A dynamic reading of Paul’s faith language, outlining its subtle nuances as belief, trust, and faithfulness.
Faith language permeates the letters of Paul. Yet, its exact meaning is not always clear. Many today, reflecting centuries of interpretation, consider belief in Jesus to be a passive act. In this important book, Nijay Gupta challenges common assumptions in the interpretation of Paul and calls for a reexamination of Paul’s faith language. Gupta argues that Paul’s faith language resonates with a Jewish understanding of covenant involving goodwill, trust, and expectation. Paul’s understanding of faith involves the transformation of one’s perception of God and the world through Christ, relational dependence on Christ, as well as active loyalty to Christ.
Pastors and scholars alike will benefit from this close examination of Paul’s understanding and use of faith language. For Gupta, Paul’s understanding involves a divine-human relationship centered on Christ that believes, trusts, and obeys.
“The problem here is that ‘faith’ has certain connotations in modern English that ought not to be read into Paul’s letters, especially faith as thoughtless or irrational or faith as essentially nonactive.” (Page 181)
“Hays finds ‘trust’ especially appropriate to articulate Pauline πίστις because it can carry at the same time the cognitive dimensions of choosing to think rightly about God as well as the covenantal dimensions of commitment to obedience.” (Page 13)
“Appealing to texts like 1 Thess 1:3 (‘work of faith’) and Rom 1:5 (‘obedience of faith’), Barth underscores the critical point that in many cases obedience and faith are not as neatly separable human operations as some interpreters of Paul presume them to be.” (Pages 8–9)
“Blumenthal sums up by quoting Abraham Heschel: ‘Faith is sensitivity, understanding, engagement, and attachment.’” (Page 17)
“‘Faith in Christ’ is no more than a call to be rescued by the ‘faithfulness of Christ.’” (Page 176)
A clear discussion of the biblical, particularly Pauline concept of faith, its breadth and its specifics. Reading it with care will strengthen and perhaps correct the reader’s understanding of faith. Who could ask for more?”
—James D. G. Dunn
Nijay Gupta presents here the best contemporary exploration of the meaning of ‘faith’ and ‘believing’ in the Christian Bible. He leaves no stone unturned as he covers topics like faith as doctrine, virtue, allegiance, trust, obedience, and fidelity, among other things. Along the way Gupta cracks open a few hoary chestnuts like the ‘faithfulness of Christ’ and faith as a social boundary marker, always with clarity and acumen. All in all, a wonderful exposition of the meaning of faith in the biblical world.
—Michael F. Bird, Ridley College
Nijay Gupta has again proved himself to be one of the best and most interesting young exegetes now working. In this impressive book, he gives us, among other things: an up-to-date, incisive treatment of the pistis christou debate; an argument for ‘covenantal pistism’ as a gloss for Paul’s pattern of religion; and a bridge from the classic interpretations of Luther and Calvin to recent proposals from Benjamin Schliesser, Teresa Morgan, and others. Throughout, Gupta writes with a historical critic’s keen eye for textual detail and a theologian’s sense of the considerable stakes of these discussions. Paul and the Language of Faith is a reliable guide for students and a valuable resource for scholars.
—Matthew V. Novenson, University of Edinburgh
In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. 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.