B&H Academic’s Illustrated Life of Paul book review – Rating 9.9

Illustrated Life of Paul

B&H Academic’s Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles L. Quarles

I have done multiple reviews for B&H Publishing, but this is my first review for their Academic division. When I first received my review copy of “Illustrated Life of Paul” by Charles L. Quarles from B&H Academic, I was very pleased with my initial glance through some of the pages of this book.  There are some very rich images throughout the book and also the quality of the production and the paper used is fantastic.
I would give this book a 9.9 out of my normal 10 point rating scale.  On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a very solid 5 star rating.

In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by B&H Academic to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The “Illustrated Life of Paul” is by far one of the best books I have come across relating to the life of Paul.  It is an extremely engaging book to read.   The printing is superb and is on a very high quality paper.  This will be a resource that I will be referencing many times in my personal library.  Of course with the word “Illustrated” as part of the book’s title, as  you would expect, there are images in the book.  Truly, it is beautifully done with wonderful maps, photos and images that are laid out wonderfully and very helpful to get a visual of Paul’s life.  The resources that the author put together in this book are done exceptionally well also and will be of benefit to me for many years to come.  I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from B&H Academic and all opinions are my own.


Type of Book:  Biblical Reference / Biography
Publisher: B&H Academic
Publication Date: June 1, 2014
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0805494532
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get the Illustrated Life of Paul book from is Christianbook.com. They have it for $19.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $29.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

If you would like to purchase this book, please support my blog and purchase by clicking any of the links to Christianbook.com on this page like the one below. Or if you would like to purchase it as an e-book for $12.34, you can click HERE to do that.

494532: Illustrated Life of Paul Illustrated Life of Paul
By Charles L. Quarles / B&H Academic

Except for the Lord Jesus himself, no person has been more influential in the history of the church than Saul of Tarsus. Paul’s influence upon the early church’s most cherished convictions is so clear and powerful that some scholars have dared to describe him as the founder of Christianity.

Paul had a greater impact on the formation of the Christian church than any other apostle. He wrote thirteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament so that nearly half of the New Testament documents bear his name. Although some of Paul’s letters are brief compared to other New Testament books, his epistles compromise approximately one-fourth of the total volume of the New Testament.

Approximately sixteen chapters of the Book of Acts focus on Paul’s persecution of the church, conversion, missionary labors, arrest and imprisonment. When these chapters are combined with Paul’s letters, Paul may be recognized as the author or subject of nearly one-third of the New Testament. Paul was not only the most effective Christian missionary and church planter in history, but also the most significant and influential interpreter of Jesus’ teachings and of the significance of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and return.

Illustrated Life of Paul introduces readers to this amazing man and his incredible story. It explains the background of each of Paul’s letters and offers a summary of the beliefs of one of the keenest theological minds in the history of the church. All along, it enables the reader an opportunity to step into the world of Paul with over 150 photos, maps, illustrations, and charts.

Physical Characteristics:

•Patent (perfect/square back) bound
•300 pages
•Dimensions: 9.00 x 6.00 x 0.88 in

Illustrated Life of Paul - example showing some of the high quality photos used throughout the book (page 111)

Here is an example showing some of the high quality photos used throughout the book (page 111)

Illustrated Life of Paul - example showing some of the high quality photos used throughout the book (pages 139-139)

Here is an example showing some of the high quality photos used throughout the book (pages 139-139)

Goal of Book:

The authors’ goal is to give his readers a glimpse into the life of an amazing man in the Scriptures and his story.  Reading this book puts a wonderful light on the many books of the New Testament that Paul wrote and the culture of the times when the New Testament was written.

My Favorite Part:

It is a very hard task to pick out my favorite part of this book.  I really appreciated the early background of Paul where it compares the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes.  This portion really sets the tone of the life of Paul before he was renamed from Saul and was a persecutor of the church.  But that is just one of so many parts that I really liked a lot in this book.

My Least Favorite Part:

I honestly can’t say that I can pinpoint anything in this book that is my least favorite part.


Out of the biographies and commentaries I have read about Paul, this by far is one of the best resources that I have come across.  It is very well made, laid out extremely well and for a perfect bound (square back) book, is of very good quality. I can confidently say that this book is very high on my recommendation list for anyone to add to their personal library.

Who Would Enjoy This Book:

Anyone that would like to get a deeper knowledge of Paul, the person, as well as the culture and customs that he lived in would find this resource to be extremely worth the purchase price.  Even at the full suggested retail price of $29.99, I would highly recommend this book.


Bible Book Abbreviations
Chapter 1 –
Chapter 2 – The Background of Saul of Tarsus
Chapter 3 – The Damascus Road
Chapter 4 – The First Missionary Journey
Chapter 5 – The Jerusalem Conference
Chapter 6 – The Second Missionary Journey
Chapter 7 – The Third Missionary Journey
Chapter 8 – From Jerusalem to Rome
Chapter 9 – Paul’s Last Years
Subject Index
Scripture Index
Image Credits


Company Summary:

From the publisher’s website:  B&H Academic, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, is dedicated to providing resources for undergraduate and graduate theological education.


Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael


This entry was posted in B&H Publishing, Bible Study, Bible Study Resources, Biography, Biography Reviews, Charles L. Quarles, Christian Living, Culture, Customs, Full Color, Historical Background, Lifeway, Manners, Maps, Other Book Reviews >>, Reference Book Reviews, Reference Books and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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