Reassessing Paul's Timeline by Bart Willruth, Part 1


Paul, the so-called founder of Christianity, may not have been who we think he was, or lived when we think he lived. In this presentation, I will take some things for granted. I am writing from the perspective of a Christ mythicist; that is, there was no historical Jesus of Nazareth, and Christianity developed on different grounds. This has been argued elsewhere, therefore I will not repeat the arguments here; see "The Varieties of Jesus Mythicism" edited by John Loftus and Robert Price.  

I realize that any attempt to date, or re-date, Paul will be speculative, but that process also includes the attempt to maintain the traditional timeline. But lack of proof doesn't preclude assessing probability. That which I will present in brief below is a novel paradigm; I would point out that the value of a paradigm rests in its utility in answering questions and drawing together a coherent explanation for the data. This is still a work in process.

I began this survey several years ago as I noticed anomalies and problems in the traditional view of Paul. That Paul was not writing in response to a historical Jesus is, by definition, a conclusion of virtually all of the Christ-myth theories. That the gospels and Acts are not historically reliable is a corollary to that position and is the conclusion of  The Acts Seminar (WESTAR) and familiar names such as Robert Price, Richard Carrier, Earl Doherty R. G. Price, David Madison, and others; they cannot be used to tell us anything firm about Paul's biography or thought. All recognize the principle of giving primary sources (Paul’s own letters) absolute priority. Nevertheless, many of my fellow Christ-myth proponents continue to assume Paul's traditional timeline, that he was in some way converted to a form of Christianity in the 30's CE, that he began traveling throughout Greece and Asia Minor in the 40's CE to spread the word to the gentiles, and wrote letters to the believers in various cities during the 50's CE. But what are these dates based on? The answer is clearly the chronology of the gospels and Acts. But if there was no historical Jesus and Acts is theological/historical fiction, what ties us to these dates? We are effectively cut loose from those constraints except by habit and presupposition. In conversations I've had with other mythicists (most of whom are well known to the readers of John Loftus' books) the common responses to this problem are all variations of, “I agree that Acts is not reliable history, but it’s all we have,” or "These dates are overwhelmingly accepted by scholars. Why should we change them?" Of course, most of these scholars they reference are accepting some level of historicity for the Jesus of the gospels and Acts, so we end up in a circular defense chain with one major broken link. I still find some mythicists repeating some version of the phrase "within a few years of the crucifixion" or "the presumed date of the crucifixion." This imposes the later beliefs of Christian writers into the earlier writings of Paul as though he was writing in response to a historical Jesus which is a conclusion at odds with that of the Christ-myth theory. It is simply improper methodology to assume a chronology for Paul based on the later assignment of a date for a historicized Jesus and the immediate inauguration of the Christian movement. Bottom line: reassessing Paul's timeline is a direct and necessary consequence of deeming the Gospels and Acts as non-historical. Re-dating Paul would likely impact our understanding of his thoughts and purpose.

As an aside, Robert Price, in his book "The Amazing Colossal Apostle" suggests that Paul's letters date from the late first century CE to the second century CE. While we differ on where to assign a re-dating of Paul, we both recognize that there is no reason to hold to traditional dating. In his post, "How do we know the Apostle Paul Wrote His Epistles in the 50's AD", Richard Carrier acknowledges that "I don’t consider this matter as settled as mainstream scholars do. Paul’s Epistles do fit remarkably well the 50s B.C." However, he still wishes to maintain the traditional timeline.

Some other points to consider: According to the Acts Seminar, “Acts and Christian Beginnings”,

*Christianity did not begin in Jerusalem. It likely began in a Hellenized region.
*Acts was written in the second century.
*The author of Acts was writing a theological apologetic, not history.
*Acts cannot be considered a source for Paul’s biography.
*Acts must be considered non-historical unless proven otherwise.

