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Book Review


(Hodder & Stoughton, 2018)

Paula Gooder

Review provided by SDC Member Maria Rudolph

Paula Gooder is a Pauline and New Testament scholar who lectures mainly at Birmingham University and is on the preaching roster at St Paul’s Cathedral in London where she also has oversight over its theology as Canon Chancellor. She has written mostly theological scholarly books and also a wide range of devotional books. This is her first fictional work and it has impacted me greatly.


With her great knowledge of the world of the early Christians and thorough scriptural depth, she brings well known biblical characters to life and highlights Phoebe, the woman who was entrusted with Paul’s letter to the Romans, to bring it to the Roman Christians. She shines light not only on the day to day life of these early Christians but also explores the extraordinary role women played among them from the beginning.


We get a rich understanding of how men and women worked together in treacherous and harsh conditions to spread the Good News and to grasp better what they were learning of God’s Kingdom and the Christ and what this would now mean for their lives.


I was captivated from the moment I started reading and had to force myself to put it down! It also made me want to get up and witness the Good News with new vigour and excitement.

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