Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Unity and Diversity in Christ: Interpreting Paul in Context: Collected Essays,
Willian S. Campbell, Cascade Books, 2013, page 72
Campbell asks what the Roman community might have known about Paul or how they would have perceived him and his mission as the apostle to the Gentiles.
If we can project an image of Paul as he can be understood from his persinal experience of call, etc., from his writings prior to Romans ... He wa probably seen as the champion of the cause of gentiles throughout the church and at the council of Jerusalem and so forth, a pro-gentile Paul committed to winning the gentile world and indifferent to the concerns of Judaism.
Campbell comments that this view of Paul is very similar to that found in liberal scholarship but makes a number of assumptions:
- Jews who came to faith would stop being part of the Jewish world and stop observing Torah
- that almost all of Paul's oppoents were Judaisers
- Paul seems constantly in conflict with Jewish Christians and the Jerusalem church leadership
It was therefore simply assumed that Paul and his gentile mission were engaged in an ongoing war with Jewish Christians and Judaism, two competing cultures and missions ... the continuity between Paul's gentile communities and the Jewish roots of their faith was seldom stressed while radical discontinuity was everywhere assumed.