How alike and unlike were Paul and Jesus? If there were differences between them, what effect did that have on the growth of Christianity? And how can these differences help Christians today find their way forward in the midst of countless new and creative ways of understanding their religion and their spirituality?
Translation & Annotation by Ron Miller
5½ x 8½, 224 pp | 978-1-59473-213-3
Fresh insight into Christianity’s earliest teachings can be a guide for your own spiritual journey.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote many of the books in the New Testament, was a fearless and revolutionary religious innovator. In a society where slaveholding was commonplace and women were little more than servants, he preached a groundbreaking equality founded on a new spiritual identity. In an imperial political system that demanded unquestioning allegiance, Paul told his readers they were citizens of heaven. Yet Paul diverged from many of Jesus’s own teachings about the world and God’s kingdom, and his writings have been used to justify slavery, defend violence toward women, and vilify followers of other religious paths.
With fresh translations from the original Greek and insightful yet unobtrusive commentary, Ron Miller guides you through the complexities of Paul’s writings. He explores Paul’s limitations and sometimes harmful legacy, but also highlights Paul’s deep connection with God’s Spirit. This connection led to Paul’s penetrating insights on how to live a life filled with spiritual vigor, experience profound joy even in the face of trouble, and understand the fundamental power of love to overcome any obstacle.
Whether you are familiar with Paul’s writings or have no previous knowledge of them, this SkyLight Illuminations volume will open a door to let you experience the power of Paul’s words for yourself.
“Masterful.... Brings Paul to life for the twenty-first century reader who wishes ... to relate [Paul’s] letters to her or his own spiritual quest. [A beneficial] guide to one of the most influential religious writers of all time.”
—Adela Yarbro Collins, PhD, Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale University Divinity School
“A perceptive account of one of [Christianity’s] greatest figures ... illuminates Paul’s deep spirituality.”
—Andrew Phillip Smith, author, The Lost Sayings of Jesus: Teachings from Ancient Christian, Jewish, Gnostic and Islamic Sources—Annotated and Explained
“Thought-provoking.... A welcome addition to the library of any lay theologian.... A way to celebrate the Christian life without having to belittle the lives and faith traditions of other people in the process.”
“People who have difficulty with Paul’s [teachings] will appreciate this book.”
—Beatrice Bruteau, PhD, author, The Holy Thursday Revolution
“Scholarly and spiritual.... Paul’s human weakness [is critiqued] ... yet Paul shines through as provocative, visionary, and practical. Challenges the reader to plumb the deepest meanings of [the writings of] this often misunderstood leader in the early Jewish-Christian church.”
—David L.Coppola, PhD, Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, Sacred Heart University
“Provocative ... opens fresh perspectives for understanding Paul’s message. Challenges readers to read key passages in Paul and to question many [of their own] assumptions. A valuable contribution to Pauline scholarship.”
—Rev. Richard Hauser, SJ, professor of theology and director of Christian Spirituality Program,Creighton University