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Michael Bird: Introducing Paul


Michael F. Bird, Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message (Dowers Grove: IVP Academic, 2008), 192 pages, ISBN 9780830828975.

Periodically, Biblical scholars emerge on the Christian scene who can communicate profound truths to the busy pastor in a way that he can understand. One of a new generation of such is the Michael Bird, an Australian Baptist who teaches at New Testament in a conservative theological school in the north of Scotland.

Bird’s genius lies in his natural combining of humour, contemporary cultural awareness and incisive scholarship. He is already the author of a number of books, and in this recent production offers an overview of Paul’s writings and theology. There is nothing stodgy about Bird’s work. Bird is fluent and engaging in his prose, which is no mean achievement given some of the writers he makes mention of. His scholarship is orthodox, conservative and thoroughly up to date. His intermediary position, for instance, in the debate between John Piper and Tom Wright has proven helpful and incisive for the present reviewer.

For anyone who would like to get ‘up to date’ on issues of Pauline scholarship, in a way that will help student, teacher or preacher, this book is thoroughly recommended.

Reviewed by James Purves

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2011

About the Author: James Purves, Ph.D. (University of Aberdeen, Scotland), has been serving in pastoral ministry since 1980 and is presently Mission and Ministry Advisor to the Baptist Union of Scotland. He is a research tutor at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague, Czech Republic and author of The Triune God and the Charismatic Movement (Paternoster, 2004). His blog is

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