By Martin Hengel

Paul, the 1st Christian writer, the missionary to the Gentiles who might be stated to be the founding father of Christian theology, has lengthy been a determine of major significance to New testomony theologians. against this Saul, the Jew who had a imaginative and prescient at the Damascus street, has been virtually forgotten. during this learn 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 career, his schooling, taking specific observe of the diversities among what's acknowledged within the Acts of the Apostles and Paul's personal testimony. He discusses the character of Pharisaic education in Jerusalem sooner than the autumn of the town in 70 CE and the connections among Pauline theology and rabbinic literature, whereas even as bringing out the beneficial properties 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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I n m y view, b o t h P a u l ' s excellent c o m m a n d of his Greek m o t h e r tongue a n d his sovereign t r e a t m e n t of the Greek Bible suggest t h a t T a r s u s c a n n o t be p u s h e d completely into the b a c k g r o u n d , even if it m u s t take second place to J e r u s a l e m in P a u l ' s g r o w t h . However, there was also a good Greek school in J e r u s a l e m . Finally, we c a n n o t rule out the possibility t h a t he regularly moved to a n d fro between T a r s u s a n d J e r u s a l e m .

T h e Pharisaic T o r a h school in the first half of the first century m a y h a v e h a d a n essentially different s t a m p - p r e s u m a b l y less institutionalized a n d freer from t h a t of the second-century T a n n a i t e s , w h o p r e p a r e d for the establishment of the M i s h n a h after their victory in I s r a e l . But we should not d o u b t t h a t the T o r a h schools in J e r u s a l e m before 70 h a d e n o r m o u s significance for Palestinian J u d a i s m a n d beyond.

By touching a n d b e a r i n g ' ( O h . I I . 3 ) ; ' A n y o n e w h o goes on m o u n t a i n s or rocks in the l a n d s of the peoples is unclean; a n y o n e w h o goes on the lake or the shore (which are not directly p a r t of the land) is clean' ( O h . X V I I I . 6 ) . . T h e l a n d is holy a n d p u r e , in so far as it is the land of G o d that he h a s chosen as the seat of his Shekinah... T h e holiness of the L a n d of Israel is expressed in the fact t h a t a whole series of c o m m a n d s of the T o r a h is associated directly with the land.

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