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Paul Apostle of the Heart Set Free Paperback – March 3, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (March 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802847781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802847782
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is head and shoulders above all other Paul books I've ever read. The quantity of information that Dr. Bruce covers is massive, yet he does it in a very understandable and well organized fashion. I cannot imagine a more well-written book on the topic of Paul.
Bruce includes a tremendous amount of historical background in order for the reader to better comprehend who Paul was, and why he lived and acted the way he did. I especially enjoyed Bruce's theory on the development of Paul as a person throughout his life. Many people forget about all of the events in Paul's life and how those events would change a man.
I honestly cannot think of anything negative to say about this book. If you want to know more about Paul (and early Christianity), then I can think of no better starting point than right here.
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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Brian Gamel on July 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the only book written exclusively about Paul that I have read and the only one that I think I will for quite some time. When I began my search for a good biography of the life of the apostle Paul I spent many hours sifting through editorial reviews all claiming strong accolades for each book I ran across. I eventually bought this one if nothing else than lack of desire to find "the one." Ironically, I think I did.
Bruce's portrayal of Paul is full and complete, covering the span of his life as well as the history, culture and geography of its setting. Each chapter is neatly categorized under numbered main ideas while still expounding a full thesis throughout. The design, as well as the content, of the book is superb.
I was concerned that I would not be able to find a book on Paul that combined both literary criticism and scholarship with a moderate to conservative outlook on Christianity in general. My concerns vanished after the first few chapters and I began to see the scope of Bruce's writing. Perhaps the most gripping aspect of the book is Bruce's ability to present Paul as a real person instead of merely an iconoclastic image of a legend. By combining both scholarship and straightforward hermenuetics the apostle springs to life as a threefold person, for Paul was a man of heart, mind and action and no element is neglected at the expense of the other. The reader is allowed to glimpse at Paul's personality as an audaucious and perhaps blunt individual who nevertheless is steadfast in his determination to complete the mission given to him by the risen Christ. Paul's heart is clearly seen in his interaction with is fledgling congregations while his mind is picked at for the tremendous ideas and thought he developed that affected the rest of christendom.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on December 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
If ever there was a complete work of the apostle Paul, this is it. And it is written by no less an expert than one of the 20th century's foremost Christian scholars, F.F. Bruce. Now that it's in paperback, every Christian ought to examine it for himself. The problem is, we're such a light-hearted fictional society (yes, I'm talking about us Christians) that many might never touch this book with a 10-foot pole. There's not enough plot to it, I can hear someone say. (Are you kidding? Who could have lived any fuller a life than Paul? He was the MAN!) In addition, another possible complaint could be that it's not written in an easy-flowing biographical style. True, but at the same time, this is not an impossible book for the average layperson to understand. That's why the publisher has made it available in paperback.
Let me say, if you consider yourself a person who loves the Word of God, a book like this will only enhance your study. It takes us from the beginning of Saul/Paul's life and opposition to the Way all the way to his imprisonments and death, with an emphasis on the apostle's theology. In effect, Bruce gives us the complete context to help us understand the situations that caused Paul to write the way he did. You will want to have your Bible nearby when you read it. Another valuable tool in this book is its index. This book could be used when carefully studying Acts or one of Paul's epistles. The background information the book provides what is probably more valuable than a set of NT commentaries. While the book can be either read or just utilized as a resource, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best single work on Paul that I have ever seen.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book, Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free, written by the evangelical, conservative biblical scholar, F. F. Bruce, is a summary study of the life of Paul. Bruce writes from a conspicuous learned background, yet his voice is elegant, discernible, and vivid. A book like this is the yearning of every student of biblical studies, particularly those with moderate to conservative beliefs and not always in agreement with the liberal, school of history approach taken by other books of this genre. Bruce is concise, comprehensive, and enjoyable. The book is a collection of writings by Bruce, some from as early as 1969, while much Bruce apparently wrote new when publishing the book in 1977. He ties them together very well, with only a minimum of repetition. One exception is the often repetitious analysis of Paul's Roman citizenship and it significance. Some chapters at first disappointed me with the shallow treatment of a topic, but I was usually relieved when finding a more fully developed examination of the same topic in a later chapter.Bruce relies heavily on the book of Acts, whose historical value, in characteristic conservative fashion, he generally accepts unquestionably.
One objection I have to Bruce is that he does not allow for a Hellenized Paul. Bruce argues firmly the Paul was a "Hebrew born of Hebrews." On page 43, and 127, Bruce argues that Paul's Judaism was free from Hellenistic influence, from which Paul had been sheltered since childhood. Several other studies have shown that Judaism, and particularly Pharisaism, was significantly influenced by Hellenism during the second temple period, despite their attempts to resist it. The Greek language and traditions were hybridized with local cultural environments.
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