Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paul's polite bribe?

The Collection for the Saints as a Polite Bribe: An Effort to Humanize Paul

Scholars have puzzled a great deal over this collection. One group understands it in analogy to the temple tax, which every Jew had to pay annually, while another group points out that with it the promise of the pilgrimage of the nations is fulfilled. Finally in 2002, inspired my pal Tom Hall, I have coined the phrase that the collection was “a polite bribe” on Paul’s part.

By Gerd Lüdemann
Emeritus Professor of the History and Literature of Early Christianity
Georg-August-University of Göttingen
Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University
January 2016