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Paul on Trial: The Book of Acts as a Defense of Christianity [Paperback]

John Mauck
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 23 2001

JOHN W. MAUCK provides an exciting new way of understanding the Book of Acts. With great skill and powerful arguments, the author contends that Acts was written primarily to defend Paul for his forthcoming trial in Rome. After reading Maucks volume, the read we will not only gain a fuller understanding of Acts, but also obtain rock-solid arguments for defending Christianity and understanding its Jewish roots.

Whats Inside:

A fresh study of Acts as a legal brief

Insights gained from understanding of Roman law

Numerous Charts that outline Lukes argument

Recorded speeches viewed as witness testimony

A section-by-section review of all of Acts

A powerful apologetic defending the claims of Christianity


The book is a terrific addition to any lawyers library. It makes the Book of Acts come alive with new and useful insights. -- Samuel B. Casey, Executive Director, Christian Legal Society

It makes a constructive, fresh, and fascinating contribution to the understanding of Acts. -- Dr. Donald Hagner, Author of Matthew in WBC, Fuller Theological Seminary

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About the Author

JOHN W. Mauck, a seasoned attorney, received his B.A. from Yale University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School. A member of the Christian Legal Society, Mauck and his wife, Rosemary, have four children and reside in Evanston, Illinois.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Approach to Acts June 3 2003
I read this book about 2 years ago, and am still fascinated by its premise and the well-reasoned approach used to support that premise. Mauck's writing is clear and compelling, and got me thinking about the Book of Acts in a far different way than I ever had before. To the best of my knowledge, there is no other book that treats Acts as a legal document and Mauck's arguments gripped me to read further and revisit the Bible itself in light of this idea.
I am neither a law student nor Bible scholar, just a Christian interested in learning more about my faith. I highly recommend Paul on Trial to anyone who is interested in more fully exploring the early Christian church and Paul's challenges in spreading the Gospel.
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I am still reading this book, but want to provide a comment. This book is worth the effort to read,study, and contemplate. I agree with all of the preceding reviews. For me, Mr. Mauck's book is functioning like a good brass or gold polish. It is stripping away the grime and tarnish of twenty centuries as well as my own understanding and appreciation of the Book of Acts, cleaning and polishing it right down to it's original design details and shape. I am now seeing things in Acts and the Gospel Of Luke that either I never was aware of before or have always wondered about but didn't know more. This book is wonderful because in its way, it reveals Christianity as it is, a uniquely radical, powerful phenomenon that is supernaturally guided and fueled, not the pervasive, almost ambient cultural Christianity that we all tend to take for granted, for good or ill.
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I found that this is not a book that can be read quickly, it is more like a text book that I could only take in smaller portions in conjunction with going through ACTS in a small group Bible Study. I would like to know who the people are that are slamming this author, I would really like to know their arugments against his theory, because this is very powerful stuff, Canonization of the Bible speaking...not even Chuck Missler or Hal Lindsey thought of this theory before Mr. Mauck.
I simply can't think of a reason why anyone would doubt his theory that Luke wrote what has become to be known as Acts as a defense of Paul and the earliest Jesus/Gospel followers...and he pulls the book of Luke into the same theory, although the title doesn't mention this fact. At a minimum, Acts should have been titled "Acts of the Holy Spirit", more so than "Acts of the Apostles", as many refer to it. But now after reading this book, Acts should be retitled in all new pressings of Protestant Bibles to more reflect this book's arguments.
This will probably be his only book, unless someone un-earths some new letters or documents in an archeology dig in the middle east that were written for the same trial-type cause. This was a job well-done, by someone who gets it that we worship the Jewish faith fulfilled. God Bless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Acts as a Legal Document Nov. 5 2001
As someone who has written a book on the relationship of historical evidence to the book of Acts (Evidence and Paul's Journeys: An Historical Investigation into the Travels of the Apostle Paul), I wish that I had had John Mauck's book in hand while doing my research.
Mauck, a seasoned attorney, cogently argues the case that the book of Acts was written as a pre-trial document for the Apostle Paul, while Paul was awaiting trial before the emperor Nero. Although I am not sure that this thesis is finally proven, Mauck weaves together enough fascinating strands of evidence to suggest the very real possibility that Acts was just such a document. At the very least, he establishes that Acts was deliberately written with the legal status of Paul - and of Christianity - in mind.
The casual Bible student too easily views Acts as simply an account of Paul's missionary efforts, without recognizing the key role that law and litigation played in his career. Paul was a controversial figure, who did not back down when proclaiming his message in the cities and provinces of the Roman empire. Acts describes in detail the court fights and imprisonments that Paul underwent for the sake of the gospel.
To understand Acts, and the radical character of early Christianity, it is necessary to understand the legal strategies of Paul and his opponents. John Mauck takes us into the middle of that legal battle and gives us new insights into the formative period when the gospel was first proclaimed to the Roman world.
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