Dunn, J.D.G. “A New Perspective on the New Perspective on Paul.” Early Christianity 4, no. 2 (2013): 157–82.
J.D.G. Dunn provides a helpful clarification on the scope and intent of the New Perspective on Paul. In his words, he is providing a new and fresh ‘perspective’ on the New Perspective movement, a term he coined in 1982.
The predominant critique of traditional views on the NPP corresponds to changing language about justification, different portraits of Judaism, the role of judgment and works, and others. However, Dunn clarifies, from his viewpoint, the difference is not merely due to one position being “right” and the other “wrong”. So, it is not that NP is “right” and the traditional view is “wrong”, or the NP is wholly antithetical to the traditional view.
Over the past two months I have been slowly engaging Paul and the Faithfulness of God, the newest edition to N.T. Wright’s Christian Origins and the Question of God series. It was an enjoyable read; it was a fruitful read; and, of course, it was a frustrating read. But nonetheless, this book is very helpful for those involved in Pauline Theology, Biblical Theology, and 2nd-Temple literature.
Fortress Press kindly allowed me to review it. Below is the full the review.
Also, Books at a Glance Published this too (Peer Reviewed—Fred Zaspel and Jarvis Williams). Please see here.
I’m currently reviewing Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Vol. 4 in N.T. Wright’s Christian Origins and the Question of God, for Fortress Press. To say the least, Wright is changing the scene of NT studies and has been doing so for some time now. His erudite and winsome prose make 1700+ pages pass with ease.
I find myself at times reading with pen in hand and notes beside me with an inability to capture all my thoughts and questions and insights he brings to the table. There are other times I find myself adding up mathematical equations that are bit odd to me (e.g., 1+2 = 4). I see what he’s saying, but I’m don’t see how it adds up to what he says.
N.T. Wright, in Paul and the Faithfulness of God, has a section describing the worldviews of a 2nd temple Jew. He provides valuable insight in the purpose and function of the Temple. When matched with the Temple themes in the NT, a holistic change is brought forth. If he is right, it is no wonder early Christianity was not received well by the Jewish people, especially when it comes to the Temple.
But nonetheless, these comments do shed light for modern interpreters on the importance of knowing 2nd temple literature and having an idea of the contemporary worldviews because of its aid in shedding light on interpretation. Continue reading