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Law and Its Fulfillment, The: A Pauline Theology of Law [Paperback]

By Thomas R. Schreiner (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.94" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   1.03 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 5, 2012
Publisher   Baker Academic
Age  18
ISBN  0801021944  
EAN  9780801021947  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
No single area of Paul's theology has occupied more scholarly attention in the last twenty years than 'Paul and the Law,' notes Craig Blomberg. Schreiner's The Law and Its Fulfillment remains an excellent evangelical synthesis and critique of the issues. Now this important contribution to Pauline studies is available in a paperback edition. The major purpose of The Law and Its Fulfillment is to build an accurate, relevant understanding of Pauline theology for students, pastors preaching on Paul's letters, and others who want to understand how to relate God's holiness and mercy in greater depth. Schreiner explains, Grasping Paul's theology [of the law] is essential for understanding his soteriology, the death of Jesus, Christian ethics, the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the new community, and the continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments.

Publishers Description
A prominent evangelical scholar reevluates Paul's view of the Old Testament low in light of the biblical texts and recent scholarly debate.

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More About Thomas R. Schreiner

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Thomas R. Schreiner (MDiv and ThM, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean of the school of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Thomas R. Schreiner currently resides in Louisville, in the state of Kentucky.

Thomas R. Schreiner has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Five Solas
  2. Short Studies in Biblical Theology
  3. Zondervan Beyond the Basics Video

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts   [1730  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testa   [1782  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A New View on the Law & Works?  Jun 26, 2004
Schreiner appears to defend the old perspective on Paul, but if he is actually saying that works are necessary to inherit salvation (chapters 7-8) he is actually presenting a "different gospel" and in effect supporting the new perspective on Paul by default. A very tricky approach.
A very good interpretation of Paul's view of the law - with some exceptions  May 14, 2002
If one wants a pretty good interpretation of Paul's view of the law from a generally Lutheran and evangelical perspective (though the author is a Calvinistic Baptist) this book is the one for you.

There are eight chapters in the book and each of them are nicely organized. Schreiner structures his work well and (though scholarly) his work is not that difficult to read. The highlights of the book include his discussion of the term "Law" (Gk. nomos) and why the Law was given in the first place. Schreiner gives a good summary of the various meanings of the term "Law" and argues well that Paul uses the term primarily for the Mosaic law in its entirety. Regarding his discussion on why the Law was given in the first place, Schreiner puts forth the standard Protestant view that the Law was given "to increase sin, for the multiplication of transgressions would demonstrate that no one could be righteous through obeying the law. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ" (p. 91). He makes a good case for this position by analyzing passages like Romans 5:20; Galatians 3:19; 2 Corinthians 3; 1 Corinthians 15:56; and Romans 7. Contrary to some modern biblical scholars (e.g., E. P. Sanders, J. D. G. Dunn, N. T. Wright), the Law was never given as a means to obtaining eternal life. This position is the most viable if one looks at the Pauline theological landscape.

Another interesting discussion is on the chapter regarding Jewish legalism (chap. 4). Though Schreiner does not label all first century Jews as legalistic, he does state that there were some legalistic Jews during this time - some of whom became the opponents of Paul and Jesus. This chapter blows away the more popular idea in modern scholarly circles that first century Judaism was a highly grace-oriented religion. I also enjoyed Schreiner's brief discussions on some "alternative views" on the Law (pp. 136-143). He does a good job showing that the contradictoary approach (Raisanen), developmental approach (Hubner and Drane), the legalistic approach (Cosgrove and Fuller), and the Reconstructionist approach (Bahnsen) are all flawed in their understanding of the Law. I especially agreed with Schreiner's comment that Reconstructionism fails "to see the salvation-historical shift from the Mosaic covenant to the new covenant" (p. 141). Reconstructionists should see their position as a system that has no biblical basis or support.

