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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
July 2024
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Book description

The apostle Paul was a Jew. He was born, lived, undertook his apostolic work, and died within the milieu of ancient Judaism. And yet, many readers have found, and continue to find, Paul's thought so radical, so Christian, even so anti-Jewish – despite the fact that it, too, is Jewish through and through. This paradox, and the question how we are to explain it, are the foci of Matthew Novenson's groundbreaking book. The solution, says the author, lies in Paul's particular understanding of time. This too is altogether Jewish, with the twist that Paul sees the end of history as present, not future. In the wake of Christ's resurrection, Jews are perfected in righteousness and – like the angels – enabled to live forever, in fulfilment of God's ancient promises to the patriarchs. What is more, gentiles are included in the same pneumatic existence promised to the Jews. This peculiar combination of ethnicity and eschatology yields something that looks not quite like Judaism or Christianity as we are used to thinking of them.


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