Book Review: Paul (A Novel)

“Paul: A Novel”, by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Rarely have I encountered a book with such brilliant wordsmithing as this one. Wangerin, a Lutheran pastor and professor at Valparaiso University, is possibly the best storyteller I’ve ever read. Many times I re-read passages just to marvel at how beautifully written they were!

“Paul” is a novelized version of the life of the apostle Paul, narrated by those who knew him, including Prisca, Luke, Timothy, James, Titus, and Barnabas. While obviously a work of fiction, Wangerin has done a lot of research into the geography, lifestyle, and political landscape of Paul’s time. While he has taken some artistic liberties in describing things left unsaid in Scripture (such as what specifically was the thorn in Paul’s flesh mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12:7), most of the “story” is taken directly from the Bible and historically reliable extra-Biblical accounts.

Under most circumstances, I would frown on an attempt to write this sort of novel, but I believe Wangerin has done a masterful job. It’s important to realize that this book is NOT written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but it has greatly helped my understanding of the New Testament and the early Church seem much more “real”. Buy it here.

One comment on “Book Review: Paul (A Novel)

  1. […] engaging tales I have ever read. Wangerin is a masterful storyteller (see my review of his novel Paul) and quickly makes readers care deeply about hens, mice, and foxes. Their struggles become our own […]

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