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Book Structure

Page Topics

Book Differs From Site Maps and Illustrations Dialog Style Used
Basic Book Structure Engaging Literary Style References Familiarity
Table of Contents In Book Examples of Book Style

Book Structure Different From That of This Site

This web site is intentionally structured to provide a means of quickly obtaining a general understanding of the concepts covered in the book Solving the Paul Puzzle. Therefore the different web pages and the topics contained in the pages do not parallel the structure of topics in the book.

The concepts given on this web site are exactly the same as the concepts given in the book, but the structure is different in order to attain the purpose explained above.

The two mediums are different, and the book uses a structure that is appropriate for a book on this topic.

Basic Book Structure

The book is divided into 3 parts:

Part 1 covers all of the Paul Puzzle problems and explains the solution. Some of the content has been summarized on this site at The Puzzle, but the book covers everything in much more detail.

The result is that by the end of Part 1, a complete timeline for Paul has been revealed, including the major events in his life as well as dates and places for the authorship of his epistles.

Part 2 then moves to the subject of the other New Testament documents. With a timeline for Paul available, it can be used to gauge the activities and writings of the other apostles.

While this exposition about the circumstances of the other New Testament documents is given in great detail in the book, it is not covered at all on this web site.

By the end of Part 2, we have a timeline for all of the New Testament documents.

Part 3 then summarizes the potential to move forward, using the new timeline as a tool for further study.

Table of Contents In the Book

Part 1 — The Paul Puzzle

Part 2 — The Other New Testament Writings

Part 3 — Using the Timeline

30 Maps and Illustrations

The book includes 30 maps and illustrations, which are listed in the back of the book.

There are 22 maps, and each is placed in the corresponding section of the text. As an example, the map showing the ship routes of Paul when visiting Crete is placed in Chapter 4.

The illustrations are mainly symbolic pieces to add some visual variety to certain areas of the book, but some are functional, such as a diagram showing how Silas was first influenced by Paul and then passed some services to Peter, which appears in Chapter 10.

Engaging Literary Style

The style of writing in the book is engaging and stimulating. It intentionally uses language to invigorate the reader's thinking.

To be clear, the writing in the book is not like the writing on this web site.

This web site has been established to give basic explanations about the main topics covered in the book — the problems with the New Testament chronology and the most reasonable solutions — but the site takes the approach of explaining in a way that allows a user to quickly detect the key information and decide whether or not further inquiry is desired.

The book takes a different approach: leading the reader through the steps of investigation so that the logical conclusions build on each other as the reader progresses through the chapters.

For the reason, the reader of the book must engage in careful reading, remembering the content of previous chapters and thinking about the logical connections that are implied by the information.

In other words, reading the book may not be as easy as viewing this web site. It may take some time. For people who like to read, that will not be a problem, but for people in a rush it may be disappointing to find that the answers are not laid out one-two-three.

Examples of Book Style

While the book is respectful of the subject and of the readers, it does venture beyond the bland expositional style of many academic works.

At times the book states information as if it is a foregone conclusion rather than a point that needs careful debate. Such statements do not prevent debate on any particular point, it just seems more interesting to approach certain points with a strident attitude, in comparison to wishy-washy vacillation.

The basic propositions of this book will remain reliable. Because they are correct. The answers given here provide an accurate chronology of the New Testament that will allow reference developers and publishers to provide better Bible study materials for us all. And we will gain a deeper understanding of our favorite book, the New Testament.

You can see there is not a whole lot of wishy-washy in that statement. Every idea in that paragraph may not turn out to be 100% accurate, but it sounds much more intriguing than a less bold assertion.

You may also have noticed that a sentence in the above example is actually a fragment rather than a full sentence, and a different sentence begins with a conjunction. While grammatical purists may not like such flexibility, it adds to the impact of the exposition. Furthermore, these are exceptions, and most of the book is presented with normal grammar.

Dialog Style Used In Places

Another aspect about the book style is the use of a dialectic approach in some places. For sure, this is not the Dialogues of Plato, but an occasional transition into this form seeks to engage the thinking of the reader on certain critical points.

In the section describing literary analysis, the following paragraph appears. This one overtly signals reader participation, but many other such dialogs in the book omit the indicators of the speaker.

Were the apostles, by and large, polite or rude? Considerate or uncaring? (Your answer:) "Polite and considerate, of course!" But how do we know that? The New Testament never says in any particular place The apostles were very kind. (Your answer again:) "We know it because they wrote the letters in the first place! If they hadn't cared about people, they never would have sent the letters!"

Again, the purpose in using such style is to engage the reader and lead to contemplation of the subject.

The book is not full of such stylistic techniques one instance after another, but they have been placed in certain areas with careful intent.

Most of the book follows regular expository style while attempting to be concise and remain interesting.

References Presume Familiarity

Explanations given on this web site have very often included full quotes in a clear pattern so that readers would be able to grasp points without turning to the Bible to look up references.

The book also gives references in full and with a distinct format, but not always. In many cases the references to New Testament verses are given only in parentheses.

This allows the book to pursue the point being considered, without stopping the line of thinking by inserting an entire quote within the text.

In doing this, the book presumes that the reader has a basic knowledge of the New Testament, or is willing to look up the references if they seem unfamiliar.

Among the writers of the New Testament, is Paul alone in using figures of speech such as nicknames? Was it really that uncommon? Well, there was Jesus. We could remember that he gave his most influential disciple the nickname "Cephas," thereby changing his name from Simon to Peter (Jn 1:42). Then he added a little flare to James and John, calling them "Sons of Thunder" (Mk 3:17). He even called the Pharisees snakes and vipers (Mt 23:33). A couple of years later, a persecutor of the church was zapped from heaven, after which the man starts going by his second name (Acts 13:9).

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