If you want more than a brief introduction to each of Paul’s letters that can be found in modern Bible translations, then How to Read Paul: A Brief Introduction to His Theology, Writings, and World by Yung Suk Kim fit well. First, little’s spent on Paul’s biography (known facts are presented only), there’s no exposé of how he makes a living, his travels, and companions or disputes with Peter and the Christian congregation in Jerusalem. Yung Suk Kim rather has Paul speak first through the letters that are undisputed his about the gospel, righteousness, justification, faithfulness, freedom, new life, the body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
For every topic, Paul’s theological point of view is contrasted with the Stoics, the great Greek philosophers, the various Jewish factions (Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, Essenes), and Jesus Christ. Readers are challenged to reflect on theirs by reading all the relevant Scriptures from the Gospels and Pauline letters. Each chapter ends with discussion questions. The book points at many great insights you may have forgotten or discover now, e.g. who’s faithful, what the role of the law is compared to works, faith, and grace, and the individual and the collective notion of the body of Christ.
About the author
Yung Suk Kim is an associate professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University, in Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of several books, including Christ’s Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor (2008).
I received de free review copy from the publisher Fortress Press via Edelweiss in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.