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The Theology of Paul the Apostle (New Testament) [Kindle Edition]

James D. G. Dunn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this major work, James D. G. Dunn brings together more than two decades of vigorous and creative work on interpreting the letters of Paul into an integrated, full-scale study of Paul?s thought.

Using Paul?s letter to the Romans as the foundation for constructing a fuller exposition of Paul?s whole theology, Dunn?s thematic treatment clearly describes Paul?s teaching on such topics as God, humankind, sin, christology, salvation, the church, and the Christian life. In the process Dunn engages in a concise way what other important scholars have said regarding each area of inquiry.

The Theology of Paul the Apostle represents a major contribution to the ongoing discussion regarding what Paul?s theology is and what its continuing relevance is to the study and practice of religion and theology.

Editorial Reviews


"...a great work of academic rigour and great clarity of exposition. Indispensable for Pauline scholars." -- Igreja E Missaom, Jan-Apr 2001

About the Author

Widely regarded as one of the foremost scholars in the world today on the thought and writings of St. Paul, James D. G. Dunn is Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Durham in England.

Professor Dunn is the author of numerous books about the New Testament, including several important commentaries on various epistles of Paul. Among these commentaries are Romans (Word Biblical Commentary, 2 vols.), Galatians (Black's New Testament Commentaries), and Colossians and Philemon (New International Greek Testament Commentary).

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide to understanding Paul's theology February 17, 2000
By A Customer
This is a wonderful summary of Paul's theology written by a prominent New Testament scholar. I have been waiting for a recent book on Paul's theology that combines solid content with readability and clarity. I finally found it in this book! Dunn embraces the "new perspective" on Pauline studies on the gospel and the law. Nevertheless, a traditionalist would still find Dunn's views thought-provoking. I also like this book because it is so user-friendly and well-organized. Dunn organizes each chapter by topics (e.g. "God and humankind," "the gospel of Christ," " the process of salvation," etc.) and it is easy to follow. I highly recommend this book to layreaders, serious students, and scholars alike. It is a must for those who wish to read and understand more about Pauline theology!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow February 19, 2007
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
The depth of scholarship in this work is stunning - Dunn is a master of his field. But the true value of this work lies in its closeness to the text - it will have you diving for Paul's letters again and again. His systematic approach is well conceived and structured; he is careful never to over-conclude or run ahead with an argument: this work is clearly the product of careful laboring over the texts, with secondary sources used purely as aids, not drivers of discussion.

From the start his insights are profound, such as his observation that for Paul, 'sarx' (flesh) is very much an ethnic designation, and it is never directly blamed as a source for sin in Romans 7. The book leaves room for as much agreement or disagreement as you care to share - merely engaging with Dunn's arguments and analysis is the most rewarding exercise for truly encountering Paul that I have ever come across. I have never come across a book so erudite at reading between the lines of Paul, and investigating his unstated assumptions about God and humanity.

Take up this magisterial work - but keep your Bible, and preferably a notebook, close at hand: this is no mere rehearsal of the standard debates about Paul, but an earnest and scholarly attempt to make sense of a grand tapestry - an attempt which respects the fact that Paul wrote with a genius that has stupefied two millenia of great minds.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent exposition of Paul's Theology February 10, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think this is a truly exceptional work, from which I have gathered many valuable insights. I feel that it has been a valuable addition to my collection and well worth the money. Dunn presents a scholarly, detailed (and theologically unbiased) study into the writings of Paul.

He is able to tie up a lot of "loose ends", and make many theological connections which might be elusive to the average bible-reader (like me), revealing what he sees as a stable foundation of Paul's theology. It is well organized and annotated, making for easy topical study.

