Paul and the Gentile Problem by Matthew ThiessenPaul and the Gentile Problem by Matthew Thiessen

Paul and the Gentile Problem

byMatthew Thiessen

Hardcover | March 15, 2016

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Paul and the Gentile Problem provides a new explanation for the apostle Paul's statements about the Jewish law in his letters to the Romans and Galatians. Paul's arguments against circumcision and the law in Romans 2 and his reading of Genesis 15-21 in Galatians 4:21-31 belong within a streamof Jewish thinking which rejected the possibility that gentiles could undergo circumcision and adopt the Jewish law, thereby becoming Jews. Paul opposes this solution to the gentile problem because he thinks it misunderstands how essentially hopeless the gentile situation remains outside of Christ.The second part of the book moves from Paul's arguments against a gospel that requires gentiles to undergo circumcision and adoption of the Jewish law to his own positive account, based on his reading of the Abraham Narrative, of the way in which Israel's God relates to gentiles. Having received theSpirit (pneuma) of Christ, gentiles are incorporated into Christ, who is the singular seed of Abraham, and, therefore, become materially related to Abraham. But this solution raises a question: Why is it so important for Paul that gentiles become seed of Abraham? The argument of this book is thatPaul believes that God had made certain promises to Abraham that only those who are his seed could enjoy and that these promises can be summarized as being empowered to live a moral life, inheriting the cosmos, and having the hope of an indestructible life.
Matthew Thiessen received his Ph.D from Duke University in 2010. His first book, Contesting Conversion, won the prestigious Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise (2014). He has also won the Society of Biblical Literature's Regional Scholar Award (2014). He is currently Assistant Professor of New Testament at Saint Louis...
Title:Paul and the Gentile ProblemFormat:HardcoverDimensions:344 pagesPublished:March 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190271752

ISBN - 13:9780190271756

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One: Jewish Universalism and the Gentile Problem1. Jewish Solutions to the Gentile Problem2. The Gentile Identity of the "So-Called Jew" in Romans3. "Do You Not Hear the Law?"Part Two: Abraham's Seed and the Gentile Solution4. Gentile Sons and Seed of Abraham5. Abraham, the Promised Pneuma, and the Gentile SolutionConclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Drawing on his wide knowledge of ancient Judaism, Thiessen here reframes Paul's theology of his Gentile mission, insisting that his polemics are directed only against Gentiles attempting the impossible, not against Jews, Judaism, or Jewish practices as such. This combination of freshthinking and deep research is exactly what we need: it generates many original proposals which are bound to provoke new and important debate." --John Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University