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Summary

Saul of Tarsus: Pharisee of Pharisees. Bitter enemy of the newborn church...until a blinding encounter with the risen Christ transformed him into Paul the apostle, ambassador of Jesus of the Gentiles. Master storyteller Walter Wangerin Jr. sweeps you into the life and times of the man who brought Christianity to the world. Here is Paul the person, viewed through the eyes of his contemporaries. His rich interaction and brilliant dialogue with friends and foes, leaders and slaves, Jews and Greeks, creates a drama - swift, intense, historical. Narrated by 10 distinct historical figures, Wangerin paints a multifaceted portrait of the fiery character whose Gospel message sundered cultural trappings to ignite a faith that would light the ages.
©2000 Walter Wangerin Jr. (P)2000 The Zondervan Corporation

Critic reviews

"This book combines the very best of Wangerin's skills: biblical knowledge, a sense of drama, unobtrusive scholarship, and the ability to tell a crackling good story." (Philip Yancey)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Ignore the experts this is not scholarship....

What disappointed you about Paul?

This is fiction pure and simple heavily influenced by an Americanised concept of Jesus and the early Church.

Would you ever listen to anything by Walter Wangerin Jr. again?

No

What didn’t you like about Walter Wangerin Jr.’s performance?

First century Jews portrayed as 21st Century Americans.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Paul?

The whole book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Unhappy.

I tried to listen to this book but gave up ... I found it pointless and boring.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • 09-01-04

Excellent book!

This book really boosted my interest in the scriptures. Since I have finished it, I have read and reread the gospels of Paul to learn more. I am not a biblical expert, but the book seems to be accurate with no apparent flaws.

The narration is difficult to get used to at first. But after an hour or two, I became accustomed to it, and I think it even enhanced the book.

The only significant criticism that I can offer is that the book is a little slow at times.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James Adams
  • 05-10-03

I fell in love with Paul

In this book the beautiful harmony of gifted author and equally gifted reader create a piece that made the New Testament come alive for me. The drama and the passion both inspired me and brought me to tears, as each character leaped from history into life and into my heart as the reader stepped into each one with such authenticity. Essential reading for those for whom the New Testament and this amazing apostle have for too long remained cool (or cold and dead) strangers. Not anymore!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul A. Hamel
  • 14-03-04

Great Book!

The book was well read, I almost felt I was back in time experiencing Paul's journeys, trials and tribulations

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jose Blanco
  • 06-12-03

Down to earth fiction makes the Spirit soar!

If you know scripture, you will really appreciate the way this man folds scripture into a fictional but real world framework. The voice/reading is perhaps a little better than the "Book of God." Enjoy!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • connie
  • 14-06-08

well intended but slow and literalist

I think Wangerin is a good, old-fashioned story teller, but this story lacks literary and biblical imagination and seems to have a very simplisitc understanding of the New Testament that sells the Christain faith short in my opinion. It interprets St Paul with 19th early- 20th century eyes and then uses that understandng in a slow paced story.

Although Wangerin tries to give a respectful place to women in sections and occasionally brings St Paul alive (especially the hardships of traveling 1st century Middle East), I think Wangerin is much better when he spins short pithy modern day parables. This novel reminds me of something I downloaded from iTunes called "God in Sandals." If the latter type of literalist narrative appeals to you, then so would this. But if you liked "Last Temptation of Christ" or find Gary Wills', Bart Ehrman's or Elaine Pagels' nonfiction entertaining, avoid this portrait of Paul.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Yvonne
  • 27-08-04

Not Compelling

I tried to listen to this book with an open mind. However, the nasal voice of the narrator was just too much. Add to that that I had a difficult time understanding who I was listening to in each chapter -it was very confusing. When I won't turn on an audio book while I work because it is annoying - I realise that I a) don't have to and b:)am relieved to know that I can dismiss it and go to something else. It's too bad that the narration and sound quality are not good. I think the story is basically very interesting - it's the delivery that I couldn't take.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-02-04

PAUL (unabridged)

This is an outstanding book. I recommend it to anyone in search of God and your own real self.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Hunter
  • 27-01-03

Book might be OK - narration is terrible!

I only got about 30 minutes into this book before I had to stop listening. The plot might be great - but I couldn't get past the intensely irritating narration style. The accent the narrator has adopted, while possibly appropriate for the period of the book, nonethelss is so annoying it renders the book 'inaudible'.

20 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. SENG
  • 07-06-18

LOVE the audiobook but needs editing

If I could rate this audiobook totally on how much I enjoyed it, it would be 6 stars! Paul: A Novel by Walter Wangerin Jr is more like a radio drama than a reading of the book. Perhaps this is because it's read by the author himself. Pastor Wangerin makes the characters come alive in ways I had never imagined. What would it have been like to be born a Jew and eating pork for the very first time? What was the early church like? I laughed, I cried, I worshiped, and I praised God for his glorious grace. Thank you, Pastor Wangerin, for including scripture in it's non-fictional form as well.

My reason for the 2 star overall rating is that the audiobook itself needs to be edited and I can't find a way to let the company know. After Chapter 18, every other chapter is a duplicate which is quite annoying. I want to recommend this audiobook to all the ladies in my Bible study, and really everybody everywhere, but am reluctant to do so based on the confusion the duplicate chapters create. So Audible -- PLEASE delete the duplicate chapters! And to those who wish to listen anyway, just be aware that Chapters 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, and 34 are duplicates of the previous chapter.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JJ
  • 04-05-17

Great book. Bad recording.

This is a good book, well narrated. But the recording is OLD. It was apparently made from an old cassette because at one point it gave instructions to turn the cassette tape over. The second half of the recording is plagued with repeated sections. The music on the tape goes on and on and on and completely distracts from the narration of the book. Even the quality of the recording is poor. I'm very disappointed with this Audible purchase.