Throughout history, Christians have debated Paul’s influence in the church. Though revered, Paul has also been controversial—apocryphal writings by Peter and James charge Paul with being a tool of Satan. In later centuries, Paul was scorned by such writers as Thomas Jefferson, George Bernard Shaw, and Nietzsche.
In this masterly analysis, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Garry Wills chronicles Paul’s tremendous influence on the first explosion of Christian belief, the controversy surrounding Paul through the centuries, and the meaning of his words. He argues eloquently that what Paul meant was not contrary to what Jesus meant—rather, the best way to know Jesus is to discover Paul. Unlike the Gospel writers, who carefully shaped their narratives many decades after Jesus’ life, Paul wrote in the heat of the moment, offering the best reflection of those early times.
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