Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Review: Charts on the Life, Letters and Theology of Paul

Lars Kierspel has done students of the New Testament a great service in providing the Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul. One of the most recent additions to the Kregel series of Charts on the Bible, Kierspel’s book continues to take the “chart book” genre to the next level. No longer are charts simplistic and for basic students; this series has shown that charts can serve more serious students with in-depth tools that are able to cover a wide array of issues and concerns.

The book is divided up as follows:

Paul’s Background and Context

Paul’s Life and Ministry

Paul’s Letters

Paul’s Theological Concepts

My favorite charts have to do with Paul’s Prayers (pp. 57-60), the snapshots of individual letters (pp. 109-140) and his key theological concepts (the entire section). I can see myself using these in my own devotions. Much of Paul’s writing easily lends itself to lists (esp. his lists of virtues and vices peppered throughout his writings).

Another great feature is the comments section at the back, where Kierspel tells us where he got his material, why he arranged it the way he did, and some cursory conclusions of the material. It is difficult to imagine any topic having to do with Paul not addressed in some form in this book. Both students and scholars will find it indispensable.

The only negative remarks I would have would be based on some typographical errors I found (and see other reviewers have as well). Overall, this book makes me want to teach bible classes again!

This review copy by Kregel Academic provided free of charge for the purposes of an un-biased review.

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