The New Perspective on Paul

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Papillon

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Feb 4, 2021, 1:24:38 AMFeb 4
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Is anyone familiar with this subject? I've just started to study it. Like most of us here, I initially learned about Paul from Doc. Doc's perspective on Paul is Luther's perspective on Paul... a reformation perspective.

The New Perspective on Paul places the context of Paul's outlook firmly in the first century, which is nice and useful. But it goes further to suggest that Paul's talk of the Law really only addresses the ceremonial and tribal aspects of the Law, essentially leaving the bulk of the law intact. This, of course, has a pretty big impact on scriptural interpretation and the theology that comes from it

Below is an article I snagged from the web that explains what the The New Perspective on Paul is and how it impacts theology regarding justification.

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Definition
The New Perspective on Paul argues that the traditional-Protestant understanding of justification is mistaken; rather than opposing works-righteousness, Paul is, according to the New Perspective, opposing Jewish boundary markers in the New Testament people of God. One standard view within the New Perspective on Paul is that initial justification is by faith and recognizes covenant status (ecclesiology), while final justification is partially by works, albeit works produced by the Spirit.

Summary
The New Perspective on Paul, a major scholarly shift that began in the 1980s, argues that the Jewish context of the New Testament has been wrongly understood and that this misunderstand has led to errors in the traditional-Protestant understanding of justification. According to the New Perspective, the Jewish systems of salvation were not based on works-righteousness but rather on covenantal nomism, the belief that one enters the people of God by grace and stays in through obedience to the covenant. This means that Paul could not have been referring to works-righteousness by his phrase “works of the law”; instead, he was referring to Jewish boundary markers that made clear who was or was not within the people of God. For the New Perspective, this is the issue that Paul opposes in the NT. Thus, justification takes on two aspects for the New Perspective rather than one; initial justification is by faith (grace) and recognizes covenant status (ecclesiology), while final justification is partially by works, albeit works produced by the Spirit. However, Reformed theologians argue that the New Perspective’s reconstruction of the Jewish context is not altogether correct and that it is easy to find examples of works-righteousness that Paul could have been opposing in the NT. Additionally, taking the entire witness of the NT letters (rather than only Romans, Galatians, and Philippians) points towards the traditional-Protestant understanding of justification.

Starting in the 1980s and continuing to the present, a major scholarly shift has taken place among many concerning Paul’s view of justification with the leading scholars being E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, and N. T. Wright. Before this shift, most biblical scholars, even those within the various liberal/critical camps, more-or-less equated Paul’s view of justification with the traditional-Protestant view. This newer view has come to be known as the “New Perspective on Paul” with the explicit understanding that the “old” perspective, that is, the traditional-Protestant perspective, is wrong or at least needs serious modification.

This essay will critically engage the New Perspective as it relates to the doctrine of justification. This article will concentrate on explaining the rationale as to how New Perspective authors arrive at their views. This rationale will be summarized as the “five points of the New Perspective” (following Cara, Cracking the Foundation of the New Perspective on Paul, pp. 20–25). Then, several broad-brush critiques of the New Perspective will be presented. For a discussion of the traditional-Protestant (biblical!) view of justification per se, see the related articles in this Concise Theology series.

Explanation of the New Perspective Relative to Justification
The New Perspective is really two new perspectives that build upon each other. The foundation is a new perspective of the soteriological (salvation) system that existed in first-century AD Judaism. Given this new foundation, a different view of Paul’s soteriological system must be constructed upon it. Why is the soteriology of first-century Judaism important for Paul’s view? New Perspective authors note that justification is discussed by Paul several times in contexts that include either non-Christian Jews or Christian Jews (e.g., Rom. 2; 9–11; Gal. 3–5; Phil. 3). Given this, they insist that this new view of Judaism must change our understanding Paul’s view of justification because it better explains Paul’s opponents and even Paul himself.

So what is this new perspective on first-century Judaism? Judaism in all its forms was uniformly a grace-based soteriological system; it was not a works-righteousness system. This uniform system was given the name, “covenantal nomism” by E. P. Sanders (“nomism” comes from the Greek word for law, nomos). One enters the covenant by election/grace and stays in by obedience to the law. Sanders stressed that staying in the covenant by obedience to the law was not considered legalistic works-righteousness, at least by his definition of works righteousness.

