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date: 26 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

E. P. Sanders’ reconstruction of ancient Judaism resulted in an increasing interest in Paul’s relation to Judaism. While scholars before Sanders commonly assumed that Paul converted to Christianity and thus developed a religious identity separate from Judaism, Sanders’ view of Judaism as a religion of grace forced scholars to problematize Paul’s relation to his religious identity. Three major scholarly trends can be distinguished. Some scholars maintain, in spite of Sanders, that Paul rejected Judaism and developed a ‘Christian’ identity of sorts. Others take an intermediate position, arguing that Paul only repudiated those parts of Jewish tradition that separated Jews from non-Jews while otherwise being basically faithful to his religious heritage. Finally and most recently, still other scholars argue that Paul remained fully Jewish after becoming a follower of Jesus and that, consequently, he never developed a religious identity separated from Judaism.

Keywords: Judaism, Christianity, religion, identity, New Perspective, Paul within Judaism

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