In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul,
illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology—transforming a faith and changing the world.
For centuries, Paul, the apostle who “saw the light on the Road to Damascus” and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church’s most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Wright argues that Bible scholars and pastors have focused so much attention on Paul’s letters and theology that they have too often overlooked the essence of the man’s life and the extreme unlikelihood of what he achieved.
To Wright, “The problem is that Paul is central to any understanding of earliest Christianity, yet Paul was a Jew; for many generations Christians of all kinds have struggled to put this together.” Wright contends that our knowledge of Paul and appreciation for his legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of his Jewish heritage. Giving us a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the human and intellectual drama that shaped Paul, Wright provides greater clarity of the apostle’s writings, thoughts, and ideas and helps us see them in a fresh, innovative way.
Paul is a compelling modern biography that reveals the apostle’s greater role in Christian history—as an inventor of new paradigms for how we understand Jesus and what he accomplished—and celebrates his stature as one of the most effective and influential intellectuals in human history.
This exceptional book is the fruit of 40+ years of exceptional scholarship and thought. I am a New Testament professor and this is one of the finest books I’ve read in recent years. It can be appreciated by everyone from the general reader to academic theologian. Do yourself and those you care about a favor: read this book and reflect on the rich insights on every page. – Glen Shellrude
Wright has knocked it out of the park with this book. There’s a lot more than dates and places as Wright digs into the culture and customs in which Paul would have found himself. Many biographers seem to feel that they need to make the subject of their book appear to be a saint. Wright has painted Paul as a human being: sometimes kind and loving, sometimes angry, and often coming across as arrogant. I especially appreciated the way the Wright used Paul’s letters to give more insight into Paul the Apostle, and Paul the Man. This book definitely gives me a new insight into reading and understanding the Pauline letters. – Karl Dumas
N.T. Wright has the scholarly spirit and biblical expertise to think about, make comparisons and connections in Paul’s “human” life journey that help the reader to see him more deeply, perhaps, than previously. The detailed study in chapter one of Paul’s journey from being zealous for the Torah to zealous for the Gospel is almost worth the price of the book. What an insight as we are shown how the zealous persecutor on the road to Damascus became the zealous proclaimer of the Messiah! N.T. Wright’s other way stop queries into Paul such Arabia and Tarsus, Antioch, Syria and so on are also equally illuminating. I especially enjoyed immensely Wright’s human insights from Paul’s shipboard journey from Caesarea to Malta. Paul: A Biography is a fun book loaded with practical insights for teaching and preaching or merely pondering Paul in a fresh way. – Dr. John F. Sills