Did Paul urge Christians to engage in mission? What would that have meant in his setting? What should the church be doing now? This essential study examines Paul’s letter to the Philippians in its ancient Jewish context. It makes a convincing case that Paul expected churches to continue the work of spreading the gospel.
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This excellent book makes a strong and convincing case that Paul expected his converts to engage in mission. Along the way it sheds very important light on Jewish attitudes toward gentile conversion and offers some outstanding exegetical treatments of the Letter to the Philippians. This is a first-class contribution to scholarship that will delight all researchers in the field.
—John M. G. Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University
In a culture that is increasingly inhospitable to the gospel, our interpretive lenses are sharpening the focus on the centrality of mission in the Bible. It is heartening to see the growing literature on this subject, especially among biblical scholars, and James Ware’s book will be another fine addition to this corpus. Against the important background of eschatology and mission in the Old Testament, Ware amply demonstrates the centrality of mission for Paul and the Philippian church in a time when the eschatological future of Isaiah has arrived. This book is fine biblical scholarship in the service of the missional church.
—Michael W. Goheen, Geneva Professor of Worldview and Religious Studies, Trinity Western University
This important study is thorough and insightful. Although Paul’s missionary activity is unprecedented in Judaism, his concern for the gentiles is completely in keeping with God’s ultimate purposes. The difference is that for Paul the eschatological future has arrived and is arriving. This book will be essential for discussions about the biblical and theological roots of Christian mission.
—Journal for the Study of the New Testament
In this fine book, James Ware presents one of the most helpful biblical-theological studies related to mission that has been published in recent decades. The work is clearly written, cogently argued, and helpfully summarized. For persons interested in a biblical theology of mission, the bibliographic material alone makes this book worth consulting. . . . Overall, I found Ware’s handling of both Second Temple Jewish literature and the Pauline writings excellent. . . . The book would make a nice supplementary text for an upper-level biblical theology or missiology class.
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Ware’s careful study, including its exploration of Jewish tradition, adds further depth to contemporary missiology.
—The Bible Today
James P. Ware is the associate professor of religion at the University of Evansville, where he teaches New Testament and ancient Christianity. He is the editor of Synopsis of the Pauline Letters in Greek and English.