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.
1.1 Getting Started: Read Galatians in at least 3 significantly different translations
- What can you learn about the author (who? where? when? why? what? wherefore?)?
- How does the account in Gal 2 compare with that in Acts 11-15?
- To what extent is the argument of Gal 3-4 dependent on Jewish scriptures and assumptions?
- How does the author propose to control his recipients' personal actions?
1.2 Expanding with Romans, in at least 2 different translations
- What themes are found in Romans beyond those of Galatians?
- For the themes common to both writings, which work seems more fully developed?
- Do you see any grounds for doubting that the same author wrote both works?
- How do you think the original draft of Romans ended (note textual problems)?
1.3 The Letters to Corinth (at least once)
- How many times did Paul visit Corinth; how many times did he write to Corinth?
- How do the themes in 1-2 Corinthians compare to those in Gal-Rom?
- Could you imagine a different author for these materials? On what grounds?
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)
2.1 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
3.1 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
3.2.2 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