Midwest Book Review - Diane Donovan

Paul Revealed: Facts that Father Never Told You is a study recommended for readers who want an in-depth biographical and spiritual analysis of the important role Paul played in Biblical affairs, and provides a coverage both scholarly and accessible as it reveals not only the extent of Paul's life, times, and influence, but lesser-known facts about his impact on Jesus and the world....

Herman provides evidence that Paul's letters, travels, and Roman housing were quite expensive, while his potential earnings from making tents was quite limited. This contradicts traditional claims that Paul supported his mission from his workshop. Herman also documents how Paul's version of Christ's teachings conflicted with Jesus' own words. Be forewarned: Paul Revealed pulls no punches in the process of analysis - and Christian scholars will be delighted in Herman's intricate outlines of contradictions and their interpretation.

Of course, such research of necessity supports itself through Biblical quotes and passages; so readers can expect not speculation and theory but specific references to Biblical events and Paul's own writings which, when paired with Herman's observations and historical research, neatly outline the many conflicts with traditional views: "Paul said that when Christ returns, “when he hands over the kingdom to God the father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:24-25). That is, shortly before Paul told the Romans that rulers were divine representatives, he told the Corinthians that they were God’s enemies. On both occasions, he claimed divine inspiration."

Where facts need support, Herman turns to both Biblical inconsistencies and quotes and his own research and analysis: "Shortly after the Apostolic Council, Paul left Antioch and went out on his own. Luke and Paul invented different stories to explain this. Luke said that when Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them on a return trip to Galatia, Paul became so outraged he charged out of Antioch and had nothing more to do with Barnabas or the mission. This is dubious on several counts. First, Barnabas almost certainly had no interest in returning to Galatia. Galatia was a backwater, and it’s surprising he went there in the first place. There were many more important places to missionize in the brief time remaining. Second, Barnabas would have been leading and funding the mission. Not only was Paul in no position to object, complaining about Mark would have been petty and vindictive at best. Paul’s story was more grandiose and even less plausible, though nearly everyone accepts it."

From the economic, political and religious realities of the times, to how New Testament scholars have failed to recognize that Paul could be deceptive (and might even have purposely crafted lies), Paul Revealed is an honest, scholarly reappraisal of the man which any serious reader interested in Christianity will appreciate.



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