Phoebe: A Story, By Paula Gooder
  • Length: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: September 04, 2018
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5245
  • ISBN: 9780830852451

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Sometime around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. He entrusted this letter to Phoebe, whom he describes as the deacon of the church at Cenchreae and a patron of many. But who was this remarkable woman?

Biblical scholar and popular author and speaker Paula Gooder imagines Phoebe's story—who she was, the life she lived, and her first-century faith—and in doing so opens up Paul's world, giving a sense of the cultural and historical pressures that shaped his thinking and the faith of the early church. After the narrative, Gooder includes an extensive notes section with comments on the historical context, biographical details, cultural practices, and more. Rigorously researched, this is a book for anyone who wants to engage more deeply and imaginatively with Paul's theology.

"A . . . vivid and sympathetic picture of the world of the first Christians, opened up through the personality of Paul's colleague and friend, Phoebe. Very few people are as expert as Paula Gooder in communicating biblical scholarship clearly and creatively, and this first venture into historical storytelling will bring the biblical text freshly alive."

Rowan Williams


Part One
Phoebe: A Story
Part Two
Select Bibliography


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Paula Gooder

Paula Gooder (DPhil, Oxford) is a writer and lecturer in biblical studies with a passion to ignite people's enthusiasm for reading the Bible today, by presenting the best of biblical scholarship in an accessible and interesting way. She works for the Church of England as the director of mission learning and development in the Birmingham Diocese.