What Paul Meant  -     By: Garry Wills
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What Paul Meant

Penguin Putnam Inc. / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

All through history, Christians have debated Paul's influence on the church. Though revered, Paul has also been a stone on which many stumble. Apocryphal writings by Peter and James charge Paul, in the second century, with being a tool of Satan. In later centuries, Paul became a target of ridicule for writers such as Thomas Jefferson, George Bernard Shaw, and Nietzsche. However, as Gary Wills argues eloquently in this masterly analysis, what Paul meant was not something contrary to what Jesus meant. Rather, the best way to know Jesus is to discover Paul. Unlike the Gospel writers, who carefully shaped their narratives many decades after Jesus' life, Paul wrote in the heat of the moment, managing controversy, and sometimes contradicting himself, but at the same time offering the best reflection of those early times.

What Paul Meant is a stellar interpretation of pauls' writing, examining his tremendous influence on the first explosion of Christian belief and chronicling the controversy surrounding Paul through the centuries. Wills' many readers and those interested in the Christian tradition will warmly welcome this penetrating discussion of perhaps the most fascinating church father.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.06 X 0.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0143112635
ISBN-13: 9780143112631
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

“If you think you knew Paul, get ready to have all sorts of cherished preconceptions exhilaratingly stripped away. If you've ever been vaguely curious, there is no finer introduction.” (Los Angeles Times)
 
In his New York Times bestsellers What Jesus Meant and What the Gospels Meant, Garry Wills offers fresh and incisive readings of Jesus' teachings and the four gospels. Here Wills turns to Paul the Apostle, whose writings have provoked controversy throughout Christian history. Upending many common assumptions, Wills argues eloquently that Paul’s teachings are not opposed to Jesus' message. Rather, the best way to know Jesus is to discover Paul. In this stimulating and masterly analysis, Wills illuminates how Paul, writing on the road and in the heat of the moment, and often in the midst of controversy, galvanized a movement and offers us the best reflection of those early times.
 

 

Author Bio

Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine’s Childhood, Saint Augustine’s Memory, and Saint Augustine’s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include "Negro President": Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

Editorial Reviews

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Praise for What Paul Meant:
  
“With characteristic clarity and insight, Garry Wills has given us a vital study of the earliest voice in the New Testament.”
Jon Meacham, author of American Gospel
 
“The best description of how the Jesus movement emerged.”
—Andrew M. Greeley, author of The Catholic Revolution

“A tour de force revision of what we thought we knew about the apostle who helped give the Christian faith its distinctive shape.”
Slate.com
 
“With this bracing book . . . [Wills] further cements his reputation as one of the most intellectually interesting and doctrinally heterodox Christians writing today.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
“Wills writes more gracefully and economically than scholarly authors in this gem of a book.”
The Boston Globe
 
“A fascinating read, worth examining by anyone with an open mind and an interest in Christianity and its most prolific early voice.”
BookPage
 
“Lucid . . . Wills is not a biblical scholar, but he is a voracious reader and an eloquent writer who makes judicious use of the best recent scholarship.”
The Washington Post

“Everybody should be as lucky as St. Paul. Not only did he have a transformative spiritual experience and become a founder of one of the world’s greatest religions, but two thousand years later he has Garry Wills to explain, interpret and defend him. . . . One could hardly wish for a more capable advocate than Wills.”
Chicago Tribune
 
“A bracing book of spiritual commentary [by] one of this country’s leading public intellectuals and American Catholicism’s most formidable lay scholar.”
Los Angeles Times
 

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