Paul has been widely studied as a theologian; however his views on the miraculous have been often neglected. Twelftree attempts to alleviate this situation by addressing to what extent Paul’s ministry and teaching included the miraculous. A guiding principle in deciphering the historical Paul is that Paul’s life and work are as important as his theological contributions. The book consists of 5 parts addressing the person of Paul, Paul’s inheritance, Paul’s testimony, Paul’s interpreters, and Paul’s relationship to the miraculous. Will Twelftree agree with the majority view that Paul excised Christianity of the miraculous or will he take up arms to defend the charismatic view that Paul was comfortable with the miraculous? Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Paul’
Recently he was interviewed on the Baker Academic Blog about his new book and the difference between Paul and Jesus on miracles.
For Twelftree, “The main problem is how to explain the high profile of miracles in the Jesus traditions, while Paul, who claimed to be his apostle, appears to say little to nothing on the topic. Furthermore, our reading of Paul is complicated by Luke attributing considerable miracle-working to Paul. I also wanted to test what seems increasingly obvious: the miraculous was more important in early Christianity than is generally reflected in the scholarly literature.”
Read the rest of part I of the interview here.
And, part II here.
Dr. Twelftree is Charles L. Holman Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity and Director of Doctor of Philosophy Program.
In the previous two posts, I made brief surveys of prominent women in the NT with the intention of showing that women occupied most leadership positions in the first century. I also suggested that women were part of the inner circle of Jesus and that these women were probably sent out along with the seventy-two that Luke records Jesus sending on a mission (Luke 10:1-2). The point of beginning with these examples was to set the stage for the difficult Pauline passages that seem to prohibit women from teaching roles in the house churches of the first century.
My claim is simple: The Pauline passages are not blanket prohibitions against all women, but address specific situations in Corinth and Ephesus that most likely arose from misguided applications of Paul’s message that in Christ there is neither male nor female (Gal. 3:28). Paul’s theology was grounded in the new freedom brought by the Spirit being poured out. Read the rest of this entry »
In order to understand the problem one must first understand a little bit about the cultural climate in which Paul lived. The Roman Empire, in Jesus and Paul’s day, controlled everything from Spain in the west to the Arabian Peninsula in the east. Each territory of the Roman Empire was ultimately under the rule of the Caesar who appointed Governors to ensure order was maintained throughout the Empire. These governors were famous for using their vast military might to crush uprisings with brute force. Any hint of an uprising or any question of who the real ruler of the Empire was and the Governor was likely to squash you and your group with swift and decisive action. These were the likely events that surrounded Jesus’ own crucifixion, of which Jesus’ followers were all too familiar. Even Paul, who was not one of Jesus’ followers at the time of his death but who claims to have seen the resurrected Jesus (Gal 1:11-17; 1 Cor 9:1; 1 Cor 15:8-11), knew what happened when someone was proclaiming the coming of a new kingdom with a new king. It would follow then that Paul, cognizant of his surroundings, would have taken care not to write anything that might be intercepted and traced back to him as some kind of clarion call to begin a battle against Rome and inaugurate a new kingdom. Furthermore, Paul was often writing to a mixed Jewish and Gentile audience. It is likely that the Gentile audience would not have understood a discussion of the kingdom of God in the way that Paul would have intended it, and so in most instances, Paul refrains from talking about the kingdom of God. The question remains though, did Paul know anything about Jesus’ kingdom message?
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