Opening Paul's Letters

A Reader's Guide to Genre and Interpretation

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"This is the best entry on the letters of Paul in print. Gray covers the basic areas with clarity and balance. He invites students to experience Paul by opening their eyes rather than narrowing them. The cultural examples are a model of pedagogy."
--Gregory E. Sterling, University of Notre Dame

"Appropriately interpreting a work entails recognition of its literary genre, and that is especially true for reading the Bible, which contains a wide variety of genres. Gray's delightful new book provides useful guidance to students in learning how to read Paul's letters as letters, doing so in light of ancient epistolary theory and practice and with an eye to how ancient conventions differ from those used today."
--John Fitzgerald, University of Miami

"A superb guide to Paul's letters, impressive in its command of the relevant ancient sources and current scholarly debates. Gray's exposition reflects a gifted teacher's instinct for connecting with students through astute use of popular culture and classic literary texts while giving due attention to the fascinating complexity of Paul's ancient context."
--Carl R. Holladay, Emory University, Candler School of Theology

"Patrick Gray provides a refreshing approach to interpreting Paul's letters that places these documents solidly in their ancient literary contexts. This clearly written and eminently practical work is sure to be appealing as a textbook for students or as an orientation for general readers. Instructors will appreciate the discussion questions, which provide guidance for review and further exploration in classroom settings. Reading this book will help change the way Paul's letters are read--for the better!"
--Richard S. Ascough, Queen's University

"The combination of introducing new information and demonstrating nuanced usage is just what beginning students need. The balance and clarity of this volume make it an excellent supplement in a course on Paul."
--Jerry L. Sumney, Lexington Theological Seminary

"This book should become the go-to introductory book on Paul's letters. Clearly written and carefully organized, it moves across the complicated landscape of Paul's letters with ease. Gray always has the reader in mind--the reader of Paul and the reader of this book--as he raises and answers questions that are essential for understanding Paul and his literary setting."
--Gail O'Day, Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Contributors

Patrick Gray, Author

Patrick Gray (PhD, Emory University) is associate professor of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of Opening Paul's Letters and Godly Fear: The Epistle to the Hebrews and Greco-Roman Critiques of Superstition. He has also coedited several books, including Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity, Teaching the Bible through Popular Culture and the Arts, and Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction.

View more by Patrick Gray

Patrick Gray, Author

Patrick Gray (PhD, Emory University) is associate professor of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of Opening Paul's Letters and Godly Fear: The Epistle to the Hebrews and Greco-Roman Critiques of Superstition. He has also coedited several books, including Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity, Teaching the Bible through Popular Culture and the Arts, and Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction.

View more by Patrick Gray