I now have a half dozen questions, but I won’t ask them at this time because I have a better idea for your time: a book on Paul. I would Love that. If that is not your plan, would you give us a hint about what your next book will be about?
I have had a number of people ask if I was planning on, or willing to, write a book on Paul. The answers are no, and probably no. There are already lots of good books out there on Paul for both scholars (my favorite classic is by my former colleague from Duke, E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism) and lay folk (for example, the most recent book by my friend Albert Harrill, Paul the Apostle). Moreover, Pauline studies is not one of my areas of specialization, even though in graduate school I studied with two of the great Pauline scholars of the day (J. Christiaan Beker and Paul Meyer), and I still have both colleagues (Richard Hayes, Douglas Campbell) and very close friends (Dale Martin, Elizabeth Johnson) who are among the best Pauline scholars of today. But Paul, when all is said and done, is not an area of intense interest for me – in comparison with other things.
And in that vein, I have other books that I’m very eager to write, on completely other topics.
My plan for the foreseeable future (read: until they carry me out feet first) is to write a trade book (i.e. for popular audiences) every two years. I have about four that I’m particularly eager to write, but I have to pace them out both so I can do other things I’m equally bent on doing –including more hardcore scholarship – and to keep from saturating the market more than it already is. In any event, there are two that are now vying for my attention, and I’m deciding which of the two to do. I’ll devote this post and the next one to describing them, and I would welcome comments from anyone, once I’ve made the second post, about which they think I should do first.
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