Paul and the Rise of the Slave locates Paul’s description of himself as a “slave of Messiah Jesus” in the epistolary prescript of Paul’s Epistle to Rome within the conceptual world of those who experienced the social reality of slavery in the first century C.E. The Althusserian concept of
interpellation and the
Life of Aesop are employed throughout as theoretical frameworks to enhance how Paul offered positive ways for slaves to imagine an existence apart from Roman power. An exegesis of Romans 6:12-23 seeks to reclaim the earliest reception of Romans as prophetic discourse aimed at an anti-Imperial response among slaves and lower class readers.
K. Edwin Bryant, PhD (2013), Macquarie University, is an adjunct professor of New Testament and Early Christianity. He is the Senior Pastor of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church of Dayton, OH, and serves as the Bishop of Administration for FGBCFI, Inc.
"This book is a must read and helps the readers to gain a rich and balanced understanding about Paul’s theology and ethics dealing with the most marginalized in society. Bryant’s work is very original, compellingly persuasive, deeply contextual, and yet critical enough to dig in first-century slave experience in Rome and elsewhere. Placing Paul in Jewish prophetic tradition, he argues that Paul’s self-identification with “a slave of Jesus” in Rom 1:1 is intentional addressing a particular congregation full of the most marginal slaves in a desperately hopeless district called Trastevere. I highly recommend this well-written, insightful, and incisive book on Romans and Paul’s theology to all who take seriously who Paul was in dealing with the slaves in first century CE."
Yung Suk Kim,
Virginia Union University
“K. Edwin Bryant, in The Rise of the Slave, has placed his finger on the pulse of the Roman Domination and Subjugation of the slave as subject. That pulse was created by the Apostle Paul when he employed the epitaph, according to Bryant, “Slave of Messiah Jesus” to identify prophetically with this class of human beings so that they too may be transformed and repositioned as “Slaves of Messiah Jesus.” With a brilliant exegesis of Romans 1:1-2 and 6:12-23 and with "a moral and comic-philosophic tradition to reconstruct the socio-political milieu” approach, Bryant radically reconstitutes scholarly views that somehow missed or overlooked Paul's political, ideological, and prophetic engagement with this hegemonic system of oppression."
Larry D. George,
All interested in research on Romans, persons interested in Paul’s political rhetoric, individuals concerned the with comic-philosophical tradition, and researchers interested in identity formation of Roman slaves.