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July 2016 Vol. 53 No. 11

Fortress Press/Augsburg Fortress

The following review appeared in the July 2016 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email


Sanders, E. P. Paul: the apostle's life, letters, and thought. Fortress, 2015. 862p indexes afp ISBN 9780800629564 pbk, $39.00; ISBN 9781506404974 ebook, contact publisher for price.

Without doubt, Sanders (emer., Duke) is one of the most influential contemporary figures in Pauline studies.  His monumental works on Judaism and Paul forever changed Pauline studies and Christian perceptions of Judaism.  In this massive magnum opus on Paul and his letters, Sanders makes a lifetime of research and reflection available for nonspecialists.  Though he intentionally leaves out much of the scholarly apparatus that typically accompanies modern scholarship, the insights will satisfy the appetites of specialists.  The book is divided into two parts: "Paul's Life," chapters 1–4, provides rich discussion of the life of Paul; "Paul's Letters," chapters 5–24, offers provocative probings of undisputed letters of Paul (excluding Philemon).  Finally, Sanders rewards the reader with two appendixes, one on homosexuality, the other on the other location of Galatia.  Sanders has already made valuable contributions to the so-called new perspective on Paul, and this study continues that process.  Nevertheless, the value of the work is not limited to those who support that interpretive paradigm.  Proponents of the classical Augustinian/Reformation and more recent “Paul within Judaism” paradigms will be richly rewarded as well.

--J. R. Asher, Georgetown College

Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.