European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting location:Lisbon date:3-6 August 2008
For centuries Paul has been read as anti-Judaistic and totally Torah-free. However a study of Paul's synagogal beatings in 2 Cor 11.24 challenges these premises. Is it not possible, and even plausible, to read Paul more as a shaper of Diaspora Judaism rather than as an apostate from it? Was Paul a rupturist, breaking away from an imaginary monolithic Judaism or was he more of an evolutionist shaping another stream within Judaism, based on his understanding of Jesus as Israel’s Messiah? The rupturist reading still presupposes that there was something fundamentally wrong and irredeemable with Judaism per se and in toto. Contrary to this, this paper takes the position that the evidence is more in favour of saying that Paul’s Jesus movement remained within the wider pluriform scope of Diaspora Judaism.