- The Man and the Myth
- Paul the ‘Convert’?
- Paul the Missionary
- Paul the Theologian
- Paul the Apostle
- Archaeology and the Pauline Letters
- Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans
- Paul and the Construction of Early Christian Identity
- Paul and Economic Resources
- Paul the Philosopher
- Paul and Religion
- The Pauline Letters in Contemporary Research
- The Deutero-Pauline Letters in Contemporary Research
- Paul the Letter Writer
- Rhetoric and Argumentation in the Letters of Paul
- The Text of the Pauline Corpus
- The Formation of the Pauline Corpus
- Paul and Scripture
- Paul and Jesus
- Justification by Faith
- Participation in Christ
- Grace/Gift in Paul
- Paul and <i>Pistis Christou</i>
- Ethos and Community
- Cosmology and Eschatology
- Social-Scientific Approaches to Paul
- Paul and Ethnicity
- Paul and Politics
- Paul and Postcolonial Studies
- Paul and Feminism
- Paul and Theological Interpretation
- Paul and Reception History
Abstract and Keywords
This essay gives a programmatic account of Paul’s engagement with scripture, focusing especially on Paul’s most frequently cited source texts: Genesis and Psalms. Paul’s engagement with scripture, it is argued, is shaped by three main factors. First, he views himself not primarily as an interpreter of scripture but as a proclaimer of the gospel. Second, Paul’s own Pharisaic past makes him acutely aware that most of his fellow Jews read the same texts he does, and yet do not share his faith in Jesus as the crucified and risen Messiah. Third, Paul’s scriptural interpretation occurs in the context of letters addressed to communities he has founded. Paul does not engage with scripture to the same extent in all his letters. It would be a mistake to characterize him as, always and in every respect, a ‘biblical theologian’. Yet it would be a greater mistake to underestimate the value and significance he attributes to scripture.
Francis Watson is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, having previously held the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles (1986, 2nd ed. 2007), Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith (2004, 2nd ed. 2015), Gospel Writing (2013), and The Fourfold Gospel (2016), among other books.
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