Paul and the Law
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Publisher: JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck)
Number of Pages: 351
Width: 24 cm
Height: 16.4 cm
The tensions and self-contradictions in Paul's statements on the Torah are analysed in this book in detail, which also critically discusses a vast body of scholarly literature on the subject. The contradictions in Paul cannot be explained away, neither by dialectical interpretive devices nor by way of development theories. Rather, they must be taken seriously as real contradictions and as pointers to Paul's unsolved theological problems. Different statements owe their origin largely to different needs, mostly polemical ones, arising in changing situations."Anyone who has studied Paul knows that probably the most complex problem he develops is his view of the law and its purpose. The beauty of Räisänen's work is that he recognizes and respects this complexity without himself becoming too dense to understand. R. finds that Paul's radicalized, negative criticism of the law is peculiar to him, unparalleled in the NT and without precedent in Jewish thought. With careful, patient examination of various contexts, R. leads his readers to see that Paul has an oscillating, even inconsistent view of the law. [...] This book is well-written in clear, readable English. It is an important book, recommended to any serious student of Paul. Its strength is in R.'s willingness to abandon preconceptions of what Paul's view on the law should be according to some consistent plan and in allowing Paul to speak for himself." Mary Ann Getty in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 47 (1985).