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Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978–-2013 Paperback – November 1, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pauline Perspectives gathers into one convenient place the multitudinous essays and lectures on Paul and his thought world that have come forth from the prolific pen of N. T. Wright during the course of the last 35 years. Here you can see the development of seminal ideas, major themes, and the relentless pursuit of understanding important trajectories in Paul's thought, ranging from justification to the righteousness of God to atonement to much more. Reading a book like this is like going to a great feast put on by a master chef and discovering there were no ephemeral starters but all meat, and none of it half-baked either, but well worth chewing over and always nourishing. Bon appetit!" --Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary

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), Paul and the Faithfulness of God (2013), and Paul and His Recent Interpreters (2013), all published by Fortress Press.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (November 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800699637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800699635
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeri VINE VOICE on June 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Here's why I always enjoy Wright: his depth of scholarship and the fact that, although he is always polite, he smashes various liberal arguments to bits.

Here he is, sighing over the "new dominance, in biblical studies...of North America" (p 475), from places like Princeton which coughed up Bart Ehrman. These Americans have "the implicit claim to scholarly high ground from the supposedly 'objective' research in 'departments of religion" (p 475).

Since the essays vary so much in time, they cover many different subjects. Starting in 1978. a number of the earlier essays deal with the tropic of justification. By 1995 Wright tackles E P Sanders, who suggested that Paul "took the normal Jewish expectation and reversed it...What this reading ignores is that, for Paul, the restoration of Israel had already happened in the resurrection of Jesus" (p 120) .

Vast new evidence has been found especially the Dead Sea Scrolls, that have altered the trajectory of biblical studies since the time of Bultmann.

Some of the new evidence is very thought provoking. Second Temple Jews believed the Shekinah glory that dwelt in Solomon's Temple departed with the destruction of that temple. Wright points out that "nowhere are we told that the Lord and his glory have at last returned" (p 382) in the documents of Second Temple Judaism, even though a second Temple has been built. Yet many of the new documents suggest they expect the glory to return.

Where Wright finds mention of this 'glory of God' is in the epistles of Paul. It will be a double fulfillment for Paul. First,"God's own glory would return to dwell in the Temple...second, the fulfillment...
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An amazing collection of challenging and fascinating essays on Paul. This is a great companion to Wright's "Paul and the Faithfulness of God". Wright makes Paul come alive in astonishing ways setting him firmly in his first century AD context. The work is challenging to read and might seem overwhelming to the casual reader, but if you want to gain some solid insight into the mind and heart of the Apostle Paul, it is well worth the effort this powerful collection of essays will take. You will see Paul as a living and breathing human being on fire with a vision that can change the world.
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Mr. Wright has spent his entire academic career studying the Apostle Paul's epistles in the New Testament, a body of work which culminated in recently published and colossal tome Paul and the Faithfulness of God (hence referred to as PFG). But that book is about 1,600 pages long and, in spite of that length, his arguments can be quite dense. Thus, this book is a very welcome supplement to that work. Composed of a series of speeches, lectures, and essays Mr. Wright has made since 1978, this book helps flesh out Mr. Wright's key arguments and positions. This is facilitated by the fact that Mr. Wright had only a limited amount of space and/or time to make his points, so he needed to make them quickly. Thus, many if you find yourself getting lost repeatedly in PFG, this book will help you. And because this book draws on 30+ years of academic work, it has the added benefit of allowing the reader to see the evolution in Mr. Wright's arguments, especially in regards to Paul's relationship with the Roman Empire. However, like all books that are a collection of essays, not every article is good. Some can even be just as densely packed together with an overabundance of complicated biblical verbiage as PFG. And, because it is a supplemental work to PFG, it really can't stand on its own with the reader either having read PFG or at least knowing the arguments from that book. But nearly does stand on its own and, because of that, I highly recommend this book to fans of Mr. Wright as well as to any biblical scholars interested in digging a little deeper into the apostle Paul's letters.
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Very good - most refreshing - Essays arranged in chronological order so you plot the development. He is so good at picking up echos from one text in a distant one - for me it's the triumph of Biblical Theology over Systemic and Philosophical Theology, with its tenuous extensions and interpolations of "logic."
The main problem with NT is his forays into modern Theocracy - aside from the obvious examples, Justice is in the eye of the beholder, with the recruitment of a god to support your point of view (Islamic State?).
The current joke is: " N T Wright - Not quite Right" - but for me Almost Right or Right Enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First I would like to thank Fortress Press for providing a review copy of this volume.

I'm only 4 chapters into this work and it is very rewarding. Chapter 4 (pages 52-67) is a critique of Ernest Kasemann's commentary of Romans. N.T. Wright is evaluating Kasemann's commentary as published through Themelios 7 (1982) 6-16 which was reprinted with permission. Here's the link http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/

He is respectful in his analysis of this commentary quote- "Because Kasemann remains, by conviction, an exegete first and foremost, one who has struggled long and hard to think Paul's thoughts after him, his work remains fascinating, powerful and dramatic..."

There are also subheadings within this chapter-The Background: Apocalyptic, The Righteousness of God, Christology, The Spirit and the Letter, The Coherence of Romans, Questions and Problems, Conclusion.

N.T. Wright in his Conclusion states the following: "I have indicated that I disagree with many of his detailed solutions; but he has posed the question the right way-by seeing Paul against the background of Jewish apocalyptic thought, and by placing the cross, and the revelation of God's righteousness, at the centre-seems to me now beyond dispute."

I will post further chapter review(s) in the near future.

This will be my second and final review of this volume.

In the first review I neglected to say that this volume (as most probably already know) Pauline Perspectives is a companion volume to Paul and the Faithfulness of God.

This review includes preface and Chapter highlights.
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