"Richards has rendered a service to all by writing an extremely accessible book that avoids scholarly jargon to allow anyone who is interested in this topic to see how this relates to Paul the letter writer. Bible collectors and others seriously interested in the Bible will not look at Paul's letters in the same way again after reading this most readable book." (Bible Editions & Versions, January-March 2010)
"A wecome and accessible contribution to Pauline and epistolary studies. It contains a wealth of material . . . that effectively sets Paul and his letters against the backdrop of first-century letter writing conventions." (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 2005)
"For those who want an over-the-shoulder look into Paul's world, this is the book. Richards guides the reader with a sure hand, sifting through a wide array of ancient texts and artifacts to reconstruct an engaging picture of Paul's letter writing. But there are bonus features: one also learns about life in the city and marketplace; travel by land and sea; customs at home, school, and in the company of friends; and a host of other topics. Rarely does a book this size offer so many insights, sometimes challenging common opinion but always illuminating. This treasure trove, written in readable style with eye-catching pages, will attract students of Paul and Greco-Roman history again and again." (Dr. Bruce Corley, President and Professor of New Testament and Greek, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute)
"A comprehensive, impressive, insightful, informative and engaging account of letter writing in the ancient world with primary emphasis on the composition and collection of Paul's letters. Richards builds upon--but expands--his earlier work (The Secretary in the Letters of Paul,
1991) by including additional information about the mechanics of writing letters (all the 'nuts and bolts'), the role of coauthors and colleagues (such as Timothy, Sosthenes, Tertius, Silas), and the significance of preformed material and interpolations for understanding issues of Pauline authorship. The book is the fruit of sound historical research and cautious scholarship. It is a major contribution to the field, bound to be read with profit and treasured by teachers, pastors and students of the New Testament." (Arthur G. Patzia, Professor of New Testament, Fuller Northern California)
"Amplifying his astute monograph, The Secretary in the Letters of Paul
(1991), Dr. Richards offers here an insightful, well-organized and very readable study of an important issue in New Testament research. He is at his best in the discussion of secretaries and their tools in the ancient world. While not all will agree with every viewpoint expressed, all can profit from this important contribution to our discipline." (E. Earle Ellis, Research Professor of Theology Emeritus, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)
About the Author
E. Randolph Richards (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the School of Ministry and professor of biblical studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is author or coauthor of Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, Discovering Paul, The Story of Israel
and Paul and First-Century Letter Writing.
Richards served five years as a campus ministries director at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and then was appointed with his wife Stacia as a missionary to east Indonesia, where he taught for eight years at an Indonesian seminary. He then served as the chair of the department of religion and philosophy at Williams Baptist College and later as the chair of the department of missions at Ouachita Baptist University. His scholarly articles have appeared in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Southwestern Journal of Theology, Bulletin for Biblical Research
and Biblical Illustrator.
Missions remain on the hearts of Randy and Stacia and they frequently lead mission trips to Southeast Asia. Randy conducts missionary training workshops and regularly leads tours of the Holy Land, Turkey, Greece and Italy, and is a member of the American Society of Missiology and the Evangelical Missiological Society. He has served as interim pastor of numerous churches and resides in Wellington, Florida.