PAUL: His Story

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, Author . Oxford $21 (259p) ISBN 978-0-19-926653-1

Murphy-O'Connor, a noted Pauline scholar, professor of New Testament at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francais in Jerusalem and author of a previous work on the life of Paul, approaches the apostle from a critical and academic standpoint. The present work combines the biblical record with a deep understanding of the culture and geography of the region to produce an excellent, albeit inventive, biography. O'Connor draws from Paul's letters hints and shades of meaning that assist the reader in forming a consistent view of a sometimes conflicted but always fervent servant of God. The book is replete with conclusions drawn from inference, but the inferences are reasonable, and taken together, put flesh on the man. Beginning with Paul's childhood, and following him through his travels and finally to his death, Murphy-O'Connor brings Paul to life as a real person with real passions. The author nimbly handles aspects of Paul's teachings that have generated controversy, such as his views on the Jewish law or the leadership role of women. Written at a popular level, this book will be helpful as enrichment for the lay reader. Critical issues such as authorship, translation, sources and textual accuracy are mentioned only as they fit into the larger context of Paul, the man. Several maps depict the travels of Paul, and a suggested reading list offers guidance for further study. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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