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.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • 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


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