I am reading Krister Stendahl’s Paul Among Jews and Gentiles (p. 8). In his essay by the same title Stendahl makes reference to Paul’s identity as one called from the womb who would go to the Gentiles (see Gal. 1.13-16). This echoes the prophetic calls of Isaiah (49.1) and Jeremiah (1.5) which led me to wonder about the influence of the prophet Jeremiah on the Apostle Paul. I know there are books about the influence of Isaiah on Paul (e.g. J.R. Wagner’s Heralds of the Good News: Isaiah and Paul “in Concert” in the Letter to the Romans), but I haven’t seen anything on Jeremiah. Nevertheless, it seems the Jeremiah may have influenced Paul being that Jeremiah (1) prophesied to apostate Israel and (2) prophesied to the nations/Gentiles (again Jer. 1.5–goyim). If anything I would suspect that Paul may have formed his sense of mission on the basis of a similar self-understanding that he shared with Jeremiah.
Does anyone know of a work that explores this relationship?
I’ve been thinking lately that a lot of the “called to be an apostle” language works against an OT backdrop, especially the prophets. I haven’t explored this much beyond that.
Hello Brian! I stumbled across your entry while looking for material on this very subject. My current area of interest in Pauline Anthropology, but I was recently impressed by the significant parallels between Paul’s self-description and that of Jeremiah. I have come up with several more ways that it seems they are related including the two you list here. I am particularly interested how a Pauline anthropology would be informed by the anthropological content of Jeremiah. If it could be established that Paul viewed his own ministry in a prophetic light similar to Jeremiah there could be some very interesting implications worth playing out. Have you found any more sources that discuss this?
@Raymond: Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to follow the thought further. As you can tell from the lack of comments on this post there wasn’t much feedback to my question.
An upcoming PhD thesis on biblical intertextuality in Durham University explores the relationship between Paul and Jeremiah.
Do you know the name of the author?
I think it’s Leonard Wee.
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