This scholarly yet accessible work, now available in paperback, explores the apostle's pre-conversion days, missionary travels, and theological contributions. A specialist in archaeology, the author draws on his more than forty years of teaching experience as well as knowledge gained from extensive travels to the places Paul visited. Paul is a comprehensive and readable presentation of Paul's ministry and theology that weaves together historical backgrounds, archaeological discoveries, and theological themes.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part examines aspects of Paul's life as a Roman citizen and the leader of the early Christian church, including Paul's place within the Jewish rabbinic traditions. McRay details Paul's sudden, intense conversion and the beginning of his ministry and concludes with an exploration of Paul's journeys. The second part offers a detailed treatment of the form, structure, and theology of Paul's letters as they relate to the world in which he lived, also highlighting their continuing importance today. Included in this examination are discussions of Paul's theology of the atonement, understanding of the law of Moses, and view of the church.
Professors and students will appreciate the book's broad scholarship and the pedagogical features found throughout, including links to other resources, maps, diagrams, and photos taken by the author during his travels. Pastors and church leaders will use it as a reference, and laypeople will gain a deeper understanding of Paul and his contribution to the Christian church.
John McRay (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is emeritus professor of New Testament and archaeology at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author of Archaeology and the New Testament and coauthor of Bible Archaeology. Also a professional photographer, the author includes many of his photos in this book.