Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Heirs of Paul: Paul's Legacy in the New Testament and in the Church Today by J. Christiaan Beker
Gagnon, Robert A. J., Interpretation
HEIRS OF PAUL: PAUL'S LEGACY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND IN THE CHURCH TODAY, by J. Christiaan Beker. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1991. 146 pp. $8.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2525-0.
Beker's goal is to ascertain the extent to which Paul's earliest New Testament interpreters (the pastoral epistles, II Thess., Eph., Col., Acts) "offer helpful guidelines and warning signals for contemporary appropriation of Paul" (p. 7). Initially, he criticizes the scholarly consensus that Paul's New Testament interpreters represent a "fall from the true Paul." To arrive at a fairer assessment, Beker not only compares the Pauline pseudepigrapha and Acts directly to Paul's writings (the "comparative approach," pp. 35-75) but also factors in the special circumstances at necessitated their adaptation of Paul's thought (the "tradition-historical approach," pp. 77-97). However, for ail his attempts to sympathize with their new situations (noting disintegrating churches, heresies, hostility from Rome, receding eschatological expectation), Beker concludes in the end that their legacy is primarily a negative one: They teach us mostly by their failures that adaptation of Paul's gospel is both necessary and difficult (pp. 125-26, 105). Only Ephesians and Colossians "represent creative and authentic adaptations of Paul's legacy," and even they suffer from subordinating …
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Publication information: Article title: Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Heirs of Paul: Paul's Legacy in the New Testament and in the Church Today by J. Christiaan Beker. Contributors: Gagnon, Robert A. J. - Author. Journal title: Interpretation. Volume: 48. Issue: 2 Publication date: April 1994. Page number: 208. © Not available. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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