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+ The Book On Paul



+ By The New Testament Section 9 Edited by Tej Jolly and John Campbell 144 Grand St. Jersey City, New Jersey, 07302



Chapter 1 In the book The Letters of Paul, stoicism represents one of the religions of the third century B.C. The personal agony and social revolt of the third century is what essentially turned stoicism into a religion - The foundations of religion began to shake with questions of theodicy. People asked questions like: “If they care about the plight of a man why do the gods fail to redress the wrongs inflicted by this hostile world?” and “Why is life unjust and unfair if providence favors justice and fair play?” - The Stoics answered these questions that were being asked by assuring people that there was a “God” present in the world. However, “God” was not a divine being who dealt with the affairs of man. - Stoics had a divine principle called logos, or reason, which that looked over and governed the universe. “God”, similar to man, had a soul of its own which directed its own affairs and had a fundamentally rational existence. - Chrysippus of Soli, a Greek Stoic philosopher, once said that even the lowliest of bedbugs was an instrument of the logos because the bedbug kept man from sleeping too long or too much.

- The Stoics believed that once a human being understood that the universe was fundamentally rational, the person could accept whatever happened to him or her with equanimity, or apatheia. Equanimity was basically a sense of mental calmness and composure at all times and during all situations - Apatheia was not a resignation, but it was a source of strength and power based on the strong belief that all things were directed by divine reason, or logos. The Stoics believed that Apatheia was the true path to freedom. To the Stoics, a man who had a spiritual autonomy and made the right choices and decisions was a man who was truly liberated - Although Stoicism was pantheistic and the universe was infused with a divine soul, Stoicism was not a mystery religion. However, it did focus on the inner life, which did not make it a unique religion and disinterested people with its sameness. - Bultmann states, “The Stoic believes that it is possible to escape from his involvement in time. By detaching himself from the world he detaches himself from time. The essential part of man is the Logos, and the Logos is timeless.� This is basically a summary of Stoicism. Paul spent most of his early years of life in Tarsus, which was a center of teachings of the Stoics. Paul’s letters indicate signs of some Stoic influences, but his outlook on life differs greatly from that of a Stoic.

Chapter 2

In the letter to the Philemon it explains how it had been written exactly. Onesimus had been a slave who was imprisoned. Paul’s letter states that he should be treated “like a brother.” Also Paul does this because Onesimus had been a prisoner for Christ so he had been there for a reason. The central message of this letter was Paul’s opening line, also for the additional letters Paul had written. Next, another key letter in Paul’s writing is the letter to the Romans. In this writing it shows that Paul, who had not visited or find the place talks about orthodoxy in his Gospel. What was another key factor in his letter to the Romans was that he talked about Paul was defending his apostleship. He also shows Jesus is a descendent from David but the “Son of God” and also talks about the resurrection of Christ. In addition to this Paul shows his support for the Roman church including the mission to Spain he takes part in. To add another main topic and group talked about in Paul’s letter were his letters to the Galatians. This also outlines the salutation that Paul makes in this letter likewise to the others that had been written. In this salutation what has been noticed is how the receives careful and the treatment behind it. It also outlines how his apostleship were devalued in the Gospel and how Paul is trying to seek the independence his wants for the Jerusalem circle and defend the message try being spoken in this letter. In this letter the church was trying to the link between Peter, James, and John also many others relationship and link with the lord and, the practices of the Jewish Christians. To sum up in Paul’s writing what it mostly pointed out how he directly pointed to the person it was sent to; to explain the deeper meaning so readers could understand it more thoroughly. In conclusion throughout Paul’s letters he had focused on the opening of his letters. He had really pointed out who had been writing to. This had included the sender and who had been getting the letter in addition to the greeting, which had been in his Gospels. Paul had tried to get the reader to better understand what was going on throughout his gospel. In addition, to telling people who it was directly to and his purpose for writing it.

This section begins with Roetzel mentioning Paul Schubert’s finding on how Paul’s letters were written based on who they were going to. Roetzel talks about how the Thanksgiving he gives in his letters is symbolic of both the people he wrote to and the message he was writing. Paul’s letters are famous for both their amount and their reason. Paul, formerly Saul, began believing that after he saw the Risen Christ the world would end any day. When Paul wrote these letters he intended them as more of a warning and preaching of Jesus’ return than anything. What Roetzel’s section on Thanksgivings helps point out is that what the Thanksgiving does is summarize the intent of the letter and close the letter opening. The thanksgiving is recorded in all of Paul’s letters, which helps make it an identifying point of his letters. Paul often uses his thanksgivings to allude to future events or to mention how he suffers for Jesus. Not only do Paul’s thanksgivings summarize the letters, they also help link to the “day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Like other preachers of Christianity at the time, Paul often mentions his sufferings and the sufferings of those around him to show that even through the toughest struggles, Jesus and God can help you through. While the thanksgivings on Paul’s letters are very similar to each other, they are often not thought of as something he did consciously, but simply did it out of habit. Unlike the other sections of his letters, Paul’s thanksgivings seem to focus less on Paul’s constant thought that the world would soon end, and more on noticing how God acts in the daily lives of the people he wrote to. Throughout the history of the Church, Paul is regarded as one of the “founding fathers” for what eventually became one of the biggest religions in the world. Paul is often remembered for the letters he wrote to those he had previously visited and other newly converted Christians. The letters of Paul can easily be dissected to see the format of which he writes them in. As was previously mentioned, the Thanksgiving is a part of the letters that remains throughout the entirety of his letters. Roetzel’s analysis of Paul’s letters bring up many interesting points and discuss facts about his letters that help you better understand who Paul really was.

Letters have been a form of communication for thousands of years. Paul utilized letter writing to communicate with churches. Most letters incorporate specific components and function. The ancient letters also incorporated a specific structure. The discovery of Greek papyrus has provided the opportunity to study the framework for letters of Paul’s day. Studying has further allowed us to understand the parts and function and these letters. The components of the Pauline letters included: salutation, thanksgiving (prayer), body, closing commands, and conclusion. Each of these sections provided insight to Paul’s intended message. The body is one section of the Pauline letters. Although there is a range in all of the letters, there is a pattern in its format. Paul often uses a request to move from the thanksgiving to the body. The body complements the thanksgiving because it interprets the claims of the language of prayer presented in the thanksgiving. He ends the body with his intended travel plans. The travel plans propose to solidify the written word with a promise of a visit. Ultimately the body connects to Paul’s theological perspectives. The body of Paul’s letters are often less predictable than the formalities presented in the other parts of the letter. The body is a significant part of the communication. Paul used his letters as his only means of communication with people far away. He ultimately used his letters to further his “apostleship” therefore it takes on a more formal tone. His letters were likely read to participants gathered at church. The chapter explains each component of the Pauline letters and what they mean. The section on the body is just one part described by the author and is connected to the rest of the sections by the order in which it occurred. there are many parts to Paul's letters that form one big letter such as a humans body has many parts that make it up. This chapter is named the Anatomy of Paul’s Letters it seems only right that Paul would write this with type of mentality.

