Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–Apr. 17
Instructor: Jack Dalby
St. Paul never knew the earthly Jesus. But as New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman notes, “next to Jesus himself, the most important figure for the development of earliest Christianity was the apostle Paul.” In these four scholarly lectures, we will discuss our sources for knowing the historical Paul, their strengths and limitations, and the impact of Paul’s singular theology on the early Christian movement. Questions we will cover include: How did Paul go from being a persecutor of early Christians to becoming their leading proponent? What was Paul’s mission to the gentiles? How does Paul’s theology compare with the theology of Jesus and his followers? What was the purpose of Paul’s letters? Was Paul the author of all of his 13 letters, and did Paul intend to found a new religion? Questions during class are encouraged. Bringing a copy of the New Testament to class, while not required, would be helpful.
Jack Dalby, president of White Oak Communications, is an OLLI member and has taught previous classes on the historical Jesus and the first Christians. He holds a BS in communication arts from James Madison University and has taken graduate classes with the history department at George Mason University.