Stanley Porter has recently published another book, The Apostle Paul: His Life, Thought, and Letters (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016). As an overview of the major issues on this significant figure, the book divides into two major sections. The first addresses several important aspects of Paul, including who he was, his chronology, his thought and theology, Pauline epistolography, and pseudonymity and canon. The second part addresses the major issues in the thirteen letters attributed to Paul, including the conventional introductory matters, special issues for each letter, a suggested outline, and a synopsis of each letter.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the first chapter, which includes descriptions of the various aspects of Paul, including a summary of his theory (in a recently published book When Paul Met Jesus) where Porter posits that Paul probably had encountered the pre-crucified Jesus as a devout Pharisee. Another favorite includes the section on the Pauline letter collection and canonization, where he reiterates his theory that Paul kept a collection of all 13 of his letters as he wrote them, related to and extending Trobisch’s theory of the Pauline letter collection.
Written as a comprehensive introduction to Paul, Porter has not shied away from trying to break new ground in certain areas. Time will tell, but this appears so far to be a book that will be a standard text for seminary courses on Paul.
— David I. Yoon
< Table of Contents >
Part 1: The Pauline Tradition
1. Paul the Person
2. The Chronology of Paul’s Ministry and His Imprisonments
3. Background to Paul’s Thought
4. Major Themes of Paul’s Thought and Writings
5. The Pauline Letter Form
6. Pseudonymity and Formation of the Pauline Canon
Part 2: The Pauline Letters
8. 1-2 Thessalonians
9. 1-2 Corinthians
11. Prison Epistles: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians
12. Pastoral Epistles: 1-2 Timothy, Titus