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Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God) by N. T. Wright (2013) Hardcover Hardcover – January 1, 1656
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1. HOW LONG? This four-part Paul-project started 5 ½ months ago for me; and resulted in an in-depth study, because I decided to teach the manuscript as I went through it.
2. HISTORY? History is a “messianic-eschatology” for Paul; headed for “HARMODZO-UNIFICATION” with the father, through the sovereign lordship of Jesus Christ.
3. RECONCILIATION? History is interpenetrated by the power of the “word-of-reconciliation”; which is Christ as the “RHEMA-VOICE” of the eternal LOGOS
4. TEMPLE? History becomes a new realm of “spiritual-temple”; where heaven & earth come together, as was intended before the foundation of the world
I was blessed with the following powerful lessons in this final part of the Paul-project:
1. THINKING-PRAXIS-DOCTRINE PP. 1270-1300
2. FAITH OF-FAITH IN-GLORY OF CHRIST PP. 1300-1330
3. TRUE-REAL-ACTUAL RELIGION PP. 1330-1350
4. INVOCATION-INTERCESSION-BEING KNOWN PP. 1350-1365
5. PHYSICS-ETHICS-CONTENTMENT PP. 1365-1385
6. STOICISM-ESCHATOLOGY-TRANSCENDENT LEXICON PP. 1385-1405
7. EXAPOSTELO-SUNECHO-PISTEOS PP. 1405-1430
8. SEMEION-MIMETAI-PARITOME PP. 1430-1450
9. SIGNIFYING-NARRATIVE-ESCHATOLOGY FOR SCRIPTURE PP. 1450-1470
10. PHANEROO-KATALLAGE-HARMODZO PP. 1470-1490
11. HARMODZO-RECONCILIATION- & IN-GATHERING PP. 1490-1520
I felt that “History” was a perfect way to close-out the manuscript. I’m sorry but I don’t have any criticisms; I enjoyed the entire study and found myself agreeing with almost everything. I still see evidence of my friend’s ideas (Jurgen Moltmann) in the background. But; I can now say, I am an N.T. WRIGHT devoted fan. He is a tremendous scholar who has obviously worked hard to reach this level of understanding. Thank you professor Wright!!! to be continued at: youtube,abballard, channel
I look forward to his next two books to complete the series
I was very blessed to find another theologian/ Bible scholar who actually believes the Bible along with Michael Heiser and John H Watson.
The understanding he gives of the mandate, failure, exile, deliverance and restoration of relationship and Presence makes tremendous sense. When projected beyond the Genesis to Messiah it makes sense then of the same pattern happening during the Church age today and the need for the millennium before we reach our final union of believers and the Lord where He becomes all in all.
Top reviews from other countries
Perhaps that's because I'd previously worked through his other books in this series (with great delight and pleasure), and indeed, have worked through most of his published work.
But I still feel that this massively, massively long book is much longer than it really needed to be. There's a surprising amount of repetition, not only of material in the previous books, but also of material covered just a chapter or two ago. I honestly feel that this would have been a much better book - a classic, indeed - it if had only been edited more ruthlessly. (Did we really need such a lengthy exposition of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream?)
In spite of that, I learned a lot. The book does a WONDERFUL job of setting Paul in his contemporary world, in terms of religion, philosophy and politics. For me that's where the book really shone. As for the sections on Paul's theology... I'm sorry, but for much of the time I found myself thinking things like, "But you've just already said all that" and even "Oh, get ON with it."
Still, Wright at his worst (and this is far from his worst) is still better than many of his contemporariness at their best. I recommend the book, but I'll be surprised if you don't find yourself yielding to the urge to skim or speed-read several lengthy sections.
3 stars is mean, but I can't quite bring myself to give it 4, and unfortunately 3.5 isn't an option.
But yes, definitely recommended.
Having read this entire series to date I found this extremely difficult to rate. If you've read the other three volumes in the series, you could almost skip the first 600 pages (part I and II) of 'Paul and the Faithfulness of God.' There is an interesting piece of exegesis on Onesimus, but not really worth the time required to wade through the the first of this two-part tome. There is also not very much to surprise you along the way - but only IF you've already read the Jesus and the Victory of God (JVG), the New Testament and the People of God (NTPG), and the Resurrection of the Son of God (RSG).
However, I gave it the five stars simply because it does remain an outstanding, superb, magnificent piece of work in its own right. If you've not read much on Paul - I believe this is the best introduction, and is - as usual - brilliantly well written.
Some criticisms, but fairly minor and tentative:
1 - There is little evidence of development or change or even evolution in the author's hermeneutic views since the publication of NTPG back in 1992.
2 - Being as popular as he is, it must be difficult to keep hold of the fallibility of one's own views, and sometimes he's a little too arrogant in his assertions about subjects beyond his own range of knowledge. (E.g., I find his views on postmodernity excruciating, and on non-Anglican ecclesiastical traditions naively dismissive.)
3 - As everyone states, it is TOO long, unnecessarily long, unhelpfully long.
Tom Wright is not the best interpreter of Paul, but for all my reservations if you're new to Wright or New to Pauline scholarship, then I think this does deserve five stars.
What is so impressive is the ‘scientific’ way in which Wright has examined (through precise exegetical analysis, with a panoramic awareness of critics and counter arguments) all the available Pauline phenomena and presented them in an economic, elegant and convincing way, which avoids dogmatism and the anachronistic narrowness of later (especially Reformation) readings. He doesn’t allow Paul to be shoe-horned into any ill-fitting theological schemes, but shows the breadth and beauty of Paul’s understanding of Jesus as Messiah and how that fits with the grand narrative of creation and covenant in the Jewish scriptures. Concepts deemed to be central (e.g. the righteousness of God) are reinterpreted and others (e.g. new creation) emerge with a greater force. We see Paul developing as the greatest Christian theologian, not only as we understand better the results (the letters), but also by being inducted into the process (the thinking and theologizing behind them) of his creative endeavour.
Another striking feature of Wright’s book is that something this monumental is never dry or tedious. His recipe includes judicious use of humour and poetry and framing mechanisms which keep the mixture lively and engaging, and exemplifies his aesthetic, as well as his theological appreciation of Paul’s achievement. Unsurprisingly, there is something eminently Pauline (symphonic) in the weaving and exposition of so many thematic elements, and in the cumulative sense of richness, depth and clarity of the resulting work.
Newsweek magazine once dubbed Tom Wright the world’s greatest living New Testament scholar and here is the proof. As Paul claims with staggering boldness in 1 Corinthians 2.16 ‘we have the mind of Christ’, so we now have in this book probably the best claim yet to have the mind of Paul.