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Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters [Kindle Edition]

Michael J. Gorman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Unlike the many books that treat the apostle Paul merely as a historical figure and his letters as literary relics, this new study by Michael Gorman focuses on the theological message of Paul’s writings, particularly what they have to say to the contemporary church.

An innovative and comprehensive treatment of Paul, including commentary on all of the Pauline letters, Gorman’s Apostle of the Crucified Lord unpacks the many dimensions of Paul’s thought carefully and holistically. Six introductory chapters provide background discussion on Paul’s world, his r�sum�, his letters, his gospel, his spirituality, and his theology, while the main body of the book covers in turn and in full detail each of the Pauline epistles. Gorman gives the context of each letter, offers a careful reading of the text, and colors his words with insightful quotations from earlier interpreters of Paul.

Enhancing the text itself are questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter and numerous photos, maps, and tables throughout. All in all, Apostle of the Crucified Lord is the ideal book for students and any other readers interested in seriously engaging Paul’s challenging letters.

Editorial Reviews


Jeffrey S. Siker "This book is written in a very accessible style to students of different levels, and at the same time it is a deep exploration of what lies at the heart of Paul's theological vision. Michael Gorman provides a sure and steady guide to Paul, contextualizing his life, letters, and theology every step of the way. Gorman's ability to emphasize the stories of the churches underlying Paul's letters - the story within each letter - is a particularly welcome feature of the book. This is the best textbook on Paul I have found." Warren Carter "This fine book is accessible and informed, insightful and engaging. With well-chosen emphases, Michael Gorman provides a comprehensive, clearly arranged discussion of Paul as apostle, pastoral theologian, and writer of very important letters."

Product Details

  • File Size: 10561 KB
  • Print Length: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing; annotated edition edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001GCUP2O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,443 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Summary of Paul December 8, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is ideal for a student, but more so for someone bogged down in the minutiae of Pauline studies looking to regain perspective. Gorman doesn't let you miss issues surrounding what we don't know with certainty -- text or authorship, whether a phrase is Paul's or an appropriated hymn, if he was married or haunted my some psychological demons -- but his emphasis is on reaching a more historically informed and theologically sophisticated understanding what we need to know better: Paul's proclamation of Christ crucified and raised.

This is a book that every serious student of the Bible should have.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Paul December 16, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are thinking about beginning a serious study of Paul and his life then this book is a wonderful place to start. Gorman is an elegant writer and does a thorough job explaining Paul and how his canononical written letters relate to his life and teachings. Gorman is very upfront with his thoughts and doubts; for instance he details his thoughts on Pauline authorship of the letters and honestly conveys how his thoughts have changed through his career.

The summaries of the letters are concise but thorough. In addition he provides an up to date bibliography on the best full commentaries currently available.

If Paul and his letters have intrigued you and you want to know more about the man and his writing, then this book will provide a solid foundation and provide you with many more avenues to explore in your reading.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid stuff... May 29, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gorman's book was an assigned text for a seminary course on the Pauline letters. In "Apostle of the Crucified Lord," he undertakes the substantial task of not only providing helpful background and analysis of Paul and the context of his ministry and writing, but also offers one chapter of commentary for each of Paul's letters. Such a sweeping task legitimately warrants almost 600 pages of text. Thankfully, Gorman does a good job of streamlining his analysis to keep the book somewhat manageable.

Gorman's approach is both academic and accessible. His work cites authors across various streams of theology, and his conclusions are gracious but not generic. He offers his own opinions while granting that other thoughtful positions exist on many particular issues. I have a hard time throwing him into either a conservative or liberal theological camp (which I suspect aligns with his intentions).

Though his writing style was a bit dense at times, this book is one that will have a prominent place on my bookshelf, and I expect that I'll be referring to it frequently over the years to help me continue to more fully appreciate and better understand the depth and breadth of all that God wants to teach us through the letters of his faithful apostle, Paul.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good June 17, 2013
This is, in many ways, a good book. Gorman is a clear, often engaging writer. He has thoughtful things to say, and brings a balanced, sensible perspective to controversial issues, such as the authorship of the Pauline letters, Paul's relationship to Christological and Trinitarian doctrine, and Paul's soteriology vis-a-vis the New Perspective. For instance he's mercifully free of the most radical New Perspective readings, and seems to be distilling views I associate with N. T. Wright. Similarly, and rightly to my mind, he insists that Paul has a "high" Christology against some recent trends (e.g. Dunn). Here he particularly stresses Philippians 2:6-11, which he calls Paul's "Master Story." Gorman also emphasizes, in an illuminating way, I think, the significance of suffering in Paul's thought. Good stuff.

