No issue in contemporary Pauline studies is more contested than Paul's view of the law. Headline proponents of the "new perspective" on Paul, such as E.P. Sanders and J.D.G. Dunn, have maintained that the Reformational readings of Paul have led to distorted understandings of first-century Judaism, of Paul and particularly of Paul's diagnosis of the Jewish situation under the law. Others have responded by arguing that while our understanding of Paul needs to be tuned to the clearer sounds now emanating from Jewish texts of the apostle's day, the basic Reformational insight into Paul's analysis of the human plight remains true to the apostle. Paul was opposing works righteousness. Paul & The Law is a careful attempt to assault this crucial interpretive problem with a new strategy. Rather than taking a systematic, topical approach, Frank Thielman examines Paul's view of the law in context: the context of each letter's language and argument. While many studies have focused on Paul's explicit statements about the law, Thielman goes further in investigating those contexts where Paul's language is allusive and his view implied. The result is an illuminating and significant contribution to Pauline studies. Paul & the Law clarifies our understanding of Paul's perspective on the law in the light of his gospel of Jesus Christ, and it reaffirms the coherence and integrity of Pauline theology as it relates to this pivotal axis of his thought.
Noted New Testament scholar Frank Thielman offers pastors, students, and teachers a substantive yet accessible commentary on Ephesians in this addition to the award-winning BECNT series. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, Thielman leads readers through all aspects of the book of Ephesians--sociological, historical, and theological--to help them better understand its meaning and relevance. As with all BECNT volumes, this commentary features the author's detailed interaction with the Greek text and an acclaimed, user-friendly design. It admirably achieves the dual aims of the series--academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility.
"" This book] represents an experiment in understanding Paul from the perspective of Jewish eschatology--an experiment, it must be said, which many believe has already been weighed and found wanting. I attempt to argue, below, however, that the failure of this method in the hands of Montefiore, Schweitzer, and others was due to an underestimation of the complex nature of first-century Judaism. When the Judaisms of late antiquity are allowed a voice in the debate on Paul, Paul appears as less a renegade than a reformer. . . . ""The argument below must not be taken to conclude that there was no discontinuity between Paul and Judaism. It is only an attempt to show that in his basic attitude toward the law Paul stands in continuity with parts of the Hebrew scriptures and with many Jewish contemporaries."" --from the Preface Frank Thielman is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University where he has taught New Testament for nearly twenty years. He is the author, among other books, of Paul and the Law: A Contextual Approach, The Law and the New Testament: The Question of Continuity, and Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach.