The primary tension of Judaism, which dominates all the Old Testament and Jewish thought generally, is that of covenant promise and anticipated fulfillment. The religion of Israel is a religion of promise, with consummation reserved for the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Age. And it was this tension, rather than any having to do with ethics, motivation or universalism, which Paul found resolved in commitment to Jesus of Nazareth as God's promised Messiah -- the Messiah rejected, crucified, risen and now exalted.The Ministry and Message of Paul, p. 30.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Longenecker and Paul's Tension with Judaism
Longenecker does better than either the traditional or New Perspective in analyzing the "supposed" tension with Paul's Jewish heritage, that is at least in one place in his little book on Paul--his view on the law and the work of Christ, for example, is not consistent with this however (pp. 93-96).
Rather than a tension with the legalistic, works-based religion of Judaism in view of the gracious message of the Gospel (traditional) or the nationalistic and ethno-centric religion of Judaism in view of the universal and transcultural Gospel (NP), Longenecker said it was a tension of eschatological fulfillment. He writes: