For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Bible Resource Spotlight: Illustrated Life of Paul

posted by Mike Nappa

Reader Appeal: Seminary Professors and Students

Genre: Biography / History

FBSN Rating: C+

As far as biographies go, the Illustrated Life of Paul can seem a bit dry. It comes off as more of a “travel guide to the life of Paul” than an actual story of Paul’s life. Author, Charles L. Quarles, is a seminary professor writing for other seminary professors, which explains his deliberately academic, sometimes inaccessible writing style. He clearly expects this book to be used as a textbook in Bible schools across the nation, which is fine except for the fact that his knowledge of the Apostle Paul’s life presented in this way obscures it from millions of “pew-sitter” Christians who would otherwise love it. That kind of purposeful academic exclusivity feels elitist and shortsighted to me…but I digress.

From an academic perspective, this “dry” reading of the Apostle’s life is a treasure trove of detail and history that’s hard to match anywhere else. Quarles clearly enjoys his subject matter, and he’s delivered a well-researched, thorough exploration of what we know about Paul and his writings. And that’s a big deal, considering that roughly one-third of the New Testament is either about Paul or written by him. And as time has proven, Paul was the most influential Christian theologian in all of history. Deepening our understanding of his life, times, and letters is not only a worthwhile pursuit, but a necessary one for any true Bible Study Nerd. In that way, the Illustrated Life of Paul is a true gem of a resource, though it might take a little digging to get to the real treasures herein.

Additionally, this book contains over 150 color illustrations (maps, photos, charts, illustrations) which really do help break up the text and offer unique visual insights into the content. Background information on every one of Paul’s New Testament letters is invaluable, as is Quarles’ chronological approach that places those letters within the context of the Apostle’s missionary journeys and other life events.

In all, though I’d prefer that this were a book I could share with non-academics, the Illustrated Life of Paul still offers a wealth of history that any serious student of Scripture will find rewarding.

Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles L. Quarles

Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles L. Quarles

(B&H Academic)

 

ΩΩΩ

About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Previous Posts

Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Theological Commentary)
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” You’d think that the crowd of people hearing Jesus speak those words to a paralyzed man would have rejoiced. In that society and time, illness such as paralysis was directly linked to specific sins committed by the afflicted person. Having his sin

posted 12:00:51pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Cultural Commentary)
The mysterious relationship between sin and sickness is a question that’s brewed for hundreds of generations. Is a man sick because he sins, or is physical sickness independent of spiritual and moral cause? Ancient Judaic thought had settled on the assumption that every sickness was punishment

posted 12:00:50pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cultural Commentary)
What was the deal with the drowning pigs? When Jesus healed two demon-possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes, the demons begged to be exorcised into a nearby herd of swine (Matthew 8:29-33). Jesus granted that request, so the demons inhabited those pigs. The whole herd subsequently stampede

posted 12:00:04pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Historical Background)
The first thing that Matthew tells about the two demoniacs in 8:28 is that they were “coming from the tombs.” Mark, in his similar account of the event, reveals that at least one of these men actually “lived in the tombs.” This is an important detail with both cultural and historical signifi

posted 12:00:03pm Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
The exorcism account that Matthew tells in 8:28-34 is generally believed to be the same event also documented in Luke 8:26-39 and Mark 5:1-20. Matthew and Luke abbreviate the details, and thus are sometimes assumed to have drawn from Mark as the source, though that assumption is primarily conjecture

posted 12:00:02pm Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.