Apostle Paul: A Novel of the Man Who Brought Christianity to Western World

Overview

The iconic Saint Paul -- in his lifetime a scholar, prosecutor for the high court of the Jews, accomplice in murder, adventurer, traveler, orator, writer, advocate, and organizer of a new faith -- was in fact a Jewish-Hellenistic citizen of the Roman Empire, a man who by the force of his intellect and indomitable will changed the course of history. Eventually he became the leader of the movement that delivered the social and moral authority of Christianity to a pagan world.
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Overview

The iconic Saint Paul -- in his lifetime a scholar, prosecutor for the high court of the Jews, accomplice in murder, adventurer, traveler, orator, writer, advocate, and organizer of a new faith -- was in fact a Jewish-Hellenistic citizen of the Roman Empire, a man who by the force of his intellect and indomitable will changed the course of history. Eventually he became the leader of the movement that delivered the social and moral authority of Christianity to a pagan world.
Given a message -- that man and woman had a purpose in earthly life and a future beyond the grave -- he carried it first and unsuccessfully to his fellow Jews, then successfully to the gentiles and all mankind. His quality of mind and ability to exhort and persuade, his personal commitment to ethical conduct and values, and his courage and indefatigability made Paul one of the continuing forces in the progress of Western civilization.
Author James Cannon has written about political leaders as a journalist, has served with leaders in public life, and has written feature stories while on the staffs of Time and Newsweek. Now he has taken the story of one of the most momentous quests in history and brought it to life with a vitality and immediacy that is at once gripping, informative, and inspiring.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Another knock-off of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent: this time, the story of Saint Paul. In this fictionalized account by former journalist Cannon (Time and Chance, 1993), Saul zealously devotes himself to Torah study after his beloved mother's death. He earns a post as clerk on the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court, and eventually becomes the chief persecutor of those who followed the recently crucified Jesus of Nazareth. After his dramatic conversion (and name change) on the road to Damascus, Paul becomes a leader of the new religious movement, spreading the gospel throughout the gentile world. There is, of course, a romantic sub-plot. Paul and his childhood sweetheart Phoebe separated when he left Tarsus to study at the school of Rabbi Gamliel, but she never lost sight of her beloved, and when she learned that he had become a Christian, she followed suit. Years later, the two meet up again, and though Paul declines to marry Phoebe-he worries that marriage would interfere with his mission to carry the Good News around the world-the two rekindle a certain friendship, and she becomes one of his most trusted delegates. Paul is articulate and fiercely devoted to the cause, but he is not perfect. As a young man, he is prideful and arrogant. After becoming a devotee of Jesus, he finds himself jealous and critical of James, Jesus' half-brother, and of Peter, one of the original disciples. Paul thinks James "pretentious" and "defensive," and deems Peter "woefully unprepared" to oversee anything "larger than a fishing boat." The novel slows down a little when it comes time for Paul to draft his famous epistles; it would take a writer more skilled than Cannon to make chapter after chapter ofletter-writing gripping. And, throughout, the book is marred by stilted prose: "Chattel I am," one character laments. "To be sold for silver, like a lamb to be sacrificed."Flawed, but surprisingly engrossing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586420949
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2005
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James Cannon is currently retired from public life. He has served as chief of staff for Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. and as Assistant for Domestic Affairs to President Ford. As an assistant to Governor Nelson Rockefeller, he coordinated New York State’s dealings with Congress and the White House and was adviser to Governor Rockefeller for his confirmation as vice president. Before entering political work, Cannon was chief political writer, national affairs correspondent, and Chief of Correspondents at Newsweek. Before that he was on the staff of Time. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army and O.S.S. in the Caribbean and Asia theaters, achieving the rank of captain. Author or coauthor of four previous books, this is his first work of fiction. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2006

    A compelling novel..

    I've read scores of books on Paul. Some non-fiction and some fiction. This is THE best I've read. As a novel, it is so readable. Cannon makes Paul come alive! He focuses on Paul the man, his personality, his zeal to follow his mission, no matter the cost. It is beautifully written, follows scripture and is enhanced by the fictious account of what could have happened. I could feel Paul's courage, his boldness and his passion. This is a book I will read again and again. It's a classic on Paul that will stand the test of time.

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