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The Reception of Paul and Early Christian Initiation
History and Hermeneutics


  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108471312

£ 83.99

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About the Authors
  • This book breaks new ground in New Testament reception history by bringing together early Pauline interpretation and the study of early Christian institutions. Benjamin Edsall traces the close association between Paul and the catechumenate through important texts and readers from the late second century to the fourth century to show how the early Church arrived at a wide-spread image of Paul as the apostle of Christian initiation. While exploring what this image of Paul means for understanding early Christian interpretation, Edsall also examines the significance of this aspect of Pauline reception in relation to interpretive possibilities of Paul's letters. Building on the analysis of early interpretations and rhetorical images of the Apostle, Edsall brings these together with contemporary scholarly discourse. The juxtaposition highlights longstanding continuity and conflict in exegetical discussions and dominant Pauline images. Edsall concludes with broader hermeneutical reflections on the value of historical reception for New Testament Studies.

    • Brings reception historical studies together with studies of early Christian institutions
    • Proposes a hermeneutical framework for bringing together ancient and contemporary interpreters in constructive dialogue
    • Provides fresh translations of the primary sources and the most up to date discussion of the catechumenate's development in English
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this volume is a study in the reception history of Paul and the development of early Christianity that … has important implications for the study of the NT. The volume will be of interest to Pauline scholars and church historians, and deserves a wide readership.' Jason Maston, Religious Studies Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108471312
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Catechesis and the catechumenate – an historical sketch
    3. Narrating the catechist in the acts of Paul
    4. Clement's pedagogical interpretation – milk and meat
    5. Cultivating the soul – Origen's catechetical Paul
    6. Paul the catechist, Chrysostom and the fourth century
    7. Textual resources and a catechetical Paul
    8. Conclusion – reception as iteration – a sketch.

  • Author

    Benjamin A. Edsall, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
    Benjamin Edsall is Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. He is the author of Paul's Witness to Formative Early Christian Instruction (2014) and of numerous articles in journals such as New Testament Studies, Vigiliae Christianae, and the Journal of Theological Studies.

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