Justification Reconsidered : Rethinking a Pauline Theme
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. This short study by Stephen Westerholm carefully examines proposals on the subject by Krister Stendahl, E. P. Sanders, Heikki Raisanen, N. T. Wright, James D. G. Dunn, and 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.
- Paperback | 128 pages
- 136 x 210 x 10mm | 90.72g
- 23 Dec 2013
- William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
- Grand Rapids, United States
Trinity Journal -Westerholm's summary of the state of discussion is fair and incisive, and his engaging, easy style is a model of clarity and simplicity. . . . A fabulous volume.-Simon Gathercole -- University of Cambridge -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?-John M. G. Barclay -- Durham University -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.-R. Barry Matlock -- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga -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.-Douglas J. Moo -- Wheaton College -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.-Theology Today -Oldness does not necessarily mean obsolescence. A reading of Justification Reconsidered confirms that and gives the reader a succinct introduction to the issues involved when Pauline revisionists maintain otherwise.-Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society -What I love most about Stephen Westerholm is his ability to articulate and celebrate the freshness of the old perspective on Paul. . . . I cannot more highly recommend Westerholm's new book to anyone who has an interest in Paul. . . . A must read for all seekers of Paul. It is short. It is to the point. It interacts with some key Pauline scholars. . . . Most importantly, it confidently and clearly shows that a traditional reading of Paul, although it may need a tune-up, is in no way in need of a complete overhaul.-Reviews in Religion -A wonderfully written analysis of the key issues in the debate. . . . Could work well as an introduction to justification in Paul for an undergraduate course, or for students at whatever level seeking a summary of recent writings on this theme. It would also be a stimulating read for those enamored with new perspectives' on Paul, encouraging them to look again at a traditional approach' to Paul's justification language. In my view, they could hardly find a better guide than Westerholm.-Lutheran Quarterly -It can be recommended as a primer for the general reader on current debates, and it should be considered as a serious challenge to academic interpreters.-Reformation 21 (blog) -Read this short, engaging book. An evangelical reader will get up to speed on various critical views of Paul concerning justification and enjoy a heart-warming defense of the glorious Gospel.-Theological Book Review -An interesting and engaging interaction on the topic of justification.-Review of Biblical Literature -Concise and lucid. . . . Westerholm helpfully critiques allegedly revisionist views of several interpreters associated with the New Perspective on Paul, while also providing a digest of his own understanding of justification in Paul.-
About Stephen Westerholm
Stephen Westerholm is professor of early Christianity at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. His other books include Preface to the Study of Paul, Perspectives Old and New on Paul, and Israel's Law and the Church's Faith: Paul and His Recent Interpreters.