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The New Perspective on Paul: An Introduction

, 2011
ISBN: 9781608994632

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Kent Yinger’s The New Perspective on Paul: An Introduction provides a readable, accessible, and historically based introduction to this now mature interpretive movement of Paul’s thought. Yinger explains the origins of the movement in the work of E.P. Sanders, notes the defining contribution of James D.G. Dunn, and explores the myriad trajectories other scholars have taken the New Perspective on Paul. Yinger rounds out his introduction by detailing the key exegetical and theological issues debated among scholars today.

Get it while it’s on Pre-Pub: Paul and His Recent Interpreters by N.T. Wright.

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Key Features

  • Introduces the leading ideas and scholars fueling the New Perspective on Paul
  • Explains the key exegetical and theological questions debated among today’s scholars
  • Identifies challenges facing the New Perspective on Paul movement
  • Outlines positive benefits of the New Perspective for New Testament interpretation


  • What You Might or Might Not Hear about the “New Perspective on Paul”
  • Where Did This All Begin? E.P. Sanders and a “New Perspective on Judaism”
  • Kicking Off the New Perspective on Paul: James D.G. Dunn
  • The NPP Spreads and Mutates: Varied Forms of the NPP
  • The Fur Starts Flying: Concerns over Sanders’s Judaism
  • Exegetical Concerns
  • Theological Concerns
  • Let’s Hear It for the NPP: Positive Effects

Top Highlights

“Rather than earning divine favor by their works of obedience to his Law, Jews emphasized God’s free election of Israel. They were made members of the elect people of God by grace alone. Salvation was a gift, not something they had to first earn.” (Page 8)

“Dunn argues that this phrase refers not to works-righteousness but to particular observances of the Law that functioned as badges of Jewish identity in the ancient world.” (Page 20)

“‘obedience maintains one’s position in the covenant, but it does not earn God’s grace as such.” (Page 10)

“Notice, for Wright the story is less about sinful individuals being rescued from judgment for guilt (although it is, for him, also about that),2 and more about God’s fulfillment of his purposes for all creation through Israel.” (Page 28)

“Israel’s failure was not ‘legalism’ or ‘works-righteousness,’ but ‘national righteousness, … the belief that fleshly Jewish descent guarantees membership of God’s true covenant people.’” (Page 29)

The New Perspective on Paul has, sadly, been more controversial than illuminative of a neglected dimension of Paul’s teaching on justification by faith. Professor Yinger most helpfully explains both aspects. This is as good an introduction to the New Perspective and the related Pauline teaching as you will find.

James D.G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham

Kent Yinger has made a complex and often emotive debate about Paul and justification accessible to a wider audience. This book isn't beating any drum, it's not an apology for the ‘New Perspective’ thing, nor is it a declaration of war on any party. Rather, this is a map of the key terrain, a list of who is who in the zoo of debate, and a flashlight on several dark alleys of contested interpretations. At the same time, Yinger gives us some good and sensible commentary along the way. If you're lost in the maelstrom of theological polemics and Pauline interpretation, this book is one of the ways to help you get your bearings.

Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology and Bible, Crossway College

For those who want to know what all the fuss is about and whether and how it matters, this is just the book. Kent Yinger, while thoroughly conversant with the huge amount of discussion generated by the New Perspective on Paul, has the gift of making the key issues accessible to others. Here is a readable, succinct, clear, accurate, and fair-minded introduction to the ongoing debate. For both the academy and the church Yinger provides a much needed perspective on the New Perspective.

Andrew T. Lincoln, Portland Professor of New Testament, University of Gloucestershire

Kent L. Yinger is professor of New Testament at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. He is the author of Paul, Judaism, and Judgment According to Deeds.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


9 ratings

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  1. Alessandro



  2. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  3. Uwe Seibert

    Uwe Seibert


  4. Arto Hoikkala

    Arto Hoikkala


  5. Tom Reynolds

    Tom Reynolds


    A great concise introduction to the New Perspective on Paul. Yinger writes in a lucid manner and makes this, at times complex topic, very understandable. Highly recommended whether or not you believe we need a new perspective on Paul.
  6. Clay Cadwell

    Clay Cadwell


    Very leary of "new perspectives" on Paul.
  7. Bob San Pascual
  8. Lemuel Godinez
  9. Quintin Betteridge
  10. Stephen Williams


Digital list price: $9.99
Save $2.00 (20%)