We are in the midst of discussing the seven linked elements, with justification being the seventh that in Wright’s schema belong together. This post will deal with pp. 930-44 of that discussion. Here Tom is providing examples to support the theory that there were some precursors to Paul’s discussion of justification. He points especially to 4QMMT, which has figured so largely in the New Perspective talks trying to prove that ‘works of the Law’ refers to the boundary markers, or… Read more

It is well to remind ourselves where exactly we are in this lengthy discussion. We are in the midst of dealing with Tom’s views about how Paul reworked the concept of election around Messiah and Spirit. It is in that context that he wants to place the discussion about justification and being in Christ. He is not happy with a simply equating of justification with salvation. For Tom, salvation in the Pauline thought world falls under the category of the… Read more

Anyone who has also read Tom’s Pauline Perspectives volume will discover that he hasn’t much changed his mind in any major ways over the 40 plus years of his pondering and writing about Paul. It is thus all the more significant in the section we are analyzing today from Paul and the Faithfulness that we find some change of views on a couple of things. We will be examining closely pp. 900-911 in this post. On p. 900 Tom broaches… Read more

The exposition of Rom. 7.1-8.11 is of a piece with what we have heard before. Tom thinks two stories are running simultaneously just beneath the surface of the text, the story of Adam (see Rom. 5.12-21) and of Israel. The attempt to see both stories for instance in Rom. 7.7-13 however is problematic in various ways, as we shall see. And I would remind the reader of this blog one more time— all the evidence we have suggests that the… Read more

By now the formula is familiar. Lots of action, lots of chases, occasional snappy dialogue, but nothing too heavy. Good vs. evil writ large on the screen. But what if in the good their lurks evil, and what if the evil is manipulated good? And what if the price of security is freedom, the giving up of freedom? The Marvel comic movie franchise which has been rolling along nicely for a considerable period of time, has increasingly attracted to it,… Read more

In dealing with pp. 880-92, we are dealing with one of the more revealing passages in this whole book, a passage which depends, again and again, on the notion that ‘dikaiosune tou theou’ literally the righteousness of God, refers to God’s covenant faithfulness. We have had occasion to make clear some of the real problems with that whole idea, but here in dealing with materials in 2 Cor. 3-5 it becomes really evident that that dog just won’t hunt. It… Read more

Tom’s exegesis on pp. 870ff. of Gal. 3.19-22, and it brings to light his reasoning about why Paul thought the Law seemed to have failed. Tom says it was no fault of the Law itself, the fault lay entirely in the sinfulness of Israel. He puts it this way “Torah offered life, it could not give it– not through its own fault, but through the sinful human nature of Israel”. But this is not entirely correct. Even the Law given… Read more

In the wasteland that is American TV which has become, as Bruce Springsteen once said ’57 channels and nothing on’ (or words to that effect), it is difficult to find substantive TV series that involve: 1) issues that matter; 2) good acting; 3) top notch script writing, and 4) characters you care about. Without question, one of the best script and especially dialogue writers for TV is Emmy award winning (for West Wing) Aaron Sorkin. He can really turn a… Read more

What follows in pp. 860ff. is an exposition of Galatians, an exposition which clarifies some things, and makes more of a puzzle of other things. First of all, Tom is absolutely right that the logic of the arguments in Gal. 3-4 is narratival in character more than anything else. Paul will connect the community of Christ back to Abraham and his covenant, and will stress that the role of Torah was temporary for the people of God. In other words,… Read more

It would be difficult, in a work so large, to pin point certain sections that were most crucial to understanding Tom’s approach to Paul, but certainly one of them must be pp. 852-60, which are the subject of this post. Here Tom is dealing with the crucial proposition or thesis statement found in Gal. 2.11-21, or vss. 15-21 depending on whether you see the transitional comments about Peter in Antioch as part of the thesis statement or not. There is… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives