Nov 16, 2009
Paul: Minimalists and Maximalists
Concerning Paul's citation of Scripture in his epistles, Francis Watson in "Scripture in Pauline Theology: How Far Down Does it Go?" Journal of Theological Interpretation 2 (2008): 181-92, writes:
"Scholars who have reflected on these issues may be divided into two classes: there are maximalists, and there are minimalists. Maximalists think that scripture is profoundly important to Paul, minimalists think that it matters to him only superficially Maximalists tend to argue that Paul's texts are full of scriptural allusions, even where explicit citations are lacking. They believe that a citation of an individual text is intended to evoke the entire scriptural context from which it was taken. Minimalists believe that Paul is usually unconcerned about the contexts of the texts he cites. They argue that he often cites texts because he is forced to do so by opponents, not because he really wants to" (p. 182).
In the article Watson critiques the Minimalist position and argues for a version of the Maximalist position.