Covenant or Contract in the Interpretation of Paul

Footnote

Douglas A. Campbell, "Covenant or Contract in the Interpretation of Paul," Participatio Supplemental Volume 3, "A Theological Tribute to James B. Torrance" (2014): 182-200.

Bibliography

Campbell, Douglas A. "Covenant or Contract in the Interpretation of Paul." Participatio Supplemental Volume 3, "A Theological Tribute to James B. Torrance" (2014): 182-200.

Main Title

Covenant or Contract in the Interpretation of Paul

Publication life cycle / General notes

Reprinted as #2016-DAC-1.

Abstract

A number of key debates concerning Paul’s interpretation began in or just before the 1980s: queries about unnecessarily introverted “Lutheran” accounts of his gospel (Stendahl); about his “legalistic” portrayal of Jews (Sanders); that two rather different notions of salvation were detectable: justification and participation (Wrede); that he spoke not infrequently of (the) faith of, rather than faith in Jesus Christ (Hays); and that he wrote all his letters including Romans to deal with specific circumstances (Beker; Donfried). Much of the confusion here can be eliminated, however, when it is recognized that scholars are struggling in all these debates with the difference between a fundamentally covenantal as against a contractual account of salvation (J. B. Torrance), and Paul is then reread in consistently covenantal terms. This last possibility might look unlikely. However, it is possible that scholars raised in a contractual culture unwittingly project this view into Paul’s interpretation. Moreover, without grasping the distinction between a contract and a covenant clearly, which we learn from Torrance, exegetes will not even be able to evaluate these possibilities lucidly.

Issue
A Theological Tribute to James B. Torrance