Our Mother Saint Paul

Paul is the New Testament figure that many Christians love to hate. To gain a new hearing for the apostle, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, offers a new way to think about him: by means of his mothering imagery. In particular, she focuses on the provision of milk in 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, the nurse caring for her own children in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, and Paul in “the pain of childbirth” in Galatians 4:19. A mother, Gaventa points out, is an authority figure, but a very different one from a father or patriarch. By imaging himself as mother, Paul offers his readers an intriguingly different way to consider authority.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.