Reformed Reflections

The Pauline Circle by F.F. Bruce.
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1985,
Sofcover, 106 pp,

Some see the apostle Paul only as a rigid theologian, a strict predestinarian and a narrow moralist. Others view him as the greatest missionary of the Christian era, always on the move for his Lord. Seldom do we read about his genius for friendship, his warm and outgoing personality. Paul was a man who rarely left anyone neutral. You either liked him or strongly reacted against him. Paul’s friends, co-workers, hosts and hostesses have gone down in history. They are mentioned by name in many pages of the New Testament. Their examples remain a powerful testimony to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ, the love for Paul and the Master he served.

F.F. Bruce, one of today's foremost Pauline scholars, discusses a selection among Paul's friends in terms of both their relationship to Paul and their relationship to the early church. He places their stories against their first-century background. For the primary source of information about Paul's friends and associates, Bruce uses Paul's own letters. The principal secondary source is Acts. The result of the study is a fascinating look at Barnabas, Timothy, Luke and others, who were in Paul's company and influenced the early church.

An excellent resource book.

Johan D. Tangelder