Paul Between Damascus and Antioch: The Unknown Years
Of all the early Christian authors before the second half of the second century, we know by far the most about Paul. Of no figure in early ... Show synopsis Of all the early Christian authors before the second half of the second century, we know by far the most about Paul. Of no figure in early Christianity before Tertullian and Origen do we learn so many biographical details and are we given so clear a character sketch. Yet much of his activity as an apostle, which extends from around 33 to 64, i.e. more than thirty years, remains obscure. This important new book, a sequel to Martin Hengel's The Pre-Christian Paul, is about some of that period. It covers the time between Paul's conversion in Damascus and his arrival in Antioch. With an unparalleled wealth of historical material and a reconsideration of Paul's own writings, we are not only given a new picture of Paul's own activity, but also shown in more detail than ever before the background against which it took place; the church in Damascus to which he was introduced on his conversion; the methods of the first Christian mission; the situation in Arabia and King Aretas IV, the Nabataean king who confronted Paul on his first mission; the mission territory in Tarsus and Cilicia to which he then moved; the nature of the church in Antioch. And over all this hovers the question of relations between the Jerusalem church and Paul's own activities. Martin Hengel has always challenged overly sceptical assessments of the New Testament record and accused their authors of insufficient familiarity with the sources. This latest book provides powerful support for his position and is a challenging addition to the literature on Paul. Martin Hengel was Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism in the University of Tubingen. Anna Maria Schwemer teaches at the Melanchthon Foundation, Tubingen.