Throughout the autumn we will dedicate our preaching and teaching to the life of St. Paul. He was one of the first great communicators of the Christian gospel, and traveled thousands of miles around the Mediterranean world to initiate or encourage the growth of Christian congregations where people learned to live a Jesus way of life. We offer the following resources in the hope that your journey of faith may lead to fresh paths of service, love, and hope.
The Letters of St. Paul
There are thirteen letters attributed to Paul in the Christian New Testament, but the consensus of biblical scholars is that he wrote seven of them. They are, in chronological order:
In his book, Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written, Marcus Borg provides helpful historical context to the circumstances that gave rise to these letters. This book is an excellent introduction to the documents that Paul created, and how they shaped the formation of Christian faith in the years after the death of Jesus.
Another important source of information about the life of Paul can be found in the New Testament Book of Acts. Over half of the book includes stories about Paul. But there is strong scholarly agreement that the author of Acts (who also wrote the Gospel according to Luke) relied more on theological imagination than verifiable facts to tell a story of the first Christians. Nevertheless, the portrait of Paul in Acts is well worth reading, and shows us how one influential writer in the early church understood his importance to the growing Christian movement.
We offer the following resources as opportunities to expand your knowledge about Paul, and more importantly, to grow in your relationship with God and in your commitment to a Christian way of life.
So we invite you to . . .
Almost all of Paul's letters include a greeting in which he wishes his readers "grace and peace." Likewise, he often indicates his ongoing practice of prayer on their behalf. What if we approached each day in a spirit of grace and peace? Could you create a calendar of prayer, with each day set aside to pray for friends, family members, organizations or areas of the world that are near and dear to your heart?