Shelf Life Book Review: Four Views on the Apostle Paul

Abram Kielsmeier-Jones

Four Views on the Apostle Paul
Zondervan, 2012

This volume in Zondervan’s Counterpoints series offers four views on understanding Paul through his writings.

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Each of the contributors addresses four thematic areas: Paul on salvation, Paul’s view of Christ, a theological framework for understanding Paul, and Paul’s beliefs on the nature of the Church.

Thomas R. Schreiner emphasizes the role of God’s sovereignty and the supremacy of Christ in Paul’s writing. Luke Timonthy Johnson highlights Paul’s surrounding Graeco-Roman culture and Jewish upbringing, noting especially Paul’s regular use of the Greek Septuagint when he cites Scripture. Douglas A. Campbell offers the “Post-New Perspective on Paul,” meaning that he seeks to go deeper into Paul’s “works of the law” phrase and implications for understanding Judaism. Mark D. Nanos, a Jewish scholar, seeks to establish that Paul has not completely forsaken his Jewish roots.

Reading Four Views feels like being at a coffee shop with four theologians. Each author responds to the others’ contributions so that the book includes its own commentary.

Peter wrote that some things in Paul’s writings are “hard to understand” (2 Pet 3:16). Four Views of the Apostle Paul proves to be a valuable guide for pastors, teachers, students or theologically informed laypeople who want to delve deeper into the sometimes-challenging theology of Paul.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 5 No. 4