This section of the reading it discusses the different types of ethical instruction found within Paul’s letters. The cluster of moral maxims is the first part of ethical instruction in his letters. One example of this is in Romans 12:9-13 wherein thirteen injunctions and twelve topics are mentioned. Paul uses tradition to write this material type. There are lists of vices and virtues in which Hellenism and Judaism merge together. These relationships are shown in Galatians 5:19-23 where the lists of both vice and virtue are compared side by side. There is another type of material, which is an exhortation on a specific topic. These materials are very personal and supportive (ex: 1 Cor. 4:15) “I became your father.” This tone is in a very pastoral manner and these appear in Paul’s letters very frequently. Most of 1 Corinthians is part of this and belongs to this type of material chs. 5-15. Paul deals with all of the problems that are shown to him in an oral report and a letter by the church. In First Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 5:1-11 illustrate style that Paul writes with. Both of these show the concern of Paul’s readers and explain the significance of the resurrection of the dead and the suddenness of the end. It is important to distinguish individual units from the sections of material. The sections of material draw together the body of Paul’s letters and the conclusion. Some of it talks about to refrain from vengeful acts and to do good to outsiders obey the leaders and to build up the church with some regularity. They do not act as a guideline for every problem but of how the gospel should take effect. Many sources of wisdom feed into this material, Paul does not take ownership of this material but the way he says it shows how morally right his specific account is. Paul in this instance uses a type of narrative in order to show the people of the Christian world the way that they should follow Christ. The people needed ethical instruction as well as a way to find the faith that the original disciples needed in order to believe in Jesus’ words. Paul uses an order to make it certain that the people that were Jewish could follow his words as well as the words of the people who wrote the gospels. They all had to write in a certain way or else the people who would listen to their instruction. Every one of the disciples of Christianity had a uniform belief; they all needed a uniform way in order to worship. They needed a way to remain Jewish and still believe in Jesus and his ways. This chapter challenges the idea that Paul could write in a certain way that deals with the entirety of the word of Jesus. This part of the chapter deals with ethics and ethical instruction this is the way that Paul wanted the people who believed in Jesus to act.

Like the opening, the conclusion is a stable element in epistolary structure. Peace wishes, greetings, and graces are usually found within it. Occasionally, an apostolic pronouncement, is seen. Closing the space between the instruction cluster and the conclusion is the peace wish. Paul did not originate the peace wish; but, the shalom (or peace) greeting of the Semitic letter was familiar to him. The word Shalom expressed a desire for the total well-being (bodily health and inner peace) of the person that is being greeted.The shalom greeting often went beyond amenities to a joint affirmation of faith. In the conclusion, greetings are in between the peace wish and the grace. Therefore the closing wish echoes the opening greeting. Before Paul ends his letter he places himself and his audience in the presence of God and the note of promise sounded in the peace wish extends God’s presence beyond this meeting point of the letter and into the future. In the peace wish of Thessalonians, Paul restates his major concerns. Sometimes a prayer request stands next to the peace wish. The closing greeting from Paul and his co-workers and to command to greet one another signal the imminent end of the epistolary meeting. Although it is not specifically stated, it is assumed that this greeting will be conveyed by the kiss. It has often been viewed as a prelude to the celebration of the Eucharist. This stands as the usual way to greet someone, which Paul harnessed to serve his epistolary interests. Through the command “greet one another with the holy kiss” Paul is talking about the kind of relationship that is created by Jesus between himself and his spiritual family, and also between the “brethren” themselves. Paul, believing himself appointed as an apostle of the risen Christ, felt he represented Jesus to his audience for judgment and healing. Therefore he believes the words that were spoken by him had the power and authority of the one who sent him, God. Paul saw the letter as an instrument of his apostleship. The letter placed the community in the Lord’s company. It was later realized that Paul’s message changed his medium. Even though the letter was for Paul the only mode of conversation between separated persons, it was more. It was an extension of his apostleship.

Chapter 3

The third chapter of Retzel is about the tradition behind the letters of Paul. The kerygma is a part of this chapter because it explains the specific way Paul wrote the letters, and the key elements that can be found in the letters. Without an understanding of the Kerygma, their is no way to understand what Paul wrote. It has the smallest part of the third chapter of Retzel, but it is the most important part of Paul’s letters. The kerygma is the basic outline of the doctrine taught by the primitive Christians. Paul’s emphasis of his preachings were different from his predecessors. Even though they were different, Jerusalem apostles did still approve of his gospel. They approved it because it coincided with their own on essential matters. The primitive gospel defined by C.H. Dodd had six main parts in it. The arrival of the messianic age as foretold by the prophets. Inauguration of Jesus’ ministry death and resurrection. The exaltation of Jesus. Presence of the Holy Spirit in the church as a sign of Christ’s “power and glory.” The imminent return of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection. The exaltation of Jesus. Presence of the Holy Spirit in the church as a sign of Christ’s “power and glory.” The imminent return of Jesus as the consummation of the messianic age. Finally, the call to repentance with an offer of forgiveness. None of these elements can be found anywhere in the same place. Although, almost all of them surface somewhere in Paul’s letters as they go on. It is directly related to the words that go into Paul’s letters are all based on an element from the Kerygma. The words that go into Paul’s letters are all based on an element from the Kerygma to appeal to Paul’s audience. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. He would be put in prison very often because the crowd did not like what he told them. Gentiles had different Gods that were mighty and powerful, not someone who preached the word of the lord to persuade them to join him.