Having said all that, however, there were some problems in the work (especially in chaps. 7 and 8). Though I generally agree with Schreiner's assertion that Christians fulfill the Law via the Holy Spirit (chap. 6) I disagree with his assertion that Paul believed that good works are "necessary to obtain an eschatological inheritance" (p. 203). Though I agree with Schreiner that good works are necessary (necessary as fruits of regeneration and faith), I disagree, however, that they are necessary in the sense that believers who do them will be REWARDED with salvation at the last judgment (p. 201). (Schreiner's exegesis of Romans 2:6-16 is hardly adequate considering that Paul was just reminding his readers of the awful state of humankind in Romans 1:1-3:20. Not only that, Schreiner's exegesis of Romans 2:6-16 directly contradicts Paul's statement in Romans 3:20: "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin" [NIV].) Schreiner also tries to prove in chapter 8 that the other NT writers believed in final justification by works. Though I agree with Schreiner that genuine faith leads to doing of good works, I disagree with him that the NT writers believed that these good works were somehow necessary TO OBTAIN an entrance into the eschatological kingdom (he writes that the NT writers considered "obedience and good works essential for entrance into the kingdom" [p. 208]). I would argue that these warnings and exhortations were given to the readers to remind them of the dangers of false faith and conversion.

Overall, I found this book very good and helpful. Though I disagree with the last two chapters of the book it is still a good treasure mine of information on Paul's view of the Law from a generally standard evangelical Protestant perspective.
An able critique, but not thorough in its own formulation.  Oct 10, 2001
The previous reviewers are quite accurate in their apparaisal of Schreiner's critique of the so-called "New Perspective" on Paul. He shows how it is lacking time and again in the terms Paul sets out for the Law.

However, although he is correct in his defense against the New perspective, I am unconvinced that he adequately lays out a correct understanding of "nomos" from the Greek NT. Quite simply, he does not deal with the totality of Paul's statements on the Law, and thus is forced to charicature Paul's position just as surely as the New Perspective does. If the New Perspective desires to say Paul was not critiquing "authentic" jewish religion and re-defines him in that light, Schreiner for his part reads Paul in light of Calvinist formulation. THis is more accurate, but not the same as exegeting a true "Biblical Theology" of Paul's use of the Law as he claims to aim.

I would suggest that anyone interested in a thorough formulation of this look to Frank Thielmann's outstanding "Paul and the Law, A Contextual Approach." Thielmann examines the WHOLE of the Pauline corpus in his work. And his conclusions as a result are, in my mind, far more convincing.

Able rebuttal of New Perspective  Jun 14, 2000
Schreiner's work provides a good response to the New Perspective on Paul and the Law which has swept NT studies over the past fifteen or so years. He approaches the problem from a modified Lutheran standpoint.

Schreiner begins with an overview of the state of NT scholarship on Paul and the Law. He focuses on the impact of Sanders and Dunn, but also takes into account the earlier views of Schweizer and Davies and the more recent contributions of Laato, Westerholm, and Thielman, as well as the Reconstructionists.

He then explores the issues of: the meaning of 'nomos' in Paul; why the works of the Law can't save; the purpose of the law; the temporary nature of the Mosaic covenant; the fulfillment of the law by Christians; and Paul and justification by works. He concludes with a brief sketch of other NT writers on the Law.

Schreiner ably defends the position that Paul was (at least in part) addressing Jewish legalism, that he almost always refers to the Mosaic law by 'nomos', that Christians fulfill the Law by the power of the Spirit, and that works are necessary for final salvation. Works of the Law cannot save because no one keeps the Law perfectly, he contends.

Highly recommended.

An excellent traditional approach to Paul's theology  Mar 25, 2000
Schreiner's treatment of Paul's theology of law is clear, thorough, and scholarly. He argues persuasively for Pauline consistency and defends a traditional Protestant interpretation of Paul's understanding of the Law of Moses. Every relevant Biblical passage is discussed and Schreiner does not shy away from interaction with other New Testament scholars. His conclusion is that the deficiency of the law is really in man's inability to obey it, and that therefore justification must be by faith. However, Schreiner is careful to emphasize the Spirit's enabling power to keep the divine commandments and the fact that works are necessary to inherit salvation on the day of judgment. His insight into these areas opens the door for showing the remarkable agreement that exists between James and Paul (and other New Testament authors), which he unpacks in chapter eight. Overall, the work was excellent, and I highly recommend it, to evangelical and Catholic readers alike.

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