Theologians have been rather hard on the apostle Paul. Many have accused him of taking the Christian faith in a direction of his own, changing basic teachings of Jesus to suit his own views. Tom Holland presents a conservative, if provocative, thesis that affirms the consistency of Paul’s teaching with that of Jesus. He does so by causing the reader to look into the mind of the Jewish Paul to understand how he views the Old Testament, his source of scripture. Holland shows how Paul’s Christology was formed from Old Testament prophesies both in the prophetic writings and in the Jewish traditional rituals. He shows how his theology was shaped by and formed for Jewish thought. Those who would seek to discredit Pauline theology will appreciate Holland’s scholarship and the sound arguments on Paul’s behalf. Those who ascribe to Paul as an apostle of Jesus Christ will appreciate Holland’s apologetic prowess and find Paul’s Jewish hermeneutic illuminating. This text is a must read for a serious student of Pauline theology, and may be too technical for the casual reader.
Scholarship: 5/5 Readability: 4/5