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The Apostle: A Life of Paul (John Pollock Series) Paperback – January 7, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Pollock, a Cambridge-educated clergyman, became Billy Graham's authorized biographer early in the evangelist's career. His biographies include The Master: A Life of Jesus, available from Victor Books in this pocket-size format. John Pollock and his wife, Anne, reside in Devonshire, England.

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Product Details

  • Series: John Pollock Series
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (January 7, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564762424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564762429
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 101 people found the following review helpful By John Wicklund on September 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
We know some things about Saul of Tarsus (later named the Apostle Paul) but a complete biography is always lacking because of sketchy and incomplete information. Most everything we know from Paul is from the Dr. Luke in the Book of Acts or Paul's epistles themselves. II Peter Chapter 3 makes some very intriguing statements. Peter, in some of his last earthly words before martyrdom, validates Paul's apostleship and states that some of his writings and teachings are difficult but that we should follow them.

Pollock's book is presented as documentary-style reading since Paul's complete biography is not entirely clear. There is much the author states is inference or speculation. If you can respect that and not build doctrine and facts on where the evidence is fuzzy, I think this is an excellent book.

One example of "fuzzy" facts that Pollock considers is the age-old controversy over the authorship of the Book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews does not identify himself and scholars argue who wrote it. Pollock speculates that Paul, while imprisioned in Acts Ch. 24 for two years may have had time and motivation to write the book to the people he so desparately wanted to reach. With his imprisonment and his controversial style among the Jews, he may have left his identity anonymous so he himself would not be a stumbling block to reach his Jewish brothers. Eternity will reveal who wrote the Book of Hebrews but it is certainly a plausible theory.

Overall, the greatest benefit in reading this book is to provide a better framework for understanding Paul as he travels among the early churches and wrote letters to them correcting the various false teachings and problems that developed.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read the bible, especially the New Testamant, many times and over the years have gotten a good picture of what Paul's life and spiritual development was like. Or so I thought. The author does a wonderful job of making Paul and his times come alive. This is not scripture (although there are many quotes), but reading it will make the Pauline letters come alive in a way that only a great writer can. A definite recommendation for everyone from a long-time Christian.
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Rather like scientists who argue tentatively from "inference to the best explanation," John Pollock mitigates his speculations with what seems a broad scholarship and familiarity with relevant topography, historical accounts, archeology, biblically cross-referenced clues and implications, and hermeneutics. The result is an outstanding biography of the first century evangelist who influenced the course of human history more than any political figure has. At one point, discussing "a certain political event in Ephesus" during an account of what is known as Paul's second missionary journey, Pollock describes his method in these words: "Paul's story enters a brief though vital period when the facts are obscure. Luke turns very discreet." After citing a highly plausible political explanation for Luke's discretion, he continues: "What happened must be pieced together from clues scattered aground the New Testament and in secular history. . . A biographer has to decide between slowing to a halt here in a bog of conflicting possibilities which can never be resolved, or striding boldly across a causeway of conjecture. I choose the second course and, without stepping aside to discuss all the alternatives, tell the story as I see it. Paul's next eighteen months unfold somewhat as follows, though the tone of assurance in my narrative must not disguise that some of its conclusions are tentative and disputable." (p 192) This excerpt furnishes a good picture of Pollock's approach when some speculation is necessary to flesh-out the story.

The book is an extremely enjoyable reading experience. This from chapter 15: Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke, "probably in the last week of July 50 [AD]," under sail from Troas: "They did not think of themselves as passing from the continent of Asia to Europe.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
John Pollock has written what I believe to be an excellent biography on one of the most influential people (behind Jesus Christ, of course!) of the Bible - Paul formerly known as Saul of Tarsus.

Throughout the book Pollock includes biblical stories of Paul's experiences and writes the book in a biographical style. Included are the following events from Paul's life:

1. Presence at Stephan's stoning.

2. Conversion on the Damascus Road.

3. Various missionary journies.

4. Conflict with Barnabas over John Mark.

5. Relationship with Timothy.

6. Shipwreck and landing at Malta.

7. Final days in Rome.

As you read the book, you will see that Pollock is true to the New Testament accounts of Paul's life.

Read and enjoy. Recommended.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
John Pollack does a remarkable job of presenting the life of the great Apostle Paul. I would recommend this work to all who really want to grasp the essence of not only the Apostles life but the time period in which he lived. Pollack gives fantastic details of the first century Graeco-Roman world. His impeccable scholarship and spiritual maturity combine to produce a work that encourages the reader to dig deeper into the sacred text, which is the foundation of the biography. Of special interest to the Bible student is the considerable background information of the Pauline epistles ie, the context of each one in relation to the Apostles life. Anyone who seriously questions the authenticity of the New Testament would glean much credible information from this book. Pollack presents the Apostle as a flesh and blood man transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and hope you will to.
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