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Paul of Arabia: The Hidden Years of the Apostle to the Gentiles

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What does a person do when his life has just taken a complete U-turn? This was the question Paul faced after his conversion on Damascus Road. In the end, he decided to go to Petran Arabia, where he stayed for more than two years. In this exercise in reconstructing what Paul’s time in Petra would have been like, Ben Witherington recreates the scene of various interesting possible episodes in Paul’s life, about which the New Testament says little, filling in the gaps of “the hidden years.” Who would he have met in Petra? Would he have practiced his leather working trade? Might he have gotten married? What did he do to raise the ire of King Aretas IV, and cause him to be chased all the way back to Damascus and out again? Why did he wait so long to go up to Jerusalem and visit with Peter? This and much more is addressed in this fast-paced novella, with sidebars explaining the context of the events in the story.

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  • Explores what could have been the life of Paul, during his “hidden years” after his conversion
  • Creates a narrative that follows Paul’s journey into Arabia
  • Integrates some sections for a closer look at certain aspects of the unfolding story
  • Desert Storm
  • The Nomadic Nabateans
  • Aliens and Allies, Slaves and Thieves
  • Arrival at the Rose City
  • Solitary Saul
  • The Love of Labor
  • News From Judaea
  • Trouble in Zion
  • Festival Time
  • The Jewels of Petra
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Quickening
  • The Journey to Aela
  • The Spy
  • A Close Shave on the Wedding Day
  • Marital Bliss
  • Planning the Journey to Jebel Musa
  • Wafi in the Lead
  • Sailing South
  • A Long Day’s Journey into Night
  • The Mountain of Moses
Ben Witherington gives us an imaginative and informed journey into Paul’s ‘hidden’ years and into one of the most colorful yet unfamiliar sites in the orbit of biblical history—Petra—while Jason Myers takes advantage of every opportunity to take us deeper into the realities of the New Testament world. This novel is particularly valuable for the windows it opens into travel, the everyday life of craftspeople, the vicissitudes of family life, and the dangerous realities of scapegoating in the first-century Roman Empire.

David A. deSilva, author of Day of Atonement: A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt and A Week in the Life of Ephesus

Ben Witherington III unleashes his vivid imagination once again to recreate what might have happened during Paul’s ‘hidden years.’ Romance and intrigue await the reader who dares venture into the colorful Nabatean city of Petra. The closer look sections by Jason Myers supplement the storyline by providing fascinating insights into daily life in Paul’s day. So climb aboard your virtual camel and begin the trek!

Mark Wilson, Asia Minor Research Center, Antalya, Turkey

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.


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    Digital list price: $27.00
    Save $5.01 (18%)