Was Paul shaped by the movement that began with the teaching and activities of Jesus, or did he start something new? Attempts to answer this question one way or the other have a long history dating back to the nineteenth century. The purpose of this book is to raise the question again in light of more recent scholarly work – especially in light of historical Jesus research and the so-called New Perspective on Paul.
The strategy employed is to find family resemblances between Jesus and Paul on matters that are both fundamentally important and distinctive and that can best be explained in terms of Paul’s dependence on Jesus. Three aspects of Jesus’ ministry – his welcome of the marginalised, his challenge to his followers that they would share his fate, and his belief that God was doing something profoundly new – are presented as the source of three corresponding aspects in Paul’s thought – his welcome of Gentiles, his language of participation, and his belief in the present reality of new creation.
Translations of Ancient Sources
2. Jesus’ Table Fellowship with Tax Collectors and Sinners
3. Paul’s Welcome of the Gentiles
4. Jesus’ Challenge to Share His Fate
5. Paul’s Participationist Language
6. Jesus’ Ministry in the Context of New Creation
7. Paul’s New Creation Eschatology
Appendix A: Dating of Ancient Sources
Appendix B: Description of the Pharisees
Appendix C: Identification with Deities in the Mystery Religions
Ancient Documents Index
Modern Authors Index
Endorsements and Reviews
This advances the discussion about the relationship of Jesus to Paul, or Paul to Jesus, by a decade. I have tired of facile knockdowns of Paul because he doesn’t talk often enough about kingdom, or because he doesn’t rehearse some of the Sermon on the Mount, and yet those facts won’t go away. But deeper than specifics is a pattern of thinking, and Schoberg’s proposals show Jesus and Paul were on the same page, even if Paul carried on the conversation Jesus began.
Scot McKnight, Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
Schoberg sheds new light on the thorny question of how Paul relates to Jesus. Perspectives of Jesus in the Writings of Paul takes a new and creative approach that, in my view, is both stimulating and compelling. Schoberg shows how the lines of continuity between Jesus and Paul are meaningful and very significant.
Craig A. Evans, Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College
This is not a work for a student beginning New Testament studies but for someone seeking to look more deeply into the questions it raises it will be of considerable value.
Donald A. Bullen, in Theological Book Review, Vol 26, No 1
… he is judicious in his handling of matters that are relevant to but not vital for his argument and comprehensive in his discussions of those matters that are key for understanding the relationship between the perspectives of Jesus and Paul.
Jonathan Lookadoo, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 22:3