Paul's 'Works of the Law' in the Perspective of Second Century Reception 978-3-16-156275-4 - Mohr Siebeck
Theology

Matthew J. Thomas

Paul's 'Works of the Law' in the Perspective of Second Century Reception

[Paulus' 'Werke des Gesetzes' aus der Perspektive der Rezeption des zweiten Jahrhunderts.]

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Paul writes that we are justified by faith apart from 'works of the law', a disputed term in contemporary Pauline debates. Matthew J. Thomas examines how Paul's early readers understood these works in question, how they relate to 'old' and 'new' perspectives, and what their collective witness suggests about the Apostle's own meaning.

This work was named »Jesus Creed Book of the Year 2018« on Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed blog.
Paul writes that we are justified by faith apart from 'works of the law', a disputed term that represents a fault line between 'old' and 'new' perspectives on Paul. Was the Apostle reacting against the Jews' good works done to earn salvation, or the Mosaic Law's practices that identified the Jewish people? Matthew J. Thomas examines how Paul's second century readers understood these points in conflict, how they relate to 'old' and 'new' perspectives, and what their collective witness suggests about the Apostle's own meaning. Surprisingly, these early witnesses align closely with the 'new' perspective, though their reasoning often differs from both viewpoints. They suggest that Paul opposes these works neither due to moralism, nor primarily for experiential or social reasons, but because the promised new law and covenant, which are transformative and universal in scope, have come in Christ.

This work was named »Jesus Creed Book of the Year 2018« on Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed blog.
Authors/Editors

Matthew J. Thomas Born 1985; BA, Pepperdine University; MCS, Regent College; D.Phil, University of Oxford; currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick's Seminary and University, and Instructor in Theology for Regent College.

Reviews

The following reviews are known:

In: Patheos — https://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2019/01/works-of-the-law-in-the-second-century/ (Michael F. Bird)
In: Patheos — https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/12/03/jesus-creed-books-year-2018/ (Scot McKnight)