What is the New Perspective on Paul (one more time)?

From Jens Schröter, in his newly translated book, From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon (Baylor, 2013, p. 134): The following points can be named as its [NPP’s] most important insights: (1) Paul’s thinking should not be understood as an answer to individual plights of conscience [Read More…]

What did the Creed do to the early Christian beliefs about Jesus?

One of the most common observations about the development of Christian theology, particularly classical orthodoxy, is that it grew, sometimes dramatically, and that those special lines in the Nicene Creed owe their origins to Greek philosophy and not the Jewish faith of those earliest followers of Jesus. Put differently, the creed is not the faith [Read More…]

From the Very Beginning: NT Wright

The issue for historians of earliest Christianity is how this stuff all came about: How did Jesus of Nazareth come to be explained or confessed as he was? How did that christology develop? NT Wright, in Paul and the Faithfulness of God, proposes a breathtaking scheme that high christology, seeing Jesus as part of divine [Read More…]

Jesus as Israel’s Story of God Freshly Revealed

The essence of Tom Wright’s project is to show that Paul’s theology is both thoroughly Jewish and at the same time a reframing of the central elements of that Judaism around God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. Wright sees three main elements in Judaism that Paul “reworked”: monotheism, election, and eschatology. All this in his magisterial [Read More…]

What did it mean to call Jesus “God”? NT Wright

NT Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, examines Paul’s theology as a mutation or reframing of classic Jewish monotheism themes (alongside election and eschatology), including who God is. This has led for centuries to the question If Jesus is God or if he is not God. The framing of that question, though, is [Read More…]

Who “attended” those earliest churches?

On the basis of a new approach at looking how to discern the social makeup of the earliest Christian house churches, one based more on housing space occupied than on ideal social types, Peter Oakes has offered to us a new way of thinking more realistically and concretely about who was in the earliest house [Read More…]

Monotheism in a Christian Framework: NT Wright

At the heart of Paul’s theology is classic Jewish monotheism (not so much later philosophical and theological monotheism), and NT Wright opens with a sketch of Jewish monotheism and then shows how Paul reframes Jewish monotheism. First Century Jewish Monotheism Wright begins with Akiba being martyred, and in the act of dying reciting Shema as [Read More…]

From Worldview to Theology, NT Wright

From Worldview to Theology NT Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, volume 2, opens up with a sketch of his plan, which I will sketch briefly before we get to Wright’s own proposal: Paul’s theology is thoroughly Jewish from top to bottom, and it therefore revolved around three major themes: Monotheism: God is [Read More…]

NTWright, Paul, the Law and Jesus

Once one opens reading Paul through the Story/stories at work, everything falls into place. Such an approach, followed by NT Wright in his new Paul and the Faithfulness of God, permits Wright to explain two major, major issues: the law and Jesus. Where does the Torah/Law fit in all this? It all begins with a recognition [Read More…]

At the Heart of the Apostle Paul: The Story

Symbols and praxis need a story in a worldview to make sense. Famously, Bultmann stripped the New Testament of its mythology, but notice how N.T. Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, describes Bultmann’s agenda: The main problem with Bultmann’s proposal, in addition to the muddling of different senses of ‘myth’, is that [Read More…]