Paul Among Jews and Gentiles and Other Essays

Paul Among Jews and Gentiles and Other Essays

by Krister Stendahl

Editorial Reviews - Paul Among Jews And Gentile From the Publisher A sharp challenge to traditional ways of understanding Paul is sounded in this book by a distinguished interpreter of the New Testament.

Synopsis A sharp challenge to traditional ways of understanding Paul is sounded in this book by a distinguished interpreter of the New Testament.

The title essay is complemented by the landmark paper, "Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West," and by two seminal explorations of Pauline issues, "Judgement and Mercy" and "Glossolalia-The New Testament Evidence." The book concludes with Stendahl's pointed reply to the eminent scholar Ernst Kasemann who has taken issue with the author's revolutionary interpretations.

The title essay is complemented by the landmark paper, "Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West," and by two seminal explorations of Pauline issues, "Judgement and Mercy" and "Glossolalia-The New Testament Evidence." The book concludes with Stendahl's pointed reply to the eminent scholar Ernst Kasemann who has taken issue with the author's revolutionary interpretations.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Religion
  • Rating: 3.98
  • Pages: 134
  • Publish Date: January 1st 1959 by Augsburg Fortress
  • Isbn10: 0800612248
  • Isbn13: 9780800612245

What People Think about "Paul Among Jews and Gentiles and Other Essays"

Stendahl discusses the specific perspective of Paul in some of his writings, which is critical to understand their meaning.

This view started with St. Augustine, who saw in St. Paul an answer to the questions of justification that so vexed him in his dramatic faith struggles in the 4th Century but continued through the gloomy penitential world of Medieval Catholicism and reached its crescendo in Martin Luther (who was by no order of coincidence himself an Augustinian monk before becoming the reformer we all know and love). Since Augustine and his focus on the condition of the inner self, Paul has been read as a person struggling with the gloomy condition of the self before a righteous God. The only problem with this take on Paul is that historically speaking, these most certainly were not the questions Paul was grappling with. Just because St. Paul's justification by faith doesn't apply to the introspective conditions of the human soul as Augustine thought or the question of how one is saved like Luther thought doesn't mean that the doctrine is completely irrelevant. Thankfully, N.T. Wright's scholarly work on Paul has completed the process, giving us a really amazing birds' eye perspective on Paul that really pulls out the great themes of Paul's thought, as a first-century man dealing with the question of Jews and Gentiles and the whole creation's redemption through the God of Israel, the perspective that is historically conscious but universally important, something I think the Apostle would approve of today. While Paul does launch critiques on Israel for its "stumbling" in thinking that justification (knowing one is part of the faith community) is based on works as opposed to faith, this old reading of Paul has created a terribly uninformed anti-Judaism (if not anti-Semitism) within the Christian church: something that I think future Jewish-Christian dialogue could strive to heal.

Also, although many of the finer points of his argument about Paul's calling are well made, I find the traditional view that Paul went through a full conversion to be more in keeping with the fuller evidence of his writing.

As such, Stendahl's book underpins those works on Paul which have been deeply influential on my in the last seven years.

Krister Stendahl was a Swedish theologian and New Testament scholar, Emeritus Bishop of Stockholm (Lutheran); Professor Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School.