The New Old Paul

The new perspective on Paul (NPP) is a school of thought mainly within evangelical New Testament scholarship that seeks to understand Paul not through the lens of later Church theology but within his own context of 1st century Judaism.

Both videos give a quick introduction to the scholarly movement. In the first video leading scholars in the movement professors James Dunn who coined the term and Tom Wright it’s most ardent proponent speak. The second video also gives a brief introduction but it is more critical. Hopefully these two will give a good sense of the NPP and the contributions and controversies it has caused. It continues to generate on going debate within scholarship.

Personally, I favour the new perspective approach even though I am aware that there are challenges to it. The NPP itself is not monolithic and is really a collection of perspectives that wants to understand scripture in its original context. I brought it up because it has helped me better understand Paul and also raises important questions about the text.

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