10 Apostle of Christ

OFB, 158–75

Overview of chapter ten

This chapter is focused especially on Paul, who has had more influence on Christianity than anyone else—with the possible exception of Jesus. While there could not have been a Paul without Jesus, it is interesting to reflect on what may have happened to the Jesus movement if someone like Paul had not emerged in the generation after Jesus' death. It is to Paul more than anyone else that we owe the existence of the New Testament.  Although he did not have such a collection in mind during his life time, the continued circulation of his genuine writings, the creation of false letters in his name by well-meaning admirers, and the theological debates around his ideas many decades after his death, all ensured that the NT as we know it would come to be created.
  • The chapter begins with an overview of the letters of Paul (pp. 158–66).
  • This is followed by a section on our knowledge of the historical Paul (pp. 166–71).
  • The concuding cameo essay (pp. 171–75) discusses the relationship between Paul and Jesus: What did Paul know about Jesus? (pp. 171–72), and What did Jesus mean to Paul? (172–75).

Web links with particular relevance to this chapter include: