Anthony J. Saldarini, Pharisees, Scribes, Sadducees in Palestinian Society: A Sociological Approach (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1988), 134-37.(1) His adherence to the Pharisaic mode of interpreting the law led him to attack a group which mounted a major challenge to the Pharisaic way of life. As some of the Pharisees had challenged and plotted against Jesus (according to the gospels), so Paul the Pharisee attacked the followers of Jesus who threatened Pharisaic influence on Jews and who more and more taught a significantly different understanding of Torah and the Jewish way of life. The Pharisees and the followers of Jesus especially clashed on the importance of purity laws, tithes and other ‘boundary mechanisms’ for maintaining the integrity of God’s people. (2) Paul kept the law as one was supposed to and achieved the righteousness from the law that was proper to it, Paul is not referring to a highly complex doctrine of works-righteousness vs. grace-righteousness, but simply saying that he lived a good life according to the rules. Paul’s point is that he was humanly acceptable according to the ordinary Jewish norms for proper behaviour toward God and fellow Jews; he had lived up to the expectation of society’s code of behaviour and could not be rejected as a disgruntled failure.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Saldarini on Paul
Here's a good quote from Anthony Saldarini: