A Bird’s Eye View of Paul

Michael Bird, an excellent young professor, gives us something we really need: a readable, up-to-date, avoid-the-fads approach to the apostle Paul. The book is for students, college and seminary and adult classes. Cleverly, Mike Bird calls his book A Bird’s Eye View of Paul. The wit of the title is matched by the wit in the book. It’s fun, it’s readable, and I hope you buy it. And I hope if you teach Paul that you will use this book.

I’ve got a backlog of books and I thought I’d use the month of June to get some of these in. I’ll be reviewing more books than usual, but you take your pick. We’ve got a bumper crop of some good, new books.
Well, what’s in Bird’s Bird’s-eye? Good question.
He has a nice panorama of how we approach Paul: persecutor, missionary, theologian, pastor and martyr. Then he has a nice chp on Paul’s conversion, the various stories that come to play in Paul’s own story and theology, a sketch of Paul’s letters (just the right length, too), a wonderful summary of Paul’s gospel and his eschatology and his christology, and then two nice chps on ethics and spirituality.
This is a book that I will be recommending all the time.

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  • http://krusekronicle.typepad.com Michael W. Kruse

    I bought this book a few weeks ago but haven’t quite gotten to it yet. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  • Brad Cooper

    Now on my Amazon Wish List….Thanks, Scot! :)

  • http://robopa.blogspot.com Rob

    If anyone has read this book, I’m curious what level of treatment is given to the New Perspective? Hopefully a good amount?

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Rob,
    A nice sketch of the NPP; Mike wrote another book that tossed peace into the NPP discussion.

  • Dan Reid

    I agree, this is an excellent introduction to Paul! IVP-USA will be publishing it next spring (2009), and (despite Scot’s enthusiasm for the U.K. title) under a different title: Introducing Paul.
    Dan Reid
    IVP Academic

  • Nick Mackison

    Agreed Scot. It’s a peach of a book. I’m reading it just now and have put all other projects aside. He seems to have a remarkable balance in that he walks a fine line between the NPP and a Reformed perspective. Bird seems to draw the good stuff from both viewpoints without fully endorsing either and in so doing gives a fresh and satisfying read.
    Shame the title is changing for the US version. How about: “Bird Eye for the Lay Guy”? 😉

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Dan,
    Where’s the humor in IVP? This is a memorable title; Introducing Paul is bland. How about this for a title?
    If You Want to Walk with Paul, You Better Have Good Balance!

  • http://communityofjesus.blogspot.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    I should have been a teacher somewhere with a budget that allows myself to buy this book and use it for the students.
    But hopefully many will do so. And I hope I get to read it, as well.

  • Dianne P

    it’s out of stock at amazon ;-( but on my wish list there 😉

  • Matt Walsh

    IVP should go with #6! lol