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Loot Price R381
Discovery Miles 3 810
You Save R37 (9%)
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New Testament scholar Gerd Ludemann continues his exploration of
the life and teachings of Paul in this groundbreaking monograph,
which synthesizes the research of his four previous books on
Christianity's leading apostle. As the subtitle of the present work
makes clear, Ludemann comes to the conclusion that Paul should be
considered not only Christianity's most influential proselytizer
but in truth deserves the title of founder of the religion that
ostensibly originated with Jesus of Nazareth. Though other scholars
have previously made the point that Paul's interpretation of the
Christian message actually obscured the original teachings of
Jesus, Ludemann goes further. His painstaking historical research
shows that Paul created the major tenets of the Christianity we
know today and that his theology - an original synthesis of Hebrew
and Greek belief systems - differs significantly from what we now
know the historical Jesus to have preached.
Based on a life-changing vision of the risen Christ, Paul naturally
made his belief in the resurrection of the crucified Jesus the
centerpiece of his interpretation of this new religion. But
Ludemann contends that however sincerely motivated he was, in the
final analysis we must judge Paul's belief as self-deception. Paul
never knew Jesus and he had only a passing acquaintance and an
often-strained relationship with Jesus' apostles. As a result, he
was not in a position to accurately represent Jesus' teachings.
Through the accidents of history and his dynamic personality, his
evangelizing efforts to the non-Jewish population of the Roman
Empire succeeded, whereas the mission of other leading apostles
(for example, Peter and James) to a mainly Jewish audience failed.
Thus, Paul's version of Christianity, not Jesus', captured the
public imagination and eventually became the dominant religion of
the West. In another book, Ludemann has called this historical
accident The Great Deception. Here he shows that the deception
began as self-deception within the deeply conflicted personality of
Paul of Tarsus, the former Pharisee and zealous persecutor of the
fledgling Christian sect whose dramatic conversion on the road to
Damascus transformed him into its greatest promoter.
This brilliant exegesis, based on twenty-five years of research, by
a leading New Testament scholar with an unwavering commitment to
historical accuracy presents a message rarely heard from any pulpit
but one that churches can no longer honestly ignore.
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