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From Plight to Solution in Ancient Judaism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates a common eschatological pattern within the Old Testament and second temple Judaism. Both canonical and non-canonical Jewish literature from the era in which Paul lived demonstrate familiarity with a pattern of thinking about God's dealings with Israel which runs from plight to solution. In some cases, the plight was conceived as the inability of Israel to obey God's law and the solution was conceived in terms of a future in which Israel would be free from sin. This was certainly not the only way of thinking of God's historical design for Israel in ancient Judaism; but it was one way, and it was current in the first century. It remains now for us to examine Paul's statements about the relationship between the law and universal sinfulness in light of the plight-solution pattern which we have found in both canonical and non-canonical writings of his day.

Keywords: Eschatological Salvation; Israel; Judaism; Old Testament; Paul; plight-solution pattern



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