I started questioning how we would assign a chronology to Paul without the gospels and Acts; that is, if we just discovered Paul's writings in a cave and didn't have the baggage of tradition and presuppositions about his timeline and the timeline of Christian origins, how would we date them? This question is so important that it should be repeated. Since we have no contemporary external data referring to Paul, we are essentially in that position of having just found his writings in a cave. Relying solely on internal clues, how would we assign a date of authorship to these writings. I began a survey of the boring details regularly skipped over by exegetes who are in a hurry to get to the theology; the people Paul mentioned, places mentioned, events, and terminology used, all in the attempt to find historical clues to tie him to a particular timeline. Very quickly, it became apparent that there is no historical marker referenced in Paul's writings which tie him to the traditional timeline, once the historical Jesus is removed from the equation. Yet, Paul does mention quite a few people, events, places, and terms which elicit questions vis a vis the traditional chronology as well as his identity and that of his addressees. After examining the clues available, it has become apparent to me that his timeline is defective and needs to be reassessed. At the same time, it would appear that his biography needs a second look.

I will occasionally refer to differences between Paul's own writings and the fictional presentation of Acts simply to point out the incompatibility.



Please note, the first thesis is independent of thesis two, whereas thesis two is partially dependent upon thesis one. Thesis two is an attempt at reassessing the implications of placing Paul in the first century BCE; that is, if preaching Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t his purpose, what was he doing?

I present these as probabilities, not certainties. Yet, I think they resolve many of the issues found in the letters which seem to be loose ends in the traditional view. One problem with the mythicist view, on the other hand, the lack of a concrete historical example of the religious practice for Paul’s deity, is potentially resolved with the second thesis. I believe Robert Price once noted that there is no example of a Pauline type of Christianity prior to Marcion. The mythicist approach to Paul would be strengthened if a community could be identified which was practicing Paulinism.

Let's look at some of the clues in Paul's letters and see where they lead:

ARETAS: A Basket Case

Aretas was the name of four Nabatean (a.k.a. Arabia) kings with their capital in Petra, modern Jordan.

In 2 Cor 11:32, 33, Paul wrote, "In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes garrisoned in order to arrest me.  But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands." I will quote from the Journal of Biblical Literature, Douglas Campbell,
At one point in his letters Paul briefly recounts his flight--by means of a basket lowered out of an opening in the walls of Damascus--from an Ethnarch responsible to King Aretas...The king referred to here by Paul must be Aretas IV, king of Nabatea from 8 BCE. Although it was clearly not Paul's intention, his concise account of this dramatic episode creates an absolute chronological marker for his life--a datum, if it proves determinable, of near incomparable importance since it would be our only such reference in his letters...Thus, it could constitute the chronological anchor that Paul's biographers so desperately need...Unfortunately, however, when we turn to the secondary literature we encounter a widespread pessimism of accurately dating this incident.
This is the starting point for both apologists and traditional Pauline scholars alike. They recognize the vital importance of the only reference Paul makes to a person known to secular history. Assuming Paul's traditional timeline, they presuppose the reference is to King Aretas IV of Nabatea d. 39 CE (Arabia, capitol Petra). The problem they all encounter is that there is no evidence whatsoever that Aretas IV ever had any authority in Damascus through which he could appoint a governor or execute an arrest warrant. At this point, scholars (Carrier included) have attempted to find some arguments which would have made it possible for Aretas IV to possess this power in Damascus, albeit temporarily. Yet, the maybe/perhaps/possible arguments have failed to provide any evidence for this. The problem is that Damascus became the seat of the Roman province of the Decapolis in 62 BCE and remained so for several hundred years.

An example of the strained attempts to tie this to Aretas IV is from the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge under the article “Aretas”.
It is difficult to determine how a “governor” (Gk. ethnarches) came to have power
at Damascus about the same time, as mentioned in II Cor. XI. It is unlikely that, as
Marquardt and Mommsen conjecture, the city belonged to the Nabatean territory
since the days of Aretas III. More probable is the widely held view that Aretas IV
took forcible possession of it temporarily before, during, or after the expedition of
Vitellius, at least during the winter of 36-37. Another theory is that Caligula, who
(unlike his predecessors) was unfriendly to Herod, conceded to Herod’s
opponent the sovereignty of the city which had once belonged to the Nabatean
At least he recognizes the conundrum facing his preconception. He lists the most popular conjectures offered to solve the problem, but these various trial balloons are drawn from imagination rather than from any historical evidence. The historian is left with the fact that there is no data of any kind which would indicate that Aretas IV had control over Damascus in the first century CE, nor why the king of Arabia would be trying to arrest Paul. Christianity in the 30’s CE, if it existed at all, could not have been deemed a threat to the Kingdom of Nabatea (Arabia), enough to cause Aretas to put out a warrant for the arrest of a simple preacher in Damascus. When all else fails, the  objective historian must release his invalid preconceptions and examine other possibilities based on actual evidence, no matter how troubling or challenging to a beloved theory.

