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An Anomalous Jew
Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans
POD; Published: 11/11/2016
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6769-8
Price: $ 31.99
322 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Lively, well-informed portrait of the complex figure who was the apostle Paul

Though Paul is often lauded as the first great Christian theologian and a champion for Gentile inclusion in the church, in his own time he was universally regarded as a strange and controversial person. In this book Pauline scholar Michael Bird explains why.

An Anomalous Jew presents the figure of Paul in all his complexity with his blend of common and controversial Jewish beliefs and a faith in Christ that brought him into conflict with the socio-religious scene around him. Bird elucidates how the apostle Paul was variously perceived — as a religious deviant by Jews, as a divisive figure by Jewish Christians, as a purveyor of dubious philosophy by Greeks, and as a dangerous troublemaker by the Romans. Readers of this book will better understand the truly anomalous shape of Paul's thinking and worldview.
Joshua W. Jipp
—Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"This is vintage Bird, perhaps with a noticeable tinge of N. T. Wright thrown in as well. In this book we find historically informed, strong readings of the Pauline texts, a deep awareness of the scholarly debates and positions on Paul and first-century Judaism, and overall a substantive and important contribution to situating Paul in his first-century context."
Francis Watson
—Durham University
"Michael Bird argues persuasively that Paul did not cease to be a Jew when he became Christian—and yet his previous Jewish convictions were shaken to the core and transformed. Paul remained a Jew, but he became an anomaly to his Jewish contemporaries."
Nijay K. Gupta
—George Fox Evangelical Seminary
"Even though contextualizing Paul is necessary in order to understand him, Bird argues that Paul nevertheless defies categorization. He was a maverick apostle, an inimitable thinker, and an anomalous Jew. Bird cogently sets Paul within his world, not to domesticate him, but to draw out his peculiarity. This is engaging reading, peppered with fresh insight into the historical Paul."
Review of Biblical Literature
"I doubt whether there is a better introduction to Paul's thought and theology that could be placed in the hands of students of the apostle. The book not only highlights Bird's ability to engage the views of others but also reveals how insightful a commentator he is."
Kevin W. McFadden in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Bird discusses many different issues in Pauline theology in this volume, and his extensive work in the primary sources and his clear summaries of the secondary literature will be helpful for understanding both Paul and his interpreters."