How does this new Jewish perspective relate to Paul’s view of justification and the wrongness of the traditional-Protestant view? The New Perspective correctly understood that the traditional-Protestant view sees justification by faith as the opposite of legalistic works righteousness; one is declared righteous based on Christ’s work versus being declared righteous based on one’s own works. That is, the traditional-Protestant view sees Paul opposing two soteriological systems: justification by grace/Christ’s-work/faith (grace soteriology) versus justification by works of the law (works-righteousness soteriology). The New Perspective rejects that Paul is opposing these two systems. Why? Because according to the new view of Judaism, a works-righteousness soteriology did not exist! Therefore, Paul could not have been arguing against a non-existent works-righteousness soteriology. Therefore, the first of the “five points” is that New Perspective authors agree that Paul was not arguing against a legalistic works-righteousness view because it did not exist—that is, they accept Sanders’s covenantal nomism. And since the traditional-Protestant view of justification is at least partially understood by what it is opposes (i.e., works righteousness), then its view of justification must be wrong. Hence, the second point is that New Perspective authors agree on what justification is not—it is not the traditional-Protestant view.

The above shows what the New Perspective is against; it is against the traditional-Protestant views of works and justification based on its understanding of Judaism. But, according to the New Perspective, what does Paul mean by these terms? New Perspective authors define “works of the law” (e.g., Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:16) as primarily emphasizing three Jewish boundary markers: Sabbath, circumcision, and food laws. In the first-century Greco-Roman world, these three separated Jews from Gentiles. Paul states that one is justified by faith and not by Jewish boundary markers. (Note that the New Perspective does not see these boundary markers as part of a larger category of works righteousness as the traditional-Protestant view does.) The third of the “five points” is that New Perspective authors agree that “works of the law” primarily refers to Jewish boundary markers: Sabbath, circumcision, and food laws.

Why are these boundary markers so important to Paul? New Perspective authors argue that Paul’s Gentile mission is what prompted his discussion of justification; it is not necessarily a core soteriological view for Paul. In situations where Paul wanted to ensure that Jewish Christians were accepting Gentile Christians, he discussed justification. If this was not an issue, there was no need for it. The fourth point, which builds directly on the third, is that New Perspective authors agree that Paul’s mission to the Gentiles is the context for his teaching on justification.

Finally, what is the New Perspective view of justification? Before answering, we must note that the above four points are all agreed upon by all New Perspective authors; however, the actual Pauline meaning of justification is debated among New Perspective authors. One prominent view is held by Dunn and Wright. For them, justification has two components, initial and final. Initial justification concerns who is in the church or the status of being in the covenant community (ecclesiology); it is not related to conversion (soteriology). Initial justification is related to grace, Christ’s work, and faith, but it does not relate to the imputation of Christ’s work to the believer. Final justification is partially based on one’s works, although one’s works done in the Spirit. Finally, the fifth of the five points is that New Perspective authors are not united on justification. One standard view is that initial justification is by faith and recognizes covenant status (ecclesiology), while final justification is partially by works, albeit works produced by the Spirit.

To summarize the “five points of the New Perspective”:

New Perspective authors agree that Paul was not arguing against a legalistic works-righteousness view because it did not exist—that is, they accept Sanders’s covenantal nomism.

New Perspective authors agree on what justification is not—it is not the traditional-Protestant view.

New Perspective authors agree that “works of the law” primarily refers to Jewish boundary markers: Sabbath, circumcision, and food laws.

New Perspective authors agree that Paul’s mission to the Gentiles is the context for his teaching on justification.

New Perspective authors are not united on justification. One standard view is that initial justification is by faith and recognizes covenant status (ecclesiology), while final justification is partially by works, albeit works produced by the Spirit.

Three Broad-Brush Critiques of the New Perspective’s View of Justification

The traditional-Protestant view has two major problems with New Perspective’s view of justification: (1) A believer’s works are included as part of final justification; that is, in the end, a believer is declared righteous (justified) based on some combination of his faith and his works; and (2) imputation of Christ’s work to the believer is denied. Given these two, justification is no longer a once-for-all declaration that by grace alone God declares sinners to be righteous in his sight based on the work of Christ alone through the instrument of faith alone (Rom. 4:5; 8:1; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9; Eph. 2:8; 2 Tim. 2:9; Titus 3:7).

This brief article is not the place for extended Jewish-background arguments and significant exegesis of Pauline texts. However, three broad-brush critiques of the New Perspective arguments will be provided. Since the New Perspective view of justification is strongly tied to the denial that Paul is contrasting justification with works righteousness, what follows will concentrate on works righteousness.

Jewish Documents and Works-Righteousness

As can be seen from the above discussion of the five points of the New Perspective, the logical starting point and foundation of the New Perspective is a new view of first-century Judaism, which emphasizes that legalistic works-righteousness uniformly did not exist. How did Sanders argue for this when there are numerous examples of early Jewish documents that on the surface include a works-righteousness soteriology, either a crass version (“Pelagian”) or a version that combines faith and works (“semi-Pelagian”)? Examples include 4 Ezra 7; Sirach 3:14, 30; 16:14; 2 Baruch 14:12; 24:1; 41:6; Testament of Abraham A12:12–13; A 14:2–4; Rule of the Community (1QS) I, 7–8; III, 9–12; Pesher Habakkuk (1QpHab) VIII, 1–3; Miqsat Ma‘ase Ha-Torah (4QMMT) C 26–32; m. Abot 2:16; 3:15; 4:11, 22; and t. Qiddushin 1:13–16.

