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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (351 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: N. T. Wright Narrator: to be announced Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 27, 2018 ISBN: 9780062834195
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In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology—transforming a faith and changing the world.

For centuries, Paul, the apostle who “saw the light on the Road to Damascus” and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church’s most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Wright argues that Bible scholars and pastors have focused so much attention on Paul’s letters and theology that they have too often overlooked the essence of the man’s life and the extreme unlikelihood of what he achieved.

To Wright, “The problem is that Paul is central to any understanding of earliest Christianity, yet Paul was a Jew; for many generations Christians of all kinds have struggled to put this together.” Wright contends that our knowledge of Paul and appreciation for his legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of his Jewish heritage. Giving us a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the human and intellectual drama that shaped Paul, Wright provides greater clarity of the apostle’s writings, thoughts, and ideas and helps us see them in a fresh, innovative way.

Paul is a compelling modern biography that reveals the apostle’s greater role in Christian history—as an inventor of new paradigms for how we understand Jesus and what he accomplished—and celebrates his stature as one of the most effective and influential intellectuals in human history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The life of one of Christianity’s founders is told by renowned biblical scholar N. T. Wright, who believes that in focusing on Paul’s letters and theology, scholars and pastors have not considered Paul as a person and in the context of his times.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In eloquent and inviting prose, one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars retells the story behind the story, the story of the Apostle Paul.”

    Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary

  • “An enthralling journey into the mind of Paul by one of the great theologians of our time, a work full of insight, depth and generosity of understanding.”

    Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, author of Not in God’s Name

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex Decker | 2/17/2014

    " I had to read this book for class, so perhaps I didn't enter into reading this book with the most enthusiastic attitude. To start my knowledge of Paul is poor, so there might have been something I would have found more interesting I had the full story in my memory bank. I was not a huge fan of this book. I understand the intent of the book was to start a conversation, but it fails because the theories that it creates are pretty poor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dale Brown | 2/9/2014

    " This was a very dense book. I did not expect it to be such. However, it was a wonderful read. N.T. wright presented a very concise and yet thorough presentation of his Pauline Perspective in light of historical Pauline studies. It was a great introduction to that topic, though it might be a little difficult for some people to get into right away. If you work through though you will have a better understanding of St. Paul and his writings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent Wilson | 2/4/2014

    " Based on a set of lectures, this book assumes a lot from readers - that you understand the pauline scholarship at at least a beginner's level. So it can be dense at timss. Full of interesting insights and analysis, consistnt with Wright's "traditionalist" stance. I found it persuasive and helpful in understanding Paul. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 2/4/2014

    " A great, concise work on understanding the many worlds Paul straddled and which gave shape to his writings. A great primer on "The New Perspective on Paul." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 1/29/2014

    " N. T. Wright is always interesting and enjoyable to read; he is amazing with words. As his title infers, he does offer a "fresh perspective" on interpreting Paul. The question remains, is his interpretation correct? I don't see it necessary to say that either he's completely right or completely wrong. There are no doubt some salient points raised that will contribute to a better understanding of Paul. On the other hand, some of the fresh perspective that he offers goes too far. As a proponent of the "New Perspective", this definitely comes out in his writing. As Wright alludes to, the "New Perspective" is a moving target and there is not agreement among scholars holding to this perspective. Ultimately, my current sentiment is that there are some points that he raises that are worth adding to our understanding of justification by faith, but it is NOT the only or definitive word on the issue. It is far to forced, simplified, and reductionistic. The strength of his book is rooting and grounding Pauline thought in Judiasm, the 2nd Temple context, and covenants, which frame the lenses by which Wright then interprets Paul. Anyone interested in, or who studies Pauline Epistles will both want and need to read this work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 1/28/2014

    " This a the kind of book that paves the way for a real challenging encounter with our postmodern culture. This controversial orthodox scholar is paving the way for seeing the gospel in light of the biblical narrative. Paul is set in a context that makes his portion of the canon come to life. I read this while preaching through 1 Thessalonians and found it to be extremely helpful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa Koch | 1/20/2014

    " A little wordy and dense, but very educational and thought provoking. A great challenge to see Paul through first century eyes with 21st century questions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 1/1/2014

    " An alternate way of looking at the writings of the Apostle Paul. It is a deep book based on lectures. It is not for the casual reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 12/19/2013

    " I Read a different edition. Helped shed some new light on the Epistles and Paul's life, but I'm not sure Wright is correct on some of what he argues. Overall, quite good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 12/16/2013

    " Refreshing and insightful look indeed bringing some new thoughts and perspectives to the life and writings of Paul and his theology. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben Rothman | 12/8/2013

    " Unintelligble! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven Wedgeworth | 11/22/2013

    " A good way to begin learning Wright's perspective on Paul. Some exciting insights, but a good bit of historical ignorance. Also, too much grandstanding about "new" and "fresh" discoveries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ejkotynski | 8/10/2013

    " It was hard to find much positive to say about Wright's book. He is vague, unclear, and lacks good footnotes. It is obvious why Piper wrote a book to refute him (because Wright is so influential) on these seemingly weird ways of looking at Paul. Wright's book "Justification" is far better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Coates | 1/16/2013

    " A great work, but the best is "The Theology of Paul the Apostle" by James D. G. Dunn. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brenda | 9/26/2012

    " The only reason you should read N.T. Wright on this subject is to become aware, NOT to learn. And be sure you know the truth first because he is sneaky. He uses many of the right words but means something completely different because he has changed their definition. Beware... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew Simone | 9/27/2011

    " This change my perspective on Paul. I do not look at the New Testament the same way. He will challenge ideas and traditional readings in ways you never thought you would imagine, yet he still manages to be "orthodox." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 9/10/2011

    " As always - NT Wright is way smarter than me and has a very intriguing fresh look at Paul. Be prepared to have him turn your brain soft and gooey as he brain dumps a new way of understanding Pauline literature! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Herrick | 5/28/2011

    " really, really good. Lots of new insight in "The New Perspective" on Paul movement. You'll never read Paul's epistles the same. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shu Lindsey | 5/27/2010

    " "Not 'Cogito, ergo sum' but 'Amor, ergo sum': I am loved, therefore I am. That is where Paul is in Galatians, 1 Corinthians and above all Romans." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 2/19/2010

    " I Read a different edition. Helped shed some new light on the Epistles and Paul's life, but I'm not sure Wright is correct on some of what he argues. Overall, quite good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 5/1/2009

    " Refreshing and insightful look indeed bringing some new thoughts and perspectives to the life and writings of Paul and his theology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 3/13/2008

    " really, really good. Lots of new insight in "The New Perspective" on Paul movement. You'll never read Paul's epistles the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 12/6/2007

    " This change my perspective on Paul. I do not look at the New Testament the same way. He will challenge ideas and traditional readings in ways you never thought you would imagine, yet he still manages to be "orthodox." "

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About the Author

N. T. Wright, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, now serves as chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. He is the award-winning author of such books as Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, After You Believe, Simply Jesus, How God Became King, and the series Christian Origins and the Question of God, and he is the translator of The Kingdom New Testament.

About the Narrator

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In January of 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an internet troll who impersonated her dead father.