- The Man and the Myth
- Paul the ‘Convert’?
- Paul the Missionary
- Paul the Theologian
- Paul the Apostle
- Archaeology and the Pauline Letters
- Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans
- Paul and the Construction of Early Christian Identity
- Paul and Economic Resources
- Paul the Philosopher
- Paul and Religion
- The Pauline Letters in Contemporary Research
- The Deutero-Pauline Letters in Contemporary Research
- Paul the Letter Writer
- Rhetoric and Argumentation in the Letters of Paul
- The Text of the Pauline Corpus
- The Formation of the Pauline Corpus
- Paul and Scripture
- Paul and Jesus
- Justification by Faith
- Participation in Christ
- Grace/Gift in Paul
- Paul and <i>Pistis Christou</i>
- Ethos and Community
- Cosmology and Eschatology
- Social-Scientific Approaches to Paul
- Paul and Ethnicity
- Paul and Politics
- Paul and Postcolonial Studies
- Paul and Feminism
- Paul and Theological Interpretation
- Paul and Reception History
Abstract and Keywords
Paul was at home in the three worlds of the title of this chapter, which formed a complex and variegated whole. Paul presents us with a range of his Jewish credentials, including that he is ‘a Hebrew born of Hebrews’ and a Pharisee. We have no reason to doubt that he was born in Tarsus and received some education in Jerusalem (Acts 22: 3). A number of dimensions of Paul’s theology can be seen to have come from his Jewish framework of thought, even as he reworks that thought in the light of his new experience in Christ. Dimensions of Paul’s language and thought can also be seen to reflect the all-pervasive Graeco-Roman culture of the day, in which Paul was thoroughly at home. He had received some elements of Hellenistic education and was both a citizen of Tarsus and a Roman citizen. All three contexts are important when we are interpreting Paul’s letters, and we would be wrong to ask if any one context dominated his thought. He was ideally suited then to take a Jewish Gospel to the Graeco-Roman world.
Paul Trebilco is Professor of New Testament Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. His PhD thesis from the University of Durham was published as Jewish Communities in Asia Minor (SNTSMS 69, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). He has also written The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (WUNT 1.166; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004; paperback edition, Grand Rapids Eerdmans, 2007); 1 Timothy, with S. Rae (Asia Bible Commentary Series; Singapore: Asia Theological Association, 2006); 2 Timothy and Titus, with C. Caradus and S Rae (Asia Bible Commentary Series; Singapore: Asia Theological Association, 2009); Self-designations and Group Identity in the New Testament, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
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