Publisher description for Paul's metaphors : their context and character / David J. Williams.


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Paul's writings are laced with vivid images from the bustling New Testament world. To understand these metaphors, David J. Williams delves into that Greco-Roman world and uses ancient sources to explore a wide variety of topics such as architecture, law, commerce, health care, and education. Williams studies this world in chapters with titles such as "Life in the City," "Family Life," "Slavery and Freedom," "Citizens and Courts of Law," "Travel," and "Warfare and Soldering."

Paul's metaphors, set apart in bold type, are examined in the light of this background information and restored to their original vitality. Well-known metaphors—the Christian as a slave of Christ, the church as a body, Paul's two natures being at war within him, the Christian as an athlete striving toward the prize, Jesus' return as a theif in the night, Christians as adopted heirs of God—and lesser-known metaphors come to life for the modern reader through Williams's careful exposition.

The main text is accessible to the general reader; scholars will appreciate footnotes that discuss the Greek text and provide resources for further study. Appendix 1 lists a select chronology of the Roman Empire and appendix 2 provides dates and descriptions of significant ancient authors and tests. Scripture, ancient source, and modern author indexes add to the usefulness of this work.

"Paul's Metaphors: Their Context and Character merits the attention of every serious student of the Apostle to the Gentiles. Gathering under twelve headings the profusion of metaphors that Paul poured into his writing, David Williams has created an indispensable aid for writers of commentaries, crafters of sermons, and just ordinary readers of Paul's letters. Researched carefully and documented copiously, Paul's Metaphors is nonetheless a strikingly readable book that demonstrates once again that students of the New Testament cannot neglect the hard work of philology."
—E. Glenn Hinson, Retired as Professor of Spirituality and John Loftis Professor of Church History Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Bible, N, T, Epistles of Paul Socio-rhetorical criticism, Metaphor in the Bible