Did Paul Have a High View of Scripture?

the stoning of Stephen

Yes, of course he did. He was a Jew trained in the traditions of his people. In fact, he had such a high view of scripture, for a while there he was trying to put to death those annoying Christ-followers who undermined it.

That high view of scripture was not abandoned when Paul became a follower of Jesus himself. It was just transformed and utterly refocused.

Paul had a high view of scripture. It’s just doesn’t look like what conservative Evangelicals insist on when they talk about a high view of scripture.

For Paul, his scripture–the story of Israel–come to its conclusion in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the creation of a new people of God made up of Jew and Gentile on equal footing. But that conclusion could only be seen in hindsight. It wasn’t obvious. That’s why Paul had to argue his case, and, as I mentioned in my previous post, Paul had to make some deft moves to bring Israel’s story into the story of Jesus.

What we’ve got here is, for modern Evangelicals, a bit of a paradox: Paul no doubt deeply respected Israel’s story as God’s Word, but that Word now had to be re-read, because of what God did in and through Jesus did not follow the playbook.

A messiah who died and then rose from the dead. Two problems here:

1. The messianic hope of Judaism was basically (it’a more complicated than this) of a king like the good old days; a military leader who would rid the land of its current squatters, the Romans, so the people of God could get their independence back.

2. This messiah would set an example for God’s people by living according to God’s Law, thus ushering in a new age of peace and communion with God.

Land and Law. These were connected. Israel lost the land to the Babylonians in the 6th century BC because of their failure to be faithful to God’s Law. Hence, to get it back–I mean actually get it back fully, not just be guests of the Romans–faithfulness to the Law was a big deal.

But Jesus wasn’t about getting back the land. He spoke of a different kingdom, the Kingdom of God, where chariots and bloodshed are out of place, and even kings bow the knee to a higher authority.

And keeping the Law of Moses was not top on Jesus’ to-do list. No, Jesus didn’t advocate razor blading the law out of the Bible. But he clearly thought that some things were more important–like loving God and others. Maybe that’s why he thumbed his nose at some purity laws, like eating only clean foods, or touching corpses and menstruating women.

Jesus didn’t meet most people’s messianic expectations (those who even had such expectations). It didn’t help his reputation that Jesus was killed by the Romans. A sure sign of messianic failure was to be executed as a criminal by the very people you are supposed to run out of town.

No one was expecting a messiah to act like this. Now throw the resurrection into the mix, and you are bound to have some confused Jews running around Palestine in the first century.

To make things even more confusing–and infuriating–the earliest Christians were convinced that Gentiles didn’t have to become Jewish through circumcision before embracing the God who told Abraham that circumcision is non-negotiable. Gentiles could stay Gentiles.

Enter Paul. Paul’s letters can generally be explained this way: he is trying to wrap his arms around how all this Jesus stuff fits together with what one was led to expect from reading Israel’s story. In other words, how can this (a crucified and risen messiah) be the proper conclusion of a story that didn’t have such a thing in mind.

For Paul, his scripture was a non-negotiable element to help the first Christians understand what God was up to then and there. But to make that connection between then and now, Paul, without question, had to rethink some things, and more importantly had to learn to read Israel’s story by (1) accenting those points that were more clearly joined to the gospel, and (2) read other portions of his Bible against the grain.

How scripture was read, what scripture meant, was placed by Paul on a trajectory the church is mean to follow: the Old Testament is God’s Word that has to be re-understood, re-thought, re-read in light of Jesus.

In a way, Jesus already said this: you can’t put new wine in old wineskins. The old ways can’t contain the new thing Jesus is about.

So, yes, Paul had a high view of scripture. It just wasn’t the final word. Jesus was.

I know this sort of thing can make some Evangelicals nervous, but take it up with Jesus and Paul.

  • Tim

    You wrote:
    the Old Testament is God’s Word that has to be re-understood, re-thought, re-read in light of Jesus.

    I respond:
    Preach it, brother!

    • peteenns

      I should have added that some of it also has to be discarded, but that is another post…

  • Steve

    I have several thoughts on this blog. First, it must be stated, that Paul’s words are Jesus’ words through inspiration. Second, the question is did Paul actually re-interpret the Old Testament or bring out the intended meaning of the Old Testament? Second, even if it can be shown that Paul did re-interpret the Old Testament, does that then give us the right to do the same? I agree that Paul interpreted passages through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The question then becomes have we moved past Paul’s interpretation. I do not believe we have, leaving Paul’s and the other New Testament writers interpretation for us to follow and believe. They have already done whatever “re-interpreting” God intended, unless we claim inspiration of our own writings and thoughts, which is a dangerous claim to make.

    • peteenns

      Steve, appreciate your points. A response would require going though some passages to see whether all of your points bear up.

      • Steve

        agreed

  • Rick

    “It just wasn’t the final word. Jesus was.”
    False dichotomy. Scripture is the primary authority because it is inspired by, and points to, the ultimate authority (Jesus). As N.T. Wright says, the authority of Scripture is shorthand for God’s authority.

  • Bev Mitchell

    Great, succinct post!

    “It just wasn’t the final word. Jesus was.” If only we could grasp hold of this and literally put it before everything else. I’ve been reading some T.F. Torrance lately (well, at least, Elmer M.  Colyer’s book on How to read TF Torrance). He makes the same point, but broadens it to include the entire Trinity. An unfailing centering approach on what we all agree is, after all, the centre, would lead to good progress on so many fronts. Keep up the good work!

    • peteenns

      Bev, you and Rick (who posted here) are welcome to duke this out :-)

  • Tim

    Pete,

    I agree with much of what you’ve posted on this subject. However, the idea that Paul interacted with Scripture differently than conservative Evangelicals do today is a very familiar topic to them, and they have crafted arguments over time to blunt any suggestion that similar hermeneutic flexibility should be acceptable today. In expositing your arguments on this topic, I think a closer coupling with the standard Evangelical responses is necessary to further the conversation. Otherwise most conservative Evangelicals reading this will simply shrug their shoulders, say they already knew most of this, and claim it isn’t a problem and provide the standard arguments they’ve assimilated from their sub-culture to substantiate why.

    • peteenns

      Tim,

      I know A LOT of evangelicals who think Paul was driven by the context of the OT in his hermeneutic because of his respect for Scripture. I wish I knew more of the evangelicals you do.

      • Tim

        Pete,

        That’s an observation I could agree with as well. However, I think that at least the Evangelicals with whom I’m familiar try the typical fundamentalist shuffling.

        Let’s say that you have three faulty pillars of support for your position. If you target one, you just switch to the second pillar, you then target the second pillar, and you move to the third, and when you target the third, the first one pops up again.

        So, with the situation of Paul’s interpretation of Scripture, one pillar would be that he simply performed sound exegesis while uncovering meaning that up until Christ’s time had remained hidden (or otherwise looked over in some cases by law-minded Jews). A second pillar would be that even in those cases where Paul might have gotten creative, he had the authority and divine revelation given to him by the Spirit to do so, while those of us living today lack the apostolic authority to do the same.

        So, you could address just the first pillar, but the second will rear its head blunting any effect as to your argument. Even if you can substantiate your point, few Evangelicals will care as the second pillar then kicks in. And because the won’t care, they won’t consider it a worthwhile endeavor to properly evaluate your arguments as at the end of the day it wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans for them anyway. So to have an impact, and really make it worthwhile the attention of the typical conservative Evangelical, I think you’d have to address both “pillars” so to speak.

        • peteenns

          I agree. I cover these things in Inspiration and Incarnation. And believe me, judging by gatekeeper reactions, both pillars were teetering.

  • http://www.thinkhardthinkwell.com Benj

    Pete, are you saying that Paul’s high view of scripture is tied to hermeneutical goal rather than a hermeneutical method? ;-)

    This is an aside that does not really support or undermine your main point, but I’d like your opinion. You wrote (and I’ve heard it elsewhere) that Jesus “thumbed his nose at some purity laws, like eating only clean foods, or touching corpses and menstruating women.” First off, do the Gospels record an instance of Jesus actually breaking any of the Pentateuchal laws respecting Sabbath, foods or ritual purity–or did he merely transgress the traditions surrounding the Mosaic Law? Second, is it “breaking the Law” to touch a corpse or a menstruating woman, or do these acts merely make one ceremonially unclean until the proper purification rite is performed? It seems to me that these are not “high-handed sins,” but actions resulting in an impermanent purificatory status.

    I ask these because they relate to Christ’s “fulfillment” of the Law. Yes, Christ was the telos of the Law in that he was the climax of the plan of salvation promised in the Pentateuch. But I think it’s important that he was also blameless in keeping the Law, i.e., he obeyed it perfectly but not always as the Jewish leaders would have expected him to.

