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The Life and Work of St. Paul (2 vols.)

by Farrar, Frederic William

E. P. Dutton & Co. 1902

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Overview

Of this work, F. W. Farrar writes, "My chief object has been to give a definite, accurate, and intelligible impression of St. Paul’s teaching; of the controversies in which he was engaged; of the circumstances which educed his statements of doctrine and practice; of the inmost heart of his theology in each of its phases; of his Epistles as a whole, and of each Epistle in particular as complete and perfect in itself."

"In our custom of studying the Bible year after year in separate texts and isolated chapters, we are but too apt to lose sight of what the Bible is as a whole, and even of the special significance of its separate books. I thought, then, that if I could in any degree render each of the Epistles more thoroughly familiar, either in their general aspect or in their special particulars, I should be rendering some service—however humble—to the Church of God..."

Preface to the Print Edition

IN the Life of Christ I endeavoured, to the best of my power, to furnish, in the form of a narrative, such a commentary upon the Gospels as should bring to bear the most valuable results of modern research. By studying every line and word of the Evangelists with close and reverent attention; by seeking for the most genuine readings and the most accurate translations; by visiting the scenes in the midst of which our Lord had moved; by endeavouring to form a conception at once true and vivid of the circumstances of the age in which He lived, and the daily conditions of religious thought and national custom by which He was surrounded—I thought that, while calling attention in large to His Divine Nature as the Incarnate Son of God, I might be enabled to set forth in clear outline the teaching and the actions of that human life which He lived for our example, and of that death which He died for us men and for our salvation.

In that work it was no small part of my object to enable readers to study the Gospels with a fuller understanding of their significance, and with a more intense impression of their reality and truth. In the present volume I have undertaken a similar task for the Acts of the Apostles and the thirteen Epistles of St. Paul. My first desire throughout has been to render some assistance towards the study of that large portion of the New Testament which is occupied with the labours and writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles; to show the grandeur of the work and example of one who was indeed a "vessel of election;" and to bring his character and history to bear on the due comprehension of those Epistles, which have bequeathed to all subsequent ages an inestimable legacy of wisdom and knowledge.

In order to accomplish this task, I can conscientiously say that I have used my best diligence and care. Circumstances have precluded me from carrying out my original intention of actually visiting the countries in which St. Paul laboured; and to do this was the less necessary because abundant descriptions of them may be found in the works of many recent travellers. This branch of the subject has been amply illustrated in the well-known volumes of Messrs. Conybeare and Howson, and Mr. Thomas Lewin. To those admirable works all students of St. Paul must be largely indebted, and I need not say that my own book is not intended in any way to come into competition with theirs. It has been written in great measure with a different purpose, as well as from a different point of view.

My chief object has been to give a definite, accurate, and intelligible impression of St. Paul’s teaching; of the controversies in which he was engaged; of the circumstances which educed his statements of doctrine and practice; of the inmost heart of his theology in each of its phases; of his Epistles as a whole, and of each Epistle in particular as complete and perfect in itself. The task is, I think, more necessary than might be generally supposed. In our custom of studying the Bible year after year in separate texts and isolated chapters, we are but too apt to lose sight of what the Bible is as a whole, and even of the special significance of its separate books. I thought, then, that if I could in any degree render each of the Epistles more thoroughly familiar, either in their general aspect or in their special particulars, I should be rendering some service—however humble—to the Church of God...

Product Details

  • Title: The Life and Work of St. Paul (2 vols.)
  • Author: F. W. Farrar
  • Publisher: Klock & Klock
  • Publication Date: 1902
  • Pages: 1,365

About F. W. Farrar

Of the great men from Cambridge's Trinity College who have made a significant contribution to the cause of Christ, F. W. Farrar (1831-1903), at one time a minister in London's famous Westminster Abbey and later Dean of Canterbury, deserves to be remembered...The value of Dr. Farrar's writings lay in his ability to combine 'an honest and robust faith with wide and accurate scholarship.' So much so that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the out-spoken Baptist preacher, said that his study of the life of Christ was 'THE work on the subject. Fresh and full. The price [of the 1874 edition] is very high, and yet the sale has been enormous.
...In the case of the published works of Dr. Farrar, and particularly in connection with his Life of Christ, we have such excellence of coverage, such a beautiful blending of piety and scholarship, such vividness of description, and such a dramatic portrayal of the events as they unfold in the Gospels, that few readers could ever hope to produce a work of such literary and theological excellence. Within the pages of this book we are treated to the best scholarship of the period. This discussion of Christ's life and teaching, person and work, will amply repay the reader for the time he spends reading this book.

—Cyril J. Barber, Author, The Minister's Library

For more from F.W. Farrar check out:

See also: Biographical info at Pitts Theology Library