I have her thesis paper, which I think I got from you (thanks so much for that!) I loved it! It really put Paul into a different perspective for me: an entrepreneurial freelance religious expert. It so fits with what we see in Paul's letters. I didn't know she'd published her thesis though. Something else to buy!robert j wrote: ↑Wed May 11, 2022 11:25 amrobert j wrote: ↑Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:47 pm
I think Paul is best understood in the wider world of, as Heidi Wendt described it, entrepreneurial “freelance religious experts”. In the introduction of her Ph.D.dissertation, Wendt described the widespread phenomenon of activity in the ancient world that included exorcists, diviners, oracles, magicians, necromancers, mystery cultists, astrologers, Pythagoreans, promoters of esoteric wisdom, interpreters of sacred Jewish texts, and those who cast knuckle-bones. Wendt wrote that many of these used “signs and wonders” including speaking in tongues and prophesying (sound familiar?). Wendt included “the self-appointed apostle Paul” in her study, and chapter five of her dissertation is titled “Paul, A Rare Witness to the Religion of Freelance Experts”. 1/
1/ Heidi Wendt, At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in Early Imperial Rome, Ph.D. Dissertation, Brown University, 2013.
note: Wendt has more recently published her work in a book --- At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire, 2016.
Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.