The Consulting Writer

aka The Frazzled Mom

Review of Paul The Apostle: Missionary, Martyr, Theologian

Paul The Apostle: Missionary, Martyr, Theologian

by Robert E. Picirilli

If you want to understand Christianity, you need to understand Paul. But with so many books on the apostle, where do you start?

Paul the Apostle is the ideal choice if you want a solid understanding of Paul’s life, ministry, and writings without getting weighed down with minutia. Author Robert E. Picirilli, who taught college courses on Paul for over twenty-five years, found that most books on the apostle were either too technical or too basic, so he wrote a book that strikes a happy medium. It offers:

  • A profile of Paul in his historical and cultural context
  • Outlines and explanations of his missionary journeys
  • Introductions and brief analyses of each of his epistles

Useful for individual study or as a textbook (as it is in many universities today), Paul the Apostle is a great one-stop study of the man who wrote half the New Testament, spread the gospel to the heart of the known world, and gave his life for the Kingdom.

When I saw the title of this book, followed by the description, I was immediately interested in reading it. Paul has always been one of the central figures for me when growing up. That’s not to say that he surpasses God or Jesus by any means. But his letters to the churches, his words of instruction, his ministry hold a lot for me. I’d heard bits and pieces of Paul, how tall he was, what he might have looked like and what his trade would have been. When reading this book, I found it fascinating. It starts with the beginning, when and where Paul was born and how that might have affected him growing up. It continues on through his life to include his family upbringing, his cultural exposure, his education and more.

There is so much to this book, I really can’t do it justice. If you’re curious about the life of Saul, aka Paul, and his ministry following his conversion, this would be an excellent read. It may feel like more of a seminary textbook, but don’t let that fool you. The reading is interesting enough for even the most casual of readers. I highly recommend keeping a Bible and maps handy while reading. Why? Because I wouldn’t want any reader to just assume the accuracy of this book. I always find it better to research and confirm personally the information provided. I believe even the author recommends keep those items at hand and often notes scripture to support his statements.

Some of the information is more the author’s thoughts than actual fact. Still, it makes for an interesting read as to the possibilities regarding Paul. I’ve already recommended this book to a few that I know would be greatly interested. This is a great read if you want the “behind the scenes” look. It’s the most detailed, thought out and in-depth book I’ve come across in regards to the life of Paul.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Moody Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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