Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Paul the Law and the New Perspective

I get asked a fair bit what the "New Perspective" is. Since I'm starting to feel self-conscious about my usual response about "Paul in Jewish Context," followed up with a referral to The Paul Page, I'm going to endeavour to provide a fuller explanation of it in the coming weeks. Yes, it's been done, which makes it all the more apropriate here in Dilletante-land!

I plan to break it up into four parts, though that might change:

1) Judaism as Legalist Works Righteousness
2) Paul as a Reflection of Luther
3) Covenental Nomism
4) The New Perspective

I'll be heavily dependent on Sanders' Paul and Palestinian Judaism, at least in terms of outline, though resources will be considerably more diverse for topics 2 and 4.

I plan to have the first in the series up sometime in the week of Aug. 7-13. A lack of time, and a lack of motivation in the summer heat, will postpone it until then.


Chris Petersen said...

I very much look forward to this up and coming series.

Matthew said...

Well gosh, now I'm curious: Are you a convinced NP guy, or are you writing as an outside observer?

Matthew Thomas Hopper

Rick Sumner said...

Hi Chris and Matthew,


I hope I don't disappoint!


I am indeed a convinced NP guy, but I'll endeavour to write from the perspective of an outside observer.

Loren Rosson III said...

I'm a firm advocate of the New Perspective in the sense that Paul began targetting the law on behalf of Gentiles rather than as a critique of religious legalism. But the NP does get pushed as a hot button issue in places where it shouldn't. For instance, Rom 2-4 is all about the NP (see esp 3:21-4:17), but Rom 5-8 isn't. Believing Judeans die to the law as a whole in Rom 7.

Matthew said...

Well that makes 3 of us. To me the NP is more than established. However, it may be that there are as many different versions of it as there are theologians who in some sense claim it. Maybe we should try to agree on what points are the essential ones in this whole thing.