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Where Is Boasting?: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul's Response in Romans 1-5 [Paperback]

By Simon J. Gathercole (Author)
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Item description for Where Is Boasting?: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul's Response in Romans 1-5 by Simon J. Gathercole...

Overview
This important work challenges the validity of the "New Perspective" on Paul and Judaism. Working new data from Jewish literature and a fresh reading of Romans 1-5, Simon Gathercole produces a far-reaching criticism of the current approach to Paul and points a new way forward. Building on a detailed examination of the past generation of scholarship on Paul and early Judaism, Gathercole's work follows two paths. First, he shows that while early Judaism was not truly oriented around legalistic works-righteousness, it did consider obedience to the Law to be an important criterion at the final judgement. On the basis of this reconstruction of Jewish thought and a rereading of Romans 1-5, Gathercole advances his main argument - that Paul did indeed combat a Jewish perspective that saw obedience to the Law is not a criterion for the final judgement because human nature makes obedience to the Law impossible. His doctrine of justification can therefore be properly viewed in its Jewish context, yet anthropological issues also take center stage.

Publishers Description
This important work challenges the validity of the "New Perspective" on Paul and Judaism. Working with new data fom Jewish literature and a fresh reading of Romans 1-5, Simon Gathercole produces a far-reaching criticism of the current approach to Paul and points a new way forward.
Building on a detailed examination of the past generation of scholarship on Paul and early Judaism, Gathercole's work follows two paths. First, he shows that while early Judaism was not truly oriented around legalistic works-righteousness, it did consider obedience to the Law to be an important criterion at the final judgment. On the basis of this reconstruction of Jewish thought and a rereading of Romans 1-5, Gathercole advances his main argument -- that Paul did indeed combat a Jewish perspective that saw obedience to the Law both as possible and as a criterion for vindication at the final judgment. Paul's reply is that obedience to the Law is not a criterion for the final judgment because human nature makes obedience to the Law impossible. His doctrine of justification can therefore be properly viewed in its Jewish context, yet anthropological issues also take center stage.


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   328
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.84" Width: 6.82" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 24, 2002
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802839916  
ISBN13  9780802839916  


Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 17, 2017 09:41.
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More About Simon J. Gathercole


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Simon J. Gathercole is Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Simon J. Gathercole has published or released items in the following series...
  1. T&T Clark Biblical Studies


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History


Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture



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Reviews - What do customers think about Where Is Boasting: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul's Response in Romans 1-5?

a response to Theologicalresearcher's review  Jun 17, 2005
"Theologicalresearcher" gave a fairly good review. However, his review itself is VERY misleading in the area of Protestant Orthodoxy. His review notes p.224 as evidence that Gathercole denies imputation of Christ's righteousness. This is bogus. Gathercole, as far as I can tell, is simply referring to the meaning of a particular passage!! He is not denying Christ's imputation in justification!! In contrast, note p.243 n79 where Gathercole says "Paul retains a theology of `simul iustus et peccator.'" Clearly one cannot hold to that doctrine and deny imputation of Christ's righteousness. Again, on p.251 Gathercole says "[J]ustification can be seen to be... an act .. where righteousness is positively counted to the one who believes, but also an act of forgiveness, where sin is not reckoned, but covered."

Gathercole can be confusing and so can a lot of other Pauline scholars. But care should be taken when shouting "heretic!" Gathercole may even be one. But "Theologicalresearcher" hasn't proved it. Claims to departure from Orthodoxy should be done with care.
 
Very Interesting  Apr 28, 2005
This work by Simon J. Gathercole is another attempt to question the merits of the so-called New Perspective on Paul. There are two major parts to this work. In the first half (pp. 37-194), Gathercole examines Jewish soteriology in the pre and post 70 A.D. situation. He notes that in all the strands of Judaism and its major literature (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.), there is a heavy emphasis (contrary to Sanders) on the necessity of obedience/works to vindicate/justify oneself before God at the last judgment. Gathercole's main point is that contrary to Sanders and his followers early Judaism was a works-righteousness religion (though grace was not absent in Jewish soteriology). One thing I found quite interesting about this section is his discussion of Jewish soteriology in the New Testament (pp. 112-135). He argues that Jewish works-righteousness soteriology was adopted in some form by Christians in the first century as evidenced in such writings as James 2 and Revelation 20:11-15. According to Gathercole, these passages do not say that good works are merely the fruits of having received God's grace (i.e., saved) but that these good works actually DETERMINE one's eternal destiny at the last judgment (p. 135).

The second half of the work (pp. 195-262) is an exposition of Paul's response to early Judaism in Romans 1-5. What is interesting about Gathercole's take on Romans 1-3 is that contrary to traditionalist approaches to this passage, Paul was not combatting Jewish legalism but about Jewish presumptuousness! What Paul condemned was the over-confident attitude of many Jews of his time regarding their "saved" status. His polemic in Romans 1-2 was to teach Jews that they are just as guilty as Gentiles for their sins and that they have no right to claim covenantal privilege or superiority as a result. I found this conclusion by Gathercole quite interesting (however, I was not convinced). However, Gathercole agrees with traditionalist scholars that Paul opposed the law because it could not bring redemption to anyone (Gentile or Jew) who followed it and that his doctrine of justification by faith was already an essential part of his theological understanding of God and humanity (contrary to many New Perspective advocates who argue that Paul's doctrine of justification by faith arose out of situational concerns). Having said that, readers should be aware that Gathercole departs from the traditional Protestant understanding of grace and salvation on a number of points. For instance, he acknowledges that good works are determinative on where a person will spend eternity. He also denies the imputation of Christ's righteousness to believing sinners (p. 224). One can say that Gethercole presents a non-traditionalist critique of the New Perspective on Paul.

Overall, this work is a useful resource for those wanting a good understanding of early Jewish soteriology and how Paul responded to it in Romans 1-5.
 

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