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Saint Saul : A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus - D. H. Akenson

Saint Saul

A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus

Paperback

Published: 1st August 2002
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In Saint Saul, Donald Harman Akenson offers a lively and provocative account of what we can learn about Jesus by reading the letters of Paul. As the only direct evidence of Jesus we have that were composed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE forever altered the outlook of the Christian and Jewish faiths, Akenson claims that these letters are the most reliable source of information. He dismisses the traditional method of searching for facts about Jesus by looking for parallels among the four gospels because they were handed down to us as a unit by a later generation. Akenson painstakingly recreates the world of Christ, a time rich with ideas, prophets, factions, priests, savants, and god-drunk fanatics. He insistently stresses throughout the Jewishness of Jesus, referring to Jesus and Paul as Yeshua and Saul, as they were then known. Saul, although he did not know Yeshua personally, knew his most important followers, and wrote immediately after Yeshua's death. Saul's teachings were approved (though sometimes reluctantly) by Yeshua's brothers and other early leaders. As an eminent historian, Akenson approaches his subject with a fresh eye and a scholarly rigor that is all too rare in this hotly disputed field.

"From his double-take title through more than 300 zestful pages, Donald Akenson startles us with one fresh insight after another...Saint Saul is an engaging book for anyone willing to take on the current challenges in the quest for Jesus."--Christian Science Monitor "Saint Saul is resoundingly fresh in its current contributions to literature and, once again, Akenson has written of thorny and difficult questions with rollicking good humour and grace that reaches the depths of seriousness without false solemnity. Saint Saul is a splendid book."--T.F. Rigelhof "From his double-take title through more than 300 zestful pages, Donald Akenson startles us with one fresh insight after another...Saint Saul is an engaging book for anyone willing to take on the current challenges in the quest for Jesus."--Christian Science Monitor "Saint Saul is a splendid book. In touch with the latest scholarship, elegantly written, original, and highly persuasive. The whole area of the early relations between Christianity and Judaism--i.e. in the first 3 or 4 centuries--is now in a state of complete turmoil and reconceptualization. It now seems clear that the borders between what we now think of as two religions were very blurred at that time, and that orthodox rabbinic Judaism was not at all the normative Judaism at the time of Jesus and thereafter. In all these cross-currents, this book by Akenson is a clearly presented argument that will surely advance and clarify the conversation."--Harvey Cox, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity, Harvard University and Author of The Secular City and Fire From Heaven "Akenson is able to penetrate to the heart of things in a manner that one can only envy. He writes vigorous and arresting prose, and is not afraid to go into the corners and mix it up."--Terence L. Donaldson, Lord and Lady Coogan Professor of New Testament Studies, University of Toronto and Author of Paul and the Gentiles "Saint Saul is resoundingly fresh in its current contributions to literature and, once again, Akenson has written of thorny and difficult questions with rollicking good humour and grace that reaches the depths of seriousness without false solemnity. Saint Saul is a splendid book."--T.F. Rigelhof

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologuep. 3
The World of Saul of Tarsus and Yeshua of Nazarethp. 5
The Wounded Magusp. 7
Exciting Times: The Religious World of Saul of Tarsus and Yeshuap. 15
Avoiding Words That Make Us Liep. 55
The Front-Edge Questp. 69
The Search for a Distant Dominionp. 71
Minting New Gospelsp. 95
A Skeleton Key to the Yeshua-Faithp. 117
Saul's Life and Lettersp. 119
Missionary in a Swirling Universep. 146
Saul and Four Basic "Facts" about the Historical Yeshuap. 171
Melding Saul and the Gospels: a Beginningp. 184
Words from the Master's Tablep. 212
Saul and the Imitation of Christp. 225
Epiloguep. 257
Notesp. 259
Winnie-the-Pooh and the Jesus Seminarp. 313
Hubris and Plasticity in the "Q"-Industryp. 321
General Indexp. 329
Textual Indexp. 341
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195152388
ISBN-10: 0195152387
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 1st August 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.8  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.55