Book of the Month

January 2024
40 Questions about the Apostle Paul
Miguel G. Echevarría and Benjamin P. Laird

About 40 Questions about the Apostle Paul

A Conversation with Miguel Echevarría

Every Voice: What led you to write this book? What problem or issue(s) are you seeking to address?

Miguel Echevarría: The literature on the apostle Paul can be overwhelming for just about anyone. So, we took as much research on Paul as we could and condensed it into a single volume. We address questions related to the New Perspective, pistis Christou, miraculous gifts, Paul’s eschatology, and so on.

EV: What is the thesis of your book?

ME: The book addresses 40 central questions related to the apostle Paul’s history, literature, and theology. So, there is no single thesis. But if I had to choose one, I would argue that the Paul is a very complex guy—both in his thinking and in his relationships. He also had quite the temper—just ask the Galatians.

EV: Who’s your target audience, and what are you most hoping they hear from it?

ME: Our target audience is introductory college and seminary students. We also hope that interested lay readers will benefit from the book. Our goal is that people would understand more about the apostle Paul’s life, writings, and theology so that they may aspire to attain to the resurrection and encourage others to do the same. 

EV: Did you have any “aha” moments while writing the book?

ME: Yes. That we cannot possibly understand everything about Paul his theology until we see him in the new creation. I plan to ask him what he really meant by phrases like pistis Christou, works of the law, and if those guys ever really emasculated themselves. 

EV: What was the most challenging part of the book to write?

ME: The most challenging part of the book is that there was no single field of research. Every new chapter brought a distinct (often dense) list of books and articles through which to comb, which then had to be condensed into a short chapter. There is so much more that could have been said!

EV: If your book was made into a movie, what actor/actress would play the lead role?

ME: I would choose Jeff Bridge’s role as Jeffrey “the Dude” Lebowski—a complex, mysterious character who had quite the temper and made enemies with those who opposed his life’s mission. Who else could possibly play the apostle Paul?!!

EV: What kind of seminary/church classes should assign your book?

ME: Our book would be great for introductory college and seminary classes and lay persons desiring to know more about the apostle Paul, his writings, and theology. I have already heard from churches who are using the book in small group settings.

About the Author

Miguel Echevarría (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.