By Martin Hengel
Paul, the 1st Christian writer, the missionary to the Gentiles who can be acknowledged to be the founding father of Christian theology, has lengthy been a determine of best significance to New testomony theologians. in contrast Saul, the Jew who had a imaginative and prescient at the Damascus street, has been virtually forgotten. during this research Martin Hengel units out to therapy the imbalance. He examines the query of the apostle's origins and citizenship, his names, his social history and occupation, his schooling, taking specific notice of the variations among what's acknowledged within the Acts of the Apostles and Paul's personal testimony. He discusses the character of Pharisaic education in Jerusalem earlier than the autumn of the town in 70 CE and the connections among Pauline theology and rabbinic literature, whereas even as bringing out the gains of Greek schooling present in Jerusalem at the time. a last part considers how Paul got here to be a persecutor of Christianity, taking the account to the eve of his dramatic conversion.
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Extra resources for The Pre-Christian Paul
5 4 K "yevous TaponfjX ('of the people of I s r a e l ' ) , P a u l is quite naturally using "yevo? of his own people. I n addition, M o m m s e n - like a large proportion of present-day exegetes - a t t a c h e d too little i m p o r t a n c e to the fact t h a t P a u l t e r m e d himself a ' H e b r e w of the H e b r e w s ' a n d 'as to the law a Pharisee'. H o w a n d w h y the Pharisee Paul, 'in whose case according to G a l . 1 it is very u n c e r t a i n w h e t h e r he stayed in J e r u s a l e m before his D a m a s c u s e x p e r i e n c e ' , c a m e from T a r s u s to A r a b i a (Gal.
W e a l r e a d y saw t h e role played in his letters by J e r u s a l e m ( a n d the primitive c o m m u n i t y ) in c o n t r a s t to Antioch a n d D a m a s c u s or E p h e s u s a n d C o r i n t h (which are m e n t i o n e d m o r e by c h a n c e ) , or even T a r s u s , w h i c h h e keeps from us completely. So we m u s t a s s u m e t h a t 'from J e r u s a l e m ' is to be related strictly to his person: his missionary career b e g a n from the H o l y C i t y . He left J e r u s a l e m a n d w a s called to b e c o m e a messenger of the gospel by his vision of C h r i s t on the r o a d , shortly before he r e a c h e d D a m a s c u s .
V a n U n n i k expresses this p r o b l e m as a p u r e a l t e r n a t i v e in the title of his fundamental study Tarsus orJerusalem. 3 - 'to p u t t h e m a t t e r u n d e r the microscope' - he c a m e d o w n clearly for J e r u s a l e m . In this passage, with the t h r e e participles yeyevvr][xivo<;, dvaT€0pafip-evo<; a n d TreimiSevixcvos, L u k e uses a biographical scheme which says: Paul was b o r n in T a r s u s , it w a s in J e r u s a l e m t h a t h e received his upbringing in the p a r e n t a l h o m e , j u s t as it w a s in J e r u s a l e m that he received his later schooling for t h e r a b b i n a t e .