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The Reverse of the Curse: Paul, Wisdom, and the Law

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Gathering interest


C. Marvin Pate examines the undisputed Pauline writings and demonstrates that wherever Paul employs the theme of wisdom, he does so to reverse the Deuteronomic curses and blessings. The covenantal blessings rest on those whose faith is in Christ, the wisdom of God, while the covenantal curses abide on those who attempt to obey the Torah. All of this results from Paul’s separation of Christ, God’s wisdom, from the law of Moses.

In addition, the author deals with two secondary themes. First of all, he calls the ‘new perspective’ on Paul into question. Secondly, a revised form of the ‘Tübingen theory’ is put forth. Both of these points call scholarship back to a more Lutheran reading of the subject of Pauline theology, emphasizing the importance of law and gospel therein.

Key Features

  • Presents various contemporary views on Paul’s thought and theology regarding Judaism and the Law
  • Sheds light on some of the key influences and most discussed passages of Paul’s work


  • Introduction: The Current State of Research. A Survey
  • Forschungsbericht – The Procedure of This Study
  • I. Wisdom, Law, and the Deuteronomistic. Tradition: Theocratic Interpretations
  • II. Wisdom and Law in Diaspora Judaism. Apologetic Interpretations
  • III. Wisdom and Law in Jewish Apocalypticism
  • IV. Apocalyptic, Sectarian Interpretations of Wisdom and Law. 1 Enoch and the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • V. Wisdom and Law according to the Pre-Christian Paul. A Theoretic Interpretation
  • VI. The Apostle Paul’s Disassociation of Wisdom and Law in Galatians. An Apocalyptic, Sectarian Interpretation
  • VII. The Reverse of the Curse. Wisdom Versus Law in Other Pauline Letters
  • VIII. Christian Apocalyptic Interpretations of Wisdom and Law. The Judaizers and Matthew
  • IX. Christian Apologetic Interpretations of Wisdom and Law. Luke-Acts and James

Product Details

  • Title: The Reverse of the Curse: Paul, Wisdom, and the Law
  • Author: C. Marvin Pate
  • Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 536
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Pauline Studies

C. Marvin Pate (MA, Wheaton; PhD, Marquette University) taught for 13 years at Moody Bible Institute. Now he is chair of the Department of Christian Theology and professor of theology at Ouachita Baptist University. Pate has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous books, including Four Views on the Book of Revelation, The Writings of John: A Survey of the Gospel, Epistles, and Apocalypse, and Teach the Text Commentary: Romans from Teach the Text Commentary Series.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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    Digital list price: $39.99
    Save $15.00 (37%)

    Gathering interest