Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty Four

The discussion which begins on p. 634 on how exactly Paul reformed and reaffirmed Jewish monotheism is interesting in various ways. Tom begins by discussing texts such as the cause celebre Rom.8.18-30. His translation of key phrases is interesting (on which see his earlier Romans commentary). Instead of the word predestined, he prefers 'marked out in advance to be shaped according to the model of the image of the Son'. He also prefers the translation 'called according to his purpose' even … [Read more...]

Breaking News— The James Ossuary Inscription Vindicated— Again

http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?DOI=10.4236/ojg.2014.43007". This article appeared in the March 2014 issue of Open Geology, and one of the authors (Rosenfeld) was one of the original Israeli Geological Survey persons who validated the authenticity of the inscription in the first place. … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty Three

Just as the belief that there is only one God was central to early Judaism, so for Paul the reformulation of what that belief meant is central to Pauline theology, and Wright is prepared to explain why. When the major symbolic praxis of the Jewish worldview (circumcision, food laws,sabbath-keeping) had been deemed 'adiaphora'...then theology and particularly monotheism needed to take on far more of the load in sustaining the worldview in its radically new form." (p. 625). The key to … [Read more...]

C.K. Barrett— A Helpful Blog Post

The following is a blog post of Jonathan Watson of the Logos company, reprinted her with permission.C. K. Barrett: The Consummate Academic in the British TraditionWhen I began my journey into theological territory, one name kept popping up among friends and acquaintances who take the study of Scripture seriously. I asked questions about this person and his work, and eventually purchased several volumes of his writings, including his commentary on the book of Romans—a resource which h … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty Two

The second massive volume (910 pages of text and notes, never mind voluminous bibliography) focuses on Pauline theology proper, and Paul's Aims and Intentions. Tom stakes out his turf in the Introduction. The way he will approach the task is based on the following basic assumptions (which proves that Wright completely rejects the form critical approach to the text): 1) he assumes the Pauline letter has an inner logic and a central concern, and 2) "I take it as axiomatic on the contrary that … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty One

The last chapter in volume one of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, reviews for us Tom's answers on the who, what, when, where, why etc. questions (pp. 538-69). On the 'who' question it will be noted that Tom is perfectly comfortable in saying that Paul could call any and all Christians 'the Jew' as well as 'the seed of Abraham' and 'Israel'. The middle of these three terms is clear enough, the other two controversial. Tom has to concede that this doesn't quite work with the use of Israel in … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty

The discussion between p. 500 and the end of the chapter at p. 537 present us with some of the most critical and also controversial elements in Wright's analysis. We need to bear in mind that Wright is hear talking about worldview, and stories that are part of the worldview, that which lies beneath and undergirds the theologizing. For example, Deut. 27-30, which is so fundamental to Wright's argument is treated as something of a long range prophecy, not merely a narrative account, revealing … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Nineteen

More on track is the discussion of the praxis of the Lord's Supper, and to a lesser degree Baptism. I agree that these symbolic rites encode a good deal of the Gospel message deliberately, and they reinforce the message. They do indeed help form world view and ethos. The trick is to neither say too much or too little about the 'sacraments' and Paul. On the one hand, Paul is prepared to say 'I thank God I did not baptize more of you Corinthians' (-- thereby proving he was no modern Baptist--- 1 … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Eighteen

Under the heading of the large plot about God and creation does come the theme which crops up some seven times in Paul's letter--- the Dominion of God, or God retaking back his creation from the powers of darkness. In other words, God is not just interested in saving humans, he's interested in the renewal of his whole creation (see Rom. 8). Thus Wright stresses that the larger outer story about God and creation is a story about judgment (p. 481). Judgment is to be seen as a positive thing. … [Read more...]