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.

»There are few must-reads in the field, and few works that will still be referenced fifty years from now. Thomas's work is a must-read and has the potential for lasting value.«
Jonathan Huggins in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 62 (2019), pp. 418–420

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.

»Thomas's work on second-century interpreters is a significant contribution to reception or effective-history in general and certainly will have a transformative effect on the character of contemporary interpretation of Paul's texts.«
Timothy Gombis in Bulletin for Biblical Research Vol. 29, No. 4, 2019
Authors/Editors

Matthew J. Thomas .

Reviews

The following reviews are known:

In: Journal of the Ev. Theol. Society — 62 (2019), S. 418–420 (Jonathan Huggins)
In: Patheos — https://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2019/01/works-of-the-law-in-the-second-century/ (Michael F. Bird)
In: Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations — 14 (2019), Heft 1 (Thomas D. McGlothlin)
In: Reading Religion — http://readingreligion.org/books/pauls-works-law-perspective-second-century-reception (Trey Moss)
In: Nova et Vetera — 18 (2020), S. 14–19 (Curtis J. Mitch)
In: Patheos — https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/12/03/jesus-creed-books-year-2018/ (Scot McKnight)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 63 (2019), S. 167
In: Bulletin for Biblical Research — 29 (2019), S. 596–597 (Timothy Gombis)
In: thescripturesays.org — https://thescripturesays.org/2019/06/26/ (Josh Washington)
In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 41.5 (2019), S. 61 (Alan Le Grys)