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Paul and the Faithfulness of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God: Volume 4

N. T. Wright (Author)
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This text is printed in two book sections:

  •      First book comprises Parts I and II and frontmatter
  •      Second book has Parts III and IV plus bibliography and indices

This highly anticipated two-book fourth volume in N. T. Wright’s magisterial series, Christian Origins and the Question of God, is destined to become the standard reference point on the subject for all serious students of the Bible and theology. The mature summation of a lifetime’s study, this landmark book pays a rich tribute to the breadth and depth of the apostle’s vision, and offers an unparalleled wealth of detailed insights into his life, times, and enduring impact.

Wright carefully explores the whole context of Paul’s thought and activity—Jewish, Greek and Roman, cultural, philosophical, religious, and imperial—and shows how the apostle’s worldview and theology enabled him to engage with the many-sided complexities of first-century life that his churches were facing. Wright also provides close and illuminating readings of the letters and other primary sources, along with critical insights into the major twists and turns of exegetical and theological debate in the vast secondary literature. The result is a rounded and profoundly compelling account of the man who became the world’s first, and greatest, Christian theologian.

To see an interview with N. T. Wright and learn more about his current projects and speaking engagements, click here!

Release date: 
November 1, 2013

Discussion Guide

A conversation about preaching with Ronald J. Allen

In this video Dr. Wright talks with Ronald J. Allen about this new book and the task and challenge of preaching Pauline texts.

Download the discussion guide

A conversation with Michael J. Gorman

In this video Dr. Wright talks with Michael J. Gorman about this new book and the task and challenge of interpreting Paul, then and now.

Download the discussion guide

A conversation on justification and Spirit in Galatians 2 and Romans 8 with Richard B. Hays

In this video three distinguished Paul scholars talk about this new book and the task and challenge of understanding what Paul has to say about justification and Spirit in Galatians 2 and Romans 8.

Download the discussion guide


"One of the 10 most intriguing religion books of 2013."
The Washington Post

"N. T. Wright’s long-awaited full-length study of St. Paul will not in any way disappoint. From the very first sentence, it holds the attention, arguing a strong, persuasive, coherent, and fresh case supported by immense scholarship and comprehensive theological intelligence. It is a worthy successor to his earlier magisterial studies, laying out again very plainly the ways in which the faith of the New Testament is focused on God’s purpose to re-create, through the fact of Jesus crucified and risen, our entire understanding of authority and social identity."
—Rowan Williams
Magdalene College, Cambridge
“Only once in every other generation or so does a project approaching the size, scope, and significance of Paul and the Faithfulness of God appear. Paul’s world, worldview, controlling stories, and theology spring to life through N. T. Wright’s brilliant scholarship and spirited writing. Arguing for narrative and theological coherence in Paul’s thought, Wright seeks to overcome numerous dichotomies that have characterized recent Pauline scholarship. Readers will be richly rewarded and challenged at every turn—even when they do not fully agree. Each chapter reveals something profound about the surprising faithfulness of the God freshly revealed in Jesus the Messiah and conveyed to Paul’s communities, and to us, by the Spirit.”
Michael J. Gorman
St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore, Maryland
"Breath-taking, mind-expanding, ground-breaking, and more—it is easy to run out of adjectives to describe what N. T. Wright has already accomplished in his multi-volume account of New Testament history and theology. This fourth volume in the series is likewise a game-changer, above all for its adventurous presentation of Paul's ‘mindset’ and theology, so thoroughly contextualized at the confluence of the apostle's Jewish, Roman, and Greek worlds. This is Wright at his best—part historian, part exegete, part theologian, part pedagogue."
Joel B. Green
Fuller Theological Seminary, California

"With magisterial vision, energetic scholarship, and lucid illustration, N. T. Wright unveils the mysteries of Paul's theological imagination. This compellingly argued and absorbing study takes us beyond the bifurcation of salvation and participation that has long pervaded Pauline studies. Combining the passion of Augustine with the ambition of Barth, Wright's Christian Origins series has inscribed itself into the canon of scripturally soaked theology, where it will remain for generations to come."
Sam Wells
Vicar, Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, London

