Paul, A Novel  -     By: Walter Wangerin Jr.
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Paul, A Novel

Zondervan / 2001 / Paperback

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Product Description

With vivid imagination and scholarly depth, award-winning author Walter Wangerin Jr. weaves together the history of the early church with the life story of its greatest apostle - Paul. Wangerin begins to unfold Paul's incredible life by imagining the childhood and early family life of a boy then called "Saul". A fierce prosecutor of Christians before his conversion, Paul never lost his fiery dedication, boldness, and strong personality. After his shocking encounter with God on the road to Damascus, he applied his formidable strengths to spreading the gospel. Wangerin deftly reveals Paul's character through each stage of his life, and enables us to see Paul's character through each stage of his life, and enables us to see Paul the person, living and complex, viewed through the eyes of his contemporaies: Barnabas, James, Prisca, Seneca, and Luke.Paul's rich interaction and brilliant dialogue with friendsand foes, leaders and slaves, Jews and Greeks, creates a swift and intense historical drama around the man who spread the seed of the Gospel to the ends of the known world.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 512
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 9.0 X 6.0 X 1.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0310243165
ISBN-13: 9780310243168
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

An intimate portrait of a complex individual through whom God was at work, turning the world upside down. With vivid imagination and scholarly depth, award-winning author Walter Wangerin Jr. weaves together the history of the early church with the life story of its greatest apostle--Paul. Wangerin begins to unfold Paul’s incredible life by imagining the childhood and early family life of a boy then called "Saul." A fierce prosecutor of Christians before his conversion, Paul never lost his fiery dedication, boldness, and strong personality. After his shocking encounter with God on the road to Damascus, he applied his formidable strengths to spreading the gospel. Wangerin deftly reveals Paul’s character through each stage of his life, and enables us to see Paul the person, living and complex, viewed through the eyes of his contemporaries: Barnabas, James, Prisca, Seneca, and Luke. Paul’s rich interaction and brilliant dialogue with friends and foes, leaders and slaves, Jews and Greeks, creates a swift and intense historical drama around the man who spread the seed of the Gospel to the ends of the known world.

Author Bio

Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin’s writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children’s story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the millions. The author of over forty books, Wangerin has won the National Book Award, New York Times Best Children’s Book of the Year Award, and several Gold Medallions, including best-fiction awards for both The Book of God and Paul: A Novel. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he is Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University.

Library Journal

In 1998, Wangerin wrote the acclaimed The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel. Here he turns his attentions to the tireless apostle Paul. A devout Jew fluent in the scripture of the Torah, Paul actively persecutes the fledgling Christians until Jesus strikes him blind and opens his eyes to the new faith. Then Paul casts off the hatred that led to the stoning of Stephen years earlier and shares his joy in the Lord with a disbelieving world. As Paul's story unfolds from the viewpoints of the people around him the slight, bantam rooster figure takes on an ethereal happiness that draws followers to Jesus wherever he goes. Barnabas, Prisca, Timothy, Titus, Lydia, James, Simon Peter, Simeon Niger, and others share good and bad thoughts of Paul, adding layers to an already complex figure. Paul only speaks for himself in letters. At times humorous, at times appalling, Paul's voice reaches beyond the pages of fiction to exhort a fundamental love of Jesus. For all collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

In his second Bible-based novel, Wangerin delivers an uneven but informative narrative portraying the Apostle Paul as a flawed, confrontational man who inspires either murderous hate or passionate love. Reminiscent of both Eugene Peterson's paraphrased New Testament and Robert Graves's dishy novels about the Roman emperors, this book borrows from the Bible and various other historical sources to chronicle the itinerant ministry of Paul from his preconversion persecution of Christians to his execution in Rome. Each chapter is narrated by a different character--generally one of Paul's close associates--and while this technique successfully brings biblical figures to life, it disrupts the narrative flow. The story is punctuated by epistolary fragments from the Bible-and perhaps most interesting but least connected to the rest of the text-Seneca's gossipy letters about Nero and political intrigues in Rome. To his credit, Wangerin breathes life into the women who are mentioned but never fleshed out in Paul's letters, particularly Prisca, and he takes pains to emphasize the multicultural, multiethnic composition of the first-century church. Nor does he downplay the hardships these groups encountered as they attempted to find common ground. In fact, the novel focuses almost too exclusively on Paul's attempts to reconcile Gentile and Jewish followers of Jesus. While overwrought dialogue about circumcision and Jewish food restrictions is often tedious, readers wishing insight into Paul, the New Testament church and the schisms that nearly destroyed it will be rewarded for their patience. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. Casa Grande, AZ
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    One of the most talented writers I've read
    October 21, 2014
    Katheryn
    Casa Grande, AZ
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is an amazing book. Wangerin is one of the most talented modern writers I have ever read. He knows how to describe a character with such pizzazz that you feel like you are standing next to them. He also has the ability to take a two-minute scene and make it last ten pages, giving the reader a chance to watch every little twitch of every character in the scene. It was interesting how he was able to intermingle the growing up of Nero Caesar during the ministries of Paul, thus preparing the reader for the trial Paul had under Nero, even though the book did not cover that trial. Wangerin introduced several unique and believable twists in plot involving Priscilla that brought to life some of the things mentioned about Paul in just once sentence in the Bible. Even though I did not agree with the charasmatic outpourings of Titus, everything else in the book was outstanding and I am already recommending it to others. This book is 500 pages, but easy to read.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    a good read with an open heart
    September 8, 2012
    T Morgan
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    IF you're thinking to read this as you would the Scriptures, don't bother - that isn't its purpose.

    This story, I believe, is meant to move us in heart to seek the Lord Jesus & serve Him in love all the more. We get an idea of what it was like in the days of Paul so that we will make that same devotion & strength our own. In reading this story I was motivated to read the book of Acts - it too came alive like never before.

    Don't get hung up on the accuracy of how the story is brought together, but do enjoy where it takes you.
  3. Shirley, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book
    April 22, 2011
    Julie
    Shirley, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I bought this book for my son, a new believer. I read this book a few years back and was telling him about it. He seemed intrigued, so I bought this copy for him. It is a great book and puts the reader "back in the day" so that you feel like you are right there, experiencing life in the book of Acts! Great book, fun to read. Makes you feel like you actually KNOW Paul!!!! Happy reading!
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    November 4, 2009
    Raynola Dominguez Dazley
    A wonderful novel, written with a passion and flare that is difficult to find. Well worth the while, take time to read this novel and you won't be sorry.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 18, 2008
    Felicia Nichols
    This novel by Walter Wangerin is a must read! Although when you pick it up please realize that you are reading is a novel,it is not a substitute for the Bible. We often forget that people in the Bible are human and they go through the same struggles we go through and this book really humanizes them and provides a visual to elements in God's Word that we would love to see in more detail (such as Paul's encounter with the Lord that caused his blindness) or Simeon's sharing of his testimony of Jesus at the cross, those who know the Word will have the discernment. I thought this book was awesome-I will be reading his book about Jesus next.
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