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Paul and His Recent Interpreters

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This companion volume to N.T. Wright's 'Paul and the Faithfulness of God' and 'Pauline Perspectives' is essential reading for all with a serious interest in Paul, the interpretation of his letters, his appropriation by subsequent thinkers, and his continuing significance today. ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Fortress Press (first published November 1st 2013)
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Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Summary: N.T. Wright surveys the scholarship in Pauline studies over the past fifty years engaging scholars developing the "new perspective", "apocalyptic", and "social history" approaches to Paul.

It is hard to believe but N.T. Wright has not been able to say all there is to say about Pauline scholarship in his two volume (1700 pages) Paul and The Faithfulness of God. Paul and His Recent Interpreters is a companion to that work in which Wright develops his own understanding of Paul's life and th
Nicholas Quient
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A bit sprawling, the book is essentially NTW's interpretation of the various important (i.e. most influential) interpreters of Paul. Käsemann et al are scrutinized and interpreted with clarity (though the charity part could be challenged), and I'm not certain the "Apocalyptic" school will appreciate his responses to them.

All in all, a helpful, fast-paced read about the important recent interpreters of Paul. As usual, polemical, passionate, and stimulating. Which sounds dirty now that I think ab
Zach Waldis
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is vintage Wright: clear, humorous, and unbelievably brilliant. Not only will this guide you through modern Pauline scholarship from Baur to the present day, it also helps in giving a sense of the "anomalous" Jew himself. Can't recommend it enough. ...more
Daniel Supimpa
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical-studies
Summary: The book aims to offer a map of Anglophone scholarship for students coming to Pauline Studies, based on three significant ‘waves’ within the field in the last few decades: the New Perspective on Paul, ‘Apocalyptic’ readings and Social History. The intention is that this book should complement the already massive project "Paul and the Faithfulness of God" by the same author.

After a brief consideration on how Paul was read in the perspective of history-of-religions from the mid-19th cent
Filip Sylwestrowicz
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical-studies
Wright's book aims to outline recent history of interpretation of Paul in the English-speaking world. It is fairly representative though certainly not exhaustive summary of recent trends in scholarship. Wright focuses especially on three major movements: (1) New Perspective (and whole discussion following Sanders) which was a corrective to the perception of Judaism in older literature as a religion of works rather than grace, (2) Apocalyptic readings which emphasise the cosmic dimension of Paul' ...more
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I finish this book I am wondering whether I should just simply turn to the beginning and start again? This is not because Wright is difficult to understand but because of the sheer breadth of this book and the immensity of the implications.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Whether you agree with Wright or not you need to grapple with him. He remains the most prolific and influential theologian or our time.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Wright explores the interpretation of Paul from Baur to present day interpreters, seeking to bring into conversation wide swaths who normally never cross paths. The first half was very good—5 stars. The middle to the last portion seemed to lose a little steam. It could also be that my interest lies more in discussions surround the New Perspective and less so on some of the sociological readings of Paul. All the same, a nice read and survey of the Pauline landscape.
Daniel Funke
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Wright engages with a number of recent trends in Pauline studies (the three main ones are the New Perspective, Apocalyptic readings of Paul, and social studies/history in relation to Paul). He's essentially in conversation with these different views throughout, rather than a neutral observer. He's not always charitable toward those who disagree with him, including those who, like me, adhere to the 'Old Perspective'. Much of the book also required some knowledge of the field. The book ...more
Robert Lloyd
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly researched, but may be challenging for the laymen

To begin with, I was debating between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. On the one hand this book is meticulously researched and exhaustively covers the main interpretations and interpreters of Paul (hence the title). I appreciated being exposed to to these varying viewpoints, however I really struggled to understand quite a few of the authors responses and descriptions of these various viewpoints. I have always enjoyed Mr. Wright's work,
Andy Gore
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As ever a startling and stirring read. It is a great introduction and evaluation of past and especially current discussions on Paul. I would recommend you start at the end (Sections 2 and 3 of Paul in the Marketplace) to have an overview of what Wright is saying which might help you appreciate more all that he says in the previous 329 pages. Worth every penny.
Henk-Jan van der Klis
The apostle Paul is popular, yet is his message not easy to catch in a single phrase, theme or agenda. Countless theologians, historians, preachers and laypeople have read the epistles in the New Testament and tried to understand and apply his appeal to follow Christ, organize congregations and propagate personal and collective spiritual growth. The reason I chose to read N.T. Wright's ' Paul and His Recent Interpreters, was that this British Bible scholar is read and promoted heavily in Dutch C ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
For anyone who has read Mr. Wright's colossal Paul and the Faithfulness of God, one may have noticed the countless references he makes to some great names in the history of Pauline scholarship such as Albert Schweitzer and Ed Sanders. While you can piece together what those authors said from Mr. Wright's references, but it can be like putting together a broken glass cup. But thanks to this supplementary volume, Mr. Wright gives us a short, mostly narrative history of the last 100 years of Paulin ...more
Steve Penner
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading Wright can be a joy or a journey. He writes incredibly lucid books for lay people and then he writes scholarly books that demand time and careful attention. This book kind of falls in between. It is not theology for the scholar but a historical exploration of Pauline studies over the past few generations. I found it intriguing to know what has happened since Baur and Bultmann. For those of us who don't follow the academic give and take, this was very eye-opening. It also helped to put Wr ...more
Ovi Buciu
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent companion to Wright's larger "Paul and the Faithfulness of God." This book is essentially a survey of Pauline scholarship over the last two centuries, tracing three distinct yet interwoven strands of interpretation. Wright assesses and critiques major landmarks in Pauline studies and offers analyses of major proponents and publications along the way.

The greatest strength of the book, however, is that such an overview is never dry or dull. Wright's exploration is incisive, insightful
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-library
There are a lot of scholars who focus on Paul, a number of camps with their own approaches. Wright provides a usable overview of these camps here without being exhaustive. The wider theme of this book seems to evolve around the relationship between the work of theologians and the work of historians. (Not to mention social scientists and philosophers.) Unlike much of Wright's other books, this one is not for beginners, necessarily. I'm looking forward to reading the book series which this 300+ pa ...more
Justin Evans
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
If it's Tuesday, it must be another over-long, easy to read, exhausting book by N. T. Wright. This one was originally a chapter in another over-long, easy to read exhausting book by N. T. Wright. On the downside, this is mostly about other twentieth century scholars. On the upside, I'll never need to read scholarship about Paul because Wright has read it all for me. ...more
Nathan Ellzey
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent survey of Pauline studies over the last couple generations. While a little more dry than his usual work, Wright drill finds a way to insert nuggets of profound insight and inspiration. Certainly not, however, a place to initiate oneself in Wright's work. ...more
Sister Anne
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical
It's a terrific book, but really aimed at a scholarly audience as a review of over a century of trends and counter-trends in Pauline scholarship. I only gave 4 stars because it is so full of "in house" language that restricts it to the arcane world of biblical scholars.... ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought Provoking

Very interesting study. Appreciate that NT Wright's use of Scripture, history and Jewish roots in presenting his evaluations and defense.
Gerald Mast
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, if polemical survey of the current state of Paul studies.
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N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGi ...more

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25 likes · 6 comments
“once again, just because I prefer Guinness to lemonade that doesn’t mean I am not particular about the temperature at which the Guinness is served; and I believe Paul would have told Calvin to take his dark Irish beer out of the fridge, to let it come up to room temperature and taste its full flavour.” 1 likes
“Agendas are what get people, even historians, out of bed in the mornings, though one might hope that, once at the desk, they allow the data to challenge the hypotheses they have dreamed up overnight.” 0 likes
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