Pauline Spirit

Paul, Missionary of Jesus
May 29, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: books, Scripture

Barnett Paul MissionaryI highly recommend this recent work by Paul Barnett, published this year by Eerdmans. This is the second of a projected three volume series on Christianity “After Jesus.” Barnett demonstrates that Paul was not the “creator” of Christianity, but a faithful missionary who knew a great deal about Jesus’ earthly life and ministry, and continued it in the way he lived his missionary life. Paul did indeed have “the mind of Christ”!

The treatment is not biographical, but it is not a theological work, either. It is an eminently readable kind of chronology of Paul’s thought, as drawn from Acts (accepted as historically reliable in most respects) and the Letters (up to Romans). There is a wonderful appendix on the mind of Paul (“Mind and Spirit: How Paul Made Decisions”). Personally, I’ll be reading this another time very soon, and expect to give it at least one more thorough going through before the Pauline Year ends.

I found several helpful reviews of this title: one at and one from a blogging professor at Grace Theological Seminary.


Speaking of Paul..
May 28, 2008, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Paul resources

A few months ago, I put a whole pageful of St. Paul resources on a wiki; here they are:

Non-biblical sources on Paul’s life
Early Christians loved a good read as much as anybody, and Paul was the hero of many of the early works of Christian literature of the “easy reading” variety. Here are a few of those books.  

Acts of Paul Only fragments remain of this work from before 200 AD; much of the “Acts of Paul and Thecla” seems to have been part of this work. Here is a web page with more background and other links concerning this book.

Acts of Peter and Paul Fragment of a book written about 200 AD.

Acts of Paul and Thecla A “novel” written in Asia Minor sometime before 200  AD. This is the source of many stories about St. Paul and the noble Thecla, however much embroidered by the devotion of the original writer.
Various Tidbits of Information

Archaological findings related to Paul and Thecla in Ephesus

Sources on St. Thecla
Paul’s premier woman disciple and “equal to the apostles” in the scope and effectiveness of her evangelizing mission. Thecla was understandably more popular in an age that took these early novels to be history in the strictest sense, but contemporary feminists find a lot to love in the stories for what they may hint at concerning women’s roles in the early Church.

Article “The Acts of Thecla: A Pauline Tradition Linked to Women” by Nancy Carter. 

Book review of a scholarly tome on devotion to St. Thecla. The fact that such a book was written is itself significant.

The Acts of Xanthippe, Polyxena, and Rebecca: another novel from the early Church, which seems to be, in some respects, a “sequel” to the Acts of Paul and Thecla. Feminists scholars note the importance given to the women in this story, and see this as a narrative from women’s circles.

Pauline Year in Ogdensburg
May 28, 2008, 2:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Diocese of Ogdensburg has been preparing for the opening of the Pauline Year with formation and information, and a helpful website, too.

Children’s Titles for Pauline Year
May 28, 2008, 1:54 am
Filed under: books, Paul resources
An easy-to-read biography of the Apostle

A comic book that you color!

A chapter book for middle grade readers: great for book reports!

Pauline Year Indulgence
May 28, 2008, 1:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

We Catholics are still at it when it comes to indulgences! The Pauline Year offers another opportunity (under the conditions described here).

In Paul’s Footsteps
May 28, 2008, 1:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The bishops in St. Paul’s old stomping grounds, now known as Turkey, are looking forward to the Pauline Year, but acknowledging that they don’t expect everything to be easy in a country of only 120,000 Christians. But then, St. Paul didn’t have it easy there in his day, either.