Author Interview: “The Apostle Paul; A Polite Bribe”
Great introduction and interview! Thanks to Ron. I’ve seen the film and read the book fully twice, and some parts more (plus reviewed it and the film). The material deserves the extra attention! Even with a seminary education and a whole lot of biblical study beyond it, I was only generally familiar with Paul’s collection… very thankful to be better informed now.
Most serious readers of the Bible are familiar with the general conflict of Paul with the Jerusalem leaders but Orlando’s in-depth exploration of the revealing role of the collection and Paul’s determination to deliver it in person, along with the apparent result, makes things a lot clearer.
For people “settled” in the received (traditional) account of early unity among the Apostles and early believers, fostered largely by the book of Acts, this “rest of the story” that is generally overlooked may be UNsettling. But that must be faced if Christians are to have a realistic understanding of the beginnings of their faith. Key within that understanding is Orlando’s point that issues of ethnicity and customs which tend to separate people groups were (and remain) more significant than abstract theology.
The interview, available at the blog below, moves along quickly… very well done and well worth 20 minutes to hear.
Over the past few years I have had an overriding interest in the Apostle Paul, because the Christianity that we have inherited would not be the same if Paul had not existed and spread his version of the Messiah/the Anointed/the Christ, throughout much of the Greco-Roman world. Some of his teaching was and is world-changing and good (“You are no longer Jew or Greek, no longer slave or freeborn, no longer male and female. Instead, you all have the same status in the service of God’s Anointed, Jesus.” Gal 3:28).
Yet, his vision of Jesus was hardly recognizable by the original Apostles, or those others that followed the teacher day after day, from village to village, during the roughly three years that he taught them. Paul didn’t care about Jesus’ teachings or his life, he cared only about his vision of what he perceived as the risen Christ. He…
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