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Reading Guide

  1. Why is Paul so important for the New Testament and the history of early Christianity?

  2. What are the major difficulties in studying the life and teachings of Paul? Why is it difficult, for example, to use the book of Acts to reconstruct an accurate picture of Paul?

  3. What does it mean to say that Paul’s letters are occasional, and how does their occasional nature affect their interpretation?

  4. What does the term “pseudepigrapha” mean? Do you think it’s likely that some of the New Testament letters are pseudonymous? Why? Why not?

  5. What are the three main categories within the Pauline corpus, and which letters belong in each?

  6. What do we know about Paul before he became a Christian?

  7. What compelled him to convert?

  8. How did Paul’s belief in the resurrected Jesus change his theological views? What did it confirm about what he already believed, and what did it force him to reconsider?

  9. After his conversion, how did Paul come to understand the significance of the Jewish Law?

  10. What does the contextual method involve? Why is it a particularly useful approach for understanding Paul’s letters?

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