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Paul and the Faithfulness of God Paperback – November 1, 2013
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"Only once in every other generation or so does a project approaching the size, scope, and significance of Paul and the Faithfulness of God appear. Paul's world, worldview, controlling stories, and theology spring to life through N. T. Wright's brilliant scholarship and spirited writing. Arguing for narrative and theological coherence in Paul's thought, Wright seeks to overcome numerous dichotomies that have characterized recent Pauline scholarship. Readers will be richly rewarded and challenged at every turn—even when they do not fully agree. Each chapter reveals something profound about the surprising faithfulness of the God freshly revealed in Jesus the Messiah and conveyed to Paul's communities, and to us, by the Spirit." --Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore, Maryland
"Breath-taking, mind-expanding, ground-breaking, and more—it is easy to run out of adjectives to describe what N. T. Wright has already accomplished in his multi-volume account of New Testament history and theology. This fourth volume in the series is likewise a game-changer, above all for its adventurous presentation of Paul's ‘mindsetrsquo; and theology, so thoroughly contextualized at the confluence of the apostle's Jewish, Roman, and Greek worlds. This is Wright at his best—part historian, part exegete, part theologian, part pedagogue." --Joel B. Green, Fuller Theological Seminary, California
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Top Customer Reviews
Due to the sheer magnitude of his fourth volume, I have broken up my review into two parts, mirroring the division of the book itself. Part one of my review will aim to summarize (hopefully succinctly) and evaluate the content of Parts One and Two of Wright's magnum opus, while Part two of my review will naturally do the same for Parts Three and Four of his book. Clearly much will be left unsaid, however, I hope to faithfully chart out the general argument that Wright lays forth and offer my own perception of its success. A daunting task, no doubt, yet one that I am honored to do. Many thanks to Fortress Press for graciously sending me a review copy.
After a brief preface laying forth the outline of the book, Wright begins his masterful symphony: Part One - Paul and His World
Chapter One: Return of the Runaway?
This chapter, in some sense, takes the place of an introduction, however, it does far more than introduce the task at hand. Wright begins by setting the Apostle Paul and Pliny the Younger side by side. Both were men of authority in their sphere's of influence, both were Romans near the beginning of the Christian movement, and both had written letters addressing slaves. Paul wrote to Philemon about Onesimus, and Pliny wrote to Sabinianus about an unknown slave whom Sabinianus had recently set free.
There is much of interest at hand here, however, most important is the incredible distinction in worldview between Pliny and this Paul figure.Read more ›
That said, there are similarities and differences between the volumes. All together they each provide one seamless proclamation from the beginning of the Bible to its end. Too often the Old Testament (a.k.a. Hebrew Bible) is treated by Christians as the prelude to the real revelation: the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the early years of the building of the Christian Church. Nothing could be farther from the truth, Wright time and again reminds us in this volume, as Paul very forcefully says in chapters 9-11 of Romans. The Hebrew Bible, and Jewish faith, are the roots upon which our faith is built (11:18) -- cut that root off and we risk being cut off from YHWH (pronounced Yahweh), the creator God and the source of Jewish and Christian faith. To help us make this seamless transitions between the two testaments, Wright uses several powerful, yet subtle, symbolic words. For instance:
1. He rarely uses the word "Christ" when speaking of Jesus, but instead uses the Jewish term, "the Messiah." Christ comes from the Greek, and Messiah comes from the Hebrew. Both mean the same, "the anointed."
2.Read more ›
Those who are quick to judge and dismiss will miss out on an opportunity to dialogue with one of the more engaging exegetes of recent times. This book will challenge you to go back to Scripture and study and check to see if what he says is true.
What he is proposing is a slight correction of the mechanics of justification (Reformed and all its variations) as well as the emphasis he believes Paul gives to several major themes within the writings of the Apostle Paul. Don't get me wrong, this work is comprehensive and touches on every major doctrine in Scripture but most of those "touches" will not be controversial. Only the ones that bump up against the concept of justification will bring heat from those who oppose.
Well worth the time it takes to read!
I look forward to his next two books to complete the series
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very lengthy....but very detailed. If you want to read Professor N.T. Wright at his best, this 2 volume work is for you.Published 18 days ago by Don M. Johnson
PERFECT! Product just as expected. Fast shipping. Great price.Published 3 months ago by Fred Johnson
N. T. Wright gives new insights into understanding Paul and his theology. It is a long work, very wordy, using language that the average reader would find difficult at times. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jim Welch
Exceptional! Places Paul in his Jewish, Greek, pagan, & Roman context sensitively but convincingly, and in ways 'relevant' for today's challenges for aspiring followers of The... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bill Rockwell
Outstanding scholarship presented in a way that is understandable for lay persons!Published 4 months ago by Shirley Thorpe
As a 26 year old with a bachelors in Religion, this book on Paul's life was super helpful to me when I was taking my classes and writing papers. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Dowda
Wright always is fun, exciting, and entertaining, and theologically sound. This book will take you on many adventures. Have fun!! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Casey Dayton
This is my first NT Wright book. I finished volume 1 & am now in the middle of volume 2. I find the entire thing fascinating. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Will Gaston