Divine & Human Agency in Second Temple Judaism in Paul
A Comparative Study
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2. No. 297

By Jason Maston
December 2010
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161505706
226 pages
$110.00 Paper Original

Recent scholarship on Second Temple Judaism and Paul has maintained that both held salvation to be through God‘s grace alone, not human obedience. In this study, Jason Maston argues against this trend by demonstrating the spectrum of perspectives available during the Second Temple period regarding the interaction of divine and human actions. Using Josephus‘ depiction of the Jewish schools as the starting point, he argues that ancient Jews were discussing the issue of divine and human agency and that they were putting forward alternative and even contradictory perspectives. These different viewpoints are shown in Sirach and the Hodayot. Into this spectrum of opinions, the Apostle Paul is situated through an analysis of Romans 7-8. The author challenges the idea that all of Judaism can be explained under a single view of salvation. Recognising the diversity allows one to situate Paul firmly within a Jewish context without distorting either the Jewish texts or Paul.


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