Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Preface to the Study of Paul

Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Preface to the Study of Paul

Article excerpt

Preface to the Study of Paul. By Stephen Westerholm. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,

1997, xii + 128 pp., $13.00 paper.

The starting point for this work is the premise that, although the apostle Paul and his writings continue to attract widespread attention, contemporary readers need help to make sense out of his assumptions and worldview. Westerholm, therefore, attempts to bridge the gaps between Paul's horizons and those of his 20th-century readers. The result is a work that combines OT background study and a NT theology of Paul with an analysis of contemporary culture.

As a means of structuring the book Westerholm follows the general outline of Romans, allowing Paul's argument to determine the issues examined and the sequence in which they are raised. Among the topics discussed are divine goodness (Sedaqah), sin and its effects, law, faith, guilt and atonement, Jesus as God's Son, Israel, and Pauline ethics. The study is weak on Paul's view of the role of the Holy Spirit, since Westerholm chooses to group 8:1-13 with the discussion of "law" in Romans 7 and to focus on the topic of "overcoming" in 8:14-39. …

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