Tag: New Perspective on Paul

Roberts, The Pastoral Epistles and the New Perspective on Paul

I’m very pleased to note a new publication on the Pastorals:

Daniel Wayne Roberts. The Pastoral Epistles and the New Perspective on Paul. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2021.

This is a published version of Roberts’ dissertation completed at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary under the direction of Benjamin L. Merkle. I provide here the publisher summary and the major headings of the work:

The so-called “New Perspective on Paul” has become a provocative way of understanding Judaism as a pattern of religion characterized by “covenantal nomism,” which stands in contrast to the traditional, Lutheran position that argues that the Judaism against which Paul responded was “legalistic.” This “new perspective” of first-century Judaism has remarkably changed the landscape of Pauline studies, but it has done so in relative isolation from the Pastoral Epistles, which are considered by most critical scholarship to be pseudonymous. Because of this lack of interaction with the Pastoral Epistles this study seeks to test the hermeneutic of the New Perspective on Paul from a canonical perspective. This study is not a polemic against the New Perspective on Paul, but an attempt to test its hermeneutic within the Pastoral Epistles. Four basic tenets of the New Perspective on Paul, taken from the writings of E. P. Sanders, N. T. Wright, and James D. G. Dunn, are identified and utilized to choose the passages in the Pastoral Epistles to be studied to test the New Perspective’s hermeneutic outside “undisputed” Paul. The four tenets are as follows: Justification/Salvation, Law and Works, Paul’s View of Judaism, and the Opponents. Based on these tenets, the passages considered are 1 Tim 1:6-16; 2:3-7; 2 Tim 1:3, 8-12; and Titus 3:3-7.

1. The New Perspective on Paul and the Pastoral Epistles: Problem, Thesis, and Method
2. History of Research: The New Perspective on Paul and the Pastoral Epistles
3. Paul, the Law, and the “Chief of Sinners”: 1 Timothy 1:6–16; 2:3–7
4. “Not According to Works”: 2 Timothy 1:3, 8–12
5. Justified by Grace: Titus 3:3–7
6. Some Conclusions Regarding the New Perspective on Paul and the Pastoral Epistles

Bulundwe and Butticaz, “La critique paulinienne des ‘œuvres’ au regard de 4QMMT et des Pastorales”

An addition to the literature on the Pastorals may well be of interest to researchers interested in the intersection of the New Perspective on Paul and the Letters to Timothy and Titus:

Luc Bulundwe and Simon Butticaz. “La critique paulinienne des ‘œuvres’ au regard de 4QMMT et des Pastorales.” Semitica 62 (2020): 385–414.

Here’s a brief abstract: “This study reconsiders the meaning of ‘works of law’ in Paul from three perspectives: first, via a comparison with equivalents of the formula in the Dead Sea Scrolls; second, with an analysis of the phrase within Pauline contexts of communication (esp. Galatians); and finally with an exploration of its reception by the earliest readers of Paul in the Pastoral Epistles.”

Roberts on the Pastorals and the New Perspective

Daniel Roberts has produced a PhD dissertation on the Letters to Timothy and Titus and the New Perspective on Paul; the full-text work is available in ProQuest.

Roberts, Daniel Wayne. “Reading the Pastoral Epistles from a Canonical Perspective in Light of the New Perspective on Paul.” PhD diss., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.

Abstract: “The ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ as primarily articulated by E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, and N. T. Wright, has become a provocative way of understanding Judaism as a pattern of religion characterized by ‘covenantal nomism,’ which stands in contrast to the traditional, Lutheran position that argues the Judaism against which Paul responded was ‘legalistic.’ This ‘new perspective’ of first-century Judaism has remarkably changed the landscape of Pauline studies, but it has done so in isolation from the Pastoral Epistles, which are considered by most critical scholarship to be pseudonymous. Because of the lack of interaction with the Pastoral Epistles by the New Perspective on Paul, this study seeks to test the hermeneutic of the New Perspective on Paul from a canonical perspective, as defined by Brevard Childs, in order to bypass some of the contentious issues of Pauline authorship. The specific passages within the Pastoral Epistles studied in this dissertation were chosen via four tenets of the New Perspective on Paul: Justification and Salvation, Law and Works, Paul’s View of Judaism, and his Opponents. Based on these tenets, the passages studied are 1 Tim 1:6–16, 2:3–7, 2 Tim 1:3, 8–12, and Titus 3:3–7. In consideration of these passages, this dissertation will consider to what degree the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic can find resonance outside ‘undisputed’ Paul. This study is not an attempt to validate or invalidate the New Perspective on Paul, but to test the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic within the Pastoral Epistles.”

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