Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Transient Apostle

Transient Apostle

Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 352
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Transient Apostle
    Book Description:

    In a significant reevaluation of Paul's place in the early Christian story, Timothy Luckritz Marquis explores the theme of travel in the apostle's correspondence. He casts Paul's rhetorical strategies against the background of Augustus's age, when Rome's wealth depended on conquests abroad, the international commerce they facilitated, and the incursion of foreign customs and peoples they brought about. In so doing, Luckritz Marquis provides an explanation for how Paul created, maintained, and expanded his local communities in the larger, international Jesus movement and shows how Paul was a product of the material forces of his day.

    "This is the single most sophisticated book on Paul to be written within the paradigms of contemporary critical thought. By integrating its extensive, erudite, and compelling citations of the Greco-Roman world in which Paul was writing with post-colonial and post-Marxist thinking, it makes real progress in understanding Paul's letters."-Daniel Boyarin

    eISBN: 978-0-300-18742-7
    Subjects: Religion, History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-21)

    In 17 B.C.E., heralds sent out by Augustus declared the advent of a new age. The emperor had revived the ancient rite of theludi saeculares(the “Secular Games”), marking the passage of a newsaeculum, or “age,” a period of about 110 years, thought to be the limit of the human lifespan. The games capped off his achievements at an auspicious moment. Romans expected the return of a comet that had visited one of his early public appearances following the death of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, an event that had led many to acclaim him as Caesar’s rightful...

  6. 1 Traveling Leaders of the Ancient Mediterranean
    (pp. 22-46)

    As we can tell from the clues left us in his correspondence, self-presentation—the image of “apostle”—was of primary importance in Paul’s preaching mission. To those who encountered him, Paul initially appeared as one of many wandering artisans taking advantage of the freer, safer, yet still risky travel afforded by thepax Romana.His claims to be God’s envoy evoked tales of wandering strangers and foreigners whom people could welcome or reject, risking God’s wrath if they turned away an authentic, divine messenger. Paul’s success depended on his ability to control the semantic excess flowing from apostleship. He needed...

  7. 2 Travel, Suicide, and Self-Construction
    (pp. 47-69)

    Generations of interpreters have viewed 2 Corinthians as the most emotional and self-revealing of Paul’s letters. Among early readers, its beginning was a go-to passage for examples of how Paul’s rhetoric could pull on the heartstrings of his audience. And yet, the letter’s unexplained allusions and vague imagery confound modern readers, impeding exegetical pursuits of Paul’s meaning. Assessments among scholars have described the letter as both intimate and opaque. Adolf Deissmann’s description is succinctly representative, calling 2 Corinthians “the most personal of the ‘greater’ Pauline epistles . . . It is as a whole the least well known to us,...

  8. 3 The Wandering, Foreign God of Israel
    (pp. 70-86)

    Members of Jewish apocalyptic groups such as Paul’s Christ-believing followers eagerly awaited the arrival—theparousia—of God and/or his messiah, conquering the world and granting Israel worldwide and eternal dominion. As radical as eschatological expectation may seem to some today, the language of arrival and conquest was not unique within the ancient world. In myth and ritual, deities were thought to arrive and rule in various cities in different eras. The Israelite prophet Zechariah expected Yahweh to return during the Persian period to restore rule in Jerusalem and expand it over the nations: “Rejoice exceedingly, Daughter Zion! Proclaim, Daughter...

  9. 4 Delivering the Spirit
    (pp. 87-111)

    Although Julius Caesar had pardoned and befriended him after his opposition during the Civil War, Cicero still felt himself on the wrong side of history—not to mention of the graces of theimperator—in 45 B.C.E. As a strategy for righting his position, Cicero took a letter of recommendation he was writing to Caesar on behalf of a certain Praecilius as an opportunity to improve his situation. In many ways, the letter became a self-commendation. As Cicero states, Praecilius himself “used to scoff at and scold me because I did not attach myself to you” (Fam.13 .15.1, LCL...

  10. 5 Whether Home or Away
    (pp. 112-126)

    At the beginning of 2 Cor 4, Paul recapitulates many of the themes and images strung together since the “led in triumph” passage at the beginning of 2:14–17. He describes hisdiakonia(4:1) as being “veiled” only to “perishing unbelievers” (4:3; for language of veiling, see 3:13–18; for Paul’s message as having a distinct message for those perishing, see 2:15–16). He goes on to describe the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (4:6) by claiming that “we have this treasure in clay jars.” referring, with a processional metaphor recalling the imagery of 2:14–17,...

  11. 6 Ambassadors of God’s Empire
    (pp. 127-147)

    “This is the care of a trueprinceps,or even a god,” claims Pliny the Younger in hisPanegyricto the emperor Trajan. “To reconcile competing cities, to pacify angry peoples less by exercise of power than by reason, to intercede against the injustices of magistrates, to undo what should not have been done: in short, like the swiftest star to see everything, to hear everything, and be present at once with aid wherever your help is sought” (80.3). As I discussed in the introduction, the advent of imperial Rome instituted a system of governance and communication (and attending propaganda...

  12. Conclusion
    (pp. 148-153)

    Readers of 2 Corinthians have long observed that, however the composition of the letter or the events behind it are construed, all was rectified between Paul and Corinth by the time he wrote his letter to the Romans. At the closing epistolary salutations of Romans, Paul begins with a commendation: “I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant-leader [diakonon] of the community in Cenchreae [Corinth’s eastern port], so that you might welcome her in the Lord in a manner deserving of the saints and provide her with whatever she may need from you. For she has been...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 154-184)
  14. Index
    (pp. 185-196)