In Paul, the Pagan’s Apostle, Paula Fredriksen claims Christians have badly misinterpreted Paul beginning in the Patristic period, even more so in the period of imperial orthodoxy following Constantine, and even up to today’s New Perspective. The misinterpretation was that Paul converted from Jewish Law to a Law-free Christianity.
Whether it was a more virulent anti-Judaism or the New Perspective which criticizes first century Judaism for it ethnic emphasis, these perspectives do not understand Paul. They categorize the problem as Paul against Judaizers. Yet Paul was a Judaizer himself, according to Fredriksen.
Fredriksen holds that from the letters of Paul it is evident that he demanded three things of Gentiles in the assemblies he founded.
First, they had to turn away from their own ethnic gods to the God of Israel. This was a form of Judaizing that went further than what Hellenistic synagogues required.
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