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The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life: Ethical and Missional Implications of the New Perspective



The “new perspective” on Paul, an approach that seeks to reinterpret the apostle Paul and his letters against the backdrop of first-century Judaism, has been criticized by some as not having value for ordinary Christians living ordinary lives. In this volume, world-renowned scholars explore the implications of the new perspective on Paul for the Christian life and church. James D. G. Dunn, N. T. Wright, Bruce Longenecker, Scot McKnight, and other leading New Testament scholars offer a response to this question: How does the apostle Paul understand the Christian life? The book makes a fresh contribution to the new perspective on Paul conversation and offers important new insights into the orientation of the Christian life.

Key Features

  • Focuses on the connection between the New Perspective and ecclesiology
  • Explores related issues of pneumatology, missiology, ethics, and sanctification
  • Examines how the apostle Paul understood the Christian life


  • The Christian Life from the Perspective of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
  • The New Perspective and the Christian Life in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians
  • Faith, Works, and Worship: Torah Observance in Paul’s Theological Perspective
  • The New Perspective and the Christian Life: Solus Spiritus
  • Participation in the New Creation People of God in Christ by the Spirit
  • The New Perspective and the Christian Life: The Ecclesial Life
  • A Symphonic Melody: Wesleyan-Holiness Theology Meets New-Perspective
  • Paul and Missional Hermeneutics

Praise for the Print Edition

Although the new perspective on Paul has been controversial, it has also been a great impetus toward rethinking theology and practice, not least in forcing us to see how the issues of grace and race are indelibly bound up together. In this volume, McKnight and Modica lead an international team of biblical scholars in thinking through what it means to say that God saves Jews and gentiles through faith in Jesus, and how this shapes mission, ethics, holiness, community, and the Christian life. A stimulating and stirring read about what Paul means today!

—Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

Can these dry bones (of academic theories) live?’ This question—the ‘so what’ factor—is not asked often enough in academia. But this book commences with the ‘so what’ question in regard to the new perspective on Paul. In recent years, some have declared the new perspective to be passé at best and dead at worst. The contributors to this book make a cogent case not only that the new perspective is still a compelling reading of Paul in his context but also that it draws out a depth and vitality in his theology and spirituality that can guide the Christian life and the church’s life today.

—Nijay K. Gupta, Portland Seminary

Product Details

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

About the Editors

Scot McKnight Scot McKnight (PhD, University of Nottingham), a world-renowned scholar, writer, and speaker, is Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. His blog, Jesus Creed, is one of the most popular and influential evangelical blogs. McKnight is the author or editor of more than sixty books, including It Takes a Church to Baptize, Adam and the Genome, Kingdom Conspiracy, The Jesus Creed, The King Jesus Gospel, and The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life. He is also a canon theologian for the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others.

Joseph B. Modica (PhD, Drew University) is university chaplain and associate professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. He is the coeditor, with Scot McKnight, of Jesus Is Lord, Caesar Is Not: Evaluating Empire in New Testament Studies.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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