Critical studies of the two ‘test cases’ for James D.G. Dunn’s ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ Paul’s Damascus experience and Galatians 3:10–14, reaffirm the Reformation interpretation of Paul’s doctrine of justification and confirm that Paul obtained that doctrine from his Damascus experience. The discovery that Isaiah 42 influenced Paul’s interpretation of his apostolic call helps explain how Paul developed his antithesis between the Spirit and the flesh/law and why he insists on the impossibility of justification by works of the law. Contrary to the assumption of the ‘New Perspective School,’ Seyoon Kim’s studies issue a call to take Paul seriously as an important witness to his contemporary Judaism. The distinctive Pauline doctrine of Christ as the image of God and as the last Adam is revisited in the light of the growing interest in the apocalyptic-mystical background of Paul. The author also explicates how Paul uses the Jesus tradition in the light of the Damascus experience to develop his christology and soteriology. So, while reaffirming the significance of the Damascus event, Seyoon Kim now appreciates the Jesus tradition as equally important for the origin of Paul’s gospel. Thus, the overall thesis of the book is that Paul’s gospel is a child born of two parents, the Damascus revelation and the Jesus tradition.
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