Just note that this is not an orthodox Christian book, although Dunn always treats the Scriptures and the subject matter with a great deal of care and respect.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide for understanding Paul's theology February 17, 2000
By A Customer
This is a wonderful summary of Paul's theology from a prominent New Testament scholar on Pauline studies. I've always wanted a recent work on Paul's theology that combines detailed, informative content with clarity. I have found it in this book. It packs a lot of information and yet it is clearly written and understandable for the lay reader, seminary student, and scholar alike.
Incidentally, Dunn embraces the "new perspective" on Paul and the Law. However, a traditionalist in Pauline studies will find Dunn's views thought-provoking.
I also liked this book because it is very user-friendly. The chapters are organized by topics ("Prologue," "God and Humankind" "The Gospel of Jesus Christ" " The Process of Salvation" etc.) and it is very easy to follow. The reader will also be impressed with the extensive bibliography that Dunn includes at the very beginning. For any student and reader who desires to understand Paul's theology, this book by Dunn is a must! I highly recommend it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic compendium of Pauline scholarship November 21, 2007
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the standard introduction to Paul's theology. Using the template of Romans, Dunn lays out clearly Paul's theology from the rest of his letters in a way that makes for ease of reference. His clear writing style makes this book commendable to college-age students, but his profundity makes it valuable to the most experienced scholar.

This work has some rather stunning insights. For instance, Dunn's thesis that the invitation for those who are in Christ to die Christ's death rather than Adam's clarifies and encapsulates Paul's thought on one of the biggest questions any religion is called upon to answer. That is Dunn at his best, so far in the book as I have gotten.

Dunn is the man who coined the phrase "The New Perspective on Paul" so obviously his work is sympathetic to what may more appropriately be termed a new perspective on Judaism. Thus, those among us who admire reformation theology will have a few axes to grind with this work. But I am yet to find a topic in which he is as unfair to those with whom he disagrees as they are as a rule to him and his views.

Unlike his contemporary N.T. Wright he does not see the "story" of Israel as the overarching category for interpretation, so his work is a bit more atomistic and less likely to find a totally unified theological construction. But unlike some others, he does not see contradiction everywhere he looks in Paul's writing. He accomplishes this admirable feat by not confusing Paul's metaphors with irreducible truth.

This is one of the few books that I have purchased that I wish I had in hardback (or better yet on my computer). I expect to wear at least one copy out in the course of completing my doctoral dissertation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dunn that I read and I can recommend it in the highest fashion
This was the first work of Dr. Dunn that I read and I can recommend it in the highest fashion. Dr. Dunn goes into substantial detail concerning Paul's beliefs as a zealot... Read more
Published 14 days ago by James H. Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars so far what i have read is very interesting, ...
so far what i have read is very interesting, it is take me longer than i planned to read. I have never had to look up so many words to find the meaning.
Published 2 months ago by copy_tech
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summary
Dunn never goes beyond the evidence and has done a remarkable job of discussing the different levels of Paul's theologising, from the things he simply assumes about God, and the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Messieh
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Happy with the shipping prep!
I thought it was a bit pricey. It was in great condition, except where the four corners had been dog-eared [bent] in transit. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Frank Burns SR
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasurable
I have this book on my Kindle and dip into it for pleasure. Such a wise and well informed book
Published 13 months ago by B J Lash
1.0 out of 5 stars Out-of-sight!
Incredible book! Helped me understand St. Paul and his work! The author said he worked on the research for over 40 years. I can believe it! Looking forward to reading it again!
Published 18 months ago by Lowell E. Alt Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Some unconvincing points, but generally speaking suberb!
If one needs to get a good summary of Paul's theological thought, here is the one book which could be the very good choice. Read more
Published on October 30, 2012 by Antti Laakso
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly but reads like a novel.
I'm currently working on a Masters in Theology and bought this for a paper. This is a great book. Although scholarly, with tons of footnotes, it reads like a novel. Read more
Published on October 27, 2011 by Ex Republican
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep and complete study of Paul's Theology
This is the most complete and thought provoking study of St. Paul, his Theology, and the Theos that shaped him I have found. Read more
Published on September 5, 2010 by Reverend C. Joseph Fifer
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding, scholarly and practical study of Paul's theology
This is an amazing study of Paul's theology that exceeds the bar of scholarship and applicable insights. Read more
Published on December 17, 2008 by C. Stephans
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