Next semester I will be teaching my course on “Paul and the Early Church” again. The last time I taught it, I got students to share the work, researching select passages from a given letter and then making their summaries available. This time, I’d like to try something different. I’ve looked at a number of overviews of Paul’s life and several shorter academic commentaries, but I still don’t feel as though I’ve identified ones that are clearly appropriate for an undergraduate course that covers several letters (I intend to at least cover Galatians, Romans, and 1 Corinthians) and does not expect students to know Greek. Indeed, for most of the students in the class this will probably be their first real exegetically-oriented class (since in the introductory Bible class, we survey so much that we do not spend all that much time on any given passage, and cover a wide range of excerpts). I nevertheless want to get into some of the details of the letters, and am not looking for something that is superficial or gives only one interpretative option. The Cliff Notes for Paul’s letters are available online, but that isn’t the sort of thing I’m looking for!
Does anyone have any particular recommendations? Any suggestions regarding either books or online resources would be most welcome!