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Paul: His Life and Teaching

ISBN: 9781441251602

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This scholarly yet accessible work explores the apostle's pre-conversion days, missionary travels, and theological contributions. A specialist in archaeology, John McRay draws on his more than forty years of teaching experience as well as knowledge gained from extensive travels to the places Paul visited. Paul is a comprehensive and readable presentation of Paul's ministry and theology that weaves together historical backgrounds, archaeological discoveries, and theological themes. Included in this examination are discussions of Paul's theology of the atonement, understanding of the law of Moses, and view of the church.

Professors and students will appreciate the book's broad scholarship and the pedagogical features found throughout, including links to other resources, maps, diagrams, and photos taken by the author during his travels. Pastors and church leaders will use it as a reference, and laypeople will gain a deeper understanding of Paul and his contribution to the Christian church.

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Resource Experts
  • Academic yet readable work
  • Emphasis on historical and geographical context
  • Includes maps, diagrams, and photos

Top Highlights

“In summation, the objective view emphasizes the actuality of atonement as a fact of history. Something objective happened at Calvary, whether anyone responds or not. In the Dramatic categories of this view (ransom and classical), the emphasis is on the deity and power of God as the divine, primary agent in atonement. In the Latin approaches (satisfaction and governmental), the emphasis is upon the humanity and obedience of Christ as the human, primary agent whose incarnation is dominant. In the subjective view, by contrast, atonement is purely potential. It never occurs until someone believes and is responsive to the gospel message.” (Pages 315–316)

“Whether Paul knew it or not when he started his journey, God intended for him to enter Europe. He was being sent ‘far away to the Gentiles’ (Acts 22:21), and the launching point was Troas. Furthermore, had Paul sailed from any other port, he would not have found Luke, who joined him here. Perhaps the same prophecies that led Paul to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:18) also led him to Luke.” (Page 138)

“At this point Leviticus 16 must be considered, for it gives an account of the ritual performed in the tabernacle/temple each year at Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) by the high priest.” (Page 322)

“The omission of the name Ephesus in the oldest manuscripts of Ephesians may indicate that Acts and Ephesians were used in Asia as introductory letters to a Pauline corpus.” (Page 350)

“We believe in Christ, not that we might be justified by that belief, but that we might be justified by his faith(fulness) to God in the atonement.” (Page 355)

A significant contribution to Pauline studies. As one of the few substantial works on Paul written by an evangelical, it will probably find its place as a textbook in many colleges.

—John Aloisi, Westminster Theological Journal

The strength of this book is the author's extensive knowledge of the geography and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean world.

—J. E. Lunceford, Choice

McRay's book should be a welcome addition to the field. . . . This book will provide an informed overview of the topic.

—John D. Harvey, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

  • Title: Paul: His Life and Teaching
  • Author: John McRay
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 480

John McRay is professor emeritus of New Testament and archaeology at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois.


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