When searching for opportunity and motive, Aretas IV comes up empty. As mentioned, for opportunity, none can be demonstrated since evidence for him having authority in Damascus is absent. As for motive, none can be demonstrated, nor can even a reasonable suggestion be presented.

But here is where it gets interesting.The theory that the interpreters above don't entertain is that they have the wrong Aretas; that only Aretas III is known to have had control over Damascus at any time, and that was from 85 BCE to 63/62 BC with a brief hiatus between 72 BCE and 69 BCE when Tigranes II of Armenia held it. King Aretas III lost Damascus to Rome following the Jewish civil war between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, both of whom vied for the kingship of Judea. This coincided with Pompey's conquest of Syria. Aristobulus had been allied with the Sadducees. Aretas III had been allied with the Hyrcanus who lost the war, along with his army of several thousand Pharisees (according to Josephus, the Pharisees had actually found refuge with Aretas III in Nabatea (Arabia) for a  period of time). But prior to that disaster, this Aretas had ruled Damascus. (Yes, the Pharisees and Sadducees were political parties whose members were also soldiers, misrepresented in the gospels as simple Jesus hating legalists). There is simply no evidence that any King named Aretas had dominion over Damascus after 62 BCE when Aretas III lost it. From that point onward, Damascus was ruled by Rome.

Scholars, presupposing the timeline of Acts, have jumped through innumerable hoops to find some way to tie Paul's escape from Damascus to Aretas IV, while failing to obey Occam's Razor, and giving consideration to the obvious, though inconceivable; that the Aretas from whom Paul escaped, was Aretas III who we know from solid evidence actually controlled Damascus prior to 62 BCE. But that would place Paul 100 years prior to the tradition, wouldn't it? Yes, it would place Paul's timeline 100 years earlier.

But if this would be the case, what would it mean for Paul the self-proclaimed Pharisee to be a wanted man by King Aretas?  Aretas was a Pagan king. Even if we were to accept the traditional timeline, why would the king of Nabatea be interested in a Jewish preacher engaged in disputations of Jewish theology? Perhaps this is why the author of Acts rewrote this episode, changing the pursuers from the soldiers of Aretas into the Jews angry at Paul for preaching about a messiah as seen in chapter 9:23 “After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.”

Paul’s Aretas reference makes no sense in a traditional understanding, nor to the traditional chronology. Perhaps Paul's trip to Arabia mentioned in Galatians 1 is related to this event; remember, the Pharisee army went to Arabia with the rest of the army of Hyrcanus and later committed treason against Aretas. Was Paul's crime against Aretas political rather than religious?

I will give some background details here to show that the scenario is potentially explanatory of why Aretas III would have been pursuing Paul. No plausible reason has been forthcoming for why Aretas IV would want Paul arrested in the traditional chronology.

These events occurred in the 60's BCE:

*The sons of Alexander Janaeus, founder of the Hasmonean dynasty of Judea, vyed for kingship.
*The Judean civil war between brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus was no small thing; perhaps over 100,000 troops were involved.
*Both Hyrcanus and Aristobulus had been king. Hyrcanus first, then Aristobulus.
*When Aristobulus overthrew Hyrcanus, he made him high priest, but on the advice of Antipater the Idumean (Father of Herod), he and his Pharisee supporters fled to Nabatea where he raised an army.
*There were more than 5,000 Pharisee soldiers fighting for Hyrcanus in a total army of 50,000.
*Aretas III, King of Nabatea at Petra (Arabia) made an alliance with Hyrcanus for the promise of a return of several Nabatean towns if he became king again.
*10's of thousands fought on both sides to determine who would be king of Judea and who would be high priest.
*Aristobulus had a larger army, including Sadducees and even priests under arms.
*Many of Hyrcanus's Pharisee fighters changed sides just before a decisive battle at Jericho, giving the win to Aristobulus.
*In 63 BCE, the Roman governor of Syria, Scaurus, acting for Pompey, called a meeting of all parties in Damascus, which was still part of Aretas III's kingdom.
*There was considerable intrigue with the Romans who were going to decide between the warring brothers.
*Scaurus chose Aristobulus as vassal king of Judea, due to a bribe of 400 talents.
*From that point forward, 62 BCE, Nabatea also became a vassal kingdom of Rome.
*At that point, Nabatea lost Damascus forever.

