Religious Studies 436:
Life and Letters of Paul

Spring 2003
Robert A. Kraft
University of Pennsylvania

The object of this course is to understand Paul on his own terms and in his own world of first century CE Greek speaking Judaism in Palestine and in the Mediterranean world more generally.


Internet Resources

1. Writings Attributed to Paul

1.1 Getting Started: Read Galatians in at least 3 significantly different translations

1.2 Expanding with Romans, in at least 2 different translations

1.3 The Letters to Corinth (at least once)

1.4 The Remaining Inner Group -- 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, Philemon

1.5 The Rest of the Main Ten -- Ephesians-Colossians(-Laod), 2 Thessalonians

1.6 The Pastorals & Seneca Correspondence (& 3 Corinthians again)

1.7 Pauline Apocalypses -- one from Nag Hammadi, another widely known (in various forms)

2. Pauline Thought (and view of "history")

2.1 Apocalyptic Eschatology and its Jewish Setting (Paul on Jesus' Death/Resurrection)

2.2 Messianology and Eschatological Mysticism

2.3 Living in (and in between) the Two Worlds

3. Pauline Impacts

3.1 Paul in Confrontation

3.1.1 Evidence from the Epistles (e.g. 2 Peter 3.15-16, 2 Thessalonians 2.1-5)

3.1.2 "Jewish-Christian" Portraits (& Ps-Clementines) [see also Epistle of James on faith]

3.1.3 Other Negative Depictions

3.1.4 Authenticating Writings by "Paul" (e.g. Muratorian Canon and other lists)

3.2 Paul on the Plane of History

3.2.1 Acts

3.2.2 Acts of Paul

3.2.3 Acts of Peter, etc.

3.3 Paul Among the "Dualists"

3.3.1 Marcion's Paul (according to Tertullian [another version])

3.3.2 "Gnostic" Appropriations

3.3.3 Paul the "Encratite"

3.4 Paul as Author & Theologian of Classical Christianity

3.4.1 Canonical Paul (see also 3.1.4 above)

3.4.2 Augustine's Paul

3.4.3 Luther's Paul

3.4.4 Paul in the Hands of Modern Scholarship

3.4.5 Paul in the Hands of Modern Popular Media