New Perspective on Paul

  • Theopedia - An encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity.
    • Stephen Westerholm
      • Stephen Westerholm (b. 1949) is a Canadian scholar and associate professor of biblical studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He received BA and MA degrees from the University of Toronto and a ThD from the University of Lund (Sweden). He is noted for his work in Pauline studies and is most recently known for his interaction with the New Perspective on Paul.
      • Westerholm, in response to Dunn, Wright, Stendahl and others, writes that “Students who want to know how a Rabbinic Jew perceived humanity’s place in God’s world will read Paul with caution and Luther not at all. On the other hand, students who want to understand Paul, but feel that they have nothing to learn from Martin Luther, should consider a career in metallurgy. Exegesis is learned from the masters.”

Metallurgy? No, they should read the church Fathers!

Then they’ll be ready for Luther. :wink:

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  • Not much here, thankfully. But Esther and I are MSNBC regulars, which keeps us informed and entertained.
  • I’m still toying with possible approaches to tackling the “world of NPOP studies”, and whether or not to even try here in public at all. Personally, I can’t see how one can avoid the dreaded P word for long before it raises its head and bites one on an ankle or on the butt.
  • Justification by Faith is the Answer: What is the Question? [Stephen Westerholm]
    • According to Westerholm, “To lift Paul out of his first-century context is to distort him.” Far be it from me to distort him, but if that’s true, doesn’t he start to lose his usefullness or applicability?
  • Take Galatians 3:26-29. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
  • That’s what 1st century Paul said. What would a “2024 Paul” say?
    • Seems to me, YECs would say: if you don’t accept Young Earth Creationism, you aren’t “in Christ” nor are you Abraham;s seed. A non-Christian Jew or a Middle Eastern Muslim would laugh at you. Christian’s who believe the 2020 election was “stolen” would accuse non-agreeing Americans of being “godless heathen”, no?
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How many different variations of this? Yeah.
Kris Kristofferson, the great folk musician philosopher, said it well in “Jesus was a Capricorn”:

Everybody’s gotta have somebody to look down on,
Whom they can feel better than at any time they please.
Some folks doin’ something decent folks can frown on.
If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Me, too. I haven’t had time or energy lately to do the work for this discussion, and I am not interested at this time in intensive Greek studies. I’m hopeful the biblical academics can do a better job with Greek than they generally do with Postmodernism.

Not sure if it’s possible to combine Jesus and the Powers with a new Perspective on Paul. I’d like to learn about both and finish Wright’s book on Power. I need to review what I’ve listened to so far, since it’s been about a week. “All things Wright” would probably be too chaotic.

If you decide to pursue either in a private, smaller group, I think I’m game. I’m not interested in a free-for-all or debate-team style argument about Greek words carried out mostly by people who are not speakers or scholars of Greek, though. It just becomes a food fight over opinions. I’m also not interested in distracting tangential insertions that have nothing to do with a discussion I put a lot of work into, either. People who want to start their own thread about their favorite theologian’s work are welcome to. If they just show up to casually toss in a comment in order to divert the topic to something that interest them, they should start their own thread.

Sorry, I haven’t had time to contribute anything regarding the actual topic of the thread.

If nothing else, I’m a pretty good reader. I will go ahead and finish, an I think enjoy, Wright’s and Bird’s book on Jesus and the Powers , and I look forward to fitting in the articles on NPoP.

I am also trying to get going on Kierkegaard’s Sickness Unto Death which will be very demanding.

Thanks, Terry.

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  • I think that’s too many Ps in the same sentence.
  • In the words of great-great grandfather Richard Purdy, who heard that some rowdy young men intended to crash a barn dance to which they had not been formally invited by his daughters.“Brlng guns, we’re expecting trouble.” (Written on an invitation sent to each of the young men.)
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A purdy wise man, if I do say so.

Bring up the P-word, and it’s all driven underground anyway. Might as well be prepared for what might attack the fox holes.

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  • And that doesn’t even include “Pornography” or “Purgatory”.
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