Operation Messiah: St Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity

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9780853037026: Operation Messiah: St Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity

Saul of Tarsus is one of the best known and most beloved figures of Christianity. This man, later known as St. Paul, set the tone for Christianity, including an emphasis on celibacy, the theory of divine grace and salvation, and the elimination of circumcision. It was Paul who wrote a large part of the New Testament, and who called it euangelion, "the gospel". There is another side of Paul, however, that has been little studied and that is his connection to the Roman military establishment and its intelligence arm. While other scholars and writers have suggested the idea that Paul was cooperating with the Romans, this is the first book-length study to document it in detail. By looking at the traditional story through a new lens, some of the thorniest questions and contradictions in Paul's life can be unravelled. How did he come to work for the Temple authorities who collaborated with the Romans? How was he able to escape from legal situations in which others would have been killed? Why were so many Jews trying to have Paul killed and to which sect did they belong? These and other mysteries will be solved as the authors follow Paul's career and his connections to Roman intelligence.

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About the Author:

Col. Rose Mary Sheldon received her Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Michigan and is currently Head of the Department of History at the Virginia Military Institute. Her special field is intelligence history and she is on the Editorial boards of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, The Journal of Military History and Small Wars and Insurgencies, and has written more than three dozen articles on aspects of ancient intelligence. Her books include Espionage in the Ancient World: An Annotated Bibliography and Intelligence Activities in Ancient Rome: Trust in the Gods, But Verify.

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