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A debut novel like no other, renown Biblical scholar and speaker Paul Gooder uses her expertise to create a vivid and moving Biblical story.

  • For fans of thoughtful Biblical Fiction

  • Paula Gooder brings her vast expertise to this novel of the story of Phoebe

  • Phoebe brings to life the world of the Apostle Paul

  • Author

    Paula Gooder

  • Book Format


  • Publisher

    John Murray Press

  • Published

    May 2019

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Product Description

The gripping first novel from renowned New Testament scholar Paula Gooder, which brings alive first-century Christianity and the apostle Paul as never before.

Sometime around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. His letter was arguably his theological masterpiece, and has continued to shape Christian faith ever since. He entrusted this letter to Phoebe, the deacon of the church at Cenchreae; in writing to the church that almost surely met in her home, Paul refers to her both as a deacon and as a helper or patron of many. But who was this remarkable woman?

In this, her first novel, Biblical scholar and popular author and speaker Paula Gooder tells Phoebe's story - who she was, the life she lived and her first-century faith - and in doing so opens up Paul's theology, giving a sense of the cultural and historical pressures that shaped Paul's thinking, and the faith of the early church.

Written in the gripping style of Gerd Theissen's The Shadow of the Galilean, and similarly rigorously researched, this is a novel for everyone and anyone who wants to engage more deeply and imaginatively with Paul's theology - from one of the UK's foremost New Testament scholars.


  • Author

    Paula Gooder

  • Book Format


  • Publisher

    John Murray Press

  • Published

    May 2019

  • Weight


  • Page Count


  • Dimensions

    118 x 194 x 20 mm

  • ISBN


  • ISBN-10


  • Eden Code


More Information

  • Author/Creator: Paula Gooder

  • ISBN: 9781444791747

  • Publisher: John Murray Press

  • Release Date: May 2019

  • Weight: 226g

  • Dimensions: 118 x 194 x 20 mm

  • Eden Code: 4749876


4.8 (6)

Average rating of 4.8 from 6 reviews

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1 year ago


The book provides a wonderful insight into the culture and thinking of the period when Paul was travelling. Especially the position of slaves. It helps bring to life the bible text. Alongside the teaching given in the notes, is a very readable and moving story in which different shades of discipleship are explore.

Virginia Balchin

Virginia Balchin


4 years ago

Compelling story. Couldn't put it down

I just loved this book. I'm studying Romans at the moment so it was really helpful insight into how Romans might have been received when Phoebe first delivered it. But beyond that it touched every emotion from tears to joy. Even the end notes (which Paula Gooder was so apologetic about) are fascinating background and helpful in understanding first century Christians and their world. For me it delivered both purely as a story and as an educational vehicle.

Louise Cook

Louise Cook


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