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Understanding Paul: The Early Christian Worldview of the Letter to the Romans

Understanding Paul: The Early Christian Worldview of the Letter to the Romans

Stephen Westerholm

| Baker Academic | 2004

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In his study of Paul, Stephen Westerholm suggests that despite the unparalleled influence the apostle has exercised over the last two thousand years, he is little understood by contemporary readers because they often read the Pauline Epistles from the largely unconsidered presuppositions of modern culture. To counter that perspective, Westerholm proposes investigating the mindset of Paul himself.

Westerholm’s well-crafted book presents an insightful survey of the apostle’s thought world. It focuses on the Epistle to the Romans as the most thorough and detailed account of Paul’s convictions regarding Christian life and doctrine. Westerholm uses the letter of Romans as a guide to the themes that were most important for the apostle, revealing the fundamental elements of Paul’s thought and the Jewish tradition from which it emerged. Following the thematic approach of the epistle, he considers each subject in the order it was taken up by Paul. Along the way, he delves into the writings of the Old Testament and their influence on Paul, presenting the issues in a manner that will challenge contemporary readers to rethink their ideas about faith, belief, and the life well lived.

Author Bio

Stephen Westerholm (b. 1949) is a Canadian scholar and associate professor of biblical studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He received BA and MA degrees from the University of Toronto and a ThD from the University of Lund (Sweden). He is noted for his work in Pauline studies and is most recently known for his interaction with the New Perspective on Paul.

(From Freely redistributable under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.)