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The New Perspective on Paul: Collected Essays

ISBN: 9783161514883

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This collection of essays highlights a dimension of Paul’s theology of justification which has been rather neglected: that his teaching emerged as an integral part of his understanding of his commission to preach the gospel to non-Jews; and that his dismissal of justification ‘by works of the law’ was directed not so much against Jewish legalism but rather against his fellow Jews’ assumption that the law remained a dividing wall separating Christian Jews from Christian Gentiles. The long opening essay interacts with critiques of this ‘New Perspective on Paul’ and seeks to carry forward the debate on Jewish soteriology, on the relation of justification by faith to judgment ‘according to works,’ on Christian fulfillment of the law, and on the crucial role of Christ, his death and resurrection.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Presents new methodologies for interpreting the New Testament
  • Explores different forms of Greek for a fuller understanding of New Testament interpretation
  • Presents contemporary views on Paul’s thought and theology
  • Studies extrabiblical literature to bring context to biblical literature


  • The New Perspective on Paul: whence, what, whither?
  • The New Perspective on Paul (1983)
  • Works of the Law and the Curse of the Law (Gal. 3.10–14) (1985)
  • The New Perspective on Paul: Paul and the Law (1988)
  • What was the Issue between Paul and “Those of the Circumcision”? (1991)
  • The Theology of Galatians: The Issue of Covenantal Nomism (1991)
  • The Justice of God: A Renewed Perspective on Justification by Faith (1991)
  • Yet Once More – “The Works of the Law”: A Response (1992)
  • Echoes of Intra-Jewish Polemic in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (1993)
  • How New was Paul’s Gospel? The Problem of Continuity and Discontinuity (1994)
  • Was Paul against the Law? The Law in Galatians and Romans: A Test-Case of Text in Context (1995)
  • In Search of Common Ground (2001)
  • “Neither Circumcision Nor Uncircumcision, but ...” (Gal. 5.2–12; 6.12–16; cf. 1 Cor. 7.17–20) (1996)
  • 4QMMT and Galatians (1997)
  • Paul’s Conversion – A Light to Twentieth Century Disputes (1997)
  • Paul and Justification by Faith (1997)
  • Whatever Happened to “Works of the Law”? (1998)
  • Jesus the Judge: Further Thoughts on Paul’s Christology and Soteriology (2001)
  • Noch einmal “Works of the Law”: The Dialogue Continues (2002)
  • Did Paul have a Covenant Theology? Reflections on Romans 9.4 and 11.27 (2004)
  • Paul and the Torah (2004)
  • Philippians 3.2–14 and the New Perspective on Paul

Top Highlights

“If ‘the righteousness of God’ refers to God’s justifying action, then how does it correlate with the traditional view that Paul was reacting against a view which taught that justification had to be earned? If ‘the righteousness of God’ presupposed divine election of and expressed divine faithfulness to and upholding of a faithless people, then where did the thought of justification to be earned by works come into the picture? If Paul was able to draw on the characteristic OT emphasis on the graciousness of God’s righteousness as a statement of his own gospel, how could he also imply that the characteristic Jew understood justification as a status to be earned? Something had gone wrong somewhere, but where?” (Page 3)

“But it was obvious from any study of the key Pauline passages that in his teaching on justification through faith Paul was reacting against some other teaching—‘by faith apart from works of the law’ (Rom. 3:28), ‘from faith in Christ and not from works of the law’ (Gal. 2:16). What was Paul reacting against? What were these ‘works of the law’?” (Page 1)

“Krister Stendahl, that the ‘doctrine of justification by faith was hammered out by Paul for the very specific and limited purpose of defending the rights of Gentile converts to be full and genuine heirs to the promises of the God of Israel’.” (Page 8)

“That is to say, obedience to the law in Judaism was never thought of as a means of entering the covenant, of attaining that special relationship with God; it was more a matter of maintaining the covenant relationship with God.” (Page 92)

  • Title: The New Perspective on Paul: Collected Essays
  • Author: James D. G. Dunn
  • Series: Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament
  • Volume: 185
  • Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
  • Print Publication Date: 2005
  • Logos Release Date: 2018
  • Pages: 540
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Paul, the Apostle, Saint; Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul › Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • ISBNs: 9783161514883, 3161486773, 05121604, 3161514882, 9783161486777
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T02:00:50Z

James D. G. Dunn (1939–) is emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham and is a leading British New Testament scholar. Dunn is a significant proponent of the New Perspective on Paul, and coined the term in a 1982 lecture. He received a PhD and DD from the University of Cambridge, and a MA and BD from the University of Glasgow. In 2002 he became only the third British scholar to be made the president of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

His recent works include Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? The New Testament EvidenceA New Perspective on Jesus: What the Quest for the Historical Jesus Missedthe volumes Romans 1–8 and Romans 9–16 of the Word Biblical Commentary, and The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon in The New International Greek Testament Commentary (12 vols.).

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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Digital list price: $39.99
Save $9.00 (22%)