THE APOSTLE: A Life of Paul by John Pollock

THE APOSTLE: A Life of Paul

Email this review


If one likes old-fashioned popular biography, then one will like Mr. Pollock's Apostle. This is, however, a qualified recommendation. He takes the facts of Paul's life and fleshes it out from the imagination, supplying therefrom such details as may have, but did not necessarily, obtain. The result is a Paul of Tarsus, out of the Acts by conjecture so far as character and motivation is concerned; and therefore the work, from that standpoint, may be classed as dated hagiography. From the standpoint of Paul's thought, however, the book has redeeming qualities. Pollock draws skillfully from the Epistles to weave a plausible (but not always absolutely up-to-date) synthesis of Paul's contribution to Christianity-in-formation, and he makes that presentation interesting by situating it in and relating it to the circumstances of Paul's life and activities. It would be fair, therefore, to say that as a popular biography the book is a failure; but that as a summary of Pauline teachings for the not too exacting general reader, it is acceptable. It is a bizarre situation; the exoskeleton has more reality than the skeleton.

Pub Date: July 25th, 1969
ISBN: 1564762424
Publisher: Doubleday