Ep 132: Was the Apostle Paul Really Anti-Imperial? with Najeeb Haddad

Ep 132: Was the Apostle Paul Really Anti-Imperial? with Najeeb Haddad

In this episode I talk with New Testament scholar Dr. Najeeb Haddad, who has written two very compelling books critiquing the popular perspective in Biblical studies that the apostle Paul was actively opposed to the Roman empire. We discuss the history of the Paul and empire debate and explore some of the key scholars and interpretive methods that have been used to justify the belief that Paul was anti-imperial, and Najeeb demonstrates that many of these methods are not supported by historical evidence. He explains how Paul understands the Roman empire to be a part of the Old Creation and is more focused on spreading the Gospel of the New Creation to all who will listen. He then explains why a lot of anti-imperial scholarship ignores the dignity of human beings by focusing only on systems, how scholars easily bring their own political biases into their work, and the nuanced anti-imperial reading of Paul offered by Christoph Heilig. This conversation provides a lot of historical nuance that everyone interested in the relationship between Christianity and politics ought to know.

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The Christians for Liberty Network is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute consisting of shows and hosts offering various perspectives on the intersection of Christianity and libertarianism. Views expressed by hosts and guests do not necessarily reflect the view of the organization, its staff, board members, donors, or any other affiliates (including other hosts or guests on the network). Guest appearances or interviews of any incumbents, officials, or candidates for any political, party, or government office should not be construed as endorsements. The Libertarian Christian Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate for any political, government, or party office. For information about the Libertarian Christian Institute’s core values, please visit this page.

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