So, does everyone love Paul these days?

So, by way of contrast, is Paul (among others – Gospels also seem to be doing relatively well) swallowing up the historical Jesus people? Even atheist continental philosophers have written major books on Paul and  not really produced much at all on Jesus. Big books on Paul attract attention (e.g. Campbell’s recent efforts) and seminars attract audiences. The fall of Soviet communism may explain the Marxist turn to a figure deemed revolutionary and not tainted by Soviet communism, and clearly this turn is paralleled in the all new socially radical anti-Empire Paul of certain mainstream NT scholarship. Is Paul, like the Gospels, and as implied by certain people commenting, a safer place to do biblical studies than what lies beneath?

More questions…


7 responses to “So, does everyone love Paul these days?

  1. I’m sick of Paul, have never been fond of him. In fact, I was looking for an icon of Saint Paul to hang in my toilet – but have failed to locate one.

  2. What a thing to say, you old cynic!

  3. a safer place to talk about christianity perhaps and avoid history (for some). I can’t stand him myself. Self righteousness little waffler and a willy wimp. I suppose what annoys me is scholarship identifying fundamental doctrine from his letters when I think he changed his mind depending on who he was writing to and sometimes wasn’t that clear himself what he really thought.

    Anyway, ‘aheist continental philosophers have written major book on Paul and really produced much at all on Jesus’ maketh no sense.
    Maybe you mean ‘major books’ and ‘rarely’ not ‘really’. Dunno.

  4. you did type atheist though – I mistyped it.

  5. ..and now it’s puffikt!

  6. I think that Paul is drawing more attention than Jesus because Paul remains a much more contested terrain. We have seen a significant paradigm shift occur in the study of Jesus over the last, oh, half century and this has produced a relatively stable consensus about the “historical Jesus.” Paul, however, is still up for grabs and something of a heated battle is going on as to who can lay claim to his Epistles. I suspect that the counter-imperial folks will win the day — just as Jesus, the “radical” Jewish peasant won the day — but that remains to be seen.

  7. Perhaps the reason for Paul’s popularity these days is that, whereas the gospels and other letters are about commandeering Judaism and simultaneously vilifying Jews, Paul’s writings are about vilifying Jews while simultaneously commandeering Judaism.

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