The New Perspective on Paul and Philippians…?

The New Perspective on Paul and Philippians…? November 5, 2010

An astute commenter from a previous post asked me if I knew of a Philippians commentary that approaches Paul’s theology from the so-called  New Perspective on Paul. Good question. When one looks at the range of commentaries, many follow a more traditional view of law and righteousness, esp. in the early part of ch. 3. First, I would say that Tom Wright’s forthcoming ICC commentary Philippians will fill this gap nicely, though it is a long way off, as I have heard.

I would say one could turn to Morna Hooker (NIB series) and Gordon Fee (NICNT) for NPP-sympathetic readers, but neither of them are “true” NPP proponents. I remember, a few years ago, chatting about this very subject with Jimmy Dunn and his response was, “I just wrote an essay on this very lacuna!” That was published in his collection of essays, The New Perspective on Paul (Eerdmans) with the chapter title: “Philippians 3.2-14 and the New Perspective on Paul” (pp. 469-490).

I also presume that Todd Still and Ross Wagner will have some insight in this regard in their forthcoming commentaries (respectively Smyth & Helwys, and Baylor Handbook).

FYI: I am still not satisfied with interpretations of Phil 3:2-14 and how they handle why Paul considers all a loss. I am waiting for a cogent argument, but admittedly this is an enigmatic text.

 

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  • Tom

    Thanks for the post. I’m currently teaching Philippians in our small group, and 3:2-14 is up to bat soon. I’m pulling from Fee, Hansen, and Thielman, but not buying into their overall approach here. Admittedly, I lean toward the NPP, but even with Dunn’s essay and Wright’s latest treatment of the passage in Justification, I’m still at a loss as how to best make sense of what’s going on. It’s good to hear you share a similar dissatisfaction.