Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Jesus and Paul: Parallel Lives

I have just been alerted on the latest book by prominent NT scholar, Jerome Murphy-O'Connor - Jesus and Paul: Parallel Lives (Collegeville: Liturgical Press : 2007). I hope to get hold of this book soon, as its description sounds really fascinating:

Belying the assumption that there is nothing more to discover about the similarities between Jesus and the apostle Paul, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor gives us this enticing study. Extracting his information from a variety of sources—pagan, Jewish, and Christian—Murphy-O’Connor imaginatively interweaves geographical, cultural, and historical elements into configurations that reveal important parallel trajectories in the lives of Jesus and Paul. Murphy-O’Connor begins by discussing the births, early years, and family settings of Jesus and Paul. He continues with an examination of their education, refugee status, social class, economic position, political circumstances, cultural influences, and conversion experiences. Finally, he explores details surrounding their deaths. In the end, Jesus and Paul: Parallel Lives gives us incisive comparisons that include but also go beyond the Scriptures to suggest novel ways of picturing Jesus-Paul. Readers will appreciate the labors of Murphy-O’Connor to contextualize Jesus, the God-Man, alongside Paul, Man of God and Apostle to the Gentiles—and will thereby have a greater appreciation for the missions of both.

In my own doctoral thesis, I argued that the influence of the story of Jesus in Paul's understanding of his suffering and gentile mission has not been given its due recognition. As such, this is one book that I wished could have been published before I completed my thesis. I strongly believe it would have made a significant contribution to my thesis and further strengthened my argument.

Thanks Jerome for what appears to be another interesting and significant contribution by you on the Jesus-Paul debate. I look forward to reading your latest book!

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