NPP types often claim that the Reformers projected their own issues back into their interpretations of Paul. No doubt that happened, but (influenced by Augustine’s treatment of Pauline theology) they were more careful to note that Paul’s central concern was with Jew/Gentile questions . . . . Continue Reading »

What are we waiting for?

Paul uses the verb “eagerly await” a number of times. What is he waiting for? He awaits the Savior from heaven (Philippians 3:20), the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:7), the revelation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19), the adoption of sons and redemption of the body . . . . Continue Reading »

How Wide Justification?

During the ETS discussion, Wright made a point of emphasizing that justification in Paul is one narrow slice of his theology and not the whole. Wright has been protesting for years against the expansion of “justification” to include everything that Paul says about salvation. At one . . . . Continue Reading »

Soteriology v. Ecclesiology

At ETS last week, the Toms - Schreiner and Wright - debated Paul and justification, along with Frank Thielman. The discussion was illuminating on many points, but on one central point it frustratingly kept missing the point. Schreiner accused Wright of a false dichotomy between soteriological and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Jewish Difference

Against Badiou and Zizek, who want to use Paul to defend a generic “universalism” that can become homogenization, John Caputo ( St. Paul among the Philosophers (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion) ) argues that the universalism of Paul is more paradoxical, more Kierkegaardian . . . . Continue Reading »

Under Stoicheia

According to Paul, all human beings lived under the “elementary principles” ( stoicheia ) until the coming of the Son and Spirit.  As he elaborates on this theme in Galatians 4 and Colossians 2, he identifies several features of stoicheic life: 1. Stoicheic life is the life of a . . . . Continue Reading »

Pauline Semantics

In his recent Paul and Scripture: Studying the New Testament Use of the Old Testament , Steven Moyise suggests that Paul’s treatment of Abraham counters the “heroic” tradition concerning Abraham by equating “reckoned righteous” with “justifies the ungodly.” . . . . Continue Reading »


What is Galatians about?  Augustine says that the question at stake was how to induct Gentiles into the people of God.  Paul circumcised Timothy, since “these rites and traditions [of Judaism] were not harmful to people born and raised in that way,” but for those who came from . . . . Continue Reading »

Paul Among Greeks

Sarah Ruden’s Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time examines Paul’s ethical pronouncements in the context of Greco-Roman morals and literature, with some interesting results.  Paul comes off as revolutionary and subversive on precisely . . . . Continue Reading »

Christ’s Faith

R. Michael Allen’s The Christ’s Faith: A Dogmatic Account (T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology) fill out the notion of the faith and trust exercised by Jesus Christ in relation to His Father.  He doesn’t deal with the exegetical issues, but instead sets out to show . . . . Continue Reading »