Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Paul: In Fresh Perspective Paperback – January 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
N.T. Wright is one of the premier New Testament scholars in the world right now, but his views not least some of those set out in Paul in Fresh Perspective are quite controversial.
He is part of a group of scholars (by no means agreed among themselves) arguing for the "New Perspective on Paul," or NPP. Wright is the foremost NPP popularizer. He is an engaging speaker and lucid writer who works admirably hard at bringing his view to lay people.
However, Paul in Fresh Perspective is not easy reading and not quite for most lay people. This small book (just 174 pages of text and a few endnotes) comprises the Hulsean Lectures Wright delivered at Cambridge. These lectures, Wright says, are a further development beyond another small book he wrote, What St. Paul Really Said. In Paul in Fresh Perspective Wright hits themes familiar from that earlier book: the narrative of creation and covenant, Messiah and apocalyptic, and gospel and empire.
The most controversial of Wright's emphases are those which have a bearing on justification. He is famous for arguing that justification is not about how you get into God's family; it's proof that you are in. It's God's declaration that you are, in fact, part of His covenant family. He thus questions the traditional Reformation doctrine of imputation.
In the second half of Paul in Fresh Perspective, Wright takes Jewish theology as an organizing principle for laying out a Pauline theology, viewing it through the three primary lenses of monotheism, election, and eschatology. This is a work with a popular look but a scholarly appeal. It appears to be a forerunner to the fourth volume of what will likely prove Wright's magnum opus, the New Testament and the People of
God series. It will bring readers up to date on the thinking of a very good writer and important scholar and theologian. --Mark L. Ward, Jr., Chrisitan Library Journal, June 2007
About the Author
N. T.Wright is the Bishop of Durham and the author of several Fortress Press books, including Jesus and the Victory of God (1996), The Resurrection of the Son of God (2003), The New Testament and the People of God (1992), and The Climax of the Covenant (1992).
Top customer reviews
N. T. wright is an intellectual who has a background in "pastoral care". That automatically puts him a step ahead in the world of academic biblical exegesis. Wright has written two books here and combined them into one volume. The first book describes Paul's phenomenological context for his development of a theological self-consciousness; primarily through the process of sign-translation and sign-transformation.
It will take two combined reviews to do this volume justice; therefore consider this the combined offering, which addresses pages 1-82; the phenomenology; and then 83 to the conclusion.
Here we examine the theological development of Paul's self-consciousness concerning the Judaic-faith, the Christian-apocalyptic difference, and the re-birth of signs in "return"; we come away with much of the material we were already familiar with, but presented in a profoundly new way, which infuses it with "energia" & "dunamis". The journey proceeds roughly in the following manner:
1. Paul, the Pharisee, within the Judaic tradition; performing preliminary exegesis of the TORAH, as "Law".
2. Paul, as Pharisee, again; but this time with a "phronetic-stance" that takes him up into that anticipatory contemplation of the "AGE-OF-GOD'S-KINGDOM-TO-COME", when God will return to his people, who currently suffer under pagan oppression.
3. Paul, as convert; after the Damascus road experience; and as an intellectual, actually constructing a theology as "Soteriology", which for a while, would co-exist alongside his Judaic-covenant-narrative. This soteriology followed the triad-construction of: 1. COVENANT: as depicted in the TORAH, as inauguration of the Abrahamic-family & the promise of land. 2. SARX; as depicting, primarily Israel's "sin-of-presumption", concerning their supposed exclusive favor in covenant. And 3. NEW CREATION; where Paul says "Jesus-as-messiah" offers individual forgiveness, but also a political trans-historical transformation of the world of Roman oppression.
4. Paul, now taking his "soteriology" into the Greek and Jewish world as "APOCALYPTIC", a "soteriology", with a dramatic phronetic-stance of "apocalyptic". Paul proclaims that the "AGE-TO-COME" has already come in "Jesus-as-Messiah"; therefore hope is transformed also into a new hope for the "FULL-ROYAL-PRESENCE-OF-THE-MESSIAH" to be made manifest. "Apokalypteo" is correctly translated as "unveiling" of the righteous and just covenant of god. An unveiling of "Intentionality"
5. Paul, with his new apocalyptic-soteriology must configure that into an "ideology" that can be posited in the actual historical world. And for Paul this means a "CRITICAL" ideology that critiques both "Jewish covenant-narrative" and Roman "emperor-cult-narrative". Caesar is stripped of his titles and the Christos is given the title of "KURIOS" or "Lord".
