Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Jewish Context of the Theology of the Apostle Paul

In section one of my essay “Paul and the New Covenant Paradigm” in the book An Everlasting Covenant: Biblical and Theological Essays in Honour of William J. Dumbrell I look at the Jewish context of Paul’s theology in Galatians and Romans.

The Jewish context of Paul’s theology is very important for understanding the nature of the problem that Paul was addressing in Galatians and Romans, but overall this dimension is something that has frequently been mishandled or overlooked in the history of the interpretation of these epistles.

“The Jewish context of Paul’s theology has two main aspects: firstly, the theological context of the Old Testament; and secondly, the nature of the Jewish opposition that Paul had to face during his ministry” (p. 121).

“When it comes to the theological context in which Paul operated, the most important element is the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e., the Old Testament) and the theological ideas communicated therein. There are two important aspects to the Old Testament that impact upon Paul’s theology: the Old Testament view of the law, and the Old Testament view of the gospel” (p. 121).

“The second aspect of Paul’s Jewish context is the identity of Paul’s Jewish opponents” (p. 130).

In my next post I will provide some quotes from the sub-section that deals with the Old Testament view of the law.


Tim said...

Steven, I am really looking forward to seeing these excerpts. I appreciate your courage in following Sailhamer and finding a reference to the new covenant in Dt 30. Blessings, Tim

Steven Coxhead said...

Hello Tim,

I like to think of it in terms of respecting the way in which God has chosen to express himself in Scripture. But your mention of courage is appropriate given the opposition that exists. Thanks for your encouragement!

I hope you find the excerpts helpful.

Many blessings in your walk with the Lord!