Richards_lettersToday’s book recommendation is E. Randolph Richards’ Paul and First-Century Writing.  Richards’ wrok covers a wide variety of topics concerning Paul and letter writing.  He examines the following topics and more: secretaries, letter carriers, co-authors, tools of the trade, and Paul’s writing style.  The work is quite illuminating, however, Randolph is willing is prone to speculation when evidence is lacking.  Additionally, he has an agenda which does not become clear until mid way through the book, Paul wrote every letter attributed to him.  Despite the possible shortcomings Richards has provided an excellent work that I used in my course on Paul and ancient letter writing last year at, the exceedingly secular, UCLA (Hist 97K for those interested).  I highly recommend the work for anyone interested in Paul and ancient letter writing.