REL 321


Jan 19


Welcome to the serious study of the Apostle Paul!

Jan 21 Why Study Paul and in What Terms

Reading: Taylor, 3-9; Elliott, "No Acolyte of Rome: A New Look at the Apostle Paul" (See Course Documents)

NB: Reading assignments are to be read by the time class meets on the day they are listed

Supplemental Reading (NB: Supplemental readings are not required.): Meeks, The Writings of St. Paul; Peter and Paul and the Christian Revolution;

Preparation for Interpreting Paul

Jan 24 Methods for Studying Paul

Reading: Taylor, 11-19

Supplemental Reading: Historiography;

Jan 26 Sources for Studying Paul

Reading: Taylor, 21-34

Supplemental Reading: Grant, "The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts"

Jan 28

Paul's Life and Cultural Context

Reading: Taylor, 35-50

Supplemental Reading:  Dr. Mark's Annotated Chronology of Paul (9 B.C.E–50 C.E.); Carter, "Paul and Empire," in Paul Unbound

Jan 31 Greco-Roman Philosophy and Religion

Reading: Taylor, 64-81

Supplemental Reading: Cleanthes' "Hymn to Zeus"; The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

Feb 2 Snow Day
Feb 4 Snow Day
Feb 7 Paul: Cultural Hybrid

Reading: Taylor, 51-63, 81-89

Feb 9 The Planting of Assemblies

Reading: Taylor, 91-102

Supplemental Reading:

Feb 11

The Nurturing of Assemblies

Reading: Taylor, 102-123

Supplemental Reading: The "Trees" in Silva Rhetoricae; Given, "Paul and Rhetoric: A Sophos in the Kingdom of God," 175200, in Paul Unbound (Course Documents); Trobisch, "The Oldest Extant Editions of the Letters of Paul"; de Villiers, "Paul as a Letter Writer: A New Publication on Pauline Letters in Their Literary Setting"

Feb 14

The Task of Exegesis

Reading: Gorman, 3-14; 267-72; "Interpretive Spectrum" handout (see Course Content)

Supplemental Reading: Fee, To What End Exegesis? Essays Textual, Exegetical, and Theological (reviewed by Given; see Course Documents)

Feb 16 The Elements of Exegesis and a Sample Exegesis Paper

Reading: Gorman, 14-33, 297-309

Supplemental Reading: Gorman, 181-89; Exegesis Resources

Feb 18

The Text and Translations

Reading: Gorman, 37-65

Assignment: Take a look at the Text Selection assignment below.  We'll discuss it in class in addition to today's reading assignment.

Supplemental Reading: Wallace, History of the English Bible; Wallace, Why So Many Versions?; Tom Wright on the NIV; Southern Baptist Resolutions Concerning the NIV

Feb 21 Presidents' Day Holiday


The Early and Mostly Secondary Source Paul


Feb 23 Converted and/or Called: Understanding the Issue in Light of "The New Perspective" on Paul and Judaism

Reading: Acts 9:1–25 (cf. Gal 1:11–24; Phil 3:1–11); Dr. Mark's Annotated Chronology of Paul (9 B.C.E–50 C.E.); Mattison, "A Summary of the New Perspective on Paul"

Outline: The Church(es) Before Paul; Acts 9:3–8 and Parallels

Supplemental Reading: Byrne, et al., Re-Reading Paul: A fresh look at his attitude to Torah and to Judaism (also in Course Content); Introduction and Summary of the New Perspective; Jewish-Christian Relations; Acts 1:1 - 8:40 with HSB Intro and footnotes.; Grant, "The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts"; On the New Perspective; McRay, "Paul in Recent Research"; Segal, "Paul and the Modern Study of Conversion," in Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee, 20–30 (See Course Content); Segal, "Paul and Luke, " in Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee, 3-33 (See Course Content); Stendahl, "The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West"

Supplemental Resources: Martin Luther and Antisemitism;

Feb 25

Text Selection Due Feb 26
To the Judean First, and then the Hellene: A Crisis in the Making (ca. 3748 C.E.; First Journey ca. 4748 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 9:32–14:28

Paper One: Text Selection

Outline: Preparing "The Way" for Paul

Supplemental Reading: Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments; Wengst, "When did Christianity Originate?"

