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No issue in contemporary Pauline studies is more contested than Paul’s view of the law. Headline proponents of the “new perspective” on Paul, such as E. P. Sanders and J. D. G. Dunn, have maintained that the Reformational readings of Paul have led to distorted understandings of first-century Judaism, of Paul and particularly of Paul’s diagnosis of the Jewish situation under the law. Others have responded by arguing that while our understanding of Paul needs to be tuned to the clearer sounds now emanating from Jewish texts of the apostle’s day, the basic Reformational insight into Paul’s analysis of the human plight remains true to the apostle. Paul was opposing works righteousness.

Paul and the Law is a careful attempt to assault this crucial interpretive problem with a new strategy. Rather than taking a systematic, topical approach, Frank Thielman examines Paul’s view of the law in context: the context of each letter’s language and argument. While many studies have focused on Paul’s explicit statements about the law, Thielman goes further in investigating those contexts where Paul’s language is allusive and his view implied.

The result is an illuminating and significant contribution to Pauline studies. Paul and the Law clarifies our understanding of Paul’s perspective on the law in the light of his gospel of Jesus Christ, and it reaffirms the coherence and integrity of Pauline theology as it relates to this pivotal axis of his thought.

Author Bio

Frank Thielman is a New Testament scholar and the Presbyterian professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. He studied at Wheaton College, the University of Cambridge, Duke University, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Thielman is a member of the prestigious Studiorum Novie Testamenti Societas and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written several books, including Paul and the Law: A Contextual Approach, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Ephesians, The NIV Application Commentary: Philippians, and Theology of the New Testament.

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This title is also included as a part of the following collection

  1. IVP Library Expansion Bundle (312 vols.)