Today I continue with my reading of Paula Fredriksen’s Paul, the Pagan’s Apostle.
Fredriksen applies her end-time, apocalyptic perspective to issues discussed in Paul’s letters. The first followers of Jesus held that the end, characterized by the resurrection of the dead and the vindication of the righteous, was about to happen. That it did not happen in the early 30s came as a surprise to the disciples. That it had not happened by mid-century was big problem.
Paul himself saw the delay in terms of the full number of the ethne (Gentiles) needing to follow Christ (Romans 11:25). He did not have a time-table. (My old professor, Bill Baird, thought the phrase “as far around as Illyricum” in Romans 15:19 might mean that Paul’s goal was to preach all the way “around” the Mediterranean).
Fredriksen thinks that the best speculation about Paul’s Galatian opponents might be to see…
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