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Paul and the Faithfulness of God Paperback – November 1, 2013
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"N. T. Wright's long-awaited full-length study of St. Paul will not in any way disappoint. From the very first sentence, it holds the attention, arguing a strong, persuasive, coherent, and fresh case supported by immense scholarship and comprehensive theological intelligence. It is a worthy successor to his earlier magisterial studies, laying out again very plainly the ways in which the faith of the New Testament is focused on God's purpose to re-create, through the fact of Jesus crucified and risen, our entire understanding of authority and social identity." --Rowan Williams, Magdalene College, Cambridge
"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
About the Author
N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. He is the author of over sixty books, including The New Testament and the People of God (1992), Jesus and the Victory of God (1996), The Resurrection of the Son of God (2003), Pauline Perspectives (2013), and Paul and His Recent Interpreters (2013), all published by Fortress Press.
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Top Customer Reviews
I look forward to his next two books to complete the series
THIS IS A REVIEW OF PART 3a only: Paul’s theology:
1ST: LET’S DISPEL THE CRITICS: for some unfortunate reason, Fundamentalists claim that Professor Wight does not present Paul’s Doctrine of “Substitutionary Grace”. It is true that he does not present the Fundamentalist Version; but he does present the “German-Reformed-Version”; and I mean the legacy of Karl Barth & his successor Jurgen Moltmann. He presents Substitutionary Grace along these lines. And it is presented in this part three section of the Paul-Project.
2ND: SO WHAT’S THE NEW THING? : It’s simple, but it’s complicated. For Professor Wright; Paul does not teach separate doctrines of Christology and Eschatology. And he does not teach separate doctrines of Pneumatology and Eschatology. Instead he teaches: Eschatological-Christology & Eschatological-Pneumatology. These are also addressed in this part three section.
3RD: SO WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CONCEPT OF “SALVATION”? It’s simple, but it’s complicated; it becomes “New-Creation”, through “New-Humanity”. And every Sub-System that these terms abbreviate.
OK; SO HERE ARE THE DEEP & CONTENT-FULL SIX LESSONS I DREW FROM THESE PAGES:
1. REFLECTIVE-PRAXIS & PAUL’S NEW MONOTHEISM PP. 609-645
2. PAUL’S ESCHATOLOGICAL MONOTHEISM PP. 645-665
3. THE CHARACTER OF ESCHATOLOGICAL CHRISTOLOGY PP. 665-685
4. BEING GATHERED-TOGETHER IN-THE-MESSIAH PP. 685-720
5. PHRONEMA-CHARISMA-KOINONIA PP. 720-740
6. HAMARTIA-SOTERIA-HUPERNIKAO PP. 740-774
NO OUT-OF-CONTEXT READING ALLOWED: unfortunately, there are no short-cuts. You will have to study parts 1 & 2; in order to build a proper foundation for an adequate understanding of these important pages.
I have found NO UNNECESSARY PAGES IN THIS MONUMENTAL TREATMENT ON PAUL. EVERY PAGE IS FILLED WITH MEANINGFUL CONTENT.
DON’T FORGET YOUR STUDY AIDES: BIBLE; Bauer .A. & G. GREEK LEXICON ; SOLID INTERLINEAR; & LOTS OF TIME
This 3rd part is powerful teaching: 5 stars absolutely. Thank you Professor Wright.
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. When quoting texts from the Hebrew Bible Wright uses the name of God, "YHWH" instead of LORD as it is most often translated. This is important because YHWH means "I am what I am" or "I will be what I will be." both meanings are correct. There is no better definition of God than that!
3. When he uses the generic word "God" he capitalizes the first letter in this volume, whereas he left all in lower case in the previous volumes. He made this change because he assumes his readers understand by now that he is speaking of the one creator God of the universe, and the God of Israel. In the previous volumes he explained that people have so many variations of the god they believe in that he wouldn't be sure what god they had in mind.
For me, one of its greatest values, however, is Wright's introducing us to the worldview of Paul, which consisted of the culture and worldview of Ancient Greece, Rome, and Israel. All three were instrumental in shaping Paul's theology and mission. Also his description of Paul's Pharisaic life is the best I've seen.
Yes, it's long, far too long for my taste, but it is precise and detailed (sometimes to a fault). Yet I recognize that his massive work is aimed primarily not at the general reading public, but for academics to pour over its pages, and enter them into their debates among themselves. If that is your primary complaint, you haven't read many academic treatises. If you want to catch the other side of Tom Wright, read some of his books which are aimed primarily at the general public: "Paul in Fresh Perspective," "Surprised by Hope," "Simply Jesus," "How God Became King," etc. You might think they were written by some other person! Not so. Just a different style of writing, by a master scholar and storyteller. Yes, I'll skip the parts that are too wordy and look for Wright's conclusions along the way.
Some reviewers believe that he does not reflect Reformed/Reformation theology. Must we be stuck with 500 year old dogma, doctrine and interpretation? The world has come a long way since then. We don't burn witches anymore either. We are in the midst of a revolution in biblical studies which may, in the end, prove more important then the Reformation.
One reviewer gives the book one star because it doesn't agree with his 17 proof texts and apparently believes those trump the hundreds, nay thousands, of texts cited by Wright. It's sad.
If the price of the Kindle edition is so close to the paperback edition, shell out a few bucks more for the print edition -- it'll be easier to read and highlight the great passages (which are many).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book moved away from NT Wrights clear and simple writing style, and instead added all sorts of...Read more