Jesus and Judaism

E.P. Sanders discusses his early studies

E.P. Sanders, who will be remembered as a force in New Testament studies in the last half of the 20th century, is interviewed by Duke University about his early studies. The impact of his study motivated much of the new perspective on Paul as well as studies of the historical Jesus.

The video is worth viewing as it challenges the basic assumptions that most bring to the study of the New Testament.






H/T Chris Tilling

Tags: Jesus, Judaism, E P Sanders

How to Read the New Testament

Recognizing the scope of change in New Testament studies
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E P Sanders

E. P. Sanders is one individual who has contributed an enormous amount  to the study of the New Testament in the past 40 years—especially to the study of Paul.

A brief autobiographical essay was presented by Sanders at a conference held in his honor in April of 2003. Titled “Comparing Judaism and Christianity: An Academic Autobiography,” the paper is available online courtesy of Duke University and Mark Goodacre.

This is a worthwhile read for any student of the New Testament in that it outlines the sea of changes that have occurred throughout the 20th century which have laid the foundation for New Testament studies in the 21st.  

Tags: new testament, E P Sanders, Paul, New Perspective on Paul, Rabbinics

New Perspective on Paul

Suggested reading:

A friend asked for some recommended titles to read on Paul.  That's a challenge as the number of books written about Paul and his Epistles are the largest collection of books on the Bible in any library. In an attempt to provide some titles, I’ve divided the books into sections ranging from very introductory material to more specific works.

The following give a good introduction for a lay person, and introduce a reader to the issues that are to be considered.  Although largely written in the 90’s, these are still available on line at Amazon as one potential source.  Sometimes they have a later imprint date than the version listed.

Gager, John G. Reinventing PaulOxfordOxford University Press, 2000.

Horrell, David G. An Introduction to the Study of PaulNew York; T&T Clark, 2006

Sanders, E. P. PaulOxfordNew YorkOxford University Press, 1991.

Wenham, David. Paul and Jesus; The True StoryGrand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2002.

Wright, N. Tom. What Saint Paul Said?: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?CincinnatiOhio: Forward Movement Publications, 1997.

Young, Brad H. Paul the Jewish Theologian: A Pharisee Among Christians, Jews and Gentiles.PeabodyMassachusetts 01961-3473: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997.

To address some of the more specific areas of Paul’s writings, my suggestions include the following.  Although one commentary is listed here, it is more for what is contained in the Appendix to the book, rather than the commentary itself.

Bassler, Jouette, Navigating Paul: An Introduction to Key Theological ConceptsLouisville:Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.

Esler, Philip F. Conflict and Identity in Romans: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter.Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003

Hengel, Martin. The Pre-Christian PaulPhiladelphia: Trinity Press International, Philadelphiaand SCM Press, London, 1991.

Sanders,E. P. Paul, the Law and the Jewish PeopleMinneapolis: Fortress Press, 1983.

Wenham, David. Paul, Founder of Christianity or Follower of ChristMinneapolis: Wm B. Eerdmans, 1995.

Ziesler, J. A. Pauline ChristianityOxfordNew YorkOxford University Press, 1983.

For more advanced study purposes, then I would recommend the following:

Bird, Michael. The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective. Edited by Howard I Marshall, Richard J. Bauckham,  Craig Blomberg, Robert P Gordon and Temper Longman III. Paternoster Biblical Monographs. Milton Keynes: Paternoster Press, 2007.

Hafemann, Scott J. Paul, Moses and the History of Israel: The Letter/Spirit Contrast and the Argument from Scripture in 2 Corinthians 3. Edited by Howard I Marshall,  Richard J. Bauckham,  Craig Blomberg,  Robert P Gordon and  Temper Longman III. Paternoster Biblical Monographs. Milton Keynes: Paternoster Press, 2005.

Tomson, Peter J. Paul and the Jewish Law: Halakha in the Letters of the Apostle to the Gentiles. Van Gorcum, AssenNetherlands: Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1990. 

Wright, N. T. The Climax of the CovenantMinneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991.

Ziesler, John. Righteousness in the Writings of PaulChicoGa.: SBL, 1978.

The Tomson and Ziesler books would probably only be found in an academic library, but if accessible, are well worth referencing.

Lastly the following individuals writing on Paul has only been in journals.  However Pamela Eisenbaum, as a Jewess, brings a very interesting and useful perspective to Pauline studies.

Eisenbaum, Pamela. "A Remedy for Having Been Born of Woman: Jesus, Gentiles, and Genealogy in Romans." Journal of Biblical Literature 123, no. 4 (2004): 671-702.

And finally, anything by Martin Hengel, or E P Sanders, is worth a read. They, perhaps more than others have done much of the foundational work in this area.



Tags: Jesus, E P Sanders, Paul, N T Wright, Apostle, John Gager, David Wenham, Martin Hengel

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