    • peteenns

      Benj, Are we having an active vs. passive righteousness conversation?

    • peteenns

      Benj, short answer, Jesus pushed well beyond Jewish tradition but also in doing gave strong indication that the what it means to be “Israel” was shifting from torah-centeredness. I see Paul moving that program further along. So, as for the purity laws, yes there was purification for offenders, but we don’t see Jesus doing that. I suppose both of us are filling the silence, but I would not want to say that Jesus’ preaching was “You know, folks, we really need to get back to our roots, back to mosaic legislation.”

      • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

        It seems to me that much of Jesus’ preaching wasn’t to get back to mosaic legislation (to your point) but rather to take the heart of the law (i.e. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”) expressed in particular commandments and sharpen it (i.e. hatred=murder, lust=adultery, no divorce, love your enemies, etc.)

        Also, I think Paul would while having a high view of scripture understood that Authority was invested in Moses’ chair (expressed in Scripture but having a physical reality beyond words on the page) which he then saw continued in the Authority of the Apostles and the Church as the new Israel. That’s why he keeps referring in his letters to ‘that which you have been taught’ or similar phrasing – i.e. to the Apostle’s teaching. Also why, in my view, he goes up to Jerusalem to see Peter and make sure that the Gospel he is preaching is correct.

  • eric kunkel

    Is it not also true, that at the same time and in the same place, the Jewish oral law was being “written in stone”, i.e., codified: And that the hermeneutics, the Expectation, the cannon, and yes the meaning of Law was all in flux?

    With regards to how Scripture was read, It was not just Jesus that modified his view of the 613 commandments. Many could no longer be performed once the Temple was down. And Paul was really one of the many, as Jerusalem fell around them. “Not one stone” was left; so the reassembly began.

    What is really thought-proving to me is how the various Jewish Sects, the Dead Sea Community, the Christians, and the P&S as the established leaders all were striving to rewrite and rejuvenate the dry bones of the old narrative that did in fact pass away circa 70 CE.

    Eric Kunkel

    • peteenns

      OK, Eric, I was able to get through your comment now. Many Jewish parties/sects were negotiating how to be the children of Israel in a historical moment that their sacred book did not anticipate. Hence the diversity in Judaism (amid unity, of course).

  • Mark Chenoweth

    Dr. Enns, do you agree with these quotes completely/maybe partially? John Behr seems to be saying similar thing to what you’re saying in his “The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death.” His take on the Adam story is strikingly similar to yours, and he uses Sanders to make similar points, although the book is mainly based on the ECFs.

    “With this determination of what constitutes canonical scripture, we can also begin to understand how these works were regarded as “inspired.” For early Christians, this inspiration was not thought to reside solely within the text of scripture or in the mind of the inspired prophet as he uttered or wrote his words. If it were this, our task would then be to discern the “original meaning” of the text or the “mind of the author,” ideas which are distinctly modern and which have been abandoned by recent literary theory. (Citation of Andrew Louth’s An Essay on the Nature of Theology). As it is only when Christ himself opens the scriptures, to show how they all speak of him and his passion, that the inspired meaning of the scriptures is brought to light, the inspiration of the scriptures cannot be separated from the opening of the sealed book by the slain Lamb (Rev 5). This, in turn, requires an “inspired” reading of the scriptures, guided by the same Spirit of Christ, the one by whom Christ spoke through Moses, David Isaiah, and others.”

    “For St. Ireneus it is quite clearly not scripture itself that is being exegeted, at least not in the sense of modern historical-critical “exegesis” in its attempt to understand the “original meaning” of a text, but rather Christ who is being expounded through the medium of scripture, drawing upon its treasury of images and words.”

    • peteenns

      Short answer, yes, but there are a couple of things in the first paragraph I might want to play with a bit–mainly, the relationship between text in historical context and text in “Christotelic” (if I may) content.

  • gingoro

    Twenty or thirty years ago the “sine qua non” of evangelicalism was having a high view of scripture. Sure some like Carl Henry, Francis Schaeffer and many others held to the Chicago statement of inerrancy BUT as best I recall not one of the major leaders insisted that a high view of scripture was equivalent to the Chicago statement. Unfortunately today the putative evangelical leaders equate a high view with inerrancy. They are attempting to change the model from an over arching tent to tightly defined very limited group. Sad!
    Dave W

  • AT

    Thanks for this post. I am really interested and this has brought up a range of questions.

    Whilst there are OT prophesies that were reinterpreted in the light of Christ (e.g. Hosea 11:1) which OT passages do you believe provide the clearest depiction of Christ (e.g. NOT Israel) when used in ‘context’ ? For example – do you believe contemporary Judaism is somehow correct in its current interpretation of the suffering servant of Isaiah as Israel (in its original context).

    I am interested why you believe God allowed the inspired text of the OT to reveal the coming messiah as a political leader/ land-restoring king. Was it because this was the most effective way (only way) that humans could understand? Or was this a case of broken humans participating in the revelation? Do you believe it was because OT scripture was more ‘human’ and the ‘divine’ became more realised/ fulfilled in Christ (as a progression)?

    Why do you believe that God allowed the text to be confusing to the early Jews – as these were His people that he had spoken to in powerful ways throughout the OT?

  • http://www.theupsidedownworld.com Rebecca Trotter

    Thanks for exploring this. What Paul did here is quite important to our understanding of how God has been at work since the beginning vs what humans have thought he was doing. Even today we tend to mistake our understanding of scripture for the final word rather than allowing it all to develop and play out over time. To be more specific, I think that what Paul is pointing out is a reality that many evangelicals resist: that God meets humanity where it is at, not according to his own standards. God never did need people to sacrifice animals for him. But people needed a way to maintain contact with God, know that they were right with him and that their sins were forgiven. So God went with the standard of the day until the extraneous human parts fell away and the pure, God-given parts remain. Paul is showing this process at work.
    Of course, this can be a slippery-slope with people declaring that this or that part of scripture has “fallen away” or was never desired by God. But all scripture is from God. It all shows a good purpose. Paul could move the ball forward, so to speak, because he understood those purposes. He was able to take a step back from the minutia that those who engage in scripture study often specialize in to see the sweep of God’s movement and how Jesus’ life, death and resurrection fit into this movement over time. He saw how what came before was good and needed – although often through the failure to do what people expected it to do.
    Those who just want to sweep away inconvenient parts of scripture generally cannot do this. They simply see those parts as outdated and irrelevant and figure it’s time to let them go. Paul could see how what came before was integral to bringing humanity through the process of redemption. His claim wasn’t that what came before was outdated and irrelevant, but that it was integral and worked its good purposes. When the time was right, Jesus arrived to show the way forward. There could have been no skipping to Jesus had the Law and the prophets and the history of Israel not come before. Put simply, it’s progress at work!

  • Don Johnson

    I agree with most of this post, but not this part in toto: “And keeping the Law of Moses was not top on Jesus’ to-do list. No, Jesus didn’t advocate razor blading the law out of the Bible. But he clearly thought that some things were more important–like loving God and others. Maybe that’s why he thumbed his nose at some purity laws, like eating only clean foods, or touching corpses and menstruating women.”

    Jesus was a Torah-observant Jew, this is how one fills in the gaps in the gospels. So he did keep the Torah of Moses. He did correctly interpret Torah and when 2 laws conflict showed how to determine which one to follow. He never “thumbed his nose at some purity laws” and it is going down a mistaken path to think he did, but many prots simply do not know Torah enough to see that. As mentioned above, the purity laws are complex and often skipped since they dealt with temple stuff and the temple was destroyed in 70AD, so this purity stuff ends up low on the priority list of things to be studied.

    Not only is it complex in the Bible, it was made even more complex by the Pharisees with their so-called Oral Torah. So one needs to be very careful in distinguished between Written Torah (Tanakh) which Jesus did keep and interpret correctly and Oral Torah which Jesus repudiated when it conflicted with Tanakh.

    Touching a bleeding woman did make one ritually unclean and one went into a mikveh bath and then was ritually clean when night came with the new day. Touching a dead body took a week long process to become ritually clean again. But these only really mattered if one was doing temple stuff or if Passover was happening inside a week.

    As a Jew Jesus ate kosher food, if he did not his opponents would have had an incredibly easy argument against him. It is true that he objected to the Pharisees’ teaching of the hand washing ritual before eating, this is because their teaching negated Torah in terms of what was clean and unclean (the Pharisees additions claimed that something that was clean became unclean which was not true as pointed out by Jesus). That some misunderstand the cultural context of what is going on in these verses is not a good reason to continue the misunderstanding.

    • peteenns

      But didn’t Jesus rule all foods as clean–which is also reflected in Peter’s vision in Acts now applied to Gentiles? Isn’t there a true (and necessary) sense in which Jesus inaugurated a trajectory (which is really my argument, not an abrupt cessation of torah-observance) that is augmented by later followers? I would also suggest that Jesus portrayed as Israel’s true king is significant in watching how he engages purity laws–laws that were so vital to Jewish self-definition in a Greco-Roman context.

      I definitely see and in a manner of speaking agree with your larger point–Jesus wasn’t obliterating law–but neither was his goal for his Jewish audience to be faithful in torah obedience. I know things are complicated in the Gospels by the historical setting and agenda of the writers, but surely there is a discontinuity in John 1:17 and, say, Matt 9:16-17 that goes beyond disputes with Oral Law. At least that’s how I see it.

      • Don Johnson

        John 1:17 is certainly true and Jesus points out that the Torah points to himself. Matt 9:16-17 also is true, and the meaning is disputed; I try to read it in cultural context and the immediate textual context of the pericope, Jesus is explaining to some Pharisees why he did not choose any of the already learned people (Pharisees in this context) to be in his immediate group of disciples. The reason is that they were already “learned” (that is, they were the “old wineskins”).

        On the purity laws, what ended up happening is that most every Jew tried to avoid becoming ritually unclean, as it was a hassle to become ritually clean again. But Jesus is demonstrating that love is more important than staying ritually clean. This is an unstated background part of the story often called the Good Samaritan and many others. In other words, there is a priority order of the laws in Torah and we know from elsewhere that the top 2 are love God and love others, all the others are subordinate to those 2.

        On Mark 7 and Jesus “declaring all foods clean” and on Acts 10 with Peter, I think many prots are doing a magic trick on themselves and thinking it says something it does not say, this is what I did before I learned differently. In Mark, the people Jesus is talking to are the disciples who are all Jews and to a Jew what ever is called food is always kosher, if it ain’t kosher it is not considered food. Jesus is arguing against the Pharisees’ Oral Torah ritual hand washing ceremony in the immediate context of the pericope, and Mark is saying in context that NOT doing the hand washing ceremony does not make the food unclean, which is what the Pharisees claimed. For example, even as a gentile I do not think of a rat as food, both before and after reading that Jesus “declared all foods clean”, because I do not think of a rat as food (and neither do Jews). In other words, what ever one thinks of as food before reading this verse will be the same thing one thinks of as food after reading it, when it is read in context.

        On Acts 10, it was a vision. Even inside the vision Peter declines to eat 3 times, which is a Hebrew’s way of saying it was a deliberate decision to NOT eat. Furthermore, Peter explains the vision as being one of gentile inclusion, this is the MEANING of the vision. The challenge is to see how one gets from the details of the vision to having the meaning be gentile inclusion. Since many do not know the purity laws, they do not see the mapping that is going on. The key verses are:

        Act 10:12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
        Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
        Act 10:14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”
        Act 10:15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

        This is where one needs to know the 2 distinctions, clean and unclean and then among clean things, common and holy. So v. 15 is saying that what God has made clean, do not call common implying that Peter is to call it holy. To put it simply, Jews saw Jews as holy and gentiles as unclean. Therefore gentiles were to be avoided (per Oral Torah). They made an exception for gentile God fearers, but these were seen as 2nd class, only able to go into the temple area up to the court of the gentiles (another man made tradition, not in Torah). This partition in the temple actually violated Torah and archeologists have found 1 full sign and 1 partial sign that used to hang on the dividing wall and that Paul discusses as being abolished. So God is saying there are not 2 classes of believers: Jews/holy and gentiles/common, God is saying that both Jews and gentiles are holy when they believe. Peter being a product of his time needed a vision to see this.

        • peteenns

          Don, this is a longish comment (which is fine) but hard to engage. I found myself agreeing and disagreeing in every paragraph. Who are you reading that brings you to these conclusions? Just curious.

          • Don Johnson

            I own my own faith and find I do not agree with anyone 100% of the time. The one that comes closest to me that I consistently like is David Instone-Brewer, an English Baptist who is a 2nd temple scholar at Tyndale, his books opened up to me how much I was missing in terms of cultural context. I also really like Lois Tverberg and Doug Greenwold, who present Jewish cultural context from prot viewpoints. Ken Bailey is wonderful but even Mr. Chiasm misses a few. Messianics themselves have a lot of very insightful things to say, but I find I need to be willing to read them knowing ahead of time I will be disagreeing with some things they say, but they have shifted my understanding of some things. D. Thoman Lancaster, Tim Hegg and Derek Leman are ones that will make you think. Of course, there are some that have lots of kooky ideas in any group. In you want to read just 1 book to start, I recommend “Paul did not eat Pork” by Derek Leman; it is a popular book but still has some ideas to chew on.

        • http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=35kfpc7yij6gp Norman

          Don,
          I agree and recognize much of what you are saying. There is a huge data base of OT and 2T application of animal metaphor representing the Jew and Gentile division up until Messiah.
          Here’s a little article in which I highlight a few scriptures that point toward the issue. It becomes clear in my mind that an asute Jew would have picked up on Peter’s vision symbols but there were many that it would need to be explained to them.

          http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blogs/jews-and-gentile-animals

          I have mentioned the Barnabas Epistle before in how it demonstrates the Jewish art of Midrash in interpreting OT symbols. Here is an editorial bit demonstrating how in the First Century AD they were reading the food laws as spiritual instructions. The author says the Jews mistakenly took them literally in the flesh instead.

          Barnabas 10:1 Now, wherefore did Moses say, “Thou shalt not eat the swine, nor the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the raven, nor any fish which is not possessed of scales?” He embraced three doctrines in his mind [in doing so]. Moreover, the Lord saith to them in Deuteronomy, “And I will establish my ordinances among this people.” Is there then not a command of God they should not eat [these things]? There is, but Moses spoke with a spiritual reference. … Moses then issued three doctrines concerning meats with a spiritual significance; but they received them according to fleshly desire, as if he had merely spoken of [literal] meats … Take a full and firm grasp of this spiritual knowledge. But Moses says still further, “Ye shall eat every animal that is cloven-footed and ruminant.” What does he mean? [The ruminant animal denotes him] who, on receiving food, recognizes Him that nourishes him, and being satisfied by Him, is visibly made glad. Well spake [Moses], having respect to the commandment. What, then, does he mean? … Behold how well Moses legislated. But how was it possible for them to understand or comprehend these things? We then, rightly understanding his commandments, explain them as the Lord intended. For this purpose He circumcised our ears and our hearts, that we might understand these things.

  • John Worden IV

    From one of those people who lacks sufficient study of but, enjoys reading ‘God’s Word I have one question. HUH!

  • Patrick

    I see Jesus as properly “getting” the import of the OT text myself as opposed to what He called “the traditions of man” which skews it’s value.

    He understood some of the OT text ( divorce and extreme patriarchal stuff comes to mind) were not what God wanted, rather what He would tolerate because He was dealing with flawed humanity and had a really big goal to succeed at.

    Since Christ is the visible Yahweh of the OT text, He has the authority to do certain stuff. Like declare food now is good regardless of what it is if we receive it with thanks. I see stuff like that as a “down payment” on the restoration of all things idea.

    He’s entered human history, changed the game, upped the game so to speak( He actually heightened the requirements of Torah when He said just lusting was = to adultery) then fulfilled even the higher demands .

    I guess a question I have is how much of Torah in particular is Yahweh allowing the Jews to do X,Y and Z as opposed to ” I want you to do this or you’re a sinner”? Not always a simple answer I suppose.

  • Andrew T.

    You wrote: “For Paul, his scripture–the story of Israel–come to its conclusion in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the creation of a new people of God made up of Jew and Gentile on equal footing.”

    Although this is typical (commonly accepted) church argument – there’s a lot of unfounded presupposition wrapped up in this comment (that may in fact be false).

    Show this presupposition to be false and much of your argument falls apart.

    • peteenns

      Andrew, do you not see this in Romans and Galatians (at least)? This isn’t a “church argument.”

  • Andrew T.

    I don’t. I’d be happy to show you why I don’t (or to make a case transparently).

  • Andrew T.

    I’m not sure I could do it justice in blog comment snippets though .. so if you wish I’d be happy to email you …

  • Pingback: Would Paul Have Made A Good Evangelical? On the New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament (Part 3)- Credo Magazine


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