If you think you don’t like St Paul then this book is for you. It covers controversial topics such as Paul’s attitudes to women, slavery and sex; it also asks ‘What changed Paul?’, ‘Did Paul think that Jesus was God?’, and many other questions. Key passages have been included to illustrate that you must keep revisiting Paul if you are to go deeper into the mystery of this extraordinary character. The translations are always Nicholas King’s own and will help you to get to know Paul better – which is what this book is all about.
- Seasoned with a Sense of Humour Review by Primrose Peacock - Catholic South West Forum
Father King, who teaches the New Testament at Oxford University, has written with this in mind. He presents a different and interesting view point, seasoned with a sense of humour and set in the context of St. Paul’s life, time and environment.
Father King, who knows Greek, Hebrew and Latin, has also made a translation of the New Testament, from which he quotes freely. He explains why and how St. Paul came to make his various comments to the Christian communities in Corinth, Thessaloniki, Galatia and elsewhere at the time. This is distant from present day. But he agrees that Paul was prickly, like the teasel on the book cover, which is also used to raise the nap on high quality fabrics, reflecting Paul’s authoritarianism.
The main text was originally lectures given to other Jesuits in South Africa during a Roman Catholic ‘year of St Paul’. The last three chapters on slavery, women and Sex were talks to a wide audience. It promotes Christianity ecumenically. It is extremely interesting, not heavy but deep so needs reading slowly and checking against a modern bible translation, in order as the author say ‘to make sure that I am not pulling fast one’. I don’t think he is.
Anyone interested in St Paul’s background should also find H.V.Morton’s classic work in the footsteps of St Paul although dated, and written during the 1930s, it is worth reading. Not only does it partially reinforce Father king’s thesis but highlights the political and economic changes from then until now in the ‘missionary journey’ territories.
(Posted on 11/04/2011)