In this reading, specifically the Eucharistic and Baptist Formulas, Paul speaks often about the traditions of those he is writing to. This is shown by his allusions to baptism throughout the Gospel. Also, Paul directly quotes the Eucharistic liturgy. I also read a section called The Language of Prayer, Paul often alludes to prayer, some traditional, some not. It is also possible to recognize fragments. These are most likely included by Paul because in section 3 of this writing, because it is made clear that tradition opens up insight that we have not had before. This is shown by Eucharistic and Baptist Formulas section when it is shown that Paul refers to his readers traditions very often. I believe the reason Paul does this is because it helps the reader relate a little bit more to what he is writing about. This is also shown in The Language of Prayer. In this section, Paul often alludes to prayer, a lot of them traditional. Hymns are songs in praise or honor of God, a deity, or a nation. They have been used since before Jesus was even born. Early hymns of the church were from Psalms, but newer songs were crafted just for Christianity. Looking back at a hymn from Psalms 1, written before Christ, and then Eph. 5:14, written after Christ, there are similarities between the two odes to God. They both spread His word, obviously. However, there are also differences between the two, such as where they come from. One comes from the Old Testament, while the other comes from the New Testament. Also, the one from the New Testament mentions Christ, while the other cannot since he was not born yet. This section of the chapter was added because the author is obviously studying the New Testament writings, mainly Paul’s. The author was showing how Christianity and Judaism are expressed. Knowing this is essential when it comes to studying religions. It helps the reader learn even more about the faith.

Paul tries to get the reader to appreciate more fully the heights and depths of the human spirit. Paul draws on Church tradition, and argues that the gospel comes from man because everything in the gospel was composed by man. In this chapter it is learned that Paul’s Galatian enemies charged that his reliance on the apostles did not allow him to be an apostle of Christ. Paul says in Galatians 1:11-12 that he is not denying that he uses man-made formulas in his preaching, but he is saying that his motive for doing this preaching was that he was given authority directly from Christ. One section in this chapter is the Words of the Lord. This section describes many situations where Paul is preaching that he personally knew Jesus. One example is in 2 Corinthians 5:16 when Paul says, “though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer." Many scholars see this quote as evidence that Paul did actually know Jesus during his life. Other scholars are skeptical about this because if Paul did know Jesus during hs ministry, then it is very strange that he would barely mention the words and deeds of Jesus. Instead of mentioning these words and deeds many times, Paul focuses mainly on the content of his own preaching. Paul lays heavy stress on three historical facts: the cross, resurrection, and imminent return of Jesus. Paul talks much about Jesus' resurrection an how he is the Messiah. Paul uses some quotations from Jesus as emphasis on his point, such as in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, "To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that she should not seperate from her husband... and that the husband should not divorce his wife." In the Letters of Pau, we see how Paul is preaching about the coming of Jesus in Luke 12:39-40, "If the householder had known at what hour the theif was coming, he would have been awake... You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." We can see through the words of Paul that he is more focused on his own preaching, however he focuses a lot on the resurrection and coming of Jesus. It is through Paul's words and that we understand the importance of Jesus coming back from the dead. Paul only uses Jesus' words and deeds to add important weight to his ethical teaching. Paul's words relate to the traditions behind the letters because it is through these words that we are able to see what paul sees as important: the cross, resurrection, and imminent return of Jesus. Even though many people at this time did not agree with Paul's teaching, he still believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah who was here to save the world.

