Paul: The Theology of the Apostle in the Light of Jewish Religious History

By H.J. Schoeps

A study of the apostle to the Gentiles, combining exceptional scholarship with an interpretation of Paul’s theology in the light of his Jewish background.

ISBN: 9780227170144


A major study of the apostle to the Gentiles, combining exceptional scholarship with an unusual approach. Schoeps interprets Paul’s theology in the light of his Jewish background, which coloured and conditioned his Christological teaching. Paul’s conception of Jesus differs from that of the Synoptics: what and how extensive the difference is and whence it is derived are among the questions Schoeps examines.

After surveying major problems in Pauline research, the Author relates the apostle to primitive Christianity, discussing his eschatology and his teachings on salvation, the law, and saving history. The final chapter shows that Paul’s distinctive doctrines result from two converging factors, that Paul never saw Jesus in the flesh, and the influence of Jewish teaching. The consequence was his concern with the resurrected Saviour of the world, the pre-existent and eternal Son of God. Schoeps shows that Paul betrayed a fundamental misconception of the law and the covenantal agreement between God and his chosen people. The result is a thought-provoking, and somewhat startling, study of the first, the greatest, and the most difficult of all Christian theologians.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm

Hardback, Paperback

Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Dr. Hans Joachim Schoeps was born in Berlin and studied at the Universities of Berlin, Heidelberg, Marburg, and Leipzig. He became Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Erlangen (Germany).



1. Present Position and Problems Involved in Pauline Research
2. The Position of the Apostle Paul in Primitive Christianity
3. The Eschatology of the Apostle Paul
4. The Soteriology of the Apostle Paul
5. Paul’s Teaching About the Law
6. Paul’s Understanding of Saving History
7. Perspectives of the History of Religion in Paulinism

Index of Bible Passages
Index of Modern Authors