What Paul Wrote

In his Paul: In Fresh Perspective (19), NT Wright notes that even scholars who have largely abandoned old methods and approaches to Paul cling to old conclusions about Paul. This is evident in their assumptions about the Pauline canon:

“The extremely marked stylistic difference between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians is far greater than that between, say, Romans and Ephesians, but nobody supposes for that reason that one of them is not by Paul. In particular, the assumption that a high Christology must be later, and non-Pauline, authorship has been brought to the material, not discovered within it. And the argument recently advanced (in North America particularly) that Ephesians and Colossians are secondary because they move away from confrontation with the Empire to collaboration with it is frankly absurd. Much of the ‘new perspective’ writing on Paul has simply assumed and carried on the critical decisions reached by the old perspective, without noticing that the new perspective itself calls several of them into question.”

Wright thinks the time has come to put back the chess pieces on the board “so that the game may restart.”

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