This is still just a thumbnail sketch, but it may give a plausible reason for Paul's situation in Damascus vis a vis Aretas III. Bottom line:

*The Pharisees and Sadducees were political parties and soldiers in the civil war.
*Paul was a self described Pharisee. Phil 3.
*Paul wrote that he had gone to Arabia (Nabatea) and then Damascus, Gal 1:17.
*Many Pharisees changed sides, going over to Aristobulus; turncoats.
*There was political intrigue in Damascus over Judean kingship.
*Aretas III was on the losing side of the war and eventually lost control of Damascus ca 63-62 BCE after which it was under Roman rule for centuries.
*A King named Aretas had wanted Paul arrested in Damascus for some unstated reason.

Was Paul one of the Pharisee turncoats? Was Paul involved in the Damascus intrigue as an agent provocateur on behalf of Aristobulus and against Aretas III? Was Aretas trying to stop him before he could do damage? This is, of course, not demonstrable, but it is perhaps a better explanation for why the Pagan king of Nabatea was trying to arrest Paul, than the rewritten Acts story that the Jews were after him because of a religious dispute. The events listed above occurred and are well documented. The question is whether or not Paul the Pharisee was involved and was this the reason for the arrest warrant he mentioned in 2 Corinthians. If not, why would the king of Nabatea want to arrest him?

Julius Caesar eventually deposed Aristobulus and exiled him to Rome along with his household. He was apparently assassinated, but his family remained (ca 40's BCE).

Herod, the son of Antipater went to Rome ca 40/39 BCE to petition for kingship of Judea, which he received. At that time he would have been a young man, thus Herodion? Was Paul actually a relative of Herodion as he seems to claim in Romans 16?

Was all this politically motivated rather than religious?
Bottom line: Given the evidence we have, the King Aretas Paul referenced can only be identified with Aretas III. Any other conclusion is based on conjecture, wishful thinking and ignoring inconvenient facts in order to parallel the assumed traditional chronology.


If someone said that they had recently returned from a trip to Leningrad, it might cause some head scratching, until it was realized that it was an anachronism. Of course, the city's name was changed to St. Petersburg 20+ years ago. Likewise, Paul referenced a trip to a place which no longer existed in the 50's CE. Illyricum was the name of a Roman province surrounding the northern end of the Adriatic sea. It stretched along the coast roughly from just west of modern Trieste, Italy down the length of modern day Croatia to Dyrrachium in modern Northern Albania (Durres). It encompassed the Istrian peninsula, the coastal islands, and stretched inland to the north into present day Slovenia as far as Lubljana and Zagreb on the Sava river) and stretched east into modern Serbia and Bosnia bordering the Danuvius river (Danube). In 59 BCE, the Lex Vatinia assigned this province, or zone, to Julius Caesar as part of his domain of responsibility in the first triumvirate. It attained full provincial status in the mid 30’s BCE as an outcome of the wars of Octavian.

In the letter to the Romans, chapter 15:19 Paul writes “ from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum, I have completely spread the announcement...”

To begin with, it must be noted that the author of Acts is not aware of this journey to Illyricum, just as he was not aware of the sojourn to Arabia or the trouble with Aretas. It has been exceedingly difficult for scholars to even reconcile a trip there with the journeys claimed by Acts. There isn't a gap in the Acts timeline into which the trip can fit.

The terminology “as far around as Illyricum” hits the ear as a sea voyage. The “around” indicates a navigational context wherein a ship would sail around the tip of Greece or across the Corinthian isthmus, travel up the Eastern coast through the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic, and terminate somewhere along the coast of modern Croatia, perhaps the capitol of Illyricum which was located at Solona (modern day Split) or Pola.