Feb 28 The 1st and 2nd Elements of Exegesis: Survey and Contextual Analysis

Reading: Gorman, 69-87; 201-202

Supplemental Reading: Gorman, 221-32

Mar 2 The Apostolic Council and the Antioch Incident (ca. 4950 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 15:1-35; Gal 2:1-21

Supplemental Reading; Patton, "Was James Being Legalistic in Acts 15? or 'Can I Eat a Rare Steak?'"

Mar 4 The "New Socrates" in Athens (Second Journey from ca. 5054 C.E. begins)

Reading: Acts 15:36-17:34 (cf. Acts 17:22-31 with 1 Thess 2:1-2; 3:1; Rom 1:18-2:16); Given, "Not Either/Or but Both/And in Paul's Areopagus Speech," Biblical Interpretation 3,3 (1995)

Supplemental Reading: Given, Paul's True Rhetoric, 39-60; Given, "The Unknown Paul- Philosophers and Sophists in Acts 17"; Reis, "The Areopagus Speech as Echo Chamber: Mimesis and Intertextuality in Acts 17"


The Later and Mostly Primary Source Paul


Mar 7 The End is Near--but Not Yet (1 Thessalonians, ca. 52 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 18:1-11; 1 Thessalonians (review Acts 17:1-9); Taylor, 127-41

Dr. Mark's Annotated Chronology of Paul (5058 C.E.)

Supplemental Reading: Charles Wanamaker, “‘Like a Father Treats His Own Children': Paul and the Conversion/Resocialization of the Thessalonians.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa , 92 (1995), 46-55. - See more at:

Mar 9 Free to Be Children of God I (Third Journey ca. 5458 C.E.; Galatians ca. 55 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 16:6; Galatians; Taylor, 153-55; 143-47

Supplemental Reading: Synoptic Parallel of Acts and Galatians Based on the North Galatian Hypothesis; Synoptic Parallel of Acts and Galatians Based on the South Galatian Hypothesis; Das, "Paul and the Law: Pressure Points in the Debate," in Paul Unbound; Sumney, "Paul and His Opponents: The Search," in Paul Unbound

Keener, "Jesus Followers in Step With the Spirit: A closer look at Paul’s letter to the Galatians."  Craig Keener's new Galatians commentary attempts to combine important insights from both "Old Perspective(s)" and "New Perspective(s)" on Paul's theology.  He talks about his work in this article.

Mar 11

Free to Be Children of God II (Galatians ca. 55 C.E.)

Reading: Galatians; Taylor, 147-53, 155-59

Supplemental Reading; Cosgrove, "Paul and Ethnicity: A Selective History of Interpretation" (In Paul Unbound); East, "Enter Paul: On Paula Fredriksen’s 'Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle' and 'When Christians Were Jews'"

Mar 14-20 Spring Break
Mar 21

3rd Element of Exegesis: Formal Analysis

Reading: Gorman, 89-108

Supplemental Reading: 232-33

Mar 23
4th Element of Exegesis: Detailed Analysis of the Text

Reading: Gorman, 109-136

Assignment: Reflect on these questions about your chosen text: 1) What are the main points of each of the parts of the text, and how does the text/writer make these points? 2) What do the details mean in the big picture, and how does the big picture affect the meaning of the details?

Mar 25

1st and 2nd Elements Due Mar 26
Life in the Body I:  (Third Journey ca. 5458 C.E.; 1 Corinthians 1-4, ca. 56 C.E.)

Textbook Reading: Acts 18:12-19:41; 1 Cor 1-4; Taylor, 161-73

Paper Two: Exegesis 3rd and 4th Element (Survey and Contextual Analysis)

Supplemental Reading; Stichele, "Unveiling Paul: Gendering Ethos in 1 Cor 11:2-16" (read the "Ethos Argumentation" and "Character and Masculinity in Ancient Rhetoric" sections)

Mar 28 Life in the Body II: Eschatological Ethics (1 Corinthians 5-10)

Reading: 1 Cor 5:1-11:1; Taylor, 173-78

Supplemental Reading: Dale B. Martin, review of Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics, Review of Biblical Literature [] (1998); Spohn, "Is There Such a Thing as New Testament Ethics?"; 1 Corinthians 8-16 Lecture Outline; Given, "All things to all people all at once: Paul's ambiguous rhetorical strategy in 1 Cor 8:1 - 11:1"

Mar 30 Life in the Body III: Bodies that Matter and the "End" of Spirit (1 Corinthians 11-16)

