Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paul: An Outline of His Theology” as Want to Read:
Paul: An Outline of His Theology
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paul: An Outline of His Theology

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Now back in print in a beautiful new paperback edition, this study by one of Europe's foremost New Testament scholars provides a comprehensive exposition of the teaching of the apostle Paul. / Firmly grounded in a careful exegesis of the biblical text and crafted with constant reference to the wealth of scholarly study of Paul's writings, this volume is a standard for inte ...more
Paperback, 587 pages
Published September 11th 1997 by Eerdmans (first published October 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paul, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paul

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jacob Aitken
This book was the godfather of soul in making the discipline of biblical theology both exciting and orthodox. Ridderbos correctly noted unifying themes in Paul and resisted the urge to comparmentlize Paul and treat him like a professor of Systematic Theology. Rather than offering a full review of each part of the book, I'll set forth some conclusions from the book:

1. When Christ came he inaugurated the new eschatological time of salvation, marking a new re-creation of the world via Christ's deat
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 14, 2011 Steven Wedgeworth rated it really liked it
This book claims to have been translated into English. I remain unconvinced. Still, this is a heavyweight book of mid-2ith century Reformed Biblical theology. Much of the best of the NPP was anticipated in Ridderbos without the bad. I'm not fully satisfied with all of Ridderbos, but he's still a measuring stick.
Lisa Oharek
May 04, 2017 Lisa Oharek rated it liked it
Read thru pg. 361
John Yelverton
Mar 23, 2017 John Yelverton rated it really liked it
This is a pretty extraordinary work about the Apostle Paul and his teachings, perspectives, and overall theology. My only complaint is that Herman Ridderbos uses an unnecessary, verbose vocabulary which will send the reader scrambling for a dictionary on more than one occasion.
Jan 06, 2011 Nathan rated it really liked it
This is one of those theology books that you ought to read if you want to be a theologian. Ridderbos systematizes Paul, and that has real value for theology. It has some drawbacks, too, which I'll get to in a few paragraphs.

While I read this book from cover to cover over nearly four months (about 6 pages a day, resting on Sundays), the real value of the book is as a reference volume, and not one to read through. It isn't a commentary per se, but it helps you grasp what Paul was getting at topica
Jan 21, 2013 Brendan rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, nonfiction
Let's be honest. This was a THICK book. Nearly 600 pages of dense, dutch reformed thinking on the doctrine of Paul in the new testament. And I didn't make it through.

I started this book because of a class I am taking on ItunesU, which calls the student to read chapter 3, but I grew ambitious enough to try and tackle the whole thing. I made it about 300 pages. Which, I believe, is a colossal feat!

My expectations of this book were fairly high due to the other book I read by Ridderbos, Redemptive H
Tsun Lu
Dec 02, 2012 Tsun Lu rated it liked it
The beginning chapter of Ridderbos' Paul: An Outline of His Theology is a very significant introduction in light he uncovers the various non-Christian philosophical influences and agenda behind multiple approaches to the Pauline studies where a "widespread group of interpreters, highly differentiated among themselves, who endeavor to understand the Pauline gospel in its original meaning and purport without subjecting its content to a previously determined hermeneutical principle" (p. 42).

Nov 24, 2015 E rated it really liked it
We have large books that we lug around from home to home, office to office, taking up space. We know they're good--classics, even--and sooner or later we realize we should either read them or get rid of them (or both). This is one such book. I read a few pages a day in spare moments at work. It is the best Pauline Theology of the pre-NPP 20th century. In some ways it was nice to read a pre-NPP Pauline Theology (that's pre-New Perspective on Paul, by the way). But of course that doesn't make it a ...more
Scott Cox
Jan 17, 2016 Scott Cox rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, theology
This is an excellent study of the great themes of the Apostle Paul in the Bible. The most profound chapters of this challenging book by Dr. Ridderbos were "The New Life" and "The New Obedience." These address the role of the law (God's law) in a believer's life. The following is an example of his teaching on 1 Cor.9:21, "This passage contains three elements in which the relationship of Christ and the law in its continuing significance is clearly expressed: (a) The law no longer has an unrestrict ...more
Aug 03, 2007 Greg rated it it was amazing
About once a year I read the section on Fundamental Structures. It is enough to satisfy devotional needs, provide solid teaching material, and save me from the discouragement I get from the all too common one-dimensional approach that can only hear Paul teaching one thing - a personal-ethical justification by faith. This book is so much deeper and exegetical than typical Protestant reading of Paul. Ridderbos digs into Paul's theology without abandoning his creedal convictions. NT Wright said som ...more
Dec 25, 2009 Ben rated it really liked it
I have not read this book in its entirety, but have read a large section of it.

Ridderbos' work is a translation from Dutch and is sometimes hard to follow. This is partly due to the translation from Dutch to English (the translator did a fine job), but also because he deals with some weighty, complex issues.

This is probably a book that only a person interested in the study of Pauline literature will find any pleasure in reading. If you are interested in Pauline literature, it is an outstanding
Sep 24, 2013 Bryan rated it it was amazing
The description offered here in Goodreads says it all. Ridderbos does an exceptional job outlining a comprehensive study on Paul's theology while defending the orthodox teachings that have recently been questioned. This is a dense and difficult book to read but the serious student will be blessed by its deep theological truths. I found myself stopping to worship at several points and highly recommend it to anyone willing to understand the simplicity of Christ's historical death and resurrection ...more
Adam Ross
Apr 05, 2009 Adam Ross rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Ridderbos is a fresh voice in theological studies, though his book is many years old. While dense reading like Vos, Ridderbos is pure Dutch Calvinism, with a solid understanding of Paul. Though his book is a systematic theology, he emphasizes many things most systematics do not - that Paul was a theologian of the Resurrection, that a, if not the, central theme of salvation is union with Christ in baptism, that salvation consists of accepting Christ as both savior and Lord, and his emphasis on gr ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Al rated it really liked it
Read while deployed. Extremely dense and a book I need to re-read. A very good overview of Paul, and it in no way limits the man, or his theological views. Christ created a new world through his death and resurrection, and Paul correctly identifies him as the second Adam who makes a propitiation for the Original Sin of the first Adam, and this is the bedrock of the Pauline writings. Additionally, we are called to be completely in Christ and live a dedicated life in Christ, ultimately being resur ...more
Feb 10, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it
This is book is not for the faint of heart or serial first-chapter-only-reader. I nicknamed this the Encyclopedia Paultanicca (with the additional allusion to the Titanic intended). Ridderbos was a brilliant man, and his 'outline' of Pauline theology is incredibly helpful. For the non-academic, it does take a while to adjust to his writing style (get used to seven line sentences, for example), but this work is comprehensive in unpacking Paul's theology. I found the topical sections on marriage, ...more
Nov 11, 2008 Kay rated it it was amazing
This is excellent, all-encompassing book comprehensively details the essence of Paul's theology. Translated from the German, it takes some work to unwind paragraph-long sentences, but it is well worth the effort. I only got through the first two chapters on the general structure of Paul's thought. It may take a summer off, or a seminary course to have time to finish it.
May 31, 2016 Corey rated it it was amazing
Translated from Dutch, this is dense and solid material. Ridderbos is a great theologian, and his insights on Paul are immense. While conservative, he can match the brightest lights of the German liberal schools of thought on Paul especially his command of the relevant literature. Excellent stuff here.
One of the high achievements of the Reformed biblical theology movement. Though sometimes imperfectly translated (or perhaps unskillfully written) and sometimes counter-intuitively organized, this work deserves a significant place among the major twentieth-century studies of Paul.
Jason Brubaker
Aug 19, 2014 Jason Brubaker rated it really liked it
Incredible in certain areas but overly nuanced in others. A "must have" book to complete your New Testament library.
Paul Jeon
Sep 24, 2013 Paul Jeon rated it it was amazing
This "dated" work is still far more insightful and informative than more modern and seemingly exciting works. An annual read.
Bryan McWhite
This is a classic. A powerful, compelling, thorough going Pauline theology that gets Paul right. A difficult read, but most highly recommended!
Michael Jones
Apr 06, 2012 Michael Jones rated it really liked it
I continue to go back to this book when I'm considering various passages in Paul. It's a very good book for starting my thinking in good directions as I'm preparing sermons.
Sean McGowan
May 03, 2016 Sean McGowan rated it really liked it
Great book. Dry and rich all at the same time!
Kingsley Layton
Jun 08, 2015 Kingsley Layton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb addition to understanding Paul and his theology. Don't skip on this one.
Oliver Pierce
Oliver Pierce rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2016
Timothy Bertolet
Timothy Bertolet rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2011
Michael Dionisio
Michael Dionisio rated it really liked it
Nov 28, 2016
Dylan Rowland
Dylan Rowland rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2014
Robert Goodale
Robert Goodale rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2015
Lisa Pratt
Lisa Pratt rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free
  • Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments
  • The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
  • An Introduction to the New Testament
  • A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New
  • The Christ of the Covenants
  • A Theology of the New Testament
  • The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright
  • Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics
  • Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview
  • The Shape of Sola Scriptura
  • The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • Reformed Dogmatics Volume 1 : Prolegomena
  • Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek
  • Paul: In Fresh Perspective
  • Created in God's Image
  • Romans
  • The Message of Ephesians (Bible Speaks Today NT)

Share This Book

“Love for one another in the church is the upbuilding and functioning of the body of Christ, the bond that joins the church sanctified to God together as those who belong to the same family (of God).” 1 likes
“Faith does not justify because of that which it is in itself, but because of that to which it is directed, in which it rests.” 1 likes
More quotes…