We Will Call it “PFG”

What will we call “PFG”? N.T. Wright’s magisterial, academic 2-volume study of Paul called Paul and the Faithfulness of God, volume 4 in his series called Christian Origins and the Question of God. I’ve got a PDF of Tom’s ground-breaking work and we’ll be discussing it until at least SBL in late November. So join along. [Read More...]

Challenging the New Perspective on Paul

E.P. Sanders, and then following him J.D.G. Dunn and N.T. Wright, challenged the traditional Christian consensus of how to “read” Judaism at the time of Paul (and Jesus) in 1977 with his well-known and must-read Paul and Palestinian Judaism. The consensus was that Judaism was a works-righteousness religion in which Jews, not on the basis of [Read More...]

Our Past Makes Us Who We Are

I was thinking of the apostle Paul and how his past, so far as we can know, prepared him for his life as an apostle.  God used his life in Tarsus to prepare Paul to be the great integrator, though it took an eye-twittering experience of seeing Jesus himself to accept the challenge. Some people [Read More...]

Bring Back Paul!

Various groups have a favorite biblical figure in the back pocket. The Anabaptists of today have Jesus and so do the Protestant mainliners, and then there are the more theological Reformed groups who have Paul in their back pocket. No one seems to care much about Hebrews (I call the author “Hebby” at times), every [Read More...]

Paul the Mystic

Some over do it and some under do it, but the fact is that the apostle Paul — here speaking of himself indirectly — was nothing short of a mystic: 2Cor. 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body [Read More...]

Conformity to God means Conformity to Christ

God-likeness is Christ-likeness, and if Christ is the crucified one, then both God is cruciform and the Christian is designed to become cruciform. The call to holiness and to love is the call to be conformed to Christ and to God, and if God reveals himself in Christ’s love in the cross and resurrection, then [Read More...]

A Question for the Apostle Paul

“How should we live?” That’s the question so many today want to ask Paul — and about as many answers as the numbers of those who ask him the question! There are tensions when one asks this question of Paul — he was after a Jew and a Jew would say “Obey the commands.” But [Read More...]

Adam, Original Sinner not Origin of Sin (RJS)

Peter Bouteneff, in the second chapter of his book Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives, discusses the uses of the creation narrative in the New Testament. The most important New Testament references are in the Pauline literature – which Bouteneff takes to include Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, as well as the [Read More...]

Where Christians Got it Wrong with Paul

Mark Nanos is on a mission to expound for readers of Paul a Paul who never broke from Judaism. His project, and here we are sketching some of what he says in the book edited by Mike Bird called The Apostle Paul, is both about rhetoric and theology. Nanos, who plays golf well and is a [Read More...]

The New Perspective Revised

In my life time the most significant book on Paul has been E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977) because it both shifted interest in Judaism but completely shook up how scholars understood Paul. Since Sanders there have been major articulations of Pauline theology, including those of J.D.G. Dunn and N.T. Wright, but they build [Read More...]