Many scholars engaged in exploring the economic dimensions of early Christianity simply don't bother with Paul, mistakenly believing that he had little regard for the poor and that his theological deliberations therefore have little relevance to studies of wealth and poverty in the Greco-Roman world.
In Remember the Poor Bruce Longenecker counters this view, arguing persuasively that care for the impoverished was integral to Paul's gospel and standard practice in the Jesus-groups that he founded.
Longenecker sets out a robust "economy scale" for urban Greco-Roman society, using his in-depth analysis of poverty in the first century as the backdrop for a compelling presentation integrating economics, history, exegesis, and theology.
Calling into question a number of established interpretive paradigms, Longenecker offers here a fresh vision in which Paul's convictions regarding care for the poor are shown to be historically significant and theologically challenging.
Combining historical, exegetical, and theological interests, Bruce Longenecker here dispels the widespread notion that Paul had little or no concern for the poor.
Longneckers analysis of Greco-Roman poverty provides the backdrop for a compelling presentation of the importance of care for the poor within Pauls theology and the Jesus-groups he had established. Along the way, Longenecker calls into question a variety of interpretive paradigms such as Steven J. Friesens 2004 poverty scale and offers a fresh vision in which Pauls theological resources are shown to be both historically significant and theologically challenging.
Bruce Longenecker is professor of religion and holds the W. W. Melton Chair at Baylor University.
-University of St. Andrews
"This important book reveals an economic dimension of Paul's gospel that has only rarely been identified and never expounded so fully and convincingly. It also builds up a realistic picture of the way that care for the poor was embodied in the life of the communities Paul founded. Longenecker's well-informed and careful arguments deserve wide attention."
This important book reveals an economic dimension of Pauls gospel that has only rarely been identified and never expounded so fully and convincingly. It also builds up a realistic picture of the way that care for the poor was embodied in the life of the communities Paul founded. Longeneckers well-informed and careful arguments deserve wide attention.
University of St. Andrews