The problem with this short travelogue is that the province of Illyricum had been split before the mid first century CE at which time Paul’s life and travels are traditionally assigned. There was a bloody 3 year revolt by the Illyrians against Rome between 9 and 6 BCE when the tribes of the Daesitiates and the Pannonians attempted to overthrow Roman provincial rule. At the conclusion of the war, Rome split the province of Illyricum into two new provinces, Pannonia to the north and Dalmatia along the coast south and east. The dissolution of the old Illyricum caused that name to pass out of usage. The dividing line was at the head of the Adriatic where the Istrian peninsula joins the mainland to the east, roughly at present-day Rijeka. If Paul had been traveling into that region after Julius Caesar took control in 59 BCE and before 6 BCE when the province was split into two, his reference to being in Illyricum would make sense. There was such a place. But if Paul, as dated traditionally, traveled to that region, the use of Illyricum would have been 60 years out of date, an anachronism. Would the reference to Illyricum help us to date Paul's letters prior to 6 BCE? Remember, we just recently found these letters in a cave. On the basis of the mention of "Illyricum" we are not suggesting a change from the 50's CE back to some point before 6 BCE. Rather, we are examining these writings for the first time theoretically. Looking at this cold, would the name "Illyricum" point to a date when it still existed as a unified province, or would it be more probable that it was an anachronism? I find the former to be more likely. I do recognize that this isn't completely firm. The evolution of a place name in common usage could have been gradual.
For further reading:
"Illyricum /ɪˈlɪrɨkəm/ was a Roman province that existed between 167 BC and 10 AD, named after conquered Illyria, stretching from the Drin river (in modern north Albania) to Istria (Croatia) in the west and to the Sava river (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the north. Salona (near modern Split in Croatia) functioned as its capital. The province was then divided into Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south...After crushing the Great Illyrian Revolt of Pannonians and Daesitiates subsequent to 10 (some scholars such as Jeno Fitz move this date to middle-late Claudian era c. 20–35).

Note Dalmatia to the east of the Italian peninsula and Pannonia just to the north (map 2 first century CE). These provinces, before the separation, were previously the singular province of Illyricum (map 1, first century BCE). The records of this period are sparse, so I would rate this evidence as somewhat inconclusive, but in harmony with other points, and would tend to indicate a pre-division date for the reference to Illyricum than that of Paul's traditional timeline.


In Romans 16:23, Paul wrote, "Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings." Writing from Corinth to Rome, Paul sends greetings from a high Roman official. Erastus is a Roman name and not particularly common. οἰκονόμος is variously translated "treasurer" or "director of public works". First a bit of background; Corinth had been utterly destroyed by the Romans in 146 BCE. It lay in ruins until 44 BCE when Julius Caesar ordered it to be rebuilt as a Roman colony and garrison city. Now there was a city official named Erastus who is known to history. In fact, there is an inscription from him found on a paving stone in Corinth.

The Latin inscription reads, "Erastus in return for his aedileship laid the pavement at his own expense”. An aedile was a Roman official in charge of the public infrastructure. When was this road laid down? It could have been at any time between 44 BCE when the city began to be reconstructed to any time thereafter. However, dealing with probabilities, the first thing likely to be built in a reconstruction project would be the road. It is unlikely that the road would follow the rebuilding of the city. It can't be conclusive, but the likelihood is that this paving stone was laid at some point around 43-42 BCE as the reconstruction of the city was commenced. Was this the same Erastus as the one mentioned in Romans sending greetings to people he presumably knows? What are the odds that there would be two aediles named Erastus in Corinth, separated by 100 years? Possible, but probable? Would this inscription help us to date Paul's letter to the Romans in the 40's BCE? If we had just found the letters in a cave, would the Aedile Erastus lead us toward any particular date?
As an aside, this was an important Roman official associated with Paul who also sent greetings to people in Rome (Rom 16). How did Paul know all these people in Rome if he had never been there, and the same people known to this high Roman official? Something doesn't fit.


Acts portrays Paul going from town to town in Greece and Asia Minor, primarily attending the synagogue where he  preaches his message and usually converts some Jews along with some gentiles before being kicked out after accusing them of killing the messiah. .

