Well… I think my summer reading list is out:
“Over the last three decades, a revolutionary breakthrough in New Testament scholarship has been rocking the academic Christian world. The scholars at the forefront of the revolution — E.P. Sanders, James D.G. Dunn, N.T. Wright, and others — have been pioneering a new approach to the letters of the first-century apostle to the Gentiles, Paul of Tarsus.
These Protestants are engaging first-century Judaism on its own terms, not in the context of the Protestant-Catholic debates of the sixteenth century. The result: A new historical perspective on the meaning of Paul’s polemic against the Judaizers which occupies so much of his recorded correspondence.
What is this new perspective? At its core is the recognition that Judaism is not a religion of self-righteousness whereby humankind seeks to merit salvation before God. Paul’s argument with the Judaizers was not about Christian grace versus Jewish legalism. His argument was rather about the status of Gentiles in the church. Paul’s doctrine of justification, therefore, had far more to do with Jewish-Gentile issues than with questions of the individual’s status before God.”
Having had the chance to study with Richard Hayes in seminary, and being influenced by his own thinking on this subject, I find this developing theological line of inquiry very interesting.
Thanks to Stand Firm for the pointer!
Read the rest here: The Paul Page: Dedicated to the New Perspective on Paul