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Justin Gohl2 Stars Out Of 5September 6, 2005Justin GohlThis book is for those who have heard something about the "new perspective on Paul," decided immediately that they didn't like it, and then wanted to find a book with some arguments to support their decision.Even though initially Waters suggests that he thinks there are some positive aspects to the NPP, having read the book I cannot remember him saying one thing that would support this suggestion. What he consistently does is argue for the old paradigm under the assumption that it is superior. In other words, Waters critiques the NPP from the position of commitment to the Westminster Confession. This is not a necessarily bad thing, but it means that Waters' conclusions are predetermined.In short, Waters comes to this study with his mind made up that the NPP is dubious and also assumes that those who come to his study share his negative assessment of the New Perspective on Paul.Thus, if you are looking for an even-handed and constructive engagement of the NPP then look elsewhere. (I am not sure if one exists in a review type format. Most tend to be polemical.)For those who are familiar with the history of Pauline studies, especially in this century, and sympathize with the NPP, Waters' study will be an incredibly frustrating read! For serious students and scholars, reading and interpreting Paul is a dialogue which requires interaction with all recent (and ancient) study. And it is not at all the case that the NPP is immune to critique or without need of revision. But Waters' argues for a dogmatism which would eliminate the dialogue and erase all of the progress in understanding Paul (both through error and innovation) that has occured over the past two or three decades.That said, I appreciated his bibliography which is a helpful resource for any who want to read firsthand the propounders of the NPP. And overall he provided a helpful review of the NPP and its major players.
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