Fortress Press



Gunther Bornkamm (Author)


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This book makes a certain demand on its readers, though perhaps less on the professional theologian au fait with current research than on the layperson, for whom it is equally designed. The reader will look in vain here for much that from the beginning has been a familiar part of the church's tradition, deriving above all from the Book of Acts. The reasons for this slight, and critical, use of Acts are give in the Introduction. In the matter of Paul's own epistles, too, this book often goes ways of its own. If we are to think Paul's theology along with him and follow it, we certainly need to prepare ourselves and to persevere. At the same time, with a thinker of Paul's stature, it is impossible to make him seem easier than he is. Bornkamm has tried not only to give some account of his life and thought but also to let the reader share in the process of questioning and discovery.

In Paul's theology many topics and ideas are so interrelated that the reader should not in every case expect exhaustive treatment of a particular subject under the relevant heading. For more detailed discussion he must refer to other related ideas and key words.

The character and limited compass of the book made it impossible in every case carefully to discuss the pros and cons of interpretations differing from my own. My indebtedness to the work of other men, including those not mentioned here, and the extent to which joining issue with earlier and present-day research has been a formative factor in my own understanding and of judgments on Paul, will be obvious to the expert on page after page. The nonexpert may count himself happy not to be required to retraverse their tracks, both right and wrong.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800628987
  • Pages 260
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Publication Date May 5, 1995


"Absolutely first-rate! Bornkamm's study is a superb and masterful presentation of the mission and theology of Paul. It is without equal."
— Karl Paul Donfried

Table of Contents

    Chronological Table


  1. Paul's Descent and Environment before Conversion
  2. Paul's Persecution of the Church and His Conversion and Call
  3. First Missionary Activity
  4. The Apostolic Assembly in Jerusalem
  5. The First Journey to Cyprus and Asia, and the Conflict at Antioch
  6. The World-wide Scope of the Pauline Mission
  7. The First Church in Greece: Philippi, Thessalonica, and Athens
  8. Corinth
  9. Ephesus
  10. Romans as Paul's Testament
  11. Paul's Final Journey to Jerusalem, Imprisonment, and Death

  1. Paul and the Gospel of the Primitive Church
  2. Lost: Man and the World
  3. The Saving Event
  4. Present Salvation
  5. Future and Present (Eschatology and Ethics)

    Conclusion: Paul and Jesus