The Quest for Paul's Gospel . . .
…is the title of a fascinating new book by Douglas A. Campbell that I believe might interest readers of this forum.
By the way, this is my first post, so greetings (etc). I’ve become a fan of this site over the past couple of months as I’ve worked my way through most of the old posts, and I want to say "thank you" to Andrew for all the work he has put into it. Also, I’m a huge fan of N.T. Wright’s, and I think this site does a great job engaging his work.
Anyway, I stumbled upon Campbell’s work while desperately searching for a new interpretation of Romans 1:18-3:20. To make a long story short, I had become increasingly convinced that the standard interpretations didn’t really make sense of Romans or of Paul’s thought in general, especially in light of a post-Sanders understanding of Judaism. I found Campbell’s 1999 article in The Journal of Systematic Theology (vol. 1, no. 3), and it was love at first sight.
When I found out he had a new book on Paul, I ordered it immediately. It was better than I could have imagined. In my opinion, Campbell offers the most important new interpretation of Paul since Wright. I had that same feeling of intense excitement while reading it that I had when I first read Wright’s Romans commentary in the NIB. In a nutshell, Campbell makes a very precise argument for why the old "Justification by Faith" (JF) model of salvation and Wright’s "Salvation-Historical" (SH) model are insufficient. He considers the JF model a lost cause, but he thinks the best elements of the SH model can be incorporated into his own model, which he calls "Pneumatologically Participatory Martyrological Eschatology" (supercalifragilistic expialidocious!) or PPME for short.
Now I realize that he’s given his model a rather unwieldy title, but I hope it won’t keep you from giving Campbell’s book a look. Leander Keck and Francis Watson (among others) have given it glowing reviews.
If I get a chance and there’s interest on the site, I will try to post a summary of his argument, but the argument is original and controversial enough that it needs to be read in its entirety. I just wanted to give you excellent folks the heads up about it.
Grace and Peace,