F.F. Bruce wrote this biography of Paul to share the rewards that he experienced in his study – the rewards that came, he said, because of the warmth of Paul's personality, his intellectual stature, his message of redeeming grace, and his single-minded devotion to preaching the gospel. The result, says Theology Today, is the magnum opus of F.F. Bruce, one of the best known and most respected biblical scholars.
Paul is often considered to be the most important person – other than Jesus – in the history of Christianity. His letters – which make about half of the books of the New Testament – have had an enormous influence on Christianity and Christian theology. They reflect Paul's personality, and Bruce illustrates the main themes of Pauline thought by an examination of the letters. Among the subjects discussed are the Mosaic Law, the flesh and the spirit, baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the life to come.
"But Paul's pre-eminent contribution," says Bruce, "has been his presentation of the good news of free grace, . . . manifested not only in God's acceptance of sinners but in the transformation of those thus accepted into the likeness of Christ."
In 1979 the American Evangelical Christian Publishers Association gave Paul a Gold Medallion award for Biography. A decade and a half later, Christian History published an article on where one should begin exploring the life of Paul. Editor Mark Galli wrote, "Aside from the New Testament itself, the place to begin is F.F. Bruce's now classic Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free—the most readable and engaging biography of Paul." And Restoration Review called the book, "a veritable gold mine of information on Paul.
In this "most readable and engaging biography" Bruce blends theology, history, culture, and an analysis of Paul's letters to form a balanced and straightforward book.