Item description for The Church's Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus by Brevard S. Childs...
Overview Here Brevard Childs turns his sharp scholarly gaze from the Old Testament scholarship he is known for to the works of the apostle Paul. He offers an unusual argument: the New Testament was canonically shaped, its formation a hermeneutical exercise in which its anonymous apostles and postapostolic editors collected, preserved, and theologically shaped the material in order for the evangelical traditions to serve successive generations of Christians. Childs contends that within the New Testament the Pauline corpus stands as a unit bookended by Romans and the Pastoral Epistles. He assigns an introductory role to Romans, examining how it puts the contingencies of Paul's earlier letters into context without sacrificing their particularity. At the other end, the Pastoral Epistles serve as a concluding valorization of Paul as the church's doctrinal model. By considering Paul's works as a whole, Childs offers a way to gain a fuller understanding of the individual letters.
Publishers Description This work argues that the New Testament was canonically shaped, its formation a hermeneutical exercise in which its anonymous apostles and postapostolic editors collected, preserved and theologically shaped the material.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.96" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.76" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Oct 3, 2008
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802862780 ISBN13 9780802862785
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More About Brevard S. Childs
Brevard S. Childs (1923 2007) was Sterling Professor Emeritus of Divinity at Yale Divinity School. Among his many books are "Biblical Theology in Crisis, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture, The New Testament as Canon, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context, " and "Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testament.""
Brevard S. Childs has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Church's Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus?
clarity for the canonical approach Jan 21, 2009
In this book, Brevard Childs explores the importance of his canonical interpretation for understanding Paul. When most NT scholars focus on the search for the "historical Paul" or quest for "Paul's theology" behind and within Paul's letters, Childs calls attention to the "canonical shaping" of Paul's letters. A summary of his argument is found on page 235: "Romans was expanded and positioned to form an introduction [to the Pauline corpus]. The Pastorals served as a concluding valorization of Paul as the church's doctrinal model, and the corpus was framed by the canonization of the Acts of the Apostles." Childs also attends to the relationship between Hebrews and the letters of Paul. Along the way, Childs discusses a variety of exegetical issues in Paul, from the gifts of the Spirit, Paul's Apocalyptic vision, Abraham's faith, and others.
The book is an excellent explanation and illustration of Childs' method. He shows how his method differs from historical-critical approaches while revealing his own appreciation for them. Those who find Childs' talk of "biblical theology" worrisome will find comfort in this book. It is clear that canonical interpretation is not meant to come to a single, objective reading of the biblical text nor is it meant to replace traditional systematic or historical theology. Throughout the work, Childs interacts with a wide variety of New Testament scholars, noting his appreciation for their work while offering pointed critique as well.
While I appreciated Childs' interaction with other scholars, I felt at times that he spent more time critiquing the work of others instead thoroughly articulating the theological pay-off of his own approach. (I feel the same way about his Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments). I also found his interpretation of Romans 9-11 to be dissappointing. For him, the passage helped to preserve the OT as Scripture, but spent little time talking about the Jewish people. I like Mark Kinzer's approach in Postmissionary Messianic Judaism and would love to see Childs interact with it.
This book does not pretend to be a complete theology of Paul. Instead, it is more of a plea for scholars to take the issue of canon seriously. For Childs', the integrity of the church's theological witness is at stake. Overall, this is a fine book by a wonderful Christian scholar who is now missed by many.