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Publisher's Summary

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and best-selling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology - transforming a faith and changing the world. 

For centuries, Paul, the apostle who "saw the light on the Road to Damascus" and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church's most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Wright argues that Bible scholars and pastors have focused so much attention on Paul's letters and theology that they have too often overlooked the essence of the man's life and the extreme unlikelihood of what he achieved. 

To Wright, "The problem is that Paul is central to any understanding of earliest Christianity, yet Paul was a Jew; for many generations Christians of all kinds have struggled to put this together." Wright contends that our knowledge of Paul and appreciation for his legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of his Jewish heritage. Giving us a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the human and intellectual drama that shaped Paul, Wright provides greater clarity of the apostle's writings, thoughts, and ideas and helps us see them in a fresh, innovative way. 

Paul is a compelling modern biography that reveals the apostle's greater role in Christian history - as an inventor of new paradigms for how we understand Jesus and what he accomplished - and celebrates his stature as one of the most effective and influential intellectuals in human history. 

©2018 Nicholas Thomas Wright (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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An important read for church leaders

I love N.T. Wright, but I was confused when I first saw the title of this book. Was Wright trying his hand at fiction and trying to tell back the story of Paul from a first person view? If not, how much could he really say in a biography of Paul based off of the information we have today?

It ends up that there is a lot you can say about a person’s life by reading their mail and by working with all the other sources and studies out there. Wright takes us deep into Paul’s life, noting what we can firmly understand and what we can at times only speculate upon. It makes for a great read—in fact, an essential read for church leaders to truly understand the author that wrote so much of the New Testament.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fine Narration

Wright’s work needs no introduction, but Langston’s fine narration also deserves credit. He perfectly captures Wright’s brand of scholarly prose with occasional first-person digressions and handles theological terminology and Greek and Latin quotations with aplomb. First rate performance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Perfect

This is one of the greatest books on Paul that I have ever read. Wright’s insight based upon his years of study has produced a page turner, where you hate to put the book down because you want to know what happened next and why. His ideas and reasoning into what motivated Paul is sheer brilliance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Impact

Wright presented Paul and I tasted Christ. Plausible reasoning about how Paul’s genius and energy helped the story of Jesus as Messiah of Israel take hold across the Roman Empire as

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A bit of a snoozer

Slow, dry and ultimately boring, the author tries to make up for this by adding some literary flourishes without providing a lot of evidence for how he knows certain specifics (how Paul was feeling, what he was thinking, etc.) Given that we have just 7 letters from Paul, it seems a bit of a stretch to be able to write an historically accurate biography of his life. And I think this book proves that.

Paul is a fascinating figure, and I find the story of early Christianity exceptionally interesting. But this book fails to capture the revolutionary essence Christianity must have had on early converts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A disappointment, my fault for wrong choice

What would have made Paul better?

I should have got Paul and the Faithfulness of God, perhaps. 'Paul' is much too chatty, a bt like listening to hours and hours of BBC's Prayer for the Day. Christian history 'popularisers' have a standard lifeless rhetoric they use for the 'faithful', an attempt to be over sweetly reasonable. Wright tries to fill in the gaps in what pieces of the Paul jigsaw puzzle we have and it becomes over guessy. Not surprising since if the portrait of Paul is a jigsaw of 2,100 pieces and we have only 500, there's lots of space for surmising. I have gone back to the incomparable H.V.Morton 'In the Steps of St Paul' (1936). Morton doesn't have 2018 state of the art Pauline scholarship but his picture of pre-WWII world gives a better 'feel' about 'what makes Paul tick' (N.T.Wright's often used phrase)..

Would you ever listen to anything by N. T. Wright again?

Not if N.T.Wright writes interminable 'Prayers for the Day'.

Any additional comments?

Did Paul invent 'Jesus'? I'm sure N.T.Wright would have an interesting answer to this.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Good N.T. Wright. More apologetic than biography

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, and I have done so already. Especially if you are unfamiliar with N.T. Wright's take on Paul and the New Testament, I think this is compelling, readable, and reliable.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Wright provides the historical context to help a modern day audience grasp the way Paul understood his own life and work. Least interesting to me... I quickly grew tired of the caveats and defensive tone. Wright is probably the world's leading biblical historian, and (in my opinion) should have taken the liberty to offer a more dramatic interpretation of Paul's life without frequent pit stops and caveats to defend against his detractors. A quick epilogue referring to his many tomes defending his interpretation would have sufficed. This inside baseball resulted in good book, but not a great biography.

What does James Langton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A rich, deep, and clear voice--outstanding!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The description of Paul as a zealot gave me a deeper appreciation for his overwhelming enthusiasm for the gospel.

Any additional comments?

Worth the read, as are most of Wright's books, just don't expect the imagination and drama that one should expect from a great biography. Expect more of what Wright does best, taking scholarly history and making it accessible.

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a supreme achievement

Wright's interpretation of Paul's life build on a lifetime of study. He masterfully outlines the events of Paul's life taking into account the cultural and historical context of his time and the written evidence we have from and about Paul. Highly recommended for any reader, this is not solely an academic work. It serves as an excellent introduction to Paul and the early Mediterranean church for any thinking Christian, in particular.

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Fascinating story

Fantastic read even for a novice. We hear so much about the life that Jesus lived but in my opinion, know little about the apostles. This book gives an in-depth view into St. Paul’s life and the crusade he endeavored on, risking everything including his life. I was unfamiliar with N. T. Wright but after listening to this story I am encouraged to discover more of his work.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful