Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The Letters of Paul, Fifth Edition: Conversations in Context by Calvin J. Roetzel
Calvin Roetzel's The Letters of Paul has long been established as the most effective textbook for introducing Paul and Paul's writings to undergraduate and seminary students. This new edition updates the text to include new scholarship developed after the fourth edition's release in 1998. The result is a wonderful basic textbook on Paul's letters.
I think the only problem I really had with this book was the author stated that this book was for the "non-specialist". I think it would be quit difficult to understand and interpret if you have no background at all in Paul's writings. It would be best to read Paul's writings then read this book for further insight. Other than that I found the book enjoyable. I thought is was a terrific introduction to the Apostle Paul from a historical standpoint that was wrote in a clear and concise language. Roetzel divides Paul's letters into the categories of undisputed and disputed and gives us a chronological outline for each of Paul's writings, which I found very helpful. Overall I enjoyed this book and now have more in depth insight to the controversial issues in Paul's writings. I will leave you with this that I feel sums up Paul. "...he raised hard questions that the church had to face. And he dealt with real issues most of which still lie near the heart of humankind." (190)
About the Author:
Calvin J. Roetzel is Sundet Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis. He also serves on the Council of the Society of Biblical Literature.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss in return for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.