About Pamela Eisenbaum

Pamela Eisenbaum

One of four Jewish New Testament scholars teaching in Christian theological schools, Pamela Eisenbaum is Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Iliff School of Theology and affiliate faculty of the Center of Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. She holds a Masters from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD from Columbia University, and has published on a variety of topics related to the Bible, Ancient Judaism, the Origins of Christianity, and Jewish-Christian Relations, ancient and modern. Her book, Paul Was Not a Christian, has enjoyed a wide readership.

Presenter at

BAS Spring Symposium 2024, April 27, 2024
Reading Paul as a Jew

Like Jesus, Paul was a Jew. Unlike Jesus, Paul abandoned his fellow Jews and Jewish practice once he devoted himself to Christ—at least that is the commonly held view. At best, the apostle is regarded as a marginal Jew. In the last half century, however, a small number of scholars have collectively formulated a different paradigm, now referred to as ‘Paul-within-Judaism.” These scholars have a different starting point; they situate Paul’s letters within the literary landscape of first century sectarian Jewish writing. Starting in a different place has enormous consequences for understanding the historical Paul and the interpretation of Paul’s letters. Resituating Paul within Judaism is not merely consequential for getting history right; it has benefits for today’s Jews and Jewish-Christian relations. It disentangles the Apostle from 2,000 years of anti-Jewish rhetoric and the antisemitism it birthed.