Item description for Paul and His Letters by John B. Polhill...
Overview A book on the life, writings and thoughts of Paul, designed to serve both as a textbook for students and a source book for pastors.
Except for Christ himself, no figure has been more influential in the history of Christianity than the apostle Paul. And yet his remarkable life remains shrouded in mystery. In this probing new book, John B. Polhill scrapes away the myths about this great man and uncovers the truth of his life and thought.
Using Acts, the Pauline epistles, and reliable traditions from non-canonical sources, Polhill weaves together the remarkable story of Paul's transformation from persecutor to persecuted, producing a dynamic account of his entire ministry. By placing each of Paul's letters in its proper historical context, Polhill brings new light to these foundation stones of the Christian faith. He follows Paul from his early years in Tarsus and Jerusalem to his imprisonment and eventual martyrdom, painting a detailed, comprehensive portrait of Paul that will serve as an indispensable resource for students, teachers, and pastors alike.
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Studio: B&H Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.33" Width: 6.27" Height: 1.68" Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 1999
Publisher B&H Publishing Group
ISBN 080541097X ISBN13 9780805410976 UPC 634337029993
Availability 0 units.
More About John B. Polhill
John B. Polhill is the professor of New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of the Acts volume in the New American Commentary, along with numerous articles, reference works, and symposia.
Reviews - What do customers think about Paul and His Letters?
Strong Historical Commentary Apr 18, 2008
Polhill gives a thorough survey of the life of the apostle Paul in conjunction with commentaries on each Pauline Epistle. He presents many debated issues in Pauline scholarship, and he proves fair to all sides of the arguments. Occasionally, he argues a better case for the option he has not chosen--while this may seem discouraging at first, it actually allows the reader to come to his/her own conclusion regarding each historical/scholarly debate. Thus, I found this volume to be very valuable in my study of Paul and his epistles. Like any reader, I would not accept everything Polhill advocates in the book, but overall he is Biblically sound and insightful in many respects.
In short, this book is a must for those first-century history buffs and anyone interested in Paul's theology.
Objectively Paul Apr 11, 2008
This author does a tremendous job of evaluating others hypothesis. The argumentation is very plain spoken. The reading can be a bit thick at times. Great book for reference library.
Excellent Intro to Paul & His Letters Apr 7, 2008
A previous reviewer wrote,
"But you do not get anywhere near the depth of discussion you do in most commentaries devoted to one or two letters. There is no passage-by-passage analysis and little discussion of the Greek text. Again, a helpful introduction, but not much more."
Indeed, a very helpful introduction. And it was not written to be "much more," so I wouldn't hold that against the book.
I had to read this book in seminary for a NT II intro class taught by the author of the book, Dr. Polhill. His material in class is very closely related to the material he has in his book. So you are getting a seminary level introduction to Paul and his epistles.
But don't let the word "seminary" scare you away from this book! I am not your average seminary student. I don't care to read books that are overly complicated or hard to read and Polhill does not disappoint. I found the book engaging in many respects and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an introduction to Paul and his epistles.
this will do Jan 22, 2007
there is so much literature on the apostle Paul and related subjects, it can be overwhelming to attempt even half way keeping up with it. This book does a nice job at introducing Paul studies by focusing on the basics of who this apostle was, and then dealing with his writings in the new testament. It basically gives background info to Paul and what he was about, then it goes through Paul's wrintings, giving background info on them and explaining the content. This book displays a high amount of learning on the subject, but it's presented in a fashion that is within the reach of the non-specialist. It is meant more as an introduction rather than an exhaustive treatment so it won't answer all questions and concerns related to Paul studies, but it is a very good place to start if one is wanting to learn Paul's theology by getting into his new testament writings and understanding what they are about.
Covers a Lot of Ground, but Not In Much Depth Aug 27, 2004
Paul and His Letters is something of a hybrid. On one hand its a Pauline history, in the vein of Bruce's Apostle of the Heart Set Free, and on the other hand it offers commentaries on all of Paul's epistles. Taken as a whole I do not think the format is a complete success, but Polhill knows his stuff and has a lot to offer the layperson.
The history of Paul is ably covered, with Polhill discussing Paul's background, conversion, and missionary activites. On occasion he offers some insights not always emphasized by others, such as the unique inclusion of the Greek proverb about kicking "against the goads" only when giving his testimony to a very hellenized client-king.
The discussion of each letter covers most of the bases, but not in much depth. Still, in addition to questions of authorship, he covers many notable issues, such as whether Philemon is actually three redacted into one and the authorship of 2 Thessalonians. But you do not get anywhere near the depth of discussion you do in most commentaries devoted to one or two letters. There is no passage-by-passage analysis and little discussion of the Greek text. Again, a helpful introduction, but not much more.
Though I realize Polhill is accomplishing a lot in one book, I wish he had spent more time on some issues of particular importance. One example is his dismissive attitude towards the early authorship of Galatians. He notes the theory, but sets it aside with little explanation. Such an issue seems crucial not only to the Pauline chronology but to understanding one of Paul's most important letters--The Epistle to the Galatians. Still, it is the price of admission for covering so much ground in one book.
If you are looking for a broad overview of Paul and a broad introduction to each of his letters, all in one book, Paul and His Letters fits the bill. Otherwise, you might want to shell out the money and buy a few books on the same subjects.