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How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

Peter Leithart's review of The Future of the People of God

I sent Peter Leithart a copy of The Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom because I felt that it offers an interesting New Testament preface to his book Defending Constantine. Peter has now reviewed the book on his blog. He provides a good summary of the argument and concludes very appositely:

Since I started reading New Perspective writers, I have been frustrated by the implicit, unargued bifurcation of Jesus and Paul. For Wright, Jesus is all about the imminent coming of wrath, but when Wright turns to Paul he seems to forget what he said about Jesus. Perriman’s book begins to heal the breach, and points helpfully toward a necessary post-NPP re-reading of Paul.

A second post looks at the “before and after Western Christendom” part of the argument.

Comments

So you write with a ‘post-NPP re-reading of Paul’. :) Very good for a post-evangelical. ;)

 

 

I have tended to think of myself as extending the scope of the New Perspective rather than moving beyond it. Tim Gombis made me reconsider this. But I’m a bit concerned that we’re overdoing the “post-” classifications. “New Perspective” is a very general term, and if we highlight the historical aspect as the context for the re-evaluation of Paul’s relationship to Judaism, I don’t see why it can’t be broadened. At least, the New Perspective signposted a fundamental change of direction in Pauline studies which can be pursued a lot further.

Andrew,interesting footnote to your comment; when asked “is the Third Quest for the historical Jesus over?” James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary responded “The Third Quest, as defined in the 1980s, is over. It’ll be remembered as a recovery of the Jewishness of Jesus and his world…the Third Quest laid a foundation on which future studies will build….and…moved scholarly discussion in the right direction. The next phase will build on its success and correct its mistakes.” here’s the link to the article: http://pulse.me/s/UwTb

It’s a good piece. Shame Evans doesn’t say more about how he thinks scholarship will build on the foundation of the Third Quest. To be honest, I wonder how much more there is to say about the Jewish Jesus. I suppose it will depend on what the unexamined archaeological sites and texts throw up. But perhaps it’s time to shift attention back to the equally Jewish Paul.