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May 13, 2024

Author, author!

Our very own Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ has recently had two book reviews published:
Nguyen, Vien. Review of Ecclesiastes and the Meaning of Life in the Ancient World by Arthur Jan Keefer. Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 86, no. 2 (April 2024): 379-381.
Nguyen, Vien. Review of The Apostle Paul and His Letters: An Introduction by James B. Prothro. Homiletics and Pastoral Review (April 2024).
“In The Apostle Paul and His Letters: An Introduction, James B. Prothro provides readers with a concise introduction to the letters of Paul,” writes Fr. Vien in Homiletics and Pastoral Review.  “Given the breadth of possibilities and diverse perspectives in Pauline studies, Prothro focuses on the essentials, including historical and religious contexts and Paul’s theological perspectives, to give readers the foundation upon which to study and appreciate Paul’s life and letters and to understand and reason with Paul through them…

“Readers will appreciate Prothro’s balanced perspective. For example, in his discussion on authorship, Prothro notes the consensus views on Pauline authorship and authenticity but gives a nuanced reading on the authorship-authenticity debate. For him, Paul’s distinctive theological insights, writing style, and vocabulary in the disputed letter do not necessarily mean that the letters are not historically Pauline. He points readers to the influence of Paul’s coauthors and the role of scribes in ancient letter writing and different audiences, resulting in theological and stylistic differences across Pauline letters. Moreover, Prothro notes that it is possible for Paul to undergo changes over time due to his experiences: ‘Paul’s core convictions and ways of thinking can develop over time as he preaches, teaches, prays, and has new religious experiences of Christ (2 Cor 12:1–10)’. Prothro gives much attention to authorship, particularly in the first part of the book. However, regardless of who wrote the Pauline letters, they are still regarded as inspired Scripture.”


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