Paul the Missionary: Realities, Strategies and Methods, By Eckhard J. Schnabel
Paul the Missionary
  • Length: 518 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 13, 2008
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2887
  • ISBN: 9780830828876

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Biblical Foundations Book Award

Eckhard Schnabel's two-volume Early Christian Mission is widely recognized as the most complete and authoritative contemporary study of the first-century Christian missionary movement. Now in Paul the Missionary Schnabel condenses volume two of the set, drawing on his research to provide a manageable study for students of Paul as well as students and practitioners of Christian mission today.

Schnabel first focuses the spotlight on Paul's missionary work--the realities he faced, and the strategies and methods he employed. Applying his grasp of the wide range of ancient sources and of contemporary scholarship, he clarifies our understanding, expands our knowledge and corrects our misconceptions of Paul the missionary.

In a final chapter Schnabel shines the recovered light of Paul's missionary methods and practices on Christian mission today. Much like Roland Allen's classic Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours? of nearly a century ago, Schnabel offers both praise and criticism. For those who take the time to immerse themselves in the world of Paul's missionary endeavor, this final chapter will be both rewarding and searching.

"In this magisterial work Schnabel carefully and thoroughly plumbs the New Testament data to develop a comprehensive picture of Paul's approach to mission. His understanding of Paul as a missionary together with his application to selected issues in contemporary missiology provides an invaluable foundation for evaluating our contemporary approaches to mission ranging from the influence of cultural values (such as effectiveness and efficiency) to the lastest fads (from church growth to people group thinking to communication theory to short-term missions). Missionaries and missiologists alike owe Schnabel our thanks for this penetrating work which will play a significant role in missions studies for years to come."

A. Scott Moreau, professor of intercultural studies, Wheaton College, and editor, Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"While Professor Schnabel modestly claims merely to bring some of the benefits of the last one hundred years of New Testament and Greco-Roman sociological insights to Roland Allen's work, he does so much more. Here is the new textbook for mission methodology. While technically limited to Paul, Schnabel covers the vital topics: goals, message, methods. The missions classroom has long needed this resource. Current and aspiring missionaries will benefit from what this scholar/missionary/teacher has to say."

E. Randolph Richards, dean, School of Ministry, Palm Beach Atlantic University

"Following his landmark volume Early Christian Mission, Schnabel has written an equally useful volume on the missionary work, message and method of the apostle Paul. This work will prove invaluable to all serious students of Scripture and in particular to all missionary practitioners. A former missionary to the Philippines, Schnabel brings to this task the mind of a first-rate New Testament scholar and the heart of a disciple committed to help fulfill the Great Commission. Fittingly, the volume is dedicated to Peter O'Brien, who has likewise contributed significantly to the scholarly exploration of the Pauline mission. Highly recommended!"

Andreas J. Kƶstenberger, founder of BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONSĀ®, editor of Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and professor of New Testament and director of Ph.D. studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Paul the Missionary is a joy: rigorous in its scholarship, clearly written, and relevant. It is a welcome antidote, first to those studies of Paul that focus exclusively on his theology while totally ignoring the fact that he was a missionary and, second, to all missiological methodology that is rooted in pragmatics rather than in theology and Scripture. Twenty-first century missionaries, students, New Testament scholars, pastors, and all thinking Christians would profit from this book."

Keith Ferdinando, Theological Book Review, 2009

"Invaluable to pastors, teachers, students, missionaries, and missiologists that see their work as closely related to that of Paul."

Thomas M. Anderson, Religious Studies Review, March 2010

"Schnabel invites the reader to a biblical feast that is both academic and spiritually refreshing. Should prove to be influential in ongoing Pauline and mission studies."

Edward L. Smither, Criswell Theological Review, Fall 2009

"Schnabel succeeds admirably. Paul the Missionary is an excellent resource that I will be recommending for years to come. I know of no other book that provides such a comprehensive, biblically faithful, and nuanced understanding of Paul and his missionary work."

