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Paul, Christ and Time: An Investigation of Apocalyptic and Salvation-Historical Themes in the Undisputed Pauline Epistles

ROSE, ANTON,JOHN (2015) Paul, Christ and Time: An Investigation of Apocalyptic and Salvation-Historical Themes in the Undisputed Pauline Epistles. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis examines the subjects of history and time in the undisputed Pauline epistles, with reference to ongoing debates between apocalyptic readings of Paul, which emphasise the radical invasiveness of the Christ event, and salvation-historical readings, which emphasise continuity between the Christ event and Israel’s history. Current disagreements between prominent Pauline scholars such as J.L. Martyn and N.T. Wright can be traced back to similar debates in twentieth century New Testament scholarship, and the work of Rudolf Bultmann, Oscar Cullmann, and Ernst Käsemann, in particular.

One broad area of agreement between apocalyptic and salvation-historical readings of Paul is the way in which they consider history in terms of chronologically-successive periods of time, and understand the significance of the Christ event in terms of its fixed place in this scheme. This thesis examines four key Pauline texts: 1 Corinthians 10, 2 Corinthians 3, Galatians 3-4, and Romans 9-11, arguing that neither apocalyptic or salvation-historical understandings can fully account for significant features of these texts. Instead, I argue that the work of Walter Benjamin and Karl Barth offers useful ways of thinking about history and time, allowing for a more cohesive reading of these texts. In particular, Barth’s claim that the Christ event is in history but not of history provides a way of considering the Christ event as both a concrete, historical occurrence, part of Israel’s history, and an event which is not dependent upon or limited to that history.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Paul; Epistles; New Testament; Apocalyptic; Narrative; Salvation History; Time
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Dec 2015 09:27

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