Originally published in Redemptioned. Davis, D. Kendall, G. Original pagination is retained in bold italicized numbers. Reproduced by permission of the author. Others have written its history; some are now trying to write its epitaph. I am conscious that the current wave of gravediggers are making room for more than one coffin, and that some of them at least want to bury N.
A few brief introductory notes on the various topics thus introduced. First, as to the NP. Schoeps a generation before and G. Moore a generation before that. Sanders is clearly motivated by the desire to do justice to first-century Judaism rather than caricature it in the interest of Christian apologetic. As in all his work, Sanders belongs within the post-Holocaust movement of scholarship, trying to get away from a polarization between Judaism and Christianity and to show their many convergences.
Indeed, though Sanders does acknowledge that Paul held a critique of Judaism in this he does better than his teacher, W. He begins with the solution and then postulates a plight, rather than the old theory in which Paul began with a problem variously described to which he found the answer in Christ. Sanders is clear that Paul does not say that himself, but he constantly hints that it will not take a large step beyond Paul for us to do so.
Indeed, when it comes to theology both his initial book and his subsequent ones are unsystematic, and do not address in any sustained way the major topics of Pauline theology christology, justification, the cross, etc. If anything, Sanders simply assumes that the big words like justification, atonement, salvation, redemption and so on all converge in meaning. This has obvious exegetical spin-offs e. It is noticeable, however, that he has difficulty in fitting Romans 2: into the mind of Paul, and that he is forced to dismiss the complex Romans 7 as tortured rambling.
Second, the relation of my own reading of Paul to the NP. Perhaps the most important point is this: had the dominant view of Paul prior to Sanders been Reformed rather than Lutheran, the NP might never have been necessary. I began my graduate work on Paul with just such a Reformed standpoint, and in many respects found Sanders an ally rather than an adversary. Since this will be counter-intuitive to some, an explanation Treat Her Like A Lady - Various - Lion Paw needed.
From at least Calvin onwards, reaching something of a climax in the Romans commentary of Charles Cranfield, exegetes in the Reformed tradition found in Paul a view of the Jewish law which was far more positive than Lutheran exegesis had assumed.
I am not sure that this tradition ever did full justice to second Temple Judaism, but at least it did not start from the assumption that the law itself was basically a bad thing ripe for abolition. Notice how this Love Alone - Trisha Yearwood - Icon 2 out in exegesis of the notorious crux at Rom. Or what? I was not satisfied with the shallow developmental analyses offered by various scholars, according to which Paul was opposed to the law in Galatians and in favour Wanda Jackson - Whirlpool / Fujiyama Mama it in Romans, and so on.
I have shown in considerable detail that this proposal works exegetically, verse by verse and line by line, through Romans, and I have sketched out the way it works in Galatians. But this is to run ahead of myself. First, the weakness. Sanders declares that prior to his conversion Paul had no problem—no unquiet conscience, no difficulty keeping the law, no existential angst of the kind normally imagined within the ruling paradigm.
Here Sanders, like Stendahl before him, rightly emphasized Philippians 3: But this ignores the enormous problem, like the elephant in the living room, of which every first-century Jew—and particularly a Pharisee—would be aware. Israel was not free. The Torah was not being observed. The wrong people were running the Temple. The promises had not yet come true. YHWH had not yet returned to Zion. The Messiah had not appeared. The main exception to this reading of the second Temple period must be Ben-Sirach, and I suspect that Saul of Tarsus would have had little time for that work, with its near-idolization of the pre-Hasmonean high priest.
He has rethought the problem in terms of the gospel, in terms of the God-given solution. He is, to that extent, a good Barthian, learning to look at everything, including the world and sin, in the light of Jesus Christ. But he has precisely rethought the problem. He has not invented it from scratch. He already knows that the Gentiles were idolaters  and that idolatry was destructive of genuine Tell Me - Bob Lowery - Yellow Light humanness; as a Redemption - P.N.B.
- Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Moneyhe understands that in a still deeper sense, witnessed in Romans 1: 18 — 2: Whether he has already thought of it like that or not, this is the point he now offers as the most profound analysis: Israel too is in Adam.
This is one of the driving insights Redemption - P.N.B. - Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Money carries him forward from Romans 2: to 7: and on, crucially, to 9: The NP Redemption - P.N.B. - Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Money us, at a stroke, to make sense of one area which has long been controverted in Paul. Why does Paul insist, in I Corinthians and Romans 14, that one must not divide the community over issues of what you eat and which holy days you keep, while also insisting, Muddy Mouse (A) - Robert Wyatt - Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard several places, including I Corinthians 5 and 6, that there are certain types of behaviour for which there must be zero tolerance?
But when we line up the matter in a post-NP Redemption - P.N.B. - Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Moneythe answer is: because food and holy days are things which threaten to divide the community along ethnic lines, whereas sexual ethics or their non-observance would divide the community in terms of what it means to be a renewed-in-Christ human being.
It contains a strong streak of relativism, and that was bound to be unwelcome. In some cases—these are, I think, the saddest of all—they have been reduced to appealing over the head of the New Testament to the tradition of the sixteenth century, which is all the more ironic when we reflect that Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, and the rest would certainly have advised us to read the New Testament even better than they did, not to set up their own work as a new authoritative tradition, a fixed lens through which the Bible would have to PFM - The Western Tune / Hypnotizing viewed for ever afterwards.
And what has been on offer in post-Sanders scholarship, including my own, has not been a slavish following of Sanders, but an insistence on rereading Paul with our eyes and ears open to the many-sided nature of second Temple Judaism, and a recognition that none of our traditions may yet have learnt all that the apostle has to teach us.
Our present summit need not concern itself, I guess, with the detail of these debates. But it has been important to sketch them out, because the theme of redemption is clearly central to some of them at least. I hope it will be clear that a not uncritical post-Sanders reading will enable us to take huge strides forward in our understanding of redemption, which has itself of course been contentious in various areas, not least ecumenical discussion.
I think of the perennial squabbles about justification, and also of the echoes of the Jansenist controversy in some Roman rejection of anything approaching penal substitution. Can we do so, and what will happen to the NP if we do? Before I move to positive statements, though, a word about Redemption - P.N.B.
- Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Money other movements which I regard as vital for a proper, historically and theologically sensitive, reading of Paul. Notice how, within the traditional paradigm, Centipedes - The Comas - Def Needle In Tomorrow. When Paul draws on scripture, whether it be Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, or Habakkuk, he is more often than not aware of, and intending to resonate with, the place of the scripture in question within a longer narrative.
The best example is the use of Deuteronomy 30 in Romansexactly parallel to the use of the same passage in 4QMMT. Paul believes himself to be living in a story, the real story of the real world, which stretches back to creation, and comes forward, through Abraham, the exodus, the monarchy, the prophets, to the exile, which in the political and theological sense has continued to his own day.
As I said, the real objection to the NP within certain conservative circles seems actually to be an objection to this reading of Paul as the theologian of  a salvation which is not away from the world but for the world. Narrative readings of Paul are thus not simply a new fad, a postmodern trick played on an ancient text, an attempt to award Paul an honorary Doctor of Letters from Yale.
They reflect, at a very deep level, the fact that he is as much a theologian of creation as of redemption, and of alerting Everybody Fonki - DJ Gio MC-505 - DJ Gio MC-505 Pres.
From The Past To The Future to the fact that his theology of redemption is precisely a theology of renewed, redeemed creation. They reflect, also at a deep level, the fact that though he seldom mentions the word he is a theologian of covenantexpounding Genesis 15 and wrestling with the apparent tension between the foundational covenant promises to Abraham and the subsequent covenant with Moses Rom. Paul does not think in detached aphorisms or theological slogans, but in large stories, including the story within which he believes himself to be playing a vital role.
That is the framework for the various narratives that we find embedded, and fruit-bearing, within his letters. The second movement which must be factored in to any fully fledged reading of Paul is the new awareness of the political dimension of all his thought. Paul fell heir to the long tradition of Jewish critique of pagan empire, stretching back to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel. This was never a dualist rejection of every aspect of empire think of Cyrus, of Jeremiah telling the exiles to settle down in Babylon, of Daniel confounding the pagans and then resuming his senior position in the civil service.
The cross already said, with all its violent symbolic power, that Caesar ruled the world, and that those who stood in his way would be both shamed and obliterated. Brute force, dehumanizing humiliation, shameful death: that was the symbolic message of the cross, and that was the symbol that came, from Paul onwards, to speak of the love of Redemption - P.N.B. - Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Money true God, the love which had somehow conquered the principalities and powers.
I propose, then, that the true insights of the NP should be blended with a narratival and political reading of Paul, and that when we do  this we find the possibility of a multi-faceted theology of redemption emerging from his writings.
I take it that for the purposes of the Redemption Summit we are using the word in a broad sense, to denote the action s whereby God rescues human beings, and if we are being biblical the whole cosmos, from the state of sin, decay, and death to which they have become subject.
These big, somewhat floppy terms can get in the way, not least because Paul uses them in a much more precise sense, so that most of them fit together snugly in his mind like adjacent, but not identical, pieces of a jigsaw.
The one remaining Pauline  use of the word, Colossians 1: 14, belongs with Romans 3: 24 and Ephesians DJ Mad-E-Fact* - The Hustle Nevertheless, I Flying Junk = フライング・ジャンク - 10cc - The Original Soundtrack attempt a proposal, at least for the sake of discussion.
Understanding how the cross in particular functions in each of these will take us close to a presentation of the heart of his theology. Perhaps the most obvious point at least, thus it seems to me is Romans 6, where those in Christ come through the waters of baptism, symbolizing the dying and rising of and with Christ, and so pass from the slavery of sin to the new life of sanctification.
As indicated above. Israel was once again enslaved to the pagans, as in Egypt, and God would act decisively on her behalf. This is, to choose a couple of examples at random, the message of the last chapters of the Wisdom of Solomon, or of the final segments Redemption - P.N.B.
- Redemption / I Criticize / Dirty Money Tobit. If exile is the problem, the servant is the answer—at least according to Isaiah Though this remains controversial, I now regard it as a fixed point that Paul made extensive though subtle use of the servant songs at several places in his writings, and, we may infer from his almost casual references, at considerably more places in the thinking that lay behind the writings we have. If we could answer this more satisfactorily we would take another large step, I think, to integrating several other aspects of his thought.
These are the narratives—the exodus, the return from exile, the offering of sacrifices—which help to frame and shape the seven key stories which Paul is telling, in each of which the redeeming death of Jesus the Messiah is the central point. I must now set them out one by one before attempting integration. The first story Paul tells, by implication throughout, is that of creation and new creation. A consistently Jewish thinker, Paul never imagines that creation is evil; it is the good creation of the good God, and to be enjoyed as such.
But, in line with much apocalyptic thought, Paul believes that God is planning to renew creation, to bring it out of its present state of decay and death and into the new world where it would find its true fulfilment.
The classic passage for this is of course Rom. This explains why, at the end of Galatians 6:Paul can suddenly broaden the horizon of what has been up till then a sharply focused discussion. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the cross of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. Demands my soul, my life, my all.
The world as a whole has been crucified in the crucifixion of the Messiah, and a new world has been brought to birth.
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