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Customer Reviews for P & R Publishing Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response

P & R Publishing Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response

Have evangelicals misunderstood Paul? Was the Reformation doctrine of justification a mistake? The New Perspective on Paul has serious implications for that pivotal doctrine of the gospel. Guy Waters lays out the theological, historical, and cultural antecedents to the New Perspective and examines its leading proponents. He offers a trenchant critique of their work and warns us of problems that the New Perspective may pose within the Church. Guy Prentiss Waters (M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Duke University) is assistant professor of Bible at Belhaven College.


  • A thoroughly documented overview of the New Perspective.
  • Historical survey and analysis by an upcoming scholar who studied under E. P. Sanders
  • A well-formed critique, with special attention to the doctrine of justification
  • Employs both exegetical and theological analysis
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Customer Reviews for Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response
Review 1 for Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:September 6, 2005
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Justin Gohl
This book is for those who have heard something about the "new perspective on Paul," decided immediately that they didn't like it, and then wanted to find a book with some arguments to support their decision.Even though initially Waters suggests that he thinks there are some positive aspects to the NPP, having read the book I cannot remember him saying one thing that would support this suggestion. What he consistently does is argue for the old paradigm under the assumption that it is superior. In other words, Waters critiques the NPP from the position of commitment to the Westminster Confession. This is not a necessarily bad thing, but it means that Waters' conclusions are predetermined.In short, Waters comes to this study with his mind made up that the NPP is dubious and also assumes that those who come to his study share his negative assessment of the New Perspective on Paul.Thus, if you are looking for an even-handed and constructive engagement of the NPP then look elsewhere. (I am not sure if one exists in a review type format. Most tend to be polemical.)For those who are familiar with the history of Pauline studies, especially in this century, and sympathize with the NPP, Waters' study will be an incredibly frustrating read! For serious students and scholars, reading and interpreting Paul is a dialogue which requires interaction with all recent (and ancient) study. And it is not at all the case that the NPP is immune to critique or without need of revision. But Waters' argues for a dogmatism which would eliminate the dialogue and erase all of the progress in understanding Paul (both through error and innovation) that has occured over the past two or three decades.That said, I appreciated his bibliography which is a helpful resource for any who want to read firsthand the propounders of the NPP. And overall he provided a helpful review of the NPP and its major players.
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