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Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective, Revised and Expanded Edition

, 2007
ISBN: 9780802840202


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In this new, completely rewritten edition of his major 1986 book, Francis Watson extends, updates, and clarifies his response to E. P. Sanders’s view of Paul, in order to point the way beyond the polarization of “new” and “old” perspectives on the apostle.

The Paul who comes to light in these pages is agent and thinker, apostle and theologian. He is a highly contextual figure, yet his account of Christian identity continues to shape the church’s life to this day. He is the founder of mainly Gentile, Christ-believing communities, separated from the synagogue; and yet he can see this distinctive existence as an authentic response to Jewish scripture and tradition, as fulfilled in Christ. He is a many-sided figure, transcending all our attempts to categorize him or to co-opt him for our own favored causes.

  • Provides an updated and clarified argument
  • Points beyond distinctives of the “new” and “old” perspectives
  • Focuses on Paul’s role as a founder of Christian communities
  • Preface to the Revised Edition
  • Beyond the New Perspective: Introduction to the Revised Edition of Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles
  • Paul, the Reformation, and Modern Scholarship

Part One: Jewish Law and Gentile Mission

  • The Origins of Paul’s View of the Law
  • The Galatian Crisis
  • Philippi, Corinth and the Jewish Christian Mission

Part Two: Jews, Gentiles, and Romans

  • Rome in Pauline Perspective
  • The Social Function of Romans 2
  • Pauline Antithesis and Its Social Correlate (Romans 3)
  • The Law and Christian Identity (Romans 4–8)
  • Election: Reimagining the Scriptural Witness (Romans 9–11)
  • Conclusion
Like a fine wine, Francis Watson’s insightful early work on Paul has aged well, retaining its fundamental character while acquiring new depths of subtlety, complexity, and maturity. Watson moves beyond the tired dogmas of “old” and “new” perspectives alike, blending historical, sociological, and theological approaches to offer a richly textured account of Paul and his gospel that significantly advances the discussion even as it provokes important new questions for future research.

—J. Ross Wagner, Princeton Theological Seminary

Here we return to Watson’s brilliant suggestion in 1986 that Paul’s justification texts and arguments can only be comprehended as they are located in their underlying missiological and sociological dynamics—in particular, in the radical sectarian break made by the apostle’s churches away from orthopractic Judaism. Updated, and with links to his other important works explained, the result is vintage Watson—a series of creative if not provocative theses, argued combatively, with enviable clarity, and with impressive learning.

—Douglas Campbell, Duke Divinity School

In the Logos edition, these volumes are 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.

Francis Watson is a Christian scholar and professor of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Durham. He formerly taught at the University of Aberdeen where he was the Kirby Laing Chair in New Testament. Watson is a respected scholar in the areas of biblical interpretation and the theological interpretation of Scripture. He has an MA and DPhil from Oxford.


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    Digital list price: $34.99
    Save $5.00 (14%)