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Approaches to Paul: A Student's Guide to Recent Scholarship Paperback – May 1, 2009
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In all the evaluations of each individual author are, in my opinion, very fair. His 3-5 page summaries condense the important features of each author's work and add incisive commentary about the potential biases or limitations of those works.
He does a nice job of demonstrating how the "Lutheran" assumptions have colored Paul studes and how the theological biases of many authors (even liberal ones) have affected their works. He makes a point to introduce the "radical new perspective" as a loose group of approaches which, although different, share a commonality in the fact that they do not take anything for granted.
Though far from exhaustive this very readable 240 page book is a superb introduction - or even refresher course - for those intersted in Paul studies. Though the author claims to be writing from a secular vantage point, and in the end gives a nod to the "radical new perspective", his work is completely fair and objective.
Highly recommended, especially for conservatives (like me) who may not have as much familiarity with the nonchristian authors.
Being only an amateur in New Testament theological studies, this book finally provided me the "big picture" of the debate between E.P. Sander's New Perspective on Pauline theology and its critics.
Prior to reading this book, I had to piece together, as best as I could, what the terms of that debate were from the works of partisan authors. APPROACHES TO PAUL filled in the gaps and objectively clarified where each of the major contributors to the debate (Sanders, Wright, Dunn, Gathercole, etc.) stood.
APPROACHES TO PAUL also convinced a Catholic like me (I won't hazard to say what other readers will take away from this book) that Protestant Pauline theology - at least among academics - is slowly converging with Orthodox, Catholic, and even Jewish soteriological views.
n relation to Philippians 3:4b-6 which is an autobiographical note that may confirm Luke’s account. Paul writes: If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Zetterholmn says:
“Besides referring to his Jewish identity in several ways, Paul here describes himself as a Pharisee. This agrees well with the statement given in Acts that he had studied under Gamaliel, who was a leading Pharisee. The Pharisees were a religious, and to a certain extent, political, party that emphasized the importance of continuous interpretation of the Torah. One problem that occupied the Pharisees was how to apply the Torah to new situations. Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees accepted the oral Torah, that is, all interpretations and adaptations of the biblical text, which were considered divinely inspired and just as binding as the original precepts.Read more ›
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As other commentators have said, this is a quick summary of the historical development of the interpretations of Paul. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by Jamie B.
This book is really about recent scholarship concerning the question of whether Saint Paul left Judaism, remained a Jew, or simply wanted Christ-believing Gentiles not to become... Read morePublished on November 6, 2012 by Byron