Rather than viewing the Apostle Paul’s many references to peace and non-retaliation as generalized ethical principles drawn from Paul’s background, Jeremy Gabrielson argues that peace and non-retaliation should be understood in relation to Paul’s history of being a violent persecutor of Jesus’ followers. After his “Damascus road” experience, Paul zealously announced the gospel, but abandoned his violent ways. His apostolic vocation included calling and equipping assemblies of people whose common life was ordered by a politics characterized by peaceableness. This political dimension of Paul’s gospel, in continuity with the earliest evidence we possess regarding Jesus and his disciples, stands in stark contrast to the politics of both the contemporary Roman imperial power and those who would seek to replace Rome by violent means.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
2. The End of Violence in the Gospel of Matthew
3. The Memory of a Non-Violent Jesus in Paul’s Letters
4. Trajectories of Violence and Peace in Galatians
5. Supporting Evidence in 1 Thessalonians
Ancient Document Index
Endorsements and Reviews
In Paul’s Non-Violent Gospel, Jeremy Gabrielson asks new questions regarding Paul’s theological commitments and, in the process, discovers new theological resources within Paul’s worldview. This important and challenging work deserves wide consideration.
Bruce W. Longenecker, W.W. Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University
Gabrielson’s work is of importance for its scholarly insight and practical instruction. Gabrielson establishes beyond any doubt that Paul’s encounter with the risen Jesus radically changed Paul’s life, politics, and character; practically, the work reminds the contemporary church that how Jesus embraced non-violence stood at the center of what Paul required of all believers. Scholarly yet accessible, the book needs to find a home among groups of readers – from the graduate seminar on Paul to home bible studies, not only in the United States and Canada, but throughout the world.
John W. Wright, Professor of Theology and Christian Scriptures, Point Loma Nazarene University
This is an excellent study that brings out a strand of Paul’s theology that should not be ignored and it also contributes to the on-going debate about the connections between Jesus and Paul, showing that on this theme Paul had received something from Jesus at his conversion experience and from the sayings-tradition of Jesus that Paul received from the earliest followers of Jesus.
Geoffrey Turner, in Heythrop Journal, Vol 57, Issue 4
Gabrielson’s monograph is helpful in placing Paul within the violent world of the first-century Roman Empire. With other supplemental resources, the book may be used in some upper undergraduate seminars.
Ronald Charles, in Theological Book Review, Vol 27, No 2