A Review Hiatus and New Perspective Pauline Thoughts

Please pardon the delay in the chapter reviews. I just wish to make two points with this entry:

First, in an effort to present thoughtful and critical reflection on Wright’s book, I have targeted the shortcomings of his coherence model often with concern for Wright’s lack of critical substantiation (though, for other concerns about the “pre-critical” leanings of Wright’s work, see Colin Brown, “Quest of the Historical Jesus,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Second Edition (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2013) 738-39). However, Wright is a fellow Evangelical I presume and I do not feel right in discrediting his fresh and stimulating views on the apostle Paul through the use of such criticisms. For this I offer the reader apology. Proceeding forward I will try to show more care for Wright’s coherence model as initially sought.

Secondly, my concern over New Perspective readings of Paul almost always involve dissatisfaction with the exegetical logic put forward by its proponents, specifically when, such as in the case of Wright, a larger though inexplicit metanarrative casts a burgeoning interpretive shadow over Christ and the cross (which are exegetically explicit and formative of Paul’s theology). By overly stressing the socio-political dimension in Pauline theology through a very pressing exegetical sensitivity for Jew and Gentile together, in contexts where they were traditionally not understood to be the subject of discussion, soteriological implications of these fresh readings for understanding why Paul was so passionate about the shortcomings of the Mosaic law continue to ring loud in the ears of the NPP critic or student. Indeed, the failure to appreciate the soteriological dimensions in both the person and work of Christ, as well as the wayward interests for fresh thinking with regard to the socio-political implications of much of what Paul is actually not saying, are the root causes of these misguided exegeses. Notable NPP critics who have written extensively from similar points of concern include Stephen Westerholm and John Barclay. To them and their work, I would like to point readers.


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