But when one reads Paul’s epistles, there is a glaring omission.  No synagogues. The word doesn’t even occur in his writings, nor does the accusation of killing the messiah. Perhaps all his converts immediately separated from the synagogues so the subject doesn’t come up. Alternatively, the reason synagogues weren’t mentioned is that at the time he wrote, there were no synagogues there. One searches in vain for the existence of synagogues in Asia Minor and Greece prior to the second century CE. The reason isn’t complicated. The synagogue system and emerging rabbinical Judaism really didn’t take off in Greece and Asia Minor until after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the great diaspora following the Bar Kochba revolt ca 135 CE.

Acts, in its description of the synagogue experiences, is anachronistic. It is describing circumstances which were extant in the second century when it was likely written. It is transporting current circumstances back in time to a period when synagogues didn’t exist, just as the Pharisees, who were the progenitors of the rabbis, were misrepresented. Does the absence of a mention of synagogues carry any weight? I would give it the status of a minor clue, no more. Yet, it might help feed the river we are exploring.


In the 40’s-early 30’s BCE following the death of King Aristobulus who had been deposed and brought to Rome along with his family, it is known that Herod (not yet THE GREAT), the son of Antipater, was in Rome negotiating to be installed as the new vassal King of Judea. He, of course, would be successful and become the future builder of the great temple.

In the epistle to the Romans Paul sends greetings to the House of Aristobulus and to Herodion. “Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my kinsman (or relative)”. Rom. 16:10,11.

Note that he didn’t greet Aristobulus himself but only his household. Was this the household of the late king of Judea still living in Rome in exile? It is inconclusive, but it is consistent with the suggested timeline.

The greeting to “Herodion” is interesting (literally “young Herod”). The “ion” suffix is a diminutive for a young person eg John-Johnny or in Spanish Carlos-Carlito or in the case of Julius Caesar’s supposed son by Cleopatra, Caesarion (little Caesar). It is unlikely that there would be someone named “Herod/Herodion” in the mid first century CE. Herod the Great, d.4 BC, was detested as a tyrant and an illegitimate king. But if this Herodion is The Herod, the future Herod the Great, it would fit the theory. Richard Carrier recently wrote an article proposing that this Herodion wasn't Paul's relative. I'll leave that as an open question, though Paul doesn't indicate any of the others he greets as kinsmen, only Herodion. Since both Aristobulus' family as well as Herod were in Rome in the 40's-30’s BCE, shall we consider this a coincidence in Paul's apparent historical markers, or does this help in dating him?

So what do we make of this? There are no historical markers within the epistles which indicate a timeline in the 50's CE...none. The few clues which do exist point toward a first century BCE chronology. By far the strongest marker in my opinion is that of King Aretas. We have substantial extra-biblical data on both Aretas III and Aretas IV, and I believe the probability is strong that only Aretas III could fit the brief Pauline account and that those who argue for Aretas IV are doing so to fit Paul's traditional timeline (assuming a historical Jesus d 30 CE) rather than to date Paul's timeline to the Aretas data. The Erastus of Corinth likely dating from ca 42 BCE leans more toward the probable than the possible I believe. The Illyricum reference, taken precisely, only fits the period prior to 10 CE, although it is certainly possible that Paul was writing later and using the outdated name. Synagogues in Greece and Asia minor? Though no ruins or reference to any dating prior to the second century have yet been found, it is certainly possible that there could be future discoveries. Herodion and the household of Aristobulus in Rome? We know that both the family of Aristobulus and Herod were in Rome in the 40's-early 30's BCE. This is in no way conclusive, but certainly consistent with a first century BCE chronology. Other than the strength of the Aretas scenario, the rest of the data are inconclusive taken individually. However, when taken together, along with the Aretas reference, I believe we have enough reason to point to Paul's probable timeline of letters in the 40's -30's BCE looking back to a dangerous episode in Damascus as a young man. All the clues are consistent with that timeline, but not with the traditional dating.

Obviously, if this timeline were to be adopted, the implications would be enormous, requiring a new paradigm for understanding Paul's audience and the purpose of his letters. I believe the new paradigm would answer many questions emerging from Paul's letters better than the traditional understanding.

See tag "Reassessing Paul" for Part 2. --------------------

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