Part of the answer to this is Sanders’s imprecise definition of works righteousness. His own definition of “covenantal nomism” includes that staying in the covenant is done by obedience to the law. He does not see that this definition itself could easily be construed as a semi-Pelagian works-righteousness soteriology. What about some of examples where works are weighed on scales in order to determine whether one gets into heaven? Sanders answers that these documents are not written by systematic theologians and sometimes they use incentives to do good works that violate their actual soteriology. One could respond, however, that one’s incentives for good works is part of one’s overall theology.

However, not every early Jewish group and document were works-righteousness oriented; only some were. Once given that some groups were works-righteousness oriented, there is no need to deny that Paul’s opponents had these views since this is the straightforward way to take Paul’s comments. Once some documents are admitted to have works-righteousness, the inner-logic of the New Perspective’s own presuppositions should destroy its conclusions concerning the need for a new view of Pauline justification. (Note that the ultimate argument for the traditional-Protestant view must be made from Scripture. Non-canonical sources may be useful, but only as fallible aids to interpret Scripture.)
Jewish Boundary Markers and Works Righteousness

The New Perspective defines Paul’s expression “works of the law” as primarily including three Jewish boundary markers: Sabbath, circumcision, and food law. Also, it does not see that Paul is opposing two soteriological systems when he contrasts justification by faith and justification by works of the law (Rom. 4:2; Gal. 2:16). That is, “works of the law” is not considered in any way related to works-righteousness. Why not? For Paul, according to the New Perspective, OT saints were finally justified based on faith in God and works. Similarly, NT saints are finally justified based on faith in Christ and works. Both the OT and NT soteriological systems are the same, both include faith and works; Paul’s concentration on “works of the law” is simply to say that the boundary-marker aspect of works in the NT are no longer in force.

The traditional-Protestant view is that Paul realizes that his opponents’s unhealthy view of Jewish boundary markers, especially in Galatians, is part of a more basic works-righteousness soteriology. This more basic works-righteousness soteriology is shown by examples were the boundary markers could not possibly be in view, but Paul still uses the expression “works” or “works of the law.” In Romans, for example, works (in the negative sense) is used in a variety of ways that sometimes includes the Mosaic legislation and sometimes it does not. Paul discusses works related to Abraham and Isaac, and they clearly lived before Moses and the boundary markers (Rom. 4; 9:10–12). Paul’s discussion of David does not focus at all on the boundary markers (Rom. 4:6–8). In Galatians, Paul indicates that both Christ and NT Christians are “under the law” (Gal. 4:4–5) even though NT Christians are no longer under the boundary-marker aspects of the law. These examples show that for Paul, “works” and “works of the law” have a works-righteousness component that is more basic than the Jewish boundary markers because he uses these expressions when boundary markers are clearly not the issue. Hence, it may be true that for some texts in Galatians the boundary markers are in focus, but Paul is concerned to show that the opponents are functionally considering them as works done within a works-righteousness soteriology.
Ephesians 2:8–10; 2 Timothy 1:8–10; Titus 3:4–7 and Works Righteousness

On the surface, Ephesians 2:8–10; 2 Timothy 1:8–10; and Titus 3:4–7 contrast a grace soteriology with a works-righteousness soteriology. However, there is not much discussion of these three texts in pro-and-con New Perspective arguments in critical/liberal scholarship. Should not these texts be part of the analysis concerning justification in Romans, Galatians, and Philippians 3? Why are they not? Because in the critical/liberal world, most scholars believe Paul is not the author of Ephesians, 2 Timothy, and Titus.

Surprisingly, many, although not all, New Perspective authors do agree that Ephesians 2:8–10; 2 Timothy 1:8–10; and Titus 3:4–7 contrast a grace soteriology with a works-righteousness soteriology (e.g., Dunn). These New Perspective authors believe that the biblical author(s) of these three texts has moved more toward a traditional-Protestant understanding of works-righteousness and past seeing works as simply Jewish boundary markers. From a traditional-Protestant perspective, these three texts are considered to be written by Paul. Hence, they dovetail nicely with the understanding of justification in Romans, Galatians, and Philippians 3.

Admitting that the author(s) of Ephesians, 2 Timothy, and Titus were aware of the concept of works righteousness creates an internal difficulty for the New Perspective relative to its view that this concept did not exist in early Judaism. Even if one assumes that these three books are not arguing explicitly against Jews or Jewish Christians, one would have to admit that the works-righteousness concept was “in the cultural air” and Christians who were interested in the OT were aware of it.
Further Reading

Pro-New Perspective Authors

E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism: A Comparison of Patterns of Religion
James D. G. Dunn, The New Perspective on Paul
Kent L. Yinger, The New Perspective on Paul: An Introduction
N. T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?
N. T. Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God

Anti-New Perspective Authors

Guy P. Waters, Justification and the New Perspective on Paul: A Review and Response
Robert J. Cara, Cracking the Foundation of the New Perspective on Paul: Covenantal Nomism versus Reformed Covenantal Theology
Stephen Westerholm, Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme
Thomas Schreiner, Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification

This essay is part of the Concise Theology series. All views expressed in this essay are those of the author. This essay is freely available under Creative Commons License with Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA 3.0 US), allowing users to share it in other mediums/formats and adapt/translate the content as long as an attribution link, indication of changes, and the same Creative Commons License applies to that material.

Papillon

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Feb 4, 2021, 3:17:04 AMFeb 4
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David B

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Feb 4, 2021, 6:35:00 AMFeb 4
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Paul uses the allegory, equating Sinai (not the book that was read before Moses' ascension to get the big 10) as attempting to achieve God's promise through fleshly performance, that of Hagar. Dinging someone who isn't the wife, committing adultery. This is one of the reasons Jesus spent so much time in speaking about the marriage covenant, and even equated His church as the "bride"... Paul then goes on to say, just as Stephen did as they stoned him, that the Law, was only to last until the Seed, and even goes on to say God Himself didn't give the big 10, but angels. It's really hard to justify the "New Perspective"

Dennis Ray Wingo

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Feb 4, 2021, 10:48:43 AMFeb 4
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Pap

Appreciate this! I have only had time to read through it cursorily, but this stands out..

______________

On the surface, Ephesians 2:8–10; 2 Timothy 1:8–10; and Titus 3:4–7 contrast a grace soteriology with a works-righteousness soteriology. However, there is not much discussion of these three texts in pro-and-con New Perspective arguments in critical/liberal scholarship. Should not these texts be part of the analysis concerning justification in Romans, Galatians, and Philippians 3? Why are they not? Because in the critical/liberal world, most scholars believe Paul is not the author of Ephesians, 2 Timothy, and Titus.

______________

Liberals have to redefine anything of Paul's as not Paul's that they disagree with. There is no evidence, internal or external of their view here, especially regarding Ephesians. It is my opinion that Timothy was what we hoped Melissa might be, which is the guardian and promulgator of their teachers works, not a rehashing and restating.

I do believe that the key to understanding the difference between a works based system and Paul's exposition is in Ephesians 2 with Ephesians 2:10 being the key verse, but understood in the context of the previous verses.

This goes to the whole "Judgement seat of Christ" versus the "White Throne Judgement" discussion. It would be interesting to see what these scholar's take is on that.

As you know, it is my position, and through all appearances Dr. Scott and the vast majority of 2,000 years of Christian teaching, that there is a difference between the two, though this has been debated fiercely in the last few hundred years. An understanding of the teaching of Jesus in the parable of the talents is a good anchor here.

Interesting though and I will follow up on it as I have time.

I think my bottom line is that of Paul in that the law was a schoolmaster and you either have to follow the whole textbook or throw all of it out. You also have to look at Paul's exposition regarding Abraham's faith vs works in Hebrews.

MOSES

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Feb 4, 2021, 11:08:25 AMFeb 4
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IM STILL WAITING FOR THE SCOTT TAPE NUMBER ON THE JUDGEMENT SEAT VS WHITE THRONE, GENE NEVER TAUGHT ON THE JUDGEMENT SEAT, BUT HE CASUALLY STATED WE ALL WILL HAVE OUR RANKS, WE WONT ALL BE THE SAME. BUT HE DID TEACH ON THE WHITE THRONE.

David B

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Feb 4, 2021, 1:41:57 PMFeb 4
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The great part about the Greek in Ephesians 2:10 is that the "ergon" (translated works) like a finger points to whom the "ergon" belongs, and that is Christ, not us. The Greek reveals the "ergon" of Christ, is "superimposed" upon us, already completed in advance. The very same way God "looks at us through the spectacles of Christ" as Doc used to say it. Hebrews is clear we rest from our "ergon" and rest in His, finished from the foundations of the worlds. Yet, God swore in His wrath than many wouldn't, and that by His own doing. Paul doesn't speak in a vacuum and is not self-contradictory when he said not one verse earlier, it is not by our works, but by faith. it doesn't come from you, its a gift of God unto us.

Matt2442

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Feb 4, 2021, 10:12:10 PMFeb 4
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On Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 8:08:25 AM UTC-8, MOSES wrote:

> IM STILL WAITING FOR THE SCOTT TAPE NUMBER ON THE JUDGEMENT SEAT VS WHITE THRONE, GENE NEVER TAUGHT ON THE JUDGEMENT SEAT, BUT HE CASUALLY STATED WE ALL WILL HAVE OUR RANKS, WE WONT ALL BE THE SAME. BUT HE DID TEACH ON THE WHITE THRONE.

Matt2442:
I would bet that on any tape where Dr. Scott taught about the Great White Throne judgement, that he also at least mentioned the Judgement Seat of Christ. He didn't teach that Christians would face the Great White Throne so he would have brought up the Judgement Seat as a contrast to it.

Matt2442

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Feb 4, 2021, 10:17:22 PMFeb 4
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On Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 10:24:38 PM UTC-8, Papillon wrote:
Matt2442:
Good article Pap. I have heard of the New Perspective on Paul and probably mistakenly equated it with the Hebrew Roots Movement. They also have a different view of Paul's teaching, if they don't reject him altogether. Is this New Perspective what is called "Covenant Theology" or is that also something else?

MOSES

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Feb 4, 2021, 10:18:23 PMFeb 4
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NOPE

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 12:54:48 AMFeb 5
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Oh this has nothing to do with Hebrew Roots or Covenant Theology.

Here is the summary at the end of the second article to which I linked:

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"The new perspective offers some good insights but seems to introduce its own distortions. Of course all our traditions must be judged by Scripture, and we are all creatures of our own age.

The new perspective seems to react to the excessive individualism among many Protestants. It has reflected with some sense of guilt, and rightly, on Christian complicity in the Holocaust, and it recognizes the importance of Christian unity, bewailing, again rightly, the Protestant/Roman Catholic divide in a spiritually needy world. Its interpretations seems more influenced by such factors at crucial points than by what Scripture actually says."
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Let me repeat that last line...

"Its interpretations seems more influenced by such factors at crucial points than by what Scripture actually says."

My opinion is:

The New Perspective on Paul does real well at urging us to focus on a more realistic context for Paul in his first century world, and even reconciles Paul and James a bit. But any teaching that results in anything other than a faith-based salvation with 100% of the price having been paid for by Christ is in error.

My understanding of the Law is that a man can be in one of two states in regards to the Law:

1. You are under the Law and Cursed to Death.

2. You are Dead to the Law and Alive in Christ.

On Works my understanding is that no man can become righteous by Works of the Law because all of man's works are like used menstrual rags: worthless and offensive. The only Works which are pleasing to God are Works of Faith, as shown in Hebrews. And only Works of Faith can survive the fire of the Bema Seat Judgement.





Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 1:20:01 AMFeb 5
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If it isn't in one of the Revelation teachings then, If you have it, check VF-135. It is the only tape on the list which has 1 Corinthians in the title. The communion is in 1 Corinthians so Doc had to speak about 1 Corinthians multiple times, but this is the only tape with 1 Corinthians actually in the title.

1 Corinthians 4 speaks about the Bema Seat judgment. Maybe Doc talked about it there? I have no idea. But if you have it give it a check. It is from 25-March-1979.

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 1:22:26 AMFeb 5
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I meant 1 Corinthians 3.

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 1:28:35 AMFeb 5
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On Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 3:35:00 AM UTC-8, David B wrote:
> Paul uses the allegory, equating Sinai (not the book that was read before Moses' ascension to get the big 10) as attempting to achieve God's promise through fleshly performance, that of Hagar. Dinging someone who isn't the wife, committing adultery. This is one of the reasons Jesus spent so much time in speaking about the marriage covenant, and even equated His church as the "bride"... Paul then goes on to say, just as Stephen did as they stoned him, that the Law, was only to last until the Seed, and even goes on to say God Himself didn't give the big 10, but angels. It's really hard to justify the "New Perspective"

I did not see that argument coming. Good stuff, man. You need to write more here.

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 1:52:50 AMFeb 5
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That kind of leapt out at me too. Hehe.

MOSES

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Feb 5, 2021, 8:20:40 AMFeb 5
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you either have faith or you dont, no law!

Dennis Ray Wingo

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Feb 5, 2021, 9:12:38 AMFeb 5
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On Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 3:35:00 AM UTC-8, David B wrote:
> Paul uses the allegory, equating Sinai (not the book that was read before Moses' ascension to get the big 10) as attempting to achieve God's promise through fleshly performance, that of Hagar. Dinging someone who isn't the wife, committing adultery. This is one of the reasons Jesus spent so much time in speaking about the marriage covenant, and even equated His church as the "bride"... Paul then goes on to say, just as Stephen did as they stoned him, that the Law, was only to last until the Seed, and even goes on to say God Himself didn't give the big 10, but angels. It's really hard to justify the "New Perspective"

In that era what Abraham did with Hagar was not considered adultery.

Dennis Ray Wingo

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Feb 5, 2021, 9:19:45 AMFeb 5
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Amen

This seems to be the other side of a heretical coin that I see going around in Baptist circles today. There is a movement to completely reject anything in the four gospels as being "toward the Jews" and that the only thing that people need is to believe in Jesus, thank him for his grace, and then get on with your life.

We have a calling as well as an election in Christ. Ephesians 2 goes out of its way to state without reservation that it is not "works of the law" that Paul is talking about in 2:10, but more in the context of a calling, our Stewardship. The Presbyterians went all out on the issue that each of us are "called" to something and that one of our greatest efforts is to figure out that calling and do it. Each of us has a different calling just as a body is made up of different parts. With that said, even If you don't find your calling, or even if you screw it up, that does not take your salvation away in Christ.

David B

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Feb 5, 2021, 9:50:43 AMFeb 5
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I hear your assertion, yet the scripture gives us very early on the covenant of marriage, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Now, concerning Hagar, Abram is never recorded as marrying Hagar, and the word in the LXX is that of a female broker, which she was used for in attempts to bring forth God's promise that from Sarah, would be the child of promise, and in their impatience decided to broker someone else to make it happen.

Dennis Ray Wingo

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Feb 5, 2021, 11:28:03 AMFeb 5
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Oh, I am in agreement with the fleshly performance thing but God never castigated anyone in Old testament times for having multiple wives.

MOSES

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Feb 5, 2021, 12:40:41 PMFeb 5
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DO YOU HEAR OR WATCH THE WORD, DO YOU PRAY DAILY, DO YOU TITHE, DO YOU GO TO THE TABLE OF THE LORD WEEKLY, NO? THEN YOUR A FOOL

David B

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Feb 5, 2021, 2:23:49 PMFeb 5
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You don't get to define my walk with Him. Drive through please...

MOSES

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Feb 5, 2021, 7:14:26 PMFeb 5
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AND YOU DONT GET TO BE SAVED BY POSTING YOUR DECEPTIONS

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 7:28:13 PMFeb 5
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Good stuff guys.

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 8:39:54 PMFeb 5
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Here is a lecture on the New Perspective on Paul from N.T. Wright who is probably the most well-known proponent of The New Perspective on Paul.

Tom Wright, as he is known, is one of the world's leading Pauline theologians. We've heard from the Reformed side on this issue. Here is the argument from the other side.
Please be aware that not all NPOP people have the same interpretation on the specifics, but Tom is a very prolific writer so you're more than likely going to run into his perspective on the subject more often than that of others.

https://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/new-perspectives-on-paul/

Kind of long, but it is well worth the read to understand all of this.

David B

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Feb 5, 2021, 9:12:38 PMFeb 5
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The sad reality about Calvinism, is that this is held dear, yet heretical, "The third use of the Law (being also the principal use, and more closely connected with its proper end) has respect to believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and reigns. For although the Law is written and engraven on their hearts by the finger of God, that is, although they are so influenced and actuated by the Spirit, that they desire to obey God, there are two ways in which they still profit in the Law. For it is the best instrument for enabling them daily to learn with greater truth and certainty what that will of the Lord is which they aspire to follow, and to confirm them in this knowledge." Paul said the Law is dead, and removed.

Then Jesus said, "I have come into this world to judge it, so that those who are blind may see and so that those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees who were near him overheard this and asked him, "We aren't blind, too, are we?" Jesus told them, "If you were blind, you would not have any sin. But now that you insist, 'We see,' your sin still exists."

Papillon

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Feb 5, 2021, 10:58:16 PMFeb 5
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You believe that the third use of the law (tertius usus legis) is heretical and is heretical because Paul said that Law is dead and removed? Did I understand that correctly?

Let me allow that to bounce around my noggin for awhile to try to understand it better.

Message has been deleted

David B

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Feb 6, 2021, 5:40:26 AMFeb 6
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Calvin goes on to say, "Let none of us deem ourselves exempt from this necessity, for none have as yet attained to such a degree of wisdom, as that they may not, by the daily instruction of the Law, advance to a purer knowledge of the Divine will. Then, because we need not doctrine merely, but exhortation also, the servant of God will derive this further advantage from the Law: by frequently meditating upon it, he will be excited to obedience, and confirmed in it, and so drawn away from the slippery paths of sin."

This is not the way of faith, for if righteousness came by the Law, then Christ died for nothing. No matter how much you may wish to say you meditate on it, no matter how excited you may be to perform it, the truth is you cannot rise to the level of performance of the Law. The benchmark, or the measuring stick used to define "`amartia" (translated sin) is not the Law, for the Law is not of faith. The benchmark for eternal life and pleasing God is faith and trust in His finished work, finished from the foundations of the worlds. For anything not of faith is "`amartia" or to "miss the bullseye"...

