Archive for the ‘New Perspective on Paul’ Category

Here is a list of online resources for those interested in the New Perspective on Paul.

Michael F. Bird, When the Dust Finally Settles: Coming to a Post-New Perspective Perspective
Don Carson mp3 on the Npp on Paul. He offers a description and critique of the movement. These lectures illustrate the division caused by this debate. Don Carson is against the NPP.

For a great free NPP commentary on Galatians by Don Garlington click here.

A website hosting articles (including Stendahl, Dunn and Wright) is found here.

Krister Stendahl, Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West

Dunn, New Perspective on Paul,

Introduction to N.T. Wright’s view of Paul in mp3 format see here.

N.T. Wright has a unoffical website which has plenty of resources including his own dictionary definitions of justification and righteousness. John Piper has responded to N.t. Wright’s view of justification in a book which is available online here.

Please leave a comment if you have found any good resources which would be worth sharing with others.

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I have battled my way in the last few weeks half-way through this important study by Douglas Campbell. This book offers a serious challenge to justification by faith, whether one takes a ‘Lutheran’ of Wrightian New Perspective.  It offers a new paradigm rather than a new perspective.

I was pleased to see hear that a recent discussion of this book at SBL is available to listen to. It involves a discussion of this book from Gorman, Moo and Torrance with questions from Hays and Wright. Here is the link Thanks to Andy Rowell for making this audio available to those who couldn’t make SBL.

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John Piper, N.T. Wright, and Justification Mp3

Gerald Bray has a written a piece on the Piper/Wright debate here.

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I have just downloaded Gordon Wenham’s Story as Torah in libronix format. It looks like it is going to be a great read.  I became interested in this book for 3 reasons. 1) Gordon Wenham is on faculty at Trinity college, Bristol where I am studying. I figure that if I read faculty books then I may be given extra biscuits at the postgraduate seminars (2) It has implications for the New Perspective on Paul (3) Don Garlington posted a helpfull review.

I came across this great quote from the introduction,

So there is a paradox in Old Testament narrative ethics: on the one hand God is terribly demanding, he looks for nothing less than godlike perfect behaviour, yet on the other, despite human failings, he does not forget his covenant loyalty to his people, and ultimately brings them through the suffering that their sin has brought about. Old Testament ethics are therefore as much about grace as about law: they declare that God, the all-holy, is also God, the all-merciful.

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By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Dr. Denny Burk, Dr. Tom Schreiner, Dr. Mark Seifrid, Dr. Brian Vickers

Click here for the video

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Chapter 2: Rules of Engagement

In an interesting and stimulating chapter Wright sets forth some of his own methodology and concerns about Piper’s approach.

Wright reminds his readers of the danger of following a systematic approach to the bible which brings a ‘theology’ to the text rather than letting the text speak for itself. ‘But start with exegesis, and remind yourself that the end in view is not a tidy system, sitting in the hard covers of a shelf where one may look up the ‘correct answers’, but the sermon, or the shared pastoral reading, or the scriptural word to Synod or other formal church gatherings, or indeed the life witness to the love of God… this is letting scripture be scripture’ (24)
For Wright it is vital that when looking at ‘justification’ we ‘pay attention tot he actual flow of the letters’. We should also listen to the other Pauline texts such as Ephesians and Colossians.
Wright engages with Piper on the role of 1st century sources for illuminating an interpretation of the bible. Piper says that first century sources can be used to ‘distort and silence what the New Testament writers intended to say.’ This can happen through misunderstanding the first century idea. Piper brings in as support the book edited by Carson ‘Justification and Variegated Nomism’ which seeks to show, at least Carson’s editorial hand does, that Sanders was incorrect to describe second temple Judaism as being covenantal nomist. Wright disagrees with Piper in saying that Carson’s concluding comments do not necessarily match the scholarly work contained in the chapters. His is a point which has been made by several reviewers of Justification and Variegated Nomism.

Piper is reluctant to let 1st century texts inform our reading of scripture. Wright demonstrates extensively that we simply must let other texts inform our reading for unless we read other Greek texts we would not know what the Greek New Testament was saying. Wright shows how the NIV sometimes lets his theological agenda control its translation of scripture. Particular attention is paid to Romans 3:21-26 in which the NIV translates in a way which supports its own theological stance but obscures the Greek meaning.

In summary we can say that Wright wants his approach to a be a ‘historical approach’. He is wary of a theological approach which does not take history seriously.

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Update: Trevin Wax interviews N.T. Wright about his forthcoming book

Endorsements are to be found here.

John Piper criticised N.T. Wright’s view of justification in ‘The Future of Justification’. Available online here.


This february, at least in the UK,  a book will will be published in which N.T. Wright reaffirms his position and responds to John Piper.


The book is entitled Justification:God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision. It is blogged about here

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