In a new article informing readers of Dom Crossan’s new book In Search of Paul: How Jesus's Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom, Crossan had some interesting things to say [as usual] about Paul. The writer notes that:
Paul was in direct defiance of the Roman imperial theology that Caesar was a god, Crossan said. "Every coin said Caesar was god, the son of god, the redeemer," Crossan said. "It was all around people, like advertising is all around today. When Paul is using these terms to refer to Christ, he is committing high treason. He's directly saying Caesar is not the lord and savior, Jesus is." "If you ask me what Jesus would have said to Paul," Crossan said, "I think he would have said, 'Thank you.'"
Well, I can heartily agree with that! I very much enjoyed Crossan’s book on Paul, the first chapter of which can be located here. It’s a stunning tour of the imperial world that surrounded Paul and places his teachings squarely within that socio-historical context. There are a few anomalies [that Paul only focussed on the Gentiles and forgot about the Jews, or that Crossan only considers 7 of the usual 13 letters authentically Pauline. But hey, he might have a case on one or two...???], as one would expect with Crossan. But overall the book is well worth reading. Hopefully in the future, I'll work my way through it carefully and fill in some quotes and comments on this blog.