My Favorite Intro Level Books about St. Paul the Apostle

intro books paul, pangea blog

In this post, I want to point you toward some of my favorite introduction level books on Paul. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and I do not have the seminary student in mind. I do have a person in mind that has some background in the study of Paul in a general sense, but even if you don’t, these books can catch a person up.

I also invite your feedback. What other books could I add to this list. Of course, I’m only going to get as “reformed” as my friend Michael Bird, so I may not add too many classically “reformed” or Lutheran-type introductions here. Yes, I’m naming my bias. And Mike, that comment is meant in love and respect, hahaha! 🙂 But please, do give suggestions in the comments, from any perspective. Just because I might not be willing to recommend them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth engaging and knowing about.

Here are some of my favorite introduction level books on Paul:

  • Paul: A Very Short Introduction (E.P. Sanders)
    • E.P. Sanders’ big book, Paul and Palestinian Judaism, singlehandedly changed the landscape of Pauline studies by reframing Judaism as a religion of grace. This very short book summarizes his views of Judaism and Paul.
  • Reinventing Paul (John Gager)
    • The radical perspective on Paul is outline here in a very helpful way. John Gager builds on the work of Lloyd Gaston (Paul and the Torah) and other early “within Judaism” scholars.

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  • jekylldoc

    I was surprised not to see Crossan and Borg’s book (“The First Paul”) listed here. It’s the only thing I have read directly on the subject, but it seems pretty compatible with N.T. Wright.

  • Doug Harink’s “Paul Among the Post-liberals”.