Before I could walk and talk my grandfather, who was a pastor, would read to me, for hours at a time, the letters of the apostle Paul. Now I know why this marvelous servant of Christ meant so much to him. The New Testament tells of a man who died with Christ and rose with Him to live an extraordinary life. His legacy is simple: He turned the world upside down.
Paul was a superior man. He was a man of action, traveling the Roman Empire to make the Gospel of God known to Jews and Gentiles. He had the genius of friendship, making converts and friends everywhere he went—and enemies too!
I invite the student to venture out into the unknown with Paul, to experience his hardships, rigors and joys of being a pupil, persecutor, preacher, pioneer, protester, partner, pastor, prisoner, and practitioner.
This illustrious thinker and theologian wrote thirteen New Testament books and he dominates the Book of Acts. He was a man of vision and determination. At the end of his life, the apostle wrote: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” My heart’s desire is that this study will encourage each student to do likewise.
I have attempted to bring the geography and history together, having myself visited many places of Paul. Another objective was to observe Paul’s theology develop over the course of events and time so we might apply it to our time and circumstances.
The events come from the Book of Acts and Paul’s writings and the dating of these events are my best guess, I have placed the writing of Paul’s letters where most scholars agree. The dating of Galatians is a very thorny issue. The internal and external evidence is divided for an early and late writing of this letter. I have chosen to place it before the Jerusalem Council of A.D. 50,
No individual in history, except Jesus and possibly Shakespeare, seems to have prompted so many books, commentaries and essays as this man of God. Paul’s Life and His Teaching draws on the work and insights of a select few of these scholarly works. The selected bibliography lists the primary books on Paul’s life that I have employed in the preparation of this study. In addition, biblical dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries and introductions have provided a wealth of information. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Homer Kent, Jr., who taught me the Book of Acts at Grace Theological Seminary.
Robert P, Conway