A fascinating reception history of the theological, ethical, and social themes in the letters of Paul In the first decades after the death of Jesus, the letters of the apostle Paul were the chief written resource for Christian believers, as well as for those seeking to formulate Christian thought and practice. But in the years following Paul's death, the early church witnessed a proliferation of contested-and often opposing-interpretations of his writings, as teaching was passed down, debated, and codified. In this engaging study, Adela Yarbro Collins traces the reception history of major theological, ethical, and social topics in the letters of Paul from the days of his apostleship through the first centuries of Christianity. She explores the evolution of Paul's cosmic eschatology, his understanding of the resurrected body, marriage and family ethics, the role of women in the early church, and his theology of suffering. Paying special attention to the ways these evolving interpretations provided frameworks for church governance, practice, and tradition, Collins illuminates the ways that Paul's ideas were understood, challenged, and ultimately transformed by their earliest audiences.