"Paul and the Faithfulness of God is the summa (but surely not the final work) of a great mind and indefatigable scholar who has devoted decades to understanding the New Testament and particularly, as here, the Letters of Paul in their fullest historical and theological contexts. This book will surely be the defining standard, the Bultmann for our age, the text from which everyone will work and argue and revise their (and his) thinking about Paul for the next decade at least."
Daniel Boyarin
University of California, Berkeley

“A wonderful book! It has all the marks of a classic. Wright tackles the most interesting and difficult issues surrounding Paul, integrating historical, literary, philosophical and theological approaches superbly, and drawing us deep into the complex world of the first urban Christians. He explores Paul’s extraordinary achievement in reworking his Judaism around Jesus the crucified and risen Messiah, uniting theology, prayer, politics, community building and inspired improvisation. Wright’s language is as fresh, intense and at times combative as Paul’s, conveying its ‘messianic newness’. He bridges the gap between Paul and today in a way that does justice to the strangeness of the first-century world while also enabling Paul to speak powerfully and relevantly now. Above all, he illuminates the multi-dimensional reconciliation—with God, each other, and all creation—at the heart of Paul’s thought and practice, and opens up the most radical, embracing mystery of all: the love of God in Jesus.”
David F. Ford
University of Cambridge

“This long-awaited book is the fruit of more than thirty years of N. T. Wright’s intense, loving and imaginative engagement with the apostle Paul. In a magisterial reading of Paul’s letters, Wright integrates sustained, fine grained exegesis into a sweeping interpretation that places Paul on the map of Mediterranean antiquity in fresh and sometimes surprising ways. The apostle that he portrays is deeply grounded in Israel’s faith and, at the same time, passionately concerned to carry the gospel of Israel’s Messiah Jesus to the pagan world of his day. Everyone who reads these pages will be drawn into deep and provocative reflection on the historical figure of Paul. But there is more: no one can grapple seriously with Wright’s readings without also being brought face to face with the world-transforming message that Paul proclaimed.”
Richard B. Hays
Duke University

“N. T. Wright’s big book on Paul has long been eagerly awaited. And here it is! Massive in every sense of the word, this is a synthetic, scholarly and comprehensive analysis of Paul, worked out using the key categories outlined in The New Testament and the People of God, showing how Paul, as a Jew in the Roman Empire, reworked the framework of monotheism, election, and eschatology around Jesus and the Spirit. Written with elegance and humour, full of detailed exegesis and engaging with a wide range of contemporary scholarship, this major achievement will be a landmark in the field of Pauline studies for many years to come.”
David G. Horrell
University of Exeter

“Endorsing this book would be an exercise in superfluity. Even saying that Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God is without peers is simply to state the obvious.”
Bruce W. Longenecker
Baylor University

“Breathtaking! The integrated theological imagination of both the apostle and his twenty-first century interpreter is amazing.”
Brian Walsh
Wycliffe College, University of Toronto


Michael F. Bird review on Patheos

Review on Patheos' Living A Holy Adventure blog

Review on The Revangelical Blog

Review on thinktheology

Review on The Gospel Coalition

Interview on Religion News Service

Review on The Tablet

Article in Credo Magazine

Guest Andy Crouch discusses N. T. Wright and Christianity on Skye Jethani Podcast

Review in Themelios

Review on "Books at a Glance"

Review on Reformation 21

Review in Christian Century

Review in America

Review on Marginalia by Douglas Campbell

Review on Marginalia by Michael Thate

Review in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Review in Review of Biblical Literature

Review in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

Review in Religious Studies Review


N. T. Wright talks about his new book, Paul and the Faithfulness of God with Dr. Michael Bird, Ridley Melbourne

This is your magnum opus. What is your main contribution to Pauline studies in this book?

How does Paul and the Faithfulness of God open up new conversations in Pauline studies?

You begin with Philemon. What is the deal with that?

Where is the "justification by faith"? The "meat and potatoes" of the project?