Robert L. Plummer, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, September 2009

"This information-filled book draws richly on the author's exhaustive (nearly 2,000-page!) prior study of early Christian missions. Writing as a mature biblical scholar and former OMF missionary in the Philippines, Schnabel honestly acknowledges the complexity of the hermeneutical and pragmatic task facing the contemporary practitioner. Perhaps that is why his concluding chapter contains so many judicious and valuable insights."

Richard Schultz, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, July 2009

"A reliable guide to students of Paul. A fresh study of Paul's mission work with the stated aim of undesrtanding the goals that the apostle had and the methods he used."

Greg Goswell, New Life, May 28, 2009

"The reader will find much solid information in this substantial work."

Donald Senior, C.P., The Bible Today, July 2009

"Although Paul the Missionary is not a quick read, it is a rewarding one. New Testament scholars, missiologists and missionaries, and local pastors like me will profit from Schnabel's focused attention on Scripture. And ministers of the gospel will profit through extended reflection on the theology and praxis of Paul, whose example is well worth imitating."

George P. Wood (, February 6, 2009


List of Figures and Tables

1. Missionary Strategies and Methods: Defining Terms
2. The Task of Missionary Work: Describing Goals
3. Missionary Methods as a Problem: Finding Solutions
4. Descriptive and Normative Readings: Hermeneutical Clarifications

1. The Missionary Work of the Apostle Paul
1.1 Paul, Apostle to Jews and Gentiles: Conversion and Call
1.2 Paul and Jerusalem
1.3 Paul in Arabia, Jerusalem, Cilicia and Syria
1.4 Paul on Cyprus and in Galatia
1.5 Paul in Macedonia and Achaia
1.6 Paul in the Province of Asia
1.7 Paul in Illyricum, Caesarea, Rome, Spain, Crete and Rome

2 The Missionary Task According to Paul's Letters
2.1 The Letter to the Galatian Christians
2.2 The Letters to the Christians in Macedonia: Thessalonians and Philippians
2.3 The Letters to the Christians in Achaia: Corinthians
2.4 The Letter to the Christians in the City of Rome
2.5 The Letters to the Christians in Asia: Colossians and Ephesians
2.6 The Letters to Coworkers: Timothy and Titus
2.7 The Apostle as Missionary, Pastor and Theologian

3 The Missionary Message of the Apostle Paul
3.1 Preaching Before Jewish Audiences
3.2 Preaching Before Gentile Audiences
3.3 Explaining the Gospel in Civic Settings
3.4 Ideological Confrontation: The Proclamation of Jesus Messiah and Kyrios
3.5 Cultural Confrontation: The Explication of the Gospel
3.6 Pastoral Consolidation: Encouragement for the Followers of Jesus
3.7 Apologetic Confrontation: The Defense of the Gospel

4. The Missionary Goals of the Apostle Paul
4.1 Preaching the Gospel
4.2 Preaching the Gospel to Jews and to Gentiles
4.3 Geographical Movement
4.4 Conversion of Individuals
4.5 Establishing Communities of Followers of Jesus
4.6 Teaching New Converts
4.7 Training New Missionaries

5. The Missionary Methods of the Apostle Paul
5.1 Cities, Regions and Provinces
5.2 Synagogues, Marketplaces, Lecture Halls, Workshops and Private Houses
5.3 Ethnic Identity, Class and Culture
5.4 Establishing Contact as a Public Speaker
5.5 The Persuasiveness of the Message: The Problem of Rhetoric
5.6 The Credibility of the Messenger
5.7 Explanations for Missionary Success

6. The Task of Missionary Work in the Twenty-First Century
6.1 The Calling and Sending of Missionaries
6.2 The Content of Missionary Proclamation
6.3 The Proclamation of the Gospel and Church Planting
6.4 The Teaching of the Followers of Jesus
6.5 The Purpose and the Work of the Local Church
6.6 The Challenge of Culture
6.7 The Power of God

References Index
Author Index
Subject Index


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Eckhard J. Schnabel

Eckhard J. Schnabel (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is Mary F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has taught previously at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois), Freie Theologische Akademie (Giessen, Germany), and Asian Theological Seminary (Manila, Philippines). His books include Paul the Missionary and Jesus in Jerusalem: The Final Days.