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Ambassador for Christ: The Life and Teaching of St.Paul Paperback – 3 Sep 1973
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A Scotsman once wrote me about going to school with Barclay and how his life changed when a certain Greek teacher came to town and dazzled Barclay with what would be his calling--making the results of Biblical Scholarship explainable to the average man. In "Ambassador for Christ" Barclay is at his clear, clever, concise best. He credits Paul with changing Christianity from a Palestinian-based reform of Judaism to a cosmopolitan religion able to go toe to toe with the philosophers of Athens. His quotes from an early document that describes Paul as "of little stature, thin-haired upon the head, with eyebrows meeting" gets the average reader off to a great pictorial start. Barclay excels in the historic and geographic touches that make the First Century world live--Corinth is the City of the Two Seas while Ephesus is "the Vanity Fair of Asia Minor" and Athens is a city of "mental aristocrats." He enters into his subject's mind when he shows Paul maybe having "tremors in his heart" when he arrives, under guard, to face Nero and glimpsing the mighty Roman fleet at anchor in Puteoli--"the Liverpool of Italy."
There's never a dull moment, folks, and Barclay's attention to Luke's eye for minute historic detail does much to confirm in the minds of simpler folk such as myself the essential veracity of Scripture. Come on SCM Press, Zondervan, get this book out again, British references and all. Need an editor? I'll do it for free--who wouldn't?