Tradition opens up a level of insight or being that we had not known before. Paul was personally aquainted with Jesus and proved he was right when he was preaching by simply stating, “Because I said so.” Martin Dibelius noticed the traditional nature of Paul’s ethic instruction. It is said that the main beliefs of Pauls content does not come from himself, however, properties of early Christianity. The paraenisis was created with no solution in mind, but a general guide to everyday affairs. The paraenetic tradition is split up into four different types. The different types of paraenetic tradition include: Wisdom sayings, Vice and Virtues list, imperative cluster, and Developed Exhortation (a type of topical moral essay). Paul’s paraenetic tradition is shaped by his moral concern with identity, and the fundamental principles of love. Paul’s main point was the need for perseverance in these acts of piety. There is an emphasis on the persistence of faith that is stressed throughout the letters. Faith is constantly being questioned for the people during this time. The Wisdom Sayings provide us with an insight that shows how much of an emphasis there is on morals in Paul. The Vice and Virtues list is filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetnouss, and malice. The Imperative Cluster says that everything you do for the new Christian religion, do it passionately.

Chapter 4 Paul was a man on the run who may have done more for Christianity than anyone else in the history of the religion, excluding Jesus. He was one of the first to recognize it as its own religion and he opened the faith to people that would have not been previously included. Paul transformed from a Christian persecutor into a Christian promoter and his story is nothing short of amazing. This follower of Christ even provided guidance to the Christian communities he left behind with letters. In this chapter Paul will be explored not only as the apostle he was, but the man he was before and after his transformation. Paul was a man on the run. Locals, Romans, and even fellow Jews or people of the “Jesus movement” often drove him out. When Paul would flee, he would often write letters back to the towns he had recently preached in. Of the thirteen epistles from Paul that are included in the bible, only seven are surely written by Paul himself. Pseudepigrapha are writings that have been written under a false name. Some of the letters in the New Testament are forged. The letters are divided into three groups: the authentic Pauline epistles, the deutero-Pauline epistles, and the Pastoral Epistles. The deuteroPauline epistles are letters from Paul that may have been written by him. The Pastoral Epistles are undeniably counterfeits. The authentic Pauline epistles are as follows: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. The deutero-Pauline epistles are: Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians. The Pastoral Epistles are: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus. The letters instruct the pastors on how to conduct various matters in their church. Writing style, vocabulary, theology, and context are four criteria are used on all of the letters to verify their authenticity. The term “deutero-Pauline” literally means “second Paul”. Finally, the “undisputed epistles” are all very similar in writing style, vocabulary, and theology. They all concern issues within 40-50 C.E, which is when Paul was an active missionary so the context makes sense for an authentic Pauline epistle.


Book of Acts” is not very reliable. There are many differences between the way Paul himself told his stories and the way “The Book of Acts” is told. In “The Book of Acts” Paul’s teachings differ from the way he told them in his letters. Also In “The Book of Acts” all of Paul’s sermons were addressed to Jewish Audience. “The Book of Acts” disagrees with 3 major points about Pagan belief or disbelief in The One True God “The Book of Acts” is not reliable and how it has a different author then the rest of Paul’s letters. In “The Book of Acts” there are many examples and differences between what was believed to be said by Paul, and what Paul actually told us in the rest of his letters. Paul was addressing various and certain issues that people in different communities were experiencing. These issues concerned the people, their religion, and the church itself. These letters weren’t written in a business or professional style, but more in a way to the people, writing that the common person could easily understand. He does not reveal much information about himself in these letters. One of the only precise things that we learn about Paul from his letters is his knowledge of other peoples celebrating the Lord’s feast. He had no idea that two thousand years later, all sects of Christianity would be based in his teachings or heavily influenced by him. Paul is probably the most influential early Christian, excluding Jesus. Paul was born, just like Jesus and many early Christians, a Jew. Born in the Greek city Tarsus, his native tongue was Greek. This meant he had both an understanding of Jewish Scripture and the Septuagint, which was just a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. He was a Pharisee who followed strict Jewish Law. As a young man he actively sought after and persecuted many early Christians. The ironic thing is that he was working for high religious officials within the Jewish community and then he went on to be the complete opposite for the Christians. Paul was forever changed when Jesus supposedly appeared to him. He considers this himself his conversion to Christianity, although it is more likely that this conversion took place over several years, as he slowly shifted away from his traditional Jewish ways An interesting thing about Paul is that he viewed himself before the Law.

