Cover image for Paul : his story
Paul : his story
Murphy-O'Connor, J. (Jerome), 1935-2013.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 259 pages : maps ; 23 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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BS2506.3 .M87 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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For someone who has exercised such a profound influence on Christian theology, Paul remains a shadowy figure behind the barrier of his complicated and difficult biblical letters. Debates about his meaning have deflected attention from his personality, yet his personality is an important key tounderstanding his theological ideas. This book redresses the balance. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor's disciplined imagination, nourished by a lifetime of research, shapes numerous textual, historical, and archaeological details into a colourful and enjoyable story of which Paul is the flawed but undefeatedhero.This chronological narrative offers new insights into Paul's intellectual, emotional, and religious development and puts his travels, mission, and theological ideas into a plausible biographical context. As he changes from an assimilated Jewish teenager in Tarsus to a competitive Pharisee inJerusalem and then to a driven missionary of Christ, the sometimes contradictory components of Paul's complex personality emerge from the way he interacts with people and problems. His theology was forged in dialogue and becomes more intelligible as our appreciation of his person deepens. In JeromeMurphy-O'Connor's engaging biography, the Apostle comes to life as a complex, intensely human individual.

Author Notes

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor OP is recognized throughout the world as an authority on the New Testament and St Paul. A Dominican priest, he is Professor of New Testament at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, Jerusalem.
Historical tours of the Holy Land by the 'Father of All Guides' are legendary. Father Murphy-O'Connor is a frequent contributor to radio and television programmes, and appeared in a ten-part series entitled The Apostles broadcast by ITV

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. xv
1 The Early Yearsp. 1
Galileep. 2
Tarsusp. 3
Going up to Jerusalemp. 7
A City Set on a Mountainp. 9
A Pharisee in the Holy Cityp. 11
Did Paul meet Jesus in Jerusalem?p. 15
Confrontation with Christianityp. 16
2 Conversion and Its Consequencesp. 20
Recognizing the Unrecognizablep. 21
A Pharisee's Knowledge of Jesusp. 22
Encounter with the Risen Lordp. 23
Mission in Arabiap. 25
Three Years in Damascusp. 27
Learning a Tradep. 28
A Hurried Departurep. 31
Peter and Jesusp. 32
A Messiah who should not have Diedp. 34
3 Apprenticeship in Antiochp. 38
The Third City of the Empirep. 39
A Mixed Communityp. 41
Missions from Antiochp. 44
A Traveller in a Strange Landp. 48
4 A Journey into Europep. 54
An Unexpected Visit to the Celtsp. 56
To the West and Europep. 61
The First Sea Journeyp. 63
Partnership at Philippip. 65
Missionary Strategyp. 70
Labour in Thessalonicap. 72
5 South to Achaiap. 76
Anxiety in Athensp. 76
Corinth the Crossroadsp. 79
The First-fruits of Achaiap. 85
Correspondence with Thessalonicap. 90
Financial Mattersp. 93
A Crucial Datep. 95
6 Antioch and Jerusalemp. 97
A Law-free Missionp. 98
A Meeting in Jerusalemp. 101
Trouble at Antiochp. 107
Farewell to Antiochp. 111
7 The First Year in Ephesusp. 120
A Return Visit to Pessinusp. 120
Ephesusp. 122
Crisis in Galatiap. 129
A Sophisticated Strategyp. 132
8 The Second Year in Ephesusp. 139
Imprisonmentp. 139
A Mistimed Giftp. 143
The Weaknesses of a Pastorp. 144
Trouble at Colossaep. 147
A Pastor at his Bestp. 151
Future Plansp. 155
9 Conversations with Corinthp. 158
Situation Reports on Corinthp. 159
First Corinthiansp. 163
An Unplanned Visit to Corinthp. 167
Faithful Macedoniap. 170
10 Macedonia and Illyricump. 173
An Emergency Planp. 173
The Report of Titusp. 175
A Carefully Crafted Letterp. 179
Missionary in Illyricump. 186
Bad News from Corinthp. 188
A Furious Responsep. 189
11 Farewell to the Eastp. 193
Planning for the Futurep. 194
Decisions on Tacticsp. 197
A Letter to Romep. 199
Journey to Jerusalemp. 205
Reception in Jerusalemp. 212
In Roman Custodyp. 215
12 The Final Yearsp. 218
A Mission to Spainp. 218
Return to Illyricump. 220
Macedonia and Asiap. 222
A Problem in Ephesusp. 223
A Fateful Journey to Romep. 225
Back in a Roman Gaolp. 228
Sentence of Deathp. 233
Epiloguep. 235
Notesp. 240
Further Readingp. 251
Indexp. 253