Reckoning with the hermeneutical struggle to make sense of Paul as both a historical figure and a canonical muse
Matthew Novenson has become a leading voice advocating for the continuing relevance of historical-critical readings of Paul even as some New Testament scholars have turned to purely theological or political approaches. In this collection of a decade’s worth of essays, Novenson puts contextual understandings of Paul’s letters into conversation with their Christian reception history. After a new, programmatic introductory essay that frames the other eleven essays, Novenson explores topics including:
Engaging with numerous schools of thought in Pauline studies—Augustinian, Lutheran, New Perspective, apocalyptic, Paul-within-Judaism, religious studies, and more—while also rising above partisan disputes between schools, Novenson illuminates the ancient Mediterranean context of Paul’s letters, their complicated afterlives in the history of interpretation, and the hermeneutical struggle to make sense of it all.
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Table of Contents
1. Our Apostles, Ourselves
2. Romans 1–2 between Theology and Historical Criticism
3. Ioudaios, Pharisee, Zealot
4. Did Paul Abandon Either Judaism or Monotheism?
5. Romans and Galatians
6. The Self-Styled Jew of Romans 2 and the Actual Jews of Romans 9–11
7. The Messiah ben Abraham in Galatians
8. “God Is Witness”: A Classical Rhetorical Idiom in Its Pauline Usage
9. What Eschatological Pilgrimage of the Gentiles?
10. Whither the Paul within Judaism Schule?
11. The Pauline Epistles in Tertullian’s Bible
12. Anti-Judaism and Philo-Judaism in Pauline Studies, Then and Now
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