The Deliverance of God


Douglas A. Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009)


Campbell, Douglas A. The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009

Publication life cycle / General notes

This book's "origin lies in a proverbial flash of inspiration caused by some essays written by the father of a colleague and close friend of mine--James B. Torrance. One auspicious day his son, Alan Torrance, gave me these pieces and suggested that I read them, and they turned out to be something of an epiphany. I sensed straightway that their theological and methodological insights concerning theological foundationalism--in the form specifically of contractualism--had revolutionary implications for my discipline of Pauline studies, suggesting an immediate reordering of many of our most pressing questions, and an implicit resolution to most of them as well."  Preface, p. xxiv.


This book breaks a significant impasse in much Pauline interpretation today, pushing beyond both “Lutheran” and “New” perspectives on Paul to a noncontractual, “apocalyptic” reading of many of the apostle’s most famous -- and most troublesome -- texts.

In The Deliverance of God Douglas Campbell holds that the intrusion of an alien, essentially modern, and theologically unhealthy theoretical construct into the interpretation of Paul has produced an individualistic and contractual construct that shares more with modern political traditions than with either orthodox theology or Paul’s first-century world. In order to counter­act that influence, Campbell argues that it needs to be isolated and brought to the foreground before the interpretation of Paul’s texts begins. When that is done, readings free from this intrusive paradigm become possible and surprising new interpretations unfold.

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