Category Archives: Paul

Paul’s Universalism?

As David Hart observed recently, Romans 5:18 is a verse with hard-to-avoid universalist implications: “ἄρα οὖν ὡς δι’ ἑνὸς παραπτώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς κατάκριμα οὕτως καὶ δι’ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς δικαίωσιν ζωῆς.” (“Therefore as by the offence … Continue reading

Posted in Augustine, David Hart, Paul, Romans, St. Paul, Universalism | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Rock That Followed Them

Paul comments that during their wilderness wanderings, Israel “drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). Why does Paul think that the rock “followed them”? Here’s a simple explanation (one I believe … Continue reading

Posted in 1 Corinthians, Exodus, Hermeneutics, Numbers, Origen, Paul | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abrahamic Promise

In the Benedictus, Zechariah joyfully recalls “the oath which [the LORD] sware to our father Abraham” (Lk 1:73). What is this oath? Readers of the NT who spend a lot of time with Paul will immediately think of “the promise, … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham, Genesis, Luke, Paul, Romans | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Epictetus’s modest optimism

In his Entretien avec Saci, Pascal both praises and criticizes Epictetus: “I dare to say that he [Epictetus] ought to be adored, if he had known his impotence…After having so well understood that which one ought to do, look how he … Continue reading

Posted in Blaise Pascal, Embodiment, Holy Spirit, Paul | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benedict on Paul’s biography

Papa Benedict dedicated his second reflection on Paul to the Apostle’s biography (to avoid needless repetition, let me flag up front my deep and pervasive dependence throughout on the work of my teacher, Douglas Campbell). He begins by observing that, … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict XVI, Paul, Pope Benedict XVI, Romans, St. Paul, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Paul’s times, our times

Papa Benedict XVI, in his first Wednesday audience dedicated to St Paul (back in 2008), observes the task of re-imagining the world of Paul’s formation and mission is perhaps not so arduous as we might at first suppose, because “unter … Continue reading

Posted in Judaism, Paul, Pope Benedict XVI, St. Paul, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The body as one’s availability to others

Robert Jenson suggests that we think of bodies simply as a person’s availability to another in time and space; I am embodied for you just insofar as you intend me by way of some piece of the universe’s metaphysical furnishings. … Continue reading

Posted in Augustine, Bodies, Embodiment, Paul, Robert Jenson, Romans | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Augustine’s Canonical Paul

In De Spiritu et Lettera (DSL) 36, Augustine asks what the Law is which is written on the hearts of believers in the new covenant (Jer. 31:33), if not the Holy Spirit, by whom charity is poured into their hearts (Rom … Continue reading

Posted in Augustine, Charity, Holy Spirit, Paul, Romans | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NT commentary on Abraham and the Binding

Hebrews 11:17-19 — Πίστει προσενήνοχενἈβραὰμ τὸν Ἰσαὰκ πειραζόμενος, καὶ τὸν μονογενῆ προσέφερεν ὁ τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἀναδεξάμενος, πρὸς ὃν ἐλαλήθη ὅτι Ἐν Ἰσαὰκ κληθήσεταί σοι σπέρμα, 19λογισάμενος ὅτι καὶ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγείρειν δυνατὸς ὁθεός: ὅθεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐν παραβολῇ ἐκομίσατο. James 2:20-24: θέλεις δὲ γνῶναι, ὦ ἄνθρωπε κενέ, ὅτι ἡ πίστις χωρὶς τῶν ἔργων ἀργή ἐστιν;21Ἀβραὰμ ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἐδικαιώθη, ἀνενέγκας Ἰσαὰκ τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον; 22βλέπεις ὅτι ἡ πίστις συνήργει τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἔργων ἡ πίστις ἐτελειώθη, 23καὶ ἐπληρώθη ἡγραφὴ ἡ λέγουσα, Ἐπίστευσεν δὲ Ἀβραὰμ τῷ θεῷ, καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην, καὶ φίλος θεοῦἐκλήθη. 24ὁρᾶτε ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος καὶ οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον. Romans 4:16-22: διὰ τοῦτο ἐκ πίστεως, ἵνα κατὰ χάριν, εἰς τὸ εἶναι βεβαίαν τὴν ἐπαγγελίανπαντὶ τῷ σπέρματι, οὐ τῷ ἐκ τοῦ νόμου μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ ἐκ πίστεως Ἀβραάμ {ὅς ἐστιν πατὴρ πάντωνἡμῶν, 17καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι Πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν τέθεικά σε} κατέναντι οὗ ἐπίστευσεν θεοῦ τοῦζῳοποιοῦντος τοὺς νεκροὺς καὶ καλοῦντος τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα: 18ὃς παρ’ ἐλπίδα ἐπ’ ἐλπίδι ἐπίστευσεν εἰςτὸ γενέσθαι αὐτὸν πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον, Οὕτως ἔσται τὸ σπέρμα σου: 19καὶ μὴἀσθενήσας τῇ πίστει κατενόησεν τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σῶμα [ἤδη] νενεκρωμένον, ἑκατονταετής που ὑπάρχων, καὶ τὴννέκρωσιν τῆς μήτρας Σάρρας, 20εἰς δὲ τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ θεοῦ οὐ διεκρίθη τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ ἀλλ’ ἐνεδυναμώθητῇ πίστει, δοὺς δόξαν τῷ θεῷ 21καὶ πληροφορηθεὶς ὅτι ὃ ἐπήγγελται δυνατός ἐστιν καὶ ποιῆσαι. 22διὸ [καὶ] ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην. Several striking details: James and Hebrews agree in linking Abraham’s faith to his … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham, Akedah, Binding of Isaac, Faith, Faiths vs. Works, James, Paul, Romans, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment