Paul and the Creation of Christian Identity
Publisher T&T Clark
In the dominant interpretation of the Antioch incident Paul is viewed as separating from Peter and Jewish Christianity to lead his own independent mission which was eventually to triumph in the creation of a church with a gentile identity. Paul's gentile mission, however, represented only one strand of the Christ movement but has been universalized to signify the whole. The consequence of this view of Paul is that the earliest diversity in which he operated and which he affirmed has been anachronistically diminished almost to the point of obliteration. There is little recognition of the Jewish form of Christianity and that Paul by and large related positively to it as evidenced in Romans 14-15. Here Paul acknowledges Jewish identity as an abiding reality rather than as a temporary and weak form of faith in Christ. This book argues that diversity in Christ was fundamental to Paul and that particularly in his ethical guidance this received recognition. Paul's relation to Judaism is best understood not as a reaction to his former faith but as a transformation resulting from his vision of Christ. In this the past is not obliterated but transformed and thus continuity is maintained so that the identity of Christianity is neither that of a new religion nor of a Jesus cult. In Christ the past is reconfigured and thus the diversity of humanity continues within the church, which can celebrate the richness of differing identities under the Lordship of Christ.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Pauline Interpretation and Christian Identity: Aspects of the History of Research
- 3. Paul's Theologizing Concerning the Other
- 4. Paul's Peculiar Problem: The Creation of Gentile Identity in Christ
- 5. The Tripartite Context : Paul's Mission Between State and Synagogue
- 6. I Laid the Foundation: Paul the Architect of Christian Identity?
- 7. Paul's Attitude Towards Jewish Identity in Romans
- 8. Self-Understanding and the People of God: Israel in Romans
- 9. Christ-Defined Identity
- 10. Conclusion: Paul's Theology as a Theology of Transformation
- Index of References
- Index of Authors