One easier transition to Christianity is that devoted Pharisees did believe that a messiah would come to aid Judaism. Some thought that the messiah would be a warrior and liberate the Jews from Roman rule. Others thought the messiah would use a forceful interpretation of God’s Law and rule all of God’s people through the religion. This is ironic because Jesus was none of these, making Christianity a hard sell for Paul to Jewish people. Because of the Jewish people’s view of a messiah, it was very hard for Paul to try to convert people by saying that Jesus was the messiah. For Paul to refer to Jesus as the messiah would have been considered blasphemous. Just a short time ago Paul was trying to persecute the Christian community for its beliefs as Jesus as the messiah and then all of a sudden he was a promoter of it. Before his conversion, Paul had been an apocalyptic Jew strictly following the traditions of the Pharisees. He had since converted to Christianity. Paul traces his conversion to him actually seeing Jesus’ body raised from the dead. He thought he was living in the ending time of the world and would be alive when Jesus returned from heaven. Jesus’ resurrection confirms his belief that God is going to reward the faithful, punish sinners, and rid the world of evil, sin, and death. Jesus suffered punishment not for His actions, but for the sake of others. Jesus bore the curse that was meant for others because Jesus is the righteous servant of God. God then vindicated Jesus by raising him up from the dead. It was a sacrifice for the sins of others. This new belief conflicts with Paul’s Pharisee belief that God’s greatest gift to his people is God’s Law and wants to know its role, because Jesus is the salvation of sins and the defeat of the powers of sin and death. To Paul, a person could not be put a right standing under God by keeping the Law, but only through faith in Christ. The problem for Paul was not the Law but the people to whom it was given (People misused the Law). They thought by simply following all its rules would earn God’s favor. Everyone is enslaved to sin, so everyone is alienated from God. Only Jesus can bring deliverance from sin because He has defeated sin. Paul thought that at the apocalypse God would intervene for the people of the entire world, not just Jews, because the cosmic forces that oppose God enslave everyone.

He believed that other nations would become God’s people not through following Jewish Law, but through converting to Christ. God’s covenant with Abraham was for all people and Gentiles did not have to follow the Jewish covenant given to Moses to be saved like what is said in God’s covenant to Abraham. All people, both Jew and Gentile could have a right standing with God through belief in Christ. Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection is the only way since the Law acknowledges sin and doesn’t have the power to conquer sin but Jesus has conquered sin. After Paul underwent his conversion, he had spent many years in Arabia and Damascus, but he does not reveal what he did while he was there. Afterwards, he took a small trip to Jerusalem, he traveled to Syria and Cilicia and finally to Antioch, where he got involved with the church of Antioch. He had intended to spread Christianity and God’s word wherever he traveled, and even to Greece. All throughout his career of preaching to various peoples, Paul considered himself an ‘Apostle of the Gentiles’. He believed that he was instructed by God to spread God’s salvation and Jesus’ message to those who weren’t Jewish. Wherever Paul traveled and had converted people to Christianity and started a Church, other Christian missionaries would soon follow, and help the church run and grow. Some of them carried and taught from gospels that were different from the ones Paul had, and he warns about people like this in several of his letters. Some people who were left in charge of the churches had qualms and problems with people who were outsiders joining the new faith. Paul had addressed all these problems, and most likely several more, in various letters that he had sent out to the different churches experiencing these problems.

book on paul  

book on paul

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