Reading: 1 Cor 11:2-16:24; Taylor, 178-88

Supplemental Reading: Hart, "The Spiritual Was More Substantial Than the Material for the Ancients"; Penner and Stichele, "Unveiling Paul: Gendering Ethos in 1 Cor 11:2-16"

Apr 1

Treasure in Clay Jars I: Paul and Integrity (2 Corinthians 1-6, ca. 57 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 20:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1-6:13; Taylor, 189-212

Supplemental Reading: Given, "On His Majesty's Secret Service: The Undercover Ethos of Paul"; Long, Fredrick J. Ancient Rhetoric and Paul's Apology: The Compositional Unity of 2 Corinthians (reviewed by Silva)

Apr 4 Treasure in Clay Jars II:  (2 Corinthians 6-9)

Reading: 2 Cor 6:14-9:15; Taylor, 212-15

Supplemental Reading:  2 Cor 8-9; Friesen, "Paul and Economics: The Jerusalem Collection as an Alternative to Patronage," in Paul Unbound (Course Content); Abrahams, "A Plea for Purity: 2 Cor 6:14–7:1 as Integral to 2 Corinthians" (Course Content)

Apr 6 Treasure in Clay Jars III: The "End" of Suffering/Weakness (2 Corinthians 10-13)

Reading: 2 Cor 10-13; Taylor, 215-21

Supplemental Reading: Gorman, 252-64 (The Long Sample Exegesis Paper); Sumney, "Who are those 'Servants of Satan'?"; Sumney, "Paul and His Opponents: The Search," in Paul Unbound

Apr 8 God Justifies the Ungodly I (Romans 1-2, ca. 58 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 20:2; Rom 1:1-3:20; Taylor, 223-37

Supplemental Reading: Penna, Paul the Apostle (Reviewed by Given)

Supplemental Reading:  Dabourne, Purpose and Cause in Pauline Exegesis: Romans 1:16 - 4:25 and a New Approach to the Letters (Reviewed by Given); Zorn, "The Messianic Use of Habakkuk 2:4a in Romans" (Read up to "Habakkuk and Its Context"); Homosexuality and the Bible; Martin, "Heterosexism and the Interpretation of Romans 1:18-32."  Biblical Interpretation 3 (1995) 332-355 (Course Content)

Apr 11 God Justifies the Ungodly III: The Righteousness of God Revealed (Romans 3-5)

Reading: Rom 3:21-5:21; Taylor, 238-41;

Supplemental Reading: Mattison, "The Meaning of the Law for Paul"; "Original Sin"; Hebrews 1:1-4; 8:1-10:39

Apr 13 God Justifies the Ungodly IV: Fulfillment through Union with Christ (Romans 6-8)

Reading: Rom 6:1-8:39; Taylor, 241-44

Supplemental Reading: The Testament of Asher Concerning Two Faces of Vice and Virtue; Byrne, On ReReading Paul; Gager, "Paul's Contradictions – Can They Be Resolved?"; "Calvinism" (Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics); Harink, "Apocalypsis and Polis: Pauline Reflections on the Theological Politics of Yoder, Hauerwas, and Milbank"; Meyer, "The Worm at the Core of the Apple"; Tabor, The Jewish-Roman World of Jesus; Tabor, "The Message and Mission of Paul" (Read "The Message" which is part one of the article.  Stop where the "Apostolic Authority and Mission" section begins.)

Apr 14-17 Spring Holiday
Apr 18 God Justifies the Ungodly V: Salvation for All (Romans 9-11)

Reading: Rom 9-11; Taylor, 244-46

Supplemental Reading: Cosgrove, "Paul and Ethnicity: A Selective History of Interpretation" (In Paul Unbound); Cosgrove, Elusive Israel: The Puzzle of Election in Romans (reviewed by Nanos); Given, "Restoring the Inheritance in Rom 11:1." Journal of Biblical Literature 118,1 (1999); Thomas, "The Return of the Jewish Church"; Mouw, The Chosen People Puzzle; Wagner, Heralds of the Good News: Isaiah and Paul in Concert in the Letter to the Romans (reviewed by Stanley); Young, Paul the Jewish Theologian (description and sample chapter)

The Mouw article is a very intriguing piece by an evangelical theologian who failed a class because of Rom 11.  Whether you agree with Mouw's own position or not, his article does a good job of illustrating the difficulties theologians face when trying to make sense of Paul—and the rest of the NT for that matter—on the subject of Jews and Judaism.

