Friday, August 08, 2008

Book Review: Francis Watson, Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles

I found Francis Watson's revised monograph Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective to be a stimulating read with much to think about it. I think this book proves (as do others, e.g. Jewett on Romans) that we are entering a post-NPP phase. It also makes a good synthesis of Luther and Baur on Paul and demonstrates that social readings and theological interpretation are not mutually exclusive. My review can be uploaded here (seven pages).

3 comments:

Paul said...

Michael:
Thanks for blogging so faithfully and intelligently. I look at your often and appreciate your even-handed treatment of issues. Francis Watson is an author I have an interest in, since he ia willing to use the good from NP and yet not be captive to all of NP. I look forward to reading your review.

Loren Rosson III said...

Watson's first pass was one of the first NPP books on Galatians/Romans I read in the early 90s -- before he wrote the essay, "Not the New Perspective" -- so I'm anxious to read his revised account.

In your review, you correctly wonder "if sectarian separation is really the best model here". It's not bad for Galatians, but it falls apart for Romans. Paul was trying to eradicate Judean ("Jewish") identity in the former, but trying to preserve it in the latter -- and indeed far from trying to persuade Judeans from abandoning their heritage, in Romans they should maintain it.

If one is looking for a model for both Galatians and Romans, the project is doomed from the start.

andrewbourne said...

Jimmy Dunn has written a review of Watson`s book over at SBL. He says Watson should have written 3 separate books rather than revising his previous book