Jan 24, 2009

Must Reads for a Pauline Scholar

Nijay Gupta has posted the following list of books that he considers essential reading for Pauline research and scholarship.

E. Kasemann, Perspectives on Paul (London: SCM, 1971).

Krister Stendahl, Paul Among Jews and Gentiles (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974) paperback, $12. This includes his classic essay, “Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West.”

E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism: A Comparison of Patterns of Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977) paperback, $30. A landmark study.

Gerd Theissen, The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity: Essays on Corinth, trans. John Schulz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982).

Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983) paperback, $18. A widely-acclaimed social analysis of the early Christian movement.

J. Christiaan Beker, Paul the Apostle: The Triumph of God in Life and Thought (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984)

Abraham Malherbe, Paul and the Popular Philosophers (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989).

Morna Hooker. From Adam to Christ: Essays on Paul. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Jerome H. Neyrey, Paul, In Other Words: A Cultural Reading of His Letters (Louisville, KY: Westminster / John Knox, 1990) hardcover, $23.

Wright, N. T. The Climax of the Covenant : Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993.

J. Louis Martyn, Theological Issues in the Letters of Paul (Nashville: Abingdon, 1997) hardcover, $40.

J.P. Sampley, ed. Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook (Continuum 2003).

J.D.G. Dunn, The New Perspective on Paul (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007).

Horsley, Richard A., ed. Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1997.

My main quibble with this list is that it basically ignores Evangelical contributions to the study of Paul. A more well-rounded list might include such works as:

Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007).

Thomas R. Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001).

Ben Witherington III, Paul's Narrative Thought World (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994).


Nijay K. Gupta said...

Thanks for your interest in my list. I know other books could have been added. To be honest, I don't think a list needs to have evangelicals on it, even though I myself am an evangelical. Also, I would think that Morna Hooker and Jimmy Dunn have a lot of same commitments as evangelicals, though not all of them.

Fee's Christology is good, but not really something that will have a major impact on the discipline. Instead, I might add Fee's God's Empowering Presence (which I just may add to the list). Witherington's work on narrative stuff is good, but, again, not really agenda setting for the discipline which is what I was aiming for. I think Longenecker's edited work, Narrative Dynamics in Paul is more suitable and more critically analyzed.

Thanks for the opportunity to put more thought into this!

Charles Savelle said...

Fair enough. I still hold that there are Evangelical works that merit inclusion. As far as Fee is concerned, I did debate whether to go with his work on Christology or the Spirit, and I chose to go with the former since it was more recent.

By way of encouragement, perhaps you may be in the position to introduce works produced by Evangelical scholars to the broader guild, that appears to, more often than not, ignore such works.

One other point might also be worth mentioning, Namely, there might be some future Evangelicals scholars that might read your list and conclude that Evangelical authors are not worth reading. Just a thought.