6. Symbolism has taken a journey through Paul in the following way:
a. TORAH becomes "SUMBOLAIO", or "covenant.
b. SARX becomes "Apoluao", OR "arrogant-presumption"
c. CHRISTOS: is translated "Messiah", rather than the proper name "Christ"
d. APOKALYPTEO: is "unveiling" intentionality, not cataclysmic event.
e. CROSS: goes from "Caesar's-might" to "God's love"
f. APANTESIS: goes from the improper translation of "Rapture" to "meeting" or "encounter"
g. PAROUSIA: goes from "return" to "presence" or "Advent".
So Wright gives us basically an introductory "LOGOS-OF-SYMBOL" which passes through: SOTERIOLOGY (in itself) through APOCALYOTIC (for-itself), to RETURN-NARRATIVE (in & for-itself). Where we finally reach "Parousia"; which is "PRESENCE", right now, the life of spirit available right now.
PART TWO OF MANUSCRIPT: PAUL'S SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY:
Beginning with page 83, Wright introduces us to the world of the actual articulated theological position of Paul; based on the previous Phenomenology. He breaks it down into a familiar order of: 1. THEOLOGY; 2. CHRISTOLOGY; AND 3. PNEUMATOLOGY. But; in Paul's case we are to understand that all of the former doctrines are essentially versions of Paul's "Christological-qualification" of all teaching. Briefly Paul is summarized in the following way:
a. Christ is designated as KURIOS, equated with god himself; and represents God's 2nd self.
b. The co-creative power of WISDOM is equated with Christos & Pneuma.
c. Jesus reveals God in a new way; that reveals Christ as the climax of Jewish narrative,
2. CHRISTOLOGICAL QUALIFICATION OF "ELECTION"
a. The STOICHEIA-gods are negated by the new-creation inaugurated in the messiah.
b. The SULGOGEO-SUNAGOGE of an Israel-in-the-flesh is also negated by the revelation of the messiah.
c. The new re-defined spiritual-Israel consists of all those who ae "in" the Messiah.
d. PISTIS-CHRISTOU refers to the faithfulness-of-the-Messiah; not human faithfulness.
3. CHRISTOLOGICAL QUALIFICATION OF PNEMATOLOGY:
a. New creation has introduced cells and networks of new community
b. "Pastorate" is born as office for follow-up and maintaining this new community.
c. The commission-to-serve is empowered by the DIKAIOSUNE of God's faithful righteousness toward his people.
d. Jesus-as-Messiah is proclaimed the efficacious fulfillment of this righteousness and is declared the universal HILASTERION, or mercy-seat, taking-on "form& content", both.
e. Eschatology is equal to RETURN-FROM-EXILE & has already occurred in Jesus-as-Messiah.
f. DEFEAT-OF-PAGANISM, likewise has eschatologicaly been defeated already in Jesus-as-Messiah.
g. And finally: the RENEWED-TEMPLE is equated with BODY-OF-MESSIAH.
This takes Wright full-circle; but in a new way. Now, we don't look for the AGE-TO-COME. We look toward the full royal manifestation of the Christ's "PAROUSIA-PRESENCE" in the actual finite world.
5 STARS OF COURSE!!!
On a side note, regrading the physical state of the book I purchased: I received a brand new book, perfect condition. However, upon reading the last chapter, the pages came unbound and are now threatening to fall out. I'm not that hard on books, though, I will fold the book back to read sometimes. While I do this to many different books, the glue just couldn't stand up to this light handling in this case.
This is the kind of book that gives you information that you're not going to figure out just by reading the Bible yourself. The background Wright includes is magnificent, as is his exploration of really deep religious themes. Wright isn't trying a book-by-book summary, but rather an overview of Paul's greatest motivations and goals that spans across all his letter. This short text doesn't include nearly the academic sourcing and defense of his longer books in the "Christian Origins" series, and so I'm looking forward to when his Paul book in that series comes out later this year. But if you can't wait for that, or just want a shorter book and don't need all the academic defense of the themes, then "Paul in Fresh Perspective" is a very solid read.