Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Thirty Eight

On pages 795-804, Tom begins to make his case that the discussion of God's righteousness needs to be had in the context of God's covenant faithfulness, as the two are intertwined. He is well aware that we have difficulties doing justice to the dikaio- word group in English, as it has various nuances that the words righteous/righteousness/justice do not convey in English. In this section Tom draws on his earlier book on Justification. It is also in this context that we begin to see the real … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Thirty Seven

As Tom begins his discussion of election, he freely admits that his view stands more on the salvation history side than on the apocalyptic side when it comes to analyzing how Paul tells the story. Tom is prepared to talk about the fulfillment of the story of Abraham, and indeed of the Abrahamic covenant. He is even prepared to talk about the choosing of Abraham having to do with the undoing of the sin of Adam and its effects, the Fall. On p. 784 he says--- "As far as Paul was concerned, the … [Read more...]

Are You Feeling the Draft?– Draft Day

For the record, I know Brownies. I've even cheered for the Browns--- for eleven years (1984-95) I suffered with their fans, attended games in the Mistake by the Lake, met Bernie Kosar and Ozzie Newsome in a Brown's chapel service before a game, and in general came to understand the angst of pro football fans in Northeast Ohio. I've seen dog pound, disappointment and disaster all play out like Oedipus Rex by the lake. It's been too long since Cleveland has won anything at all (other than having … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Thirty Six

For those who were impatient to get to the doctrines of election and salvation and how Paul viewed these matters, we have finally arrived there with the enormous Chapter Ten (pp. 774-1042), which Tom declares one of the central pillars of his whole project. Indeed, one could say this is the linchpin of the whole deal. Tom's views expressed in this chapter have been heard in bits and pieces before in his earlier work (see for example his book on Justification), but it is nice to hear his … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Thirty Five

Tom Wright is suggesting, that in a very real sense, Paul is the first Christian theologian. In particular he wants to stress that Paul had to rethink his second temple theology in light of Christ, the Spirit, and in particular in light of the cross and resurrection. Paul realized that if it took the crucifixion of the Messiah to deal with the fundamental human problem, then the problem must have been far worse than previously imagined. The problem could not be reduced to the idolatry and … [Read more...]

The Way to Translate– Part Two

COUNTING THE WAYS March 24, 2014 By Philip Jenkins 0 Comments (Edit) Early Christians referred to their movement as The Way, Hodos. No later than the early second century, the converts’ manual that we call the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, began by declaring that “There are two Ways [Hodoi], one of Life and one of Death, and there is a great difference between the two Ways.” As I have suggested, references to the Way occur throughout the New Testament, particularly in the Gospe … [Read more...]

Philip Jenkins– The Way to Translate– Part One

[Here is a repost, by permission, of a fine comment by Philip Jenkins, which reminds us that you cannot rely purely on an English translation of the Bible if you want to be a good interpreter of the Bible--every translation is already an interpretation]THE WAY TO TRANSLATE March 21, 2014 By Philip Jenkins 0 CommentsFor some years now, I have found it hard to read the New Testament in English alone. Now, don’t think I’m showing off there. My Greek is no better than OK, and a parallel tex … [Read more...]

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

Where Tom agrees with Sanders is that the Christ event made him take a more radical view of the plight than he had when he was a Pharisee. And this in turn affected his view of the Law--- if righteousness came through obedience to the Mosaic Law, then Christ died for nothing. That was a conclusion Paul could not accept (p. 750). Further, the resurrection of Jesus made clear that the plight involved creation itself, all of creation would need redemption, even its physical character. Finally the … [Read more...]

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

When it comes to the issue of the origins of evil, as Tom says on pp. 740ff. neither the OT nor early Jews sought to offer a detailed explanation. It appears they were more concerned with a solution to the problem rather than answers to abstract questions. It is interesting that not until the late first century A.D. were there Jews who traced the rot back to Adam and Even themselves, as the origin of at least human evil. One could point to Gen. 6 and say there were evil angels who invaded the … [Read more...]