Lively, accessible introduction to recent scholarly debates about justification
Much has been written of late about what the apostle Paul really meant when he spoke of justification by faith, not the works of the law. Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme
is a short study by Stephen Westerholm that carefully examines proposals on the subject including:
- Krister Stendahl
- E. P. Sanders
- Heikki Raisanen
- N. T. Wright
- James D. G. Dunn
- Douglas A. Campbell
In doing so, Westerholm notes weaknesses in traditional understandings that have provoked the more recent proposals, but he also points out areas in which the latter fail to do justice to the apostle.
Readers of this book will gain not only a better grasp of the ongoing theological debate about justification but also a more nuanced overall understanding of Paul.
Reading Stephen Westerholm's sketch of justification in Paul is a duty and a joy. This volume introduces the subject clearly and elegantly to students. But it also throws down the gauntlet to the New Perspectivists. How will they respond?
University of Cambridge
Every student wrestling with 'justification' will be grateful for this highly engaging book. Westerholm nimbly develops the mainstream interpretation, while critiquing popular current alternatives (including those by Campbell and Wright). Here is ready ammunition for an important continuing debate.
-John M. G. Barclay,
Anything Stephen Westerholm writes on `justification by faith' is not just worth reading; it is essential reading. If you have been led to believe that Paul is only concerned with a Gentile problem, not a human problem; that 'justification' means 'belonging to the covenant'; that 'works of law' refers simply to 'boundary markers'; that 'justification theory' must be eliminated from Paul; then you have not been fully informed. And if being well informed on such things matters to you, then read this book.
-R. Barry Matlock,
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Justification Reconsidered is a valuable summary and extension of Stephen Westerholm's fresh and compelling arguments about Paul and Judaism in his Perspectives Old and New on Paul. This book engages with key biblical and theological issues in current interpretation of Paul and is marked by a refreshingly clear and forthright style.
-Douglas J. Moo,
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