Paul the Oddball

In my opinion the most important Jew in all of human history aside from Jesus is Paul. I am not trying to rank Paul as second to Jesus. Theologically speaking they do not belong anywhere near the same class and even in terms of influence the reason why we know of Paul is Jesus. However, it still remains that Saul of Tarsus, more popularly known as the apostle Paul after his conversion, is one of the most formidable figures in world history not least in the church’s own history. Debates as to who he was, his agenda and legacy still rage on. Witty Australian New Testament scholar, Michael F. Bird in this interview briefly introduces Paul, the contours of his identity and popular scholarly views of him.

For the veteran believer you might wonder why you need to take Paul 101 again. However, I think a fresh re-introduction to the great man illustrates a point, which is the main thrust of Dr Bird’s work: Paul was who he was. It is so easy to read Paul to fit him in our own preconceived moulds. He is neither Jesus not Martin Luther. ¬†As the title of his book on which he is being interviewed so succinctly puts it, Paul is An Anomalous Jew. It is my wish that this video will get us rethinking how we have handled Paul and other major biblical figures and not just assume things or take them for granted.

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