Daily Gleanings: Paul in RBL (10 July 2019)

In the Review of Biblical Literature, Bryan Dyer discusses Gregory Jenks’s Paul and His Mortality: Imitating Christ in the Face of Death (Eisenbrauns, 2015). Dyer summarizes,

Jenks wades through the Pauline writings and the apostle’s contextual background to address the question of how Paul thought about his own mortality. While Greco-Roman and Jewish thought certainly influenced the apostle,
it was the death and resurrection of Jesus, according to Jenks, that significantly impacted Paul’s own view of death. Countless books have been written on Paul’s understanding of Jesus’s death. Jenks asks a different question: How did Paul think about his own death? (1)

Dyer offers several critiques of Jenks’s argument (4–5) but also remarks, “these critiques aside, Jenks has offered
an engaging study of Paul’s view of mortality that should encourage others to dig even more deeply into this important theological issue.”

For the additional comments, see Dyer’s full review in RBL.


In the Review of Biblical Literature, Dean Furlong reviews Douglas Campbell’s Paul: An Apostle’s Journey (Eerdmans, 2018). Furlong reports that the book

has been warmly received in many quarters and praised for the accessibility of its scholarship. Indeed, it is a succinct work that skillfully bridges the gap between academia and the lay reader with its warm, conversational style. It is also a difficult book to categorize.… it is not a typical account of Paul’s life and theology. It seems more a series of mini-introductions to each of Paul’s letters, each of which attempts to provide some (usually helpful or provocative) sociologically informed context and to summarize Paul’s thinking while carrying its own devotional flare. Discussions of Pauline thought touch such themes as friendship building, communal relations, social capital, restorative justice, servant leadership, and God’s unconditional love. It seems clear that Campbell is attempting to distill the findings of many notable Pauline interpreters into this compact book, and this works, if one accepts that these findings best reflect Paul’s own theology; otherwise, the end result might not be quite as satisfying. (1)

For additional discussion, see Furlong’s full review in RBL.

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