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Meet the New Paul

The Apostle You Never Knew

January 8–9, 2016
Billings, Montana

The revolution that has occurred in historical Jesus studies has been matched by an equally impressive revolution in historical Paul studies. Though Jesus has received a lot of attention, Paul still struggles to be noticed. This program will introduce the new Paul and suggest that he poses a greater challenge for Christianity than the historical Jesus.

Arthur J. Dewey, Th.D., Harvard University, is Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. A regular on PBS’s Saturday Morning Edition (WVXU, 91.7 in Cincinnati), he is the editor of The Gospel of Jesus (2d ed., 2014) and co-author of The Complete Gospel Parallels (2012) and The Authentic Letters of Paul (2010).

Photo of Bernard Brandon Scott

Bernard Brandon Scott, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, is the Darbeth Distinguished Professor Emeritus of New Testament at the Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is the author of several books, including The Real Paul (2015), The Trouble with Resurrection (2010), and Re-imagine the World (2001).

Program Details

Translating Paul

Austere translations have focused on theology and obscured Paul’s rhetoric, as he wrestled with dynamic community situations, corrected misconceptions, offered opinions, defended his identity, explained his experiences, and even poked fun. To recover this real Paul, the modern translator must first identify his authentic letters and then tease out his amazing rhetorical style. (Dewey)

Friday, 7:30–9 p.m.

Understanding Paul and Forgetting Acts

In Acts, Paul is a figure of heroic exploits. He experiences a dramatic “conversion” to Christianity. But the Paul found in the authentic letters did not convert to Christianity. He talked about the faithfulness of Christ not faith in Christ, and believed in equality not hierarchy. Differences such as these inform basic questions about the rise and future of Christianity. (Scott)

Saturday, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

Paul and the Nations

Paul addresses the nations of the Roman Empire. In so doing, he must interpret the world from the point of view of his Jewish background, translate the significance of the Messiah in light of the Torah, and even defend his understanding against other apostles. He did not always succeed, but these tasks remain central to understanding Paul and the rise of Christianity. (Scott)

Saturday, 11 a.m. – noon

The New Paul as a Challenge for Christianity

The historical Jesus challenges Christianity because a human Jesus challenges the divine Jesus of Christian confession. What about a human Paul? If Paul’s Jesus is not God incarnate, if his letters do not provide the foundations for Christian doctrine or advocate substitutionary atonement, that raises the question, What is Christianity? Like Paul, we must face these questions with honesty and confidence. (Dewey)

Saturday, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Questions, Answers, and More Questions

Art Dewey and Brandon Scott will hold conversation and field questions about the new Paul and the significance of the new Paul for today.

Saturday, 3–4 p.m.


Billings First Church (UCC)

Local Contact and Information

All events at:

Billings First Church (UCC)
310 North 27th Street
Billings, MT 59101

For local information, contact:

Mike Mulberry
(406) 245-6477
[email protected]


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by Jan 2) $60
  • Additional Family Members $50

Single Sessions

  • Friday Evening Lecture $20
  • Saturday Morning Workshop $30
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30

Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.