Apr 20

God Justifies the Ungodly VI: The "End" of Faith (Romans 12-16)

Reading: Rom 12:1-16:27; Taylor, 246-53; Given, "Parenesis and Peroration: The Rhetorical Function of Romans 12:1–15:13" (Course Documents)

Supplemental Reading: Stark, "Liberating Subtext: Rereading Romans 13:1-7 after James C. Scott for Liberation Theology" (In Course Documents)

Apr 22
5th and 6th Element of Exegesis: Synthesis and Reflection
Reading: Gorman, 139-58
Apr 25

Exegesis 3rd and 4th Elements Due Apr 25

Citizenship in Heaven (Philippians, ca. 59 or 61 C.E.)

Reading: Acts 27:1-28:31; Philippians; Taylor, 255-76

Paper Three: Exegesis 3rd and 4th Elements (Formal and Detailed Analysis)

Supplemental Reading: Acts 20:3-26:32;  Dr. Mark's Annotated Chronology of Paul (58–62 C.E.); Given, "Exegesis of Phil 2:5-11", Lectionary Homiletics (Spring, '03); Marie-Eloise Rosenblatt, Paul the Accused- His Portrait in the Acts of the Apostles (reviewed by Given); Seeley, "The Background of the Philippians Hymn (2:6-11)"; Wallace, "Philippians: Introduction, Argument, and Outline"; Wright, "Paul's Gospel and Caesar's Empire"

Apr 27 Life in the Christ-Believing Family: The "End" of Love (Philemon, ca. 59 C.E.)

Reading: Philemon; Taylor, 277-88

Supplemental Reading: Chris Frilingos, "'For My Child, Onesimus': Paul and Domestic Power in Philemon." Journal of Biblical Literature . (See Course Content); Grimke, "Appeal to the Christian Women of the South"; Raphall, "The Bible View of Slavery"; Wallace, "Philemon: Introduction, Argument , Outline"; Wallace, "Some Initial Reflections on Slavery in the NT"

The nineteenth century Grimke and Raphall articles illustrate the amazingly diverse ways the Bible was interpreted on the subject of slavery.


The Mostly Pseudepigraphic Paul


Apr 29 A More Apocalyptic Paul?: The Signs of the Times (2 Thessalonians)

Reading: 2 Thessalonians (including HSB Intro); Taylor, 289-91

Supplemental Reading: Given, "Review of Reicke, Re-examining Paul's Letters: The History of the Pauline Correspondence"; Frank W. Hughes, "Pseudonymity as Rhetoric: A Prolegomenon to the Study of Pauline Pseudepigrapha"

May 2

The Universal Paul I: Absent in Body, Present in Spirit (Colossians)

Reading: Colossians (including HSB Intro); Taylor, 292-95

Supplemental Reading: Epistle to the Laodiceans;

May 4 The Universal Paul II: Prisoner for the Sake of the Gentiles (Ephesians)

Reading: Ephesians (including HSB Intro)

Supplemental Reading:

May 6 The Ecclesiastical Paul I: Teacher of the Logos of Leadership (1 Timothy, Titus, Ignatius)

Reading: Titus (including HSB Intro); 1 Timothy (including HSB Intro); Taylor, 295-99; Ignatius to the Magnesians 1-8 (Hoole translation);

Supplemental Reading: Ignatius; Pervo, "Romancing an Oft-Neglected Stone: The Pastoral Epistles and the Epistolary Novel"; Polycarp; Polycarp to the Philippians 1-6 (Lake translation); Krause, "Telling Women to Shut Up Is More Complicated That You Might Think," in Paul Unbound.

May 9 The Ecclesiastical Paul II: Teacher of the Ethos of Leadership (2 Timothy)

Reading: 2 Timothy (including HSB Intro); Other Excerpts TBA

Supplemental Reading: 

May 11 Other Pauls

Reading: Taylor, 299-309

Supplemental Reading:  The Acts of Paul (Read Introduction and section II.); 3 Corinthians; The Prayer of the Apostle Paul; The Apocalypse of Paul; The Correspondence of Paul and Seneca

May 13 Study Day
May 16

Exegesis Paper Due

Exegesis Papers Due
Final Exam REL 321 Final Exam
Monday, May 16, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm