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Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  653 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Written by one of the best known and most respected biblical scholars of all time, this illustrated volume explores all of the primary themes in Paul's thought as they developed in the historical context of his life and travels. While Bruce's primary concern is to portray the life of the apostle Paul, he also examines the main themes of Paul's thought, set in their histori ...more
Paperback, 510 pages
Published March 3rd 2000 by Eerdmans (first published December 1st 1969)
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Feb 13, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
At a time when tweets pass as deep insight, it is refreshing to read F. F. Bruce, a scholar who immersed himself in Scripture and could expound on its theological significance in a broad historical context. His work on St. Paul provides valuable insight into his writings and the monumental impact they have had on mankind.

Paul’s conversion has been held up as one of greatest proofs of Christianity. A Jewish Pharisee who piously kept the law and zealously persecuted the early church, he was drama
Scott Ray
Sep 16, 2011 Scott Ray rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful in-debth look at the Apostle Paul. It goes through his theology and his life folding them together in to a very well rounded look at him. Using his life as the bring in the letters at the times he would have written them. Then goes deep into the subjects that he writes about in each of the letters.

Also a very convicting book in that we see what someone who is completely sold out is willing to endure and do for the sake of the Gospel.
Feb 16, 2008 Preston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this one. Bruce covers the life of Paul from a historical viewpoint as can be determined from the pages of the Bible. Interspersed throughout the book are reviews of the letters attributed to Paul. He not only sets forth his own views but presents other arguments by scholars who do not share his opinions. Very good introduction to the life and works of Paul.
Aug 17, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
It's almost ridiculous for the likes of me to give this book by a giant of New Testament studies anything less than five stars, but I do have my reasons. The book, of course, is quite excellent. It is a very thorough study of the life of the Apostle Paul, and for those of us who read Paul's writings for the spiritual instruction we can discern from them, Bruce presents the flesh-and-blood man who was inspired by God to write those works. This inspires a fresh appreciation for Paul.

For the most p
Jul 14, 2015 Rene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teología
Sin duda una increíble pieza de trabajo de F.F. Bruce, una obra académica que no debe dejarse de leer. Impresionante, completo y motivador al mismo tiempo, invita al lector a involucrarse en el marco histórico y espiritual en el que vivió el apóstol Pablo. Definitivamente un Must Read
Jul 09, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic for any Pastor reading or studying Pauline Epistles. I read it in1985, and have gone back to it time and time again in my continuing studies of the PaulineEpistles
Thurman Faison
Oct 17, 2014 Thurman Faison rated it it was amazing
This book is broad in it's scope and deep in it's spiritual emphasis. It covers the life of Paul from a historical perspective and also from a spiritual perspective. His 'Pharisees' mentality before his conversion is contrasted with his 'Personal' experience in the meaning of the redemption as revealed unto him by the risen Christ. The book is full of historical facts and loads of scripture from both the letters of Paul and from the Law and the Prophets. If you are interested in learning more ab ...more
May 30, 2008 Al rated it it was amazing
Still the best single volume book on the apostle Paul in the English language.
Mar 06, 2016 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very helpful study of the life and work of the apostle Paul. Thoroughly referenced, the author deals with the texts of all of Paul's epistles as well as the geography of his travels and the contextual history of the era in which he lived. Bruce cites biblical and extra-biblical sources to examine the influence he had on the Church and her members; the reactions of his contemporaries and recent scholars (Luther, Wesley, Barth) are noted

I have gained a greater appreciation of Paul
Jul 10, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
In this classic 1977 work, F. F. Bruce, a professor at the University of Manchester in England, conducts a magisterial tour through the life of the Apostle Paul. Bruce helpfully sets the stage for the reader by describing the political and social milieux of the Roman Empire of the first century CE, with specific attention to the Greek-speaking lands of the Hellenistic world, where Paul himself lived. Bruce then walks through Paul's life as recorded in the book of Acts. He offers detailed explora ...more
Sherrie Pilkington
Jun 09, 2014 Sherrie Pilkington rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
So...when you write a book, particularly a historical book, it is very important to make it clear whether this is a book for laymen or a book for serious students of the subject. This book does not do that AT ALL. It goes back and forth between explaining the simplest of concepts in details and leaving very complex ideas open ended. There are several places where the author mentions Latin or Greek words without giving any sort of definition for them which makes the context of the sentence incomp ...more
Feb 16, 2010 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
F. F. Bruce is an amazing author. He blends theology, history, culture, and so many other aspects in such a way that one can easily begin to see the story behind the story of the Apostle Paul. His writing style is easy to follow, his language and logic are straightforward, and his research is excellent.

If you are interested in learning more about Scripture, the spread of the early church and Christianity, grab your Bible, this book, and a map, and get ready to have your understanding of Acts an
Ilham Djaja
Jul 20, 2015 Ilham Djaja rated it it was amazing
this is the book on paul the apostle that I read and making me in love with paul
Alan Garrett
Aug 09, 2016 Alan Garrett rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2010 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-studies
A traditional, conservative overview of the life and letters of the Apostle Paul. Bruce was a great scholar and this book, characterized by what you might call sanctified precision, contains a good number of deep, helpful observations.

One downside: Many of the chapters in this book were originally published as articles in journals and magazines. It reads much like the conglomaration that it is.

This is the textbook for "Life of Paul," a course I teach at Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas.
Brent McCulley
Feb 15, 2014 Brent McCulley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
F.F. Bruce's magnum opus, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free is the most in depth and scholastic historiographical and biographical account of St. Paul. Running in a chronological order, Bruce covers Pauline theology, to his historical missionary work. He covers his background to his philosophical thought process. This book as opened my eyes on some very interesting issues, and has blessed me in numerous ways. A must read.

Brent McCulley (11/26/13)
Clint Boyd
May 11, 2015 Clint Boyd rated it really liked it
This book has become a standard for obvious reasons: well-researched, highly informative writing by a reputable scholar. I only wish it had been written after New Perspective. Still, I will keep this book for reference when teaching anything Pauline. The tone is a little dry, but the information is fascinating to anyone willing to listen and consider. Great book. Note: this book was required reading for Survey of the New Testament.
Sep 02, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This was a great blend of history and theology and included a timeline of the life of Paul with corresponding events in Roman history. What an amazing and influential Spirit filled life!
Nov 02, 2013 Brett rated it it was amazing
This engaging book has helped me to think about the life of Paul in a way that illuminate the stories behind his apostolic works.

When reading the New Testament works of Paul I often think of them in relation to how they apply to me and to the Church. However, this book has helped me see more clearly how they applied to the original audience and what necessitated their writing.
Dec 06, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal look at the life and thought of the apostle Paul. Any student of Paul would do well to read this book. Bruce's scholarship and engaging style are unmatched as he examines all the issues and data regarding Paul, reconstructing the apostle's life in an easy-to-follow way as well as reconstructing the thought of the mighty evangelist to the Gentiles
Feb 19, 2008 Kari rated it really liked it
Kind of overwhelming in terms of information presented. It represents the culmination of his life's work and research. Either take the time to appreciate it or read it fast and just get the big stuff. Either way it is a great reference for Pauline theology.
Austin Mcgrath
Feb 14, 2014 Austin Mcgrath rated it it was amazing
All I can say about this book is it is a must read. This is a great chronological biography on the Apostle Paul, ranging from his travels, letters, martyrdom, before his conversion. This book has it all, and did a great job on putting it together.
Ken Garrett
Mar 06, 2013 Ken Garrett rated it it was amazing
A classic, must-read work on the life of Paul, with more-than-adequate treatment of the particular historical-geographical-cultural circumstances of the cities and regions associated with Paul in the NT. Useful reference tool.
Erik Ronningen
Sep 14, 2011 Erik Ronningen rated it it was ok
Interesting, not often I think about Paul in such a scholarly manner. Gives one a great appreciation for his unrelenting care and concern for those he led.
Aug 26, 2011 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great reference by one of the greatest Biblical scholars of recent history. I have always enjoyed FF Bruce's insightful writings.
Jul 20, 2010 Hlu rated it really liked it
I really like this book. Great insight on Paul's life, his letters and the relationship between the gentile church and the Jewish church.
Katie Freeman
Aug 27, 2009 Katie Freeman rated it liked it
Lots of great information...however, lots of information. Definitely for someone who is really interested in this type of read.
Thomas Kinsfather
Bruce discusses Paul's life, theology, culture, and writings in great length. Technical and scholarly.
Chris Ong
Jan 25, 2010 Chris Ong rated it it was amazing
very thorough and informative book. can't put it down ... there's so much background on Paul and his books.
Brian Chilton
Dec 14, 2013 Brian Chilton rated it really liked it
Great book. Somewhat wordy in parts. Excellent resource for those studying the life of Paul.
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  • Paul: An Outline of His Theology
  • An Introduction to the New Testament
  • A Theology of the New Testament
  • The Message of Romans: God's Good News for the World
  • The Book Of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (NIGTC)
  • Romans
  • The Epistle to the Romans
  • Greek New Testament
  • New Testament Introduction
  • The Gospel According to John I-XII (Anchor Bible Series, Vol 29)
  • The Book of Revelation, Revised
  • Psalms 73-150
  • Paul's Letter to the Philippians
  • Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary #1)
  • Jesus and the Gospels
  • An Introduction to the Old Testament
  • The Gospel of Mark (New International Commentary on the New Testament)
  • What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?
Frederick Fyvie Bruce FBA was a Biblical scholar who supported the historical reliability of the New Testament. His first book, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (1943), was voted by the American evangelical periodical Christianity Today in 2006 as one of the top 50 books "which had shaped evangelicals".
More about F.F. Bruce...

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