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Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision

, 2009
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In what has become known as the New Perspective on Paul, Tom Wright has proposed a vision of the apostle’s central message that does full justice to all Paul’s letters. In particular, he focuses on the God-centered nature of Paul’s gospel, arguing that “traditional” readings of Paul can suggest that the apostle’s message is simply about us: our sin, our justification, our salvation.

Ambitious in scope, yet closely argued, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision suggests that this crucial understanding of the theology of St. Paul, and thus of the gospel of Christ, is urgently needed as the church faces the tasks of mission in a dangerous world.

This volume is essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in recent Pauline studies. Logos Bible Software dramatically improves the value of this volume by enabling you to find what you’re looking for with unparalleled speed and precision. The Logos edition is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred English translation and to the original language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of resources in your digital library.

Key Features

  • Provides an exposition of the Apostle Paul and his works
  • Analyzes Paul’s views on justification
  • Responds to contemporary critics


  • Introduction
    • What’s all this about, and why does it matter?
    • Rules of engagement
    • First-century Judaism: covenant, law, and lawcourt
    • Justification: definitions and puzzles
  • Exegesis
    • Galatians
    • Interlude: Philippians, Corinthians, Ephesians
    • Romans
    • Conclusion

Praise for the Print Edition

This is definitely one of the most exciting and significant books that I have read this year. Like all of the author’s work, I found it hard to set down once I had started to read it. Strongly commended!

I. Howard Marshall, honorary research professor of New Testament, University of Aberdeen

N.T. Wright provides yet again another fresh and exciting exposition of the Apostle Paul. Here Wright shows how Paul proclaimed justification by faith as part of the Bible’s theodramatic story of salvation . . . Wright responds to many criticisms including those of John Piper and, regardless of whether one gravitates towards Wright’s or Piper’s unpacking of Paul, you cannot help but enjoy the sparks that fly when these two great modern pastor-scholars cross swords over the apostle.

Michael F. Bird, lecturer in New Testament, Highland Theological College

Like Paul himself writing to the Galatians, Bishop Tom expounds and defends in this book his interpretation of the apostle’s teaching on justification with passion and power. At the same time, he seeks to move beyond divisive categories so that Paul can speak from within his own context and thereby to us in ours. The result is an extraordinary synthesis that should be read by the sympathetic, the suspicious, and everyone else.

Michael J. Gorman, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary & University

For some time now, I have watched in puzzlement as some critics, imagining themselves as defenders of Paul’s gospel, have derided Tom Wright as a dangerous betrayer of the Christian faith. In fact, Paul’s gospel of God’s reconciling, world-transforming grace has no more ardent and eloquent exponent in our time than Tom Wright. If his detractors read this book carefully, they will find themselves engaged in close exegesis of Paul’s letters, and they will be challenged to join Wright in grappling with the deepest logic of Paul’s message. Beyond slogans and caricatures of ‘Lutheran readings’ and ‘the New Perspective,’ the task we all face is to interpret these difficult, theologically generative letters afresh for our time. Wright’s sweeping, incisive sketch of Paul’s thought, set forward in this book, will help us all in that task.

Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, The Divinity School, Duke University

I find it quite stunning that a book dealing with the subject of justification could be this compelling a read—along the way you find yourself getting caught up in the momentum and energy of the book, which pulls you into the momentum and energy of The Book—which is, of course, Tom’s point.

—Rob Bell, founding pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church

This is a sharply polemical book, and N.T. Wright occasionally rises to Pauline heights of exasperation at his opponents. At bottom, though, it is about Pauline basics—about Abraham and Israel, eschatology and covenant, courtroom and Christology. With debates about perspectives old and new swirling around him like a cyclone, Wright does what he always does—he leads us carefully through the text. Some will doubtless remain skeptical about the Copernican revolution Wright proposes, but we are all indebted to him for reminding us once again of the breadth of the gospel of God and the majesty of the God of the gospel.

Peter Leithart, senior fellow of theology and literature, New Saint Andrews College

Frank theological table talk is sometimes a necessary endeavor. Tom Wright’s Justification is his substantive reply to critical work by many, including John Piper, on the New Perspective. Wright correctly reminds us that this approach should be better called New or Fresh Perspectives. The goal is to open up the text connecting what it originally said in the first century, not change it. This book sets up a meaningful and significant conversation between the camps in this debate through its direct interaction with the critique. It should be read and reflected on, just as work on the other side should be. . . . In the dialogue, all of us will learn more about what Paul and Scripture say about justification (and a few other things as well).

Darrell Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

Wright is a joy to read; he uses clear analogies, interacts with the reader, has ‘Paul-like’ anticipation of counter claims, and provides timely reminders of where we are in the argument.

Christianity Magazine

Product Details

About N.T. Wright

N.T. Wright is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of over 40 books, including the ‘For Everyone’ guides to the New Testament, the highly acclaimed series, Christian Origins and the Question of God, and the best-selling Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, and Virtue Reborn.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

Resource Experts

Top Highlights

“Paul’s view of God’s purpose is that God, the creator, called Abraham so that through his family he, God, could rescue the world from its plight.” (Page 73)

“Dealing with sin, saving humans from it, giving them grace, forgiveness, justification, glorification—all this was the purpose of the single covenant from the beginning, now fulfilled in Jesus Christ.” (Page 74)

“First, many first-century Jews thought of themselves as living in a continuing narrative stretching from earliest times, through ancient prophecies, and on towards a climactic moment of deliverance which might come at any moment.” (Page 41)

“First, the key question facing Judaism as a whole was not about individual salvation, but about God’s purposes for Israel and the world.” (Pages 56–57)

“God made humans for a purpose: not simply for themselves, not simply so that they could be in relationship with him, but so that through them, as his image-bearers, he could bring his wise, glad, fruitful order to the world. And the closing scenes of scripture, in the book of Revelation, are not about human beings going off to heaven to be in a close and intimate relationship with God, but about heaven coming to earth.” (Page 7)

  • Title: Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision
  • Author: N. T. Wright
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Print Publication Date: 2009
  • Logos Release Date: 2013
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Piper, John, 1946 › -Future of justification; Justification (Christian theology); Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul › Theology
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-07-10T18:10:43Z
N. T. Wright

Nicholas Thomas “Tom” Wright (1948–) is a New Testament scholar, Pauline theologian, and Anglican bishop and currently Research Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary's College in the University of St Andrews and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Christianity Today named him one of today's top theologians. 

Wright was born in Morpeth, Northumberland, and recounts an awareness of God's presence from a young age—and that relationship with God ever since is reflected in his life and work. He's a prolific author; one of his most popular books, Surprised by Hope, frames the resurrection of the dead as the appropriate hope for all believers rather than an overemphasis on just "going to heaven when you die." He's among the leading theologians in the New Perspective on Paul debate. Wright has several honorary doctoral degrees, and in 2014, the British Academy awarded him the Burkitt Medal "in recognition of special service to biblical studies." In 2015, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Wright served as chaplain at Cambridge from 1978 to 1981, then as assistant professor of New Testament language and literature at McGill University in Montreal. Before becoming a chaplain, tutor, lecturer, and fellow at Oxford in 1986, Wright served as dean of Lichfield Cathedral, canon theologian of Westminster Abbey, and the bishop of Durham from 2003–10. In addition to the entire New Testament for Everyone Series, some of N. T. Wright's books include The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians, Who Was Jesus, The New Testament and the People of God, God and the Pandemic, Evil and the Justice of God, Surprised by Hope, and Simply Christian. He coauthored Jesus the Final Days with Craig A. Evans.


21 ratings

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  1. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  2. GaoLu



    NT Wright does not always agree with me, and I am comfortable with that, but if we disagree, I am crystal clear about what He has explained. If, when he writes, NT Wright can make an old dry bone taste like a full course steak dinner, imagine what he can do with the Word of God and Justification! In this book, Wright does just that. You should have and read this book.
  3. chad ron

    chad ron


    Thank you, Everett Headley for writing 4 years ago: "FYI: There is a response to this book. The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright by John Piper, but it is only available in the Piper Crossway Collection." Logos does offer Piper's book now: https://www.logos.com/product/56749/the-future-of-justification-a-response-to-nt-wright Everett made a good point, his comments got me thinking that the Bible is God's Holy Word and we must tread lightly when we set out to correct the Church's long-standing position on any part of Holy Writ, especially if we teach or are in a position of authority, because "to whom much was given, of him much will be required" (Luke 12:48b) and James says, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness" (3:1). Perform an internet search for "N. T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul" and you will get a plethora of responses, some will agree with Wright, others will refute Wright, such as "The Achilles Heel of the New Perspective on Paul – Canon Fodder" and "Is the New Perspective on Paul biblical? - Got Questions?" Got Questions offers a quick overview of the "New" perspective: https://www.gotquestions.org/New-Perspective-Paul.html BTW, I'm new to Logos, a long time Olive Tree user, and this is only my second review. I have clicked on the "Review Guidelines" here and at another book Logos offers only to be sent to the Logos-dot-com page that does not explain the guidelines. I always read the reviews, and even search Amazon, etc., to see what other students of the Word think about a book.
  4. Reid Morgan Langehennig
  5. Maryellen J Lewis
  6. Davin Guest

    Davin Guest


  7. Johnnie Ray Bailey
  8. Allen Bingham

    Allen Bingham


  9. Charles Puskas
  10. L.A.



Save on Publisher Spotlight through April 30!


Digital list price: $15.99
Regular price: $12.99
Save $3.90 (30%)