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In the Fullness of Time: An Introduction to the Biblical Theology of Acts and Paul (Gaffin)

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An Exegetical Study of the Book of Acts and Pauline Theology

Christians often skip a crucial starting point when studying the apostle Paul: the foundations of his deeply nuanced theology. Some studies on the book of Acts attempt to touch on every major theme in Paul’s letters, making them difficult to understand or prone to leaving out important nuances. Christians need a biblical, theological, and exegetically grounded framework to thoroughly understand Paul’s theology.

In this book, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. gives readers an accessible introduction to Acts and Paul. Building on a lifetime of study, Gaffin teaches on topics including the redemptive-historical significance of Pentecost; eschatology; and the fulfillment of redemptive history in the death and resurrection of Christ. In the Fullness of Time is an exegetical “textbook” for pastors, students, and lay leaders seeking to learn more about Acts and Paul from a Reformed and evangelical perspective.

  • Explores the Foundations of Paul's Theology: Offers a nuanced look at the core of Paul’s thinking
  • Wide-Ranging Audience: A valuable study for pastors, theology students, and lay leaders
  • Thorough Yet Accessible: An in-depth look at Pauline theology that’s accessible to readers


Table of Contents: 


Part 1: The Theology of Acts
Chapter 1: Pentecost and the History of Redemption
Chapter 2: The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus: An Overview
Chapter 3: The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom in Luke–Acts
Chapter 4: Pentecost (Part 1): Aspects of Its Fundamental Significance
Chapter 5: Pentecost (Part 2): Two Related Issues

Part 2: The Theology of Paul
Chapter 6: Preliminary Remarks
Chapter 7: Paul and His Interpreters
Chapter 8: Paul as Pastor-Theologian
Chapter 9: The Question of Entrée and the Center of Paul’s Theology
Chapter 10: Eschatological Structure
Chapter 11: The Resurrection (Part 1): Christ and Christians
Chapter 12: The Resurrection (Part 2): Christ and the Holy Spirit
Chapter 13: The Resurrection and the Christian Life (Part 1): Indicative and Imperative
Chapter 14: The Resurrection and the Christian Life (Part 2): Christian Suffering



Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (ThD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is emeritus professor of biblical and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he taught for over forty years until his retirement in 2010. He is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.


“I count myself blessed to be among generations of seminary students who have ‘basked’ in the glory of Christ as we sat under Richard Gaffin’s instruction, hearing him unfold the rich theology of Acts and the Pauline epistles. Gaffin models careful attention to, and insightful exposition of, specific New Testament texts as he places each passage within the context of the fulfillment of redemptive work and history in Christ’s person. I thank God that this rich lecture material is now offered in print form to the people of God.”
Dennis E. Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California; author, Him We ProclaimWalking with Jesus through His Word; and Journeys with Jesus

“Few living theologians have shaped my own understanding of the deep structures of New Testament theology more than Richard Gaffin. And now in one volume we have the core of his contribution to our generation. He connects the dots for us to see how the apostles understood us New Testament believers to be those ‘on whom the end of the ages has come’ (1 Cor. 10:11). It is especially in understanding the macrosignificance to Paul’s thinking of the resurrection—that of Christ’s, and thereby of those united to him—that Gaffin takes twenty-first-century students, pastors, and other readers back into the minds of the apostles with profound clarity. I bless God for giving us this magnificent volume through his faithful servant, Richard Gaffin.”
Dane C. Ortlund, Senior Pastor, Naperville Presbyterian Church; author, Gentle and Lowly and Deeper

“Sadly, Richard Gaffin’s work is a well-kept secret. Well, not entirely. It is known in certain circles, particularly in a portion of the Reformed community, but because of the profundity of his considerations, these labors ought to be known throughout the Christian world and beyond. In the Fullness of Time represents the lifework of this seasoned scholar. Like a master craftsman, Gaffin carefully places stone upon stone, which yields a lovely, finished edifice. Comparing the book of Acts to the theology of the apostle Paul is not a project that is immediately evident. After reading this book, it will have become quite patent. The centrality of Pentecost to Paul’s understanding of the Holy Spirit—an emphasis that so characterizes all his work—herein becomes manifest. More than that, it becomes vital for the life of the church. Striking are both the depth and the originality of this analysis. This work is destined to be not only the standard but a pacesetter for decades to come.”
William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Schaeffer on the Christian Life

“This is the much-anticipated fruit from the author’s many decades as a professor of both New Testament and systematic theology. A noble successor of the work of Geerhardus Vos, Richard Gaffin has helped many of us to understand how the Bible should be read. Plus, this volume expounds on the climactic events of redemptive history. Read, mark, learn, and digest this work.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“Year after year in the classroom, Richard Gaffin radically influenced countless students and would-be pastors in their reading and preaching of Scripture. Those lectures, now happily in print for all to see, if read until absorbed, will change the reader’s understanding of Scripture in remarkable and likely surprising ways. No pastor or biblical scholar should neglect the slow digestion of this rich biblical diet. Its truths have been shown to be truly revolutionary.”
K. Scott Oliphint, Dean of Faculty and Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Some books provide less than their title promises. This one provides more. While it does serve as ‘an introduction,’ it is not an elementary survey. It rather deftly combines careful exegesis, interaction with scholarship, an integrated view of the whole of Scripture, and awareness of the church’s place and mission in the world today. The compelling result, often drawing on the underrated Geerhardus Vos and Herman Ridderbos, is a doctrinally rich exploration and synthesis of how Acts and Paul’s letters depict Christ’s saving work, in time and for all eternity.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“If in a Qumran-like cave the discovery were to be made of the risen Lord’s lecture notes for his forty-day session imparted to his apostles concerning the kingdom of God, they would greatly mirror the truths, themes, and organic union of the Old Testament and the New Testament gospel so perceptively articulated by Richard Gaffin found herein. In the Fullness of Time is indeed ‘an Introduction to the biblical theology of Acts and Paul,’ but it is far more. It is the magisterial crescendo of a lifetime of scholarly study, unpacking the realized eschatology of the historical-redemptive revelation of Jesus Christ and his epoch-making grant of the Holy Spirit to his church. This masterpiece of biblical theology will open the word, shape your mind, and bless your heart. No serious student of Holy Scripture should miss the joy of being led by Gaffin and his compelling exegesis into a deeper and fuller understanding of the believer’s union with the risen Christ.”
Peter Lillback, President and Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary

“The first thought that comes to my mind about Richard Gaffin is that he is a reliable interpreter of Scripture. In the Fullness of Time thoroughly demonstrates this point. It balances what Christ accomplished at his cross and resurrection in the first century and how that relates to believers now in their own Christian experience. In particular, Gaffin shows how important Christ’s death and resurrection are for the Christian’s suffering in the present. While many past commentators have focused on the importance of Christ’s death in Paul’s theology, Gaffin explains how important Christ’s resurrection is, especially for Christian living. Those who read Gaffin’s book are in for a ‘theological treat.’”
G. K. Beale, Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary