The Apostle Paul: His Life and Testimony: The 23rd Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium

Each of the twelve essays compiled from papers given at the 1994 Sperry Symposium is worth reading. Some pieces are homiletic, others scholarly. All treat either Paul’s milieu or his epistles, several using methods of biblical criticism to elucidate Paul’s literary and historical context. From their faithful viewpoints, authors refreshingly engage questions such as, Can Paul’s epistles be read as a secondary account of resurrection eyewitnesses, collectively acting as another “gospel”? (R. L. Anderson: Yes.) Has new documentary evidence pronounced Paul a Jewish heretic, Hellenistic philosopher, or sui generis Christian? (C. W. Griggs: None of the above. Paul’s documented identities are ambiguous.) Was the Jerusalem Council the first general conference or a preschismatic caucus? (R. J. Matthews: More the latter; however, the impending crisis was diverted by leaders’ diplomatic patience.)

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