The full title of the book is Apostle of the Crucified Lord: An Introduction Paul and His Letters by Dr. Michael J. Gorman. There are many books on the market regarding the Pauline letters, but this one is among the most thorough that I have come across. In the introduction a brief discussion of the various views on Paul are given. In addition to the traditional view Dr. Gorman also describes the narrative-intertextual, apocalyptic, anti-imperialist, “Wright-ian perspective” (Named for N.T. Wright), Paul within Judaism, social scientific, feminist, and participationist views.
What was extremely beneficial for myself were the first six chapters. These chapters were all about the background to the letters such as the beginning of the Roman Empire, how Paul was brought up in Judaism, and the Hellenistic influences that can be seen in some of his writings.
Paul was the author of thirteen New Testament book, and Dr. Gorman gives dedicates one chapter to each of the letters. Each of these chapters with a background behind what drove the authorship of the letter. Dr. Gorman then goes into the cultural and historical context of the letter. He then goes through an outline of the letter, and lastly Dr. Gorman includes quotes from commentators throughout history. Through this process, I have learned much more information on these crucial letters of the New Testament.
Dr. Gorman also incudes many detailed maps throughout the book. One of the maps I found most interesting was representation of the whole Roman Empire in Paul’s time. I think in our modern age, we forget just how immense it was. Many pictures are also included, and the pictures are not typical in book about Paul.
In Conclusion, this book is highly recommended for any serious student of Pauline scholarship. At 731 pages, it is lengthy, but it is worth it. It is written in an academic style, but not in such a way that an everyday layman would be put off by it. you can purchase the book here: http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/7428/apostle-of-the-crucified-lord.aspx
[Note: I received this book free of charge from Erdman’s in exchange for an honest review.]