This mirrors the story from the Garden, know what is good and what is evil, meditate on it, and exhort to do it, and you too can be like God. (make you Godly) But God said trust me (have faith in what I say) because the day you eat of it, you shall surely die. Paul calls the Law the ministry of wrath, of slavery, of death and of sin. (not trust in God's word that the day you eat of it you shall surely die)

Papillon

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Feb 6, 2021, 6:14:16 AMFeb 6
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Seeing Calvinism labeled as observant to the law to the point of heresy is quite... unique.

While this last post did redeem you somewhat, honestly your previous post puts you pretty far out there on the extreme edge of antinomianism and somewhat approaching universalism. Was that intentional or am I misreading you?

I'll stick to my belief that there is one of two positions a man can find himself in regards to the law:

1. A man can be alive in Christ and thus dead to the law.
2. A man can be subject to the law and thus cursed to death.

#1 is the state a faithing Christian is in.
#2 is everyone else.

Where there is no law there is no sin. If there is no sin then Christ died for nothing.


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David B

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Feb 6, 2021, 6:34:27 AMFeb 6
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The only person concerned with antinomianism is the Pharisee. For they only see the Law as the criteria of "`amartia." (translated sin) however, the sin wasn't knowledge of good and evil, the "`amartia" was not trusting God's word. "God has said, ‘You must not eat of it or touch it, or you will die. You will not surely die,' the serpent told her. 'For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'”

Papillon

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Feb 6, 2021, 6:43:15 AMFeb 6
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Damn, dude. You really do not play well with others.

David B

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Feb 6, 2021, 7:03:47 AMFeb 6
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If we truncate the words of Paul in the contrast of knowing what "`amartia" is, the assertions that only until the Law was no knowledge of "`amartia" then how could Job speak of it? How could Cain know of it? How could mankind in the days of Noah be accused by it... How could that by one man, "`amarita" entered into the world? And by one man, the second Adam, could the stain of not trusting God bring us back to the tree of eternal life? It is not by the Law, but apart from the Law, that we find salvation. Paul statement was concerning imputing "missing the bullseye," but that doesn't mean "`amartia" didn't exist. The foci of the Evangelical's preachment, and certainly that of the Pharisee, was always based in how we perform, when the truth is we can only have righteousness "superimposed"... covered, imputed unto us, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift for our trusting in Him and the Father's "Divine will," which has already been predefined. And that is that we trust in the One whom the Father has sent.

Papillon

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Feb 6, 2021, 7:22:19 AMFeb 6
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Romans 5:13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

David B

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Feb 6, 2021, 7:38:24 AMFeb 6
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Just as we see with those who isolate Ephesians 2:10, as we move along in Paul's words, "Nevertheless, death ruled from the time of Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the same way Adam did when he disobeyed. He is a foreshadowing of the one who would come. But God's free gift is not like Adam's offense. For if many people died as the result of one man's offense, how much more have God's grace and the free gift given through the kindness of one man, Jesus the Messiah, been showered on many people! Nor can the free gift be compared to what came through the man who sinned. For the sentence that followed one man's offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift brought justification, even after many offenses. For if, through one man, death ruled because of that man's offense, how much more will those who receive such overflowing grace and the gift of righteousness rule in life because of one man, Jesus the Messiah! Consequently, just as one offense resulted in condemnation for everyone, so one act of righteousness results in justification and life for everyone."

And this is not by the Law, which both the Pharisee and the Evangelical's will tell you that "right standing" with God is obtained. No matter how much you tell yourself as did Calvin, 'Then, because we need not doctrine merely, but exhortation also, the servant of God will derive this further advantage from the Law: by frequently meditating upon it, he will be excited to obedience, and confirmed in it, and so drawn away from the slippery paths of sin.' this will not produce either salvation, nor will it justify you (make you righteous) before Him, nor does it address the fact that without faith that it is impossible to please God.

Papillon

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Feb 6, 2021, 7:44:12 AMFeb 6
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I am not interested in being your strawman.

David B

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Feb 6, 2021, 7:45:34 AMFeb 6
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Simply put Pap, to say, "Where there is no law there is no sin. If there is no sin then Christ died for nothing." would deny original sin, and that man is not a sinner unless they know the Law, and that too is heretical.
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Dennis Ray Wingo

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Feb 6, 2021, 10:49:03 AMFeb 6
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All very interesting.....

I have not read Calvin nearly enough to have an informed opinion here.

I default back to.....

"Without faith it is impossible to please God"

There is no law you can ever follow that can enable faith...

"1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony."

Faith is trust in him, the invisible one. All things for us flow from our trust in that invisible one and his performance, though dead in the flesh today, he lives, and is in us. The law is visible, and if we trust in it, we trust in our own performance, which can never ever be enough.

Dr. Scott's statement (which is the historical position of the bible) is that "We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners".

I need to study all this stuff more.

Thanks both of you guys for a provocative read.

