Theological Issues in the Letters of Paul
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 352
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
Although the closing decades of the twentieth century have seen a revitalized interest in Paul the theologian, insufficient attention has been paid to the discovery of numerous and pervasive apocalyptic themes in Paul's letters. Surprisingly, the apostle is still being studied somewhat in isolation, almost as though he had neither comrades nor competitors. One of the results, argues Martyn, is that Paul is being credited with views that were actually held by his theological opponents. The fruit of decades of research, the picture of Paul that Martyn paints in this major work is arresting. Both horrified and thankful to find in the crucifixion of God's Christ the death of the old cosmos and the birth of the new one, Paul was able to preach the decisive and liberating newness of Christ while avoiding two lethal distortions. On the one hand, knowing that the God of Jesus Christ was also the God of Abraham, Paul did not slip into the anti-Judaism that was shortly to be propounded by Marcion (second century). On the other hand, he avoided his opponents' reduction of Christ to a mere episode in the epic of Israel's history. It is in sensing Paul's distinctiveness, Martyn argues, that we can begin to discern what the uncompromising apostle called 'the truth of the gospel'.
"'...essential reading for all serious students of Paul's thought' - Graham Stanton, University of Cambridge; 'This volume presents highly significant Pauline insights by one of the most perceptive and innovative New Testament scholars of our time' - Raymond E Brown, Union Theological Seminary in New York; 'It is a boon to teachers, students and pastors to have the fruits of Martyn's lifelong engagement with Paul made available in this volume' - Charles B. Cousar, Columbia Theological Seminary"