Chapter 20 Student Reading Guide

Paul and the Crises of His Churches: 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon

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

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

3. How did Paul’s belief in the resurrected Jesus change his theological view? What did it confirm about what he already believed, and what did it force him to reconsider? In particular, why would Paul’s belief in Jesus’ resurrection make him rethink the importance of the Jewish Law?