33. Literature

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. David Lyle Jeffrey1,2

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch33

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

Jeffrey, D. L. (2011) Literature, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch33

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    Baylor University, USA

  2. 2

    Royal Society, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • literature;
  • Paul, sympathetically portrayed from the time of the first Christian Pentecost - to the moment of his execution in Rome;
  • uneven history of Paul's influence in literature - marked by other such ironies and paradoxes;
  • ancient and medieval literary characterizations - Paul avoiding the “eloquent nonsense” of the rhetoricians;
  • Paul, a prototype for missionary stories - among hagiographers, saints' lives imitating features of both his biblical and legendary biography;
  • High Middle Ages, and later medieval spiritual writers - image of Paul as a “hero of faith”;
  • Paul, recognized as twelfth-century Augustinian revival - key unlocking neglected books in the Old Testament;
  • Chaucer's extensive use of quotation - from Paul in The Canterbury Tales, reflecting, a shift toward a renewal of appreciation of the epistles;
  • Enlightenment England, Paul's writings - viewed by poets through the lenses afforded by classical Roman prose;
  • R. S. Thomas's poem “Covenanters” - shrewd, angular and probatively acerbic, Paul as “the mountain/the teaching of the carpenter of Nazareth/congealed into”


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Literary Sources

  • Ancient and Medieval Literary Characterizations

  • High Middle Ages

  • Renaissance and Reformation

  • Enlightenment and Nineteenth-century Fashioning

  • Modern

  • References