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Introduction—Paul In The Sixteenth Century: Invitation And A Challenge

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Chapter Summary

The sixteenth century was a Pauline age. Of course, this statement fits nicely with all the other overarching and hugely synthetic statements about the sixteenth century, or the age of the Reformation, or the early modern period. Johann Staupitz, Desiderius Erasmus and John Calvin all took up Paul's doctrine and used it as a major factor in their own theological efforts. The centrality of Paul for the Western Christian tradition stands irrefutably. The number of times that Paul and Pauline texts are at the nexus of Christian revolutionary moments is legion. Modern historical critical New Testament scholarship frequently searches for the Paul in his historical context. Calvin was generally eager to demonstrate a continuity of theological belief that at times Melanchthon was at pains to avoid. Their relationship was multivalent, and streams of influence ran both ways between them.

Keywords: Desiderius Erasmus; Johann Staupitz; John Calvin; New Testament; Paul; Western Christian



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