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Jesus, Paul and the Law: Studies in Mark and Galatians Paperback – April 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st American ed edition (April 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664250955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664250959
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,454,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James D. G. Dunn is Lightfoot Professor Emeritus ofDivinity atthe University of Durham in England.He is one of the world'spremier New Testament scholars.

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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Peltz, student of the New Testament on February 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
James Dunn is, in my opinion, a model scholar. He begins from liberal presuppositions but his conclusions tend to be quite conservative.
As a liberal, Dunn does not assume that the Bible is inerrant; for each issue he raises, he proceeds to examine the evidence in detail. But despite his liberal presuppositions, he always employs careful exegesis. He does not make unwarranted leaps from the biblical text to supposed extra-biblical parallels, but closely examines the biblical text in its own light before extending his inquiry cautiously outwards.
It is widely recognized that there is a large conceptual leap between Jesus (as presented in the Gospels) and Paul. Jesus lived as a Jew, in obedience to the Law of Moses, and he restricted his mission to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt. 15:24). Paul devoted himself primarily to the conversion of Gentiles. He held that Gentiles could be saved apart from circumcision and other works of the Law, asserting that Christ was "the end of the Law" (Ro. 10:3).
Dunn argues that the conceptual link is not as unbridgable as many scholars assume. Indeed, he argues that Jesus' attitude toward the Law constitutes a bridge to later Christianity. In Dunn's opinion, Paul was merely following Jesus' position to its logical conclusion, responding to issues as they subsequently arose in early Church history in a way that was consistent with Jesus' own stance.
For example, Dunn examines Mark 7 in detail. (There Jesus is reported to have "declared all foods clean".) Dunn does not assume that Mark's report is historical, but weighs the evidence pro and con. He ultimately concludes that Jesus made a somewhat ambiguous statement. Mark interpreted it one way; Matthew interpreted it somewhat differently.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Parks on June 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a layman, I've been intrigued by the New Perspective on Paul and wanted to go back and read something that got this conversation started, so I read this and was extrememly impressed by the scholarship. The arguments by Dunn are sophisticated. I can't give a review the like the first person here, but I can say that this book is worth the effort. Though I am not persuaded by the NPP, I appreciate its insights and value the work done by these guys, esp. Dunn. His Theology of Paul is outstanding and is sitting next Ridderbos on my shelf.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. McRae on November 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
In response to the "Misunderstands Judaism and Justification" review below, I must say that Dunn gives absolute prominence of place to the New Testament. Not only in "Jesus, Paul and the Law" but in his many other books, including "The Theology of Paul the Apostle," at least the first two volumes of his "Jesus Remembered" trilogy, as well as the dozens of other books and commentaries on the NEW TESTAMENT writings which he has authored, Dunn makes it abundantly clear that the only way to proceed with any study of Jesus, Paul, or any other New Testament personality, as he sees it, is to stick to the New Testament text itself. Of course he brings in "other source(s)" as necessary, but to claim that Dunn ignores the New Testament in favor of other writings is simply not true and betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of what Dunn is so obviously trying to say.
Jesus, Paul and the Law is another fine example of Dunn's scholarship, which I can only describe as exemplary. You may not necessarily agree with his conclusions, (thought I honestly don't see why), but his methodology is impeccable. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Pauline or New Testament studies in general.
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11 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
James Dunn in this volume demonstrates the willingness characteristic of New Perspective scholars to value the contribution of any other source, even rabbinnic sources of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, above the New Testament. This is worse than rejecting inerrency - it is rejecting the NT as a primary source for the first century! Even if Dunn's reinterpretation of Paul were true (which it isn't), he would still have to account for the woes pronnounced by Jesus in Matthew 23. Sounds like legalism to me!
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