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Philip Garside Books

Paul - Print

Paul - Print

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Paul: Narrative or Apocalyptic.

N. T. Wright; J. Christiaan Beker.

Soft cover 171pp.
ISBN 9781506488080.
Fortress Press (2023).
[Allow 4 weeks]. 

Should Paul’s Gospel be read as decisive new beginning? Or should it be understood as the glorious fulfilment of Israel’s covenant? Two seasoned Pauline scholars, J. Christaan Beker and N. T. Wright, weigh in.

Two main schools of thought organize the field of play for Paul - apocalyptic and narrative.

Apocalyptic, rooted in Second Temple mystical Judaism, emphasizes the disjunctive. Both the cross and resurrection are read as cosmic commentary on abolishment of all and the advent of the brand new.

Narrative, rooted in the Old Testament’s covenant promises, emphasizes continuity. The cross and resurrection are read inside covenant to show fulfilment.

Here, in one volume of two acclaimed Pauline scholars - J. Christaan Beker and N. T. Wright - the difference becomes evident. While agreeing the cross and resurrection Jesus stand at the very centre of Paul’s theological enterprise, they disagree as to how to interpret the death and resurrection: as apocalyptic or as covenant fulfilment.

Let the debate begin.

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