paul's time. Jesus, rather, represented the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to the nations. Eisenbaum's work reverses the image we have of Paul as a model for Christian conversion and greatly increases our understanding of both Judaism and Christianity. Provocatively argued and far-reaching in its implications, Paul Was Not a Christian is a much-needed corrective to the traditional portrait of Paul and his divisive legacy. Pamela Eisenbaum, an expert on early Christianity, reveals the true nature of the historical Paul in Paul Was Not a Christian. She explores the idea of Paul not as the founder of a new Christian religion, but as a devout Jew who believed Jesus was the Christ who would unite Jews and Gentiles and fulfill God s universal plan for humanity. Eisenbaum s work in Paul Was Not a Christian will have a profound impact on the way many Christians approach evangelism and how to better follow Jesus s and Paul s teachings on how to live faithfully today.

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Review:

In this provocative book, biblical scholar Eisenbaum points out that the traditional Christian portrait of Paul as a former Jew . . . is a misreading of Paul's life and religious work . . . Eisenbaum's lively prose and meticulous scholarship provides a compelling new portrait of the apostle. --Publishers Weekly

Eisenbaum's is one of a few important voices drawing our attention . . . to the continuing tensions and contradictions in Christian readings of Paul . . . This book does more than challenge and inform: it changes the way we think about Paul and the origins of Christian faith. --Neil Elliott, Author of Liberating Paul: The Justice of God and the Politics of the Apostle

Professor Eisenbaum offers the general reader the most realistic first-century portrayal of the Apostle Paul ever written. --Jewish Book World

From the Back Cover:

The True Identity of the Bible's Most Divisive Apostle

Paul is not the founder of Christianity or a zealous convert from Judaism, as is often claimed. Nor did he contend that Jesus superseded the Torah. Paul, Eisenbaum persuasively argues, remained a devout Jew who believed Jesus would unite Jews and Gentiles and fulfill God's universal plan for humanity. Meticulously researched and far-reaching in its implications, this is a much-needed corrective to misconceptions held by Christians and Jews, liberals and conservatives, alike.

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