Roberts on the Pastorals and the New Perspective

Daniel Roberts has produced a PhD dissertation on the Letters to Timothy and Titus and the New Perspective on Paul; the full-text work is available in ProQuest.

Roberts, Daniel Wayne. “Reading the Pastoral Epistles from a Canonical Perspective in Light of the New Perspective on Paul.” PhD diss., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.

Abstract: “The ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ as primarily articulated by E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, and N. T. Wright, has become a provocative way of understanding Judaism as a pattern of religion characterized by ‘covenantal nomism,’ which stands in contrast to the traditional, Lutheran position that argues the Judaism against which Paul responded was ‘legalistic.’ This ‘new perspective’ of first-century Judaism has remarkably changed the landscape of Pauline studies, but it has done so in isolation from the Pastoral Epistles, which are considered by most critical scholarship to be pseudonymous. Because of the lack of interaction with the Pastoral Epistles by the New Perspective on Paul, this study seeks to test the hermeneutic of the New Perspective on Paul from a canonical perspective, as defined by Brevard Childs, in order to bypass some of the contentious issues of Pauline authorship. The specific passages within the Pastoral Epistles studied in this dissertation were chosen via four tenets of the New Perspective on Paul: Justification and Salvation, Law and Works, Paul’s View of Judaism, and his Opponents. Based on these tenets, the passages studied are 1 Tim 1:6–16, 2:3–7, 2 Tim 1:3, 8–12, and Titus 3:3–7. In consideration of these passages, this dissertation will consider to what degree the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic can find resonance outside ‘undisputed’ Paul. This study is not an attempt to validate or invalidate the New Perspective on Paul, but to test the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic within the Pastoral Epistles.”

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