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IVP Academic

Rediscovering Paul

An Introduction to His World, Letters and Theology

by David B. Capes, Rodney Reeves, and E. Randolph Richards

Rediscovering Paul
  • Length: 350 pages
  • Published: October 2007
  •  Discontinued
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-2598-1
  • Item Code: 2598
  • Case Quantity: 20

For some of us, the apostle Paul is like a distant uncle. We've heard he's pretty important. We've read the good parts of his letters. But sometimes he comes across as prickly and unpredictable. Not someone you'd like to hang out with at a coffee shop. He'd raise his voice, try to convert the barista, and we'd want to slink out the back door. For a mid-afternoon latte, we'd prefer Jesus over Paul.

But actually, this is the guy who, from Ephesus to Athens, was the talk of the marketplace and the raconteur of the Parthenon. Maybe it's time to give Paul a break, let go of some stereotypes and try to get to know him on his own terms. If that's where you are, Rediscovering Paul is your guide. This is a book that helps us find Paul again--holding forth in the marketplace of Corinth, working with a secretary in framing his letter to the Romans, or pastoring the messy emerging churches of Philippi and Thessalonica.

Drawing on the best of contemporary scholarship, honed by teaching and conversing with today's students, Rediscovering Paul is a textbook that rises above the rest.

"It is unusual that Bob Dylan, Larry Norman and the movie The Godfather all make it into a book about Paul the apostle. But they do here! David Capes, Rodney Reeves and Randolph Richards have written an introductory textbook to Paul that attempts to place him with one foot firmly in his own world and the other squarely in today's. The authors correct a number of misconceptions about the world in which Paul lived and wrote, and help us as readers to come to terms with the significance of his letters and theology for our times. This book will serve as a useful introductory guide to undergraduates and seminarians alike."

Stanley E. Porter, president, dean and professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

"A vast, sometimes overwhelming array of data and issues confronts today's student stepping into the study of Paul for the first time. Yet weaving together insights from recent research, Rediscovering Paul offers a helpful, accessible introduction to the rich tapestry of cultures, events, theology and mission that shaped the great apostle and his writings."

George H. Guthrie, Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible, Union University

"Many people who think they understand Paul actually misunderstand him. Professors Capes, Reeves and Richards have given the beginning student of Paul a much-needed, readable and insightful entrée into the apostle's social world, ministry, letters, theology and legacy. The Paul they help us rediscover speaks the gospel of Christ crucified and raised not only to the first century, but also to the twenty-first."

Michael J. Gorman, Dean, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology, and Professor of Sacred Scripture, St. Mary's Seminary University, Baltimore, Maryland

"Several good textbooks cover the background, life, letters and theology of Paul at a seminary or graduate-school level, which some advanced college students can handle. But nothing currently in print accomplishes all of these tasks well, with the representative undergraduate as its primary target audience, at least not from an evangelical perspective. Capes, Reeves and Richards now admirably fill this gap, not only with excellent, readable content but also user-friendly sidebars explaining the significance for modern life of numerous ancient events and customs. At the same time, they teach us to think more like members of Paul's first-century Mediterranean audiences to interpret Paul's writings more accurately. A rare gift to both the church and to academia!"

Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"Helpful to all those who use it because it enables students from the modern world to see Paul and his world in a new light."

Ben C. Blackwell, The Expository Times, April 2010

"Capes, Reeves, and Richards mind the gap between Paul's world and ours as they help the student move between these two. They present a well-informed portrait of Paul that will profit the careful student greatly and may even draw in the less-attentive member of the class."

Gene L. Green, Bulletin for Biblical Research

"Rediscovering Paul should be considered for text adoption by any undergraduate professor seeking to introduce students to this central figure in the church. Admirably covers a considerable amount of territory in a short compass and should serve entry-level students well."

Gene L. Green, Bulletin for Biblical Research, 19.3, 2009

"Well written, informative and enjoyable. Their short sections "So what?" and "What's more" provide useful support. Strongly recommended."

Robert S. Dutch, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 31.5, 2009

"An introductory text that gives a fair overview of Paul, his writings and his theology; giving special consideration to those topics in light of Paul's world as he lived it."

Biblical Reformation (, May 17, 2009

"Rediscovering Paul is an introductory textbook designed for upper-division undergraduate or beginning seminary courses on Paul. Those who adopt it as a textbook will appreciate the broad coverage of Paul's environment and writings, the engaging analysis of many important issues in Paul, and the commitment of the authors to allow Paul to speak an authoratative word to our generation."

Kenneth Berding, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, June 2008

"It contains so many gems I don't know where to begin to list them.", August 24, 2008

"An excellent resource for studies in the Pauline epistles."

Pulpit Helps, December 2007


Introduction: The Challenges of Rediscovering Paul
1 Rediscovering Paul in His World
2 Paul, the Letter Writer
3 Paul?s Conversion, Call and Chronology
4 The Itinerant Paul: Galatians
5 The Itinerant Paul: The Thessalonian Letters
6 The Itinerant Paul: The Corinthian Letters
7 The Itinerant Paul: Romans
8 The Imprisoned Paul: Letters to Churches
9 The Imprisoned Paul: Letters to Individuals
10 Paul?s Theology
11 Paul?s Legacy
12 Paul?s Letters to Our Churches
Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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