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The Place of Justification by Faith in Paul's Thought: Basic Lines of Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a survey of research, in addition to describing the role which important interpreters of Paul have assigned to 'justification by faith', to serve two purposes. First, it examines the validity of alternatives to 'justification' as the 'center' of Paul's thought. The readings of Paul offered by Wrede, Schweitzer, and Sanders depict Paul's soteriology as based on naturhaft or participatory conceptions in a manner which excludes the possibility that forensic justification might be regarded as playing an important role in his theology. One of the appeals of such construals of Paul's thought is the logical link which, it is suggested, may be drawn between this understanding of Paul's soteriology and his ethics. Secondly, since Ernst Käsemann's entrance into the discussion of Pauline theology, the very nature of Paul's language regarding 'justification by faith' has been under debate.

Keywords: Ernst Käsemann; Justification by Faith; Paul's thought; Pauline theology; Sanders; Schweitzer; Wrede



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