David B

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Feb 6, 2021, 2:04:37 PMFeb 6
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The mindset of the writers Pap has presented has some very strange ideas, and at every point introduces a heretical view. It's simply based on works. (ours, not His) In further writings, the author N.T. Wright, presents a strange understanding that either one must accept Romans, yet "fudge" as he states it concerning Galatians, or, the reverse is true.

In Romans, Paul sets the stage very early on concerning the Law, saying, "But now, apart from the Law, God's righteousness is revealed and is attested by the Law and the Prophets—God's righteousness through the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah—for all who believe." Christ defines the Law as used by the Pharisee, and is centered on Sinai, as does Paul.

MOSES

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Feb 6, 2021, 4:29:43 PMFeb 6
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LMAO

Papillon

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Feb 6, 2021, 11:27:07 PMFeb 6
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I presented arguments from both sides of the issue. The firs two were anti-New Perspective from Reformed theologians. The third was pro-New Perspective from the guy who is he leading proponent of the New Perspective. So I think that was a fair data set from which to examine how Justification is dealt with in the New Perspective.


David B

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Feb 7, 2021, 7:22:04 AMFeb 7
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It's all good Pap, and I understand you're willingness to show a contrasting perspective. Where we seem to be diverging paths, is the traditional Evangelical mindset that the Law is still alive and still the benchmark of what pleases God. (in fact, there is much to do about having the big 10 in stone outside of the Capitol of our State, but that brings an entirely new can of worms for another discussion)

In the New Perspective, it reduces the Law to a position that recognizes Sabbath, circumcision and dietary laws. (and no surprise, as these are seen as obtainable, therefore convincing one's self in the erroneous delusion that you can keep the Law) However, this is better realized as Churchianity, not Christianity. It denies that to be under part of the Law, you are bound by the whole Law. It rejects the entire premise of Galatians.

Now, in the more traditional Evangelical frame of those like Sproul, the same knee-jerk reaction, not unlike you presented, in an almost disgustful way, in fear of antinomianism. This is one of the reactions that those who are steeped in Calvinism oft have. Because in nearly every message they have ever heard, bases the method of pleasing God stemming from the Law of Moses. And to even suggest the Law is dead, you will hear, "We are sure that God spoke to Moses, but we don't even know where he comes from." (but Paul even disputes this concerning Sinai, as the Law was delivered by angels) Any usage of the word "nomos" must mean the Law of Moses, but that denies the law of faith, the law of the Gospel, the law of the Spirit, the laws of nature... I can go on. None the less, this crucial point must be addressed, and that is either the Law of Moses is dead or it isn't. Either the Law of Moses is the benchmark of pleasing God or it isn't. Either it died at Calvary or it didn't. And if it did, then why do folks resurrect it? Why the knee-jerk reaction to accepting it's death and no longer the measuring stick of what pleases God? Why are we 2 millennium from Christ's death and yet cannot accept that the Old Covenant is no longer in affect? For the only ones who are concerned with antinomianism is the Pharisee. That's their benchmark. For them it isn't dead. And this is where the traditional Calvinist, the Evangelical Pharisee finds it impossible to let it die. Traditional Evangelical Pharisaism cannot accept that which Paul said in Galatians, that we start in faith, we continue in faith, and we end in faith. That is not the message of the traditional Evangelical, because for them, we start by an act of faith, which makes us a vessel to live out the Law of Moses, rather than the nomos of faith. I could go on, but I'll leave it there.

MOSES

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Feb 7, 2021, 8:01:54 AMFeb 7
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ASK JESUS THAT AT THE JUDGEMENT SEAT.

David B

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Feb 7, 2021, 8:12:27 AMFeb 7
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On Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 7:01:54 AM UTC-6, MOSES wrote:
> ASK JESUS THAT AT THE JUDGEMENT SEAT.

"When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!'"

Please notice that those whom He said, "depart from Me, I never knew you.." were the one's who came and presented all that they did, not what He did. Notice they used their "works" as a covering, rather than His covering alone, imputed.

MOSES

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:29:12 AMFeb 7
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ITS WHAT YOUUUUU DO THAT GETS YOUR RANK IN HEAVEN NOT WHAT JESUS ALREADY DID. AS FOR THE OLD TESTICLE LAW TO THE NEW ITS CALLED DOUBLE FULFILLMENT! MISSED THAT GENE DID YA?

MOSES

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:30:47 AMFeb 7
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ONE MORE THING,,THERE WILL BE NO FAGGOTS IN HEAVEN

David B

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:38:33 AMFeb 7
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"And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others..."

MOSES

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:43:48 AMFeb 7
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LMAO

MOSES

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:45:05 AMFeb 7
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YOU NEED TO GIVE UP COCKSUCKING FOR LENT

David B

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Feb 7, 2021, 11:53:01 AMFeb 7
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Go spew your crap and hatred at someone else.

MOSES

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Feb 7, 2021, 12:08:53 PMFeb 7
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VERY GAY YOU ARE
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