For nearly four decades, E. P. Sanders has been the foremost scholar in shaping and refocusing scholarly debates in three different but related disciplines in New Testament studies: Second Temple Judaism, Jesus and the Gospels, and Pauline studies. This collection of essays by an impressive array of colleagues and former students presents original scholarship that extends—or departs from—the research of Sanders himself. Both apologists and dissenters find their place in this volume, as the authors actively debate Sanders’s innovative positions on central issues in all three disciplines.
The introductory group of essays includes a substantive intellectual autobiography by E. P. Sanders himself. The next three parts examine in turn the three areas in which Sanders made his important contributions. The essays in part 2 engage Sanders's notion of “common Judaism.” Those in part 3 deal with issues that Sanders raised respecting the historical Jesus and the Gospels. And the essays in part 4 debate, among other issues, Sanders’s contention that participation in Christ, rather than justification by faith, is the central theme of Paul’s soteriology. The volume concludes with a bibliography of Sanders's works.
“This volume is a fitting tribute to the single most influential scholar in the fields of New Testament and early Judaism of the last half century. . . . A real strength of this volume is that most of the essays not only directly engage the work of Ed Parish Sanders but confirm, refine, and even extend various aspects of his innovative and widely debated positions on central issues in the study of Jesus, Paul, and Second Temple Judaism.” —Daniel C. Harlow, Calvin College
“No scholar of our generation has done more to advance the study of the New Testament than E. P. Sanders, whose work has revolutionized our understanding of early Judaism, the historical Jesus, and the apostle Paul. These are three enormously significant areas of research; most good scholars need an entire career to master, let alone influence, any one of them. The present collection of essays by leading researchers of early Judaism and early Christianity—including an insightful intellectual autobiography by the great man himself—is a fitting tribute to the career and thought of a giant in the field.” —Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“A celebratory testimonial to the far-ranging interests of the most influential intertestamental historian of our age, this stellar, seminal, stimulating compendium—one exciting essay on the heels of another—is a veritable ‘scholarly page-turner.’ Gloriously rich in content, provocatively diverse in perspective, and brilliant in categorization and sequence, this volume will be indispensable to all of E. P. Sanders' followers and reactors as well as to present and future newcomers to his distinctive contributions.” —Michael J. Cook, Sol & Arlene Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion