The story of Paul is an adventure in irony. After all, the Paul holding the assassin’s cloaks at the martyrdom of Stephen is the same Paul celebrated as the ideal archetype of long-suffering Christian devotion.
Paul’s legacy is so profound that many simplify his journey from tormentor to disciple, identifying him as the “second founder of Christianity” without considering his storied history and unique contributions to the faith—but much of what we think we know about Paul comes from Sunday school, didactic tales meant to inspire reverence and obedience over spiritual revolution.
As adults reading the New Testament, we catch glimpses of a very different kind of disciple—an ascetic hermit whom Tertullian dubbed “the second apostle of Marcion and the apostle of the heretics.” What made Paul different? More mysteriously, who authored his famed epistles? Evidence suggests the epistles were written at the end of the first century or early in the second, too late to be Paul’s original work. So who wrote (or rewrote) the words revered by Christians as the foundation of their faith? Theology Professor Robert M. Price reintroduces us to the Paul we thought we knew in an exciting journey of spiritual discovery.
Robert M. Price holds two doctoral degrees in theology and New Testament from Drew University. He is Professor of Scriptural Studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, traveling lecturer for the Center for Inquiry Institute in Amherst, New York, and editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism. His books include Deconstructing Jesus, The Pre-Nicene New Testament, The Reason-Driven Life, and The Widow Traditions in Luke-Acts: A Feminist-Critical Scrutiny. He has published in the American Rationalist, Evangelical Quarterly, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Reformed Journal, and elsewhere.