In his letters to the early Christian communities, the apostle Paul left for Christians of all time an array of powerful images: from the pain of a thorn in the flesh to the tenderness of a nursing mother for her children, from the competition on an athletic field to the growth of an agricultural field. In The Power of Images in Paul, Raymond Collins explores how Paul uses the ordinary to describe what is extraordinary, how Paul skillfully uses a wide range of metaphors as a means of both persuasion and clarification. But this book is more than an analysis of Paul’s images themselves. Collins also examines how Paul deliberately draws from secular as well as religious and biblical themes in order to draw a culturally diverse audience into relationship with Christ. Entering Paul’s world with Collins, readers will better appreciate Paul’s use of metaphor and, more important, be persuaded as was Paul’s original audience of God’s unfailing love in Christ.
Raymond F. Collins, STD, is the Warren-Blanding Professor of Religion Emeritus and former dean of the School of Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of The Many Faces of the Church: A Study in New Testament Ecclesiology (Crossroad, 2003), I & II Timothy and Titus (Westminster John Knox, 2002), Sexual Ethics and the New Testament: Behavior and Belief (Crossroad, 2000), and First Corinthians in the Sacra Pagina series (Liturgical Press, 1999).