What makes this book often very frustrating, however, is Gorman's argumentation, or rather, the lack thereof. He offers a few interesting chapters at the beginning of the book about major background issues (Paul's Mediterranean world, or the "core" of his spirituality, letter writing, etc.), and then chapters on each of Paul's letters. These are the frustrating ones. He moves through each book passage by passage, more or less summarizing the text. The effect is that he often spends far too much space on passages that anyone who can read carefully would have a good grasp of, but far too little space on difficult issues in Paul's thought. This results in Gorman simply making assertions about what's "best supported" or "most likely" without much (one wants to say, any) exegetical or argumentative support (e.g. his treatment of the unity of 2 Corinthians, or his discussion of what the "justification" word-family means).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had the opportunity of reading and subsequently reviewing this book for a pauline theology seminar at my school last semester, and I was pleased to do so. Gorman has made his greek orthodox voice within pauline scholarship a bit louder through the publication of apostle of the crucified lord. His fresh perspective offers a wholesome, ecclesiastical approach to Paul and his milieu which allows him to scrutinize the majority of pauline scholarship through the lens of church history. Rather than using this perspective as a sort of pedestal to gloat, Gorman seizes it as an opportunity to criticize Paul and his "theology" fairly and thoroughly. Furthermore, this text is a fantastic resource to own because of its convenient and concise commentary of Paul's letters found within the second half of the book.

However, this book contains quite a bit of flaws as well. One in particular being its faulty advertisement. It claims to be a "theological introduction", but with an extant of 592 pages, I would hate (or love..) to see how large his actual pauline theology book would be. Moreover, it seems as if the content of the book isn't entirely appropriate for a student who is being introduced to Paul for the first time. Besides the first couple chapters which explain simply the milieu, context, and reason for which Paul is writing, the rest of the book functions as a text to be read by those already introduced to pauline theology. Also, amongst other material flaws, Gorman's position on a few subjects go a bit awry throughout his discourse. For instance, his position on the pauline authorship of highly disputed texts, particularly 1 Timothy, change towards the end of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best St. Paul scholarship books I have read
Michael J. Gorman has written a masterpiece of scholarship about St. Paul. He is clear and comprehensive in his dealings with the texts. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Keller
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent work on the Apostle Paul
This is an excellent work on the Apostle Paul. It spells out his background against the Jewish, Hellenistic and Roman culture of his time and the specific lens which he preached... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Greta Grey
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome exegetical source
I bought this book as a course required text for my degree in Religious Studies with a concentration on Biblical Studies. Read more
Published 10 months ago by coffeemancer
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowing Jesus, knowing Paul.
This book gives a great history of what the Roman Empire was like during the time of Jesus and the early church. The life of Paul is like an extension of Jesus life. Read more
Published 12 months ago by cxarroll smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and...
It was very informative and worked well with my class. It answered questions that I didn't understand when I read passages from the bible for my class.
Published on October 19, 2012 by rengland
5.0 out of 5 stars Understnding the Apostle Paul
This book is truly above so many others about Paul. Gorman's writing style is pleasing, and his presentation of Scripture texts around the theme he develops is truly striking and... Read more
Published on June 7, 2009 by Patricia L. Marks
4.0 out of 5 stars Apostle of the Crucified Lord
This is a very fine book, written with some of the questions Catholics are most interested in while addressing the standard problems of reading St. Paul. Read more
Published on January 14, 2008 by Charles Maloney
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tool.
The book Apostle of the Crucified Lord is a great tool to be used when examining Paul's letters. It really help to understand the times that they were written in and the culture... Read more
Published on March 10, 2007 by M. Schaefer
5.0 out of 5 stars Pauline Epistles
This book offers a wonderful background of the world surrounding the letters of Paul. It also thoroughly and individually covers the letters of Paul and their aspects. Read more
Published on February 19, 2007 by Jaime A. Rantanen
3.0 out of 5 stars Apostle of the Crucified Lord
Decent look at Paul, but definitely not from a Conservative point of view. I found it frustrating at times, and a bit verbose.
Published on January 15, 2007 by J. T. Rothman
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More About the Author

Michael J. Gorman is the Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where he has taught since 1991. He is a New Testament scholar who specializes especially in the letters, theology, and spirituality of the apostle Paul. His additional specialties are the gospel of John, the book of Revelation, theological and missional interpretation of Scripture, and early Christian ethics. In addition, he has a strong interest in the relationship between church and culture. From 1994 to 2012 he was Dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's.

He earned his B.A. degree summa cum laude in French from Gordon College in Massachusetts. He received the M.Div. and the Ph.D. cum laude in New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where he was also a teaching fellow in New Testament and an instructor in New Testament Greek. He has also been a visiting professor at Duke Divinity School, Wesley Theological Seminary, Mars Hill Graduate School, and Grand Seminare Notre Dame de l'Esperance in Cameroon.

He is the author of ten books and numerous articles on Biblical interpretation and on ethics. An avid traveler, he has also led several study trips to the cities of the apostles Paul and John in Greece and Turkey.

Michael Gorman was the 2005 recipient of The Fortress Press Award for Innovative Teaching in Graduate Schools and Seminaries, theological education's "teacher of the year" award. He also sits on several editorial councils and other professional committees. A United Methodist, he is an active layperson and a popular teacher at churches, institutions of higher education, and conferences representing many traditions.

Visit Michael Gorman's blog:

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