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Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People Paperback – June 1, 1983
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1) Judaism was not a religion of works-righteousness.
2) Paul was a coherent thinker, if not an organized and systematic one.
3) The tensions in Paul's theology arise from sets of convictions: He does not view Christianity as a different religion than Judaism, yet notes that it is quite different in focusing around Jesus of Nazareth and a loosening of Torah.
3a) Paul gives numerous treatments of the Law which are not easily systematized.
Per 1) I disagree with him, but any answer to this question is tricky. I certainly agree that the Law God gave to his people was not intended to be works-righteousness (otherwise God is a tricksy fellow). That is an entirely different claim than saying 1st century rabbis saw it as such. I think Sanders is guilty of conflating two issues into one. I can agree with him that the average Jew didn't go around in a crude medieval Catholic fashion worrying about how many Hail Marys he said that day. On the other hand, and even the NPP project hints toward this, many did associate at least one level of salvation with who they were as Jews. Contrary to both critics and advocates of NPP, it really isn't that wide a gap between salvation based on my good works and salvation based on my ethnic identity.
Per 2) This might be tough to say, but we all think it: in one sentence what did Paul really teach about the Law? You simply cannot answer it in one sentence. In some places he says its good; others its bad.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent background info to St Paul's connection to lateSecond Temple Judaism and the early Jesus-movement.Published 2 months ago by terrryp
An important read for Christians whostruggle with the law. Mr Sanders has given this topic a well laid out treatment.Published 10 months ago by John Ericson