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Products>Where Is Boasting?: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul’s Response in Romans 1–5

Where Is Boasting?: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul’s Response in Romans 1–5

, 2002
ISBN: 9780802839916

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This important work challenges the validity of the “New Perspective” on Paul and Judaism. Working with new data from Jewish literature and a fresh reading of Romans 1–5, Simon Gathercole produces a far-reaching criticism of the current approach to Paul and points a new way forward. Building on a detailed examination of the past generation of scholarship on Paul and early Judaism, Gathercole’s work follows two paths.

First, he shows that while early Judaism was not truly oriented around legalistic works-righteousness, it did consider obedience to the Law to be an important criterion at the final judgment. On the basis of this reconstruction of Jewish thought and a rereading of Romans 1–5, Gathercole advances his main argument–that Paul did indeed combat a Jewish perspective that saw obedience to the Law both as possible and as a criterion for vindication at the final judgment. Paul’s reply is that obedience to the Law is not a criterion for the final judgment because human nature makes obedience to the Law impossible. His doctrine of justification can therefore be properly viewed in its Jewish context, yet anthropological issues also take center stage.

In the Logos edition, this volume is 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.

Interested in more? Be sure to check out the Eerdmans Pauline Studies Collection (15 vols.)

Resource Experts
  • Challenges the validity of the “New Perspective” on Paul and Judaism
  • Discusses obedience to the Law and vindication at the final judgment
  • Views Paul’s doctrine of justification in light of its Jewish context
  • Works and Final Vindication in Pre–70 c.e. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
  • Works and Final Vindication in the Qumran Literature
  • Jewish Soteriology in the New Testament
  • Obedience and Final Vindication in the Aftermath of 70 c.e.
  • Boasting in Second Temple Judaism
  • Paul’s Assessment of Jewish Boasting in Romans 1:18–3:20
  • Paul’s Reevaluation of Torah, Abraham, and David in Romans 3:27–4:8
  • The Resurrection of Boasting in Romans 5:1-11

Top Highlights

“So, three elements can be affirmed as to the identity of the interlocutor in Romans 2: he is a Jew; he is a Jew who has not believed the gospel; and he is a representative of the nation as a whole.” (Page 200)

“Yet the most controversial issue that divides scholars is this: On what is Jewish confidence based—election or obedience?” (Page 10)

“The good of the addressees and of all Israel also embraces prosperity in the ‘near’ future as well, but that is not in dispute. This is one of the clearest texts that shows that what is at stake is also life in the future age, which is predicated on future justification. As L. Schiffmann writes: ‘His repentance will be considered as a righteous deed, beneficial both for him and all Israel, presumably in the eschatological sense.’11 Eschatological rejoicing is a familiar theme from Qumran12 accompanying the vindication of the righteous, and it signals entry into the life of the future age. The New Perspective’s emphasis on ‘works of Torah’ as boundary defining13 to the detriment of their role in final salvation is hard to sustain in the light of this eschatological focus.” (Pages 94–95)

“Paul is not saying here that justification becomes accessible to gentiles because it is not based on accepting the yoke of Torah; rather, he is talking about one who is within the covenant who can be righteous before God despite his sin and lack of works.” (Page 246)

“The Jewish answer to this was to read Genesis 15:6 in the light of Genesis 17 and 22. Paul’s radical break with this interpretive matrix led him to telescope Genesis 15:6 together with Genesis 12:1–4.” (Page 243)

Gathercole has offered a stimulating study that makes an important contribution to an ongoing debate that may perhaps, with the aid of commendable efforts like his own, enter into new and more fruitful stages of discussion.

Journal of Biblical Literature

The volume is important for our understanding of the theology of early Judaism, for Pauline exegesis and theology and for New Testament theology in general. . . . Well written and persuasive.

Evangelical Quarterly

  • Title: Where Is Boasting?: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul’s Response in Romans 1–5
  • Author: Simon Gathercole
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2002
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 323
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Salvation › Judaism; Judaism › History--Post-exilic period, 586 B.C.-210 A.D; Justification › Biblical teaching; Bible. N.T. Romans 2-5 › Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • ISBNs: 9780802839916, 0802839916
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T03:46:25Z

Simon Gathercole is senior lecturer in New Testament studies in the faculty of divinity of the University of Cambridge and fellow and director of studies in theology at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. A leading British New Testament scholar, he has written hundreds of articles and several groundbreaking volumes, including The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and LukeThe Gospel of Judas: Rewriting Early ChristianityThe Composition of the Gospel of Thomas, and The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction and Commentary. He is also coauthor of How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response and Heaven on Earth. He also coedited Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment.


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    Digital list price: $35.99
    Save $7.00 (19%)