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Book Reviews 163 and Christ: Some Modal-SemiotiC Comments on the Basic Narrative ofthe Letter to the Romans," which does not address the issue of Hellenistic Jewish influence at all. The second is Aage Pilgaard's article, "The Hellenistic Theios Aner-A Model for Early Christian Christology?" which argues that the use of this concept as a model for understanding early christology without further qualification confuses rather than clarifies the question of how Judaism and early Christianity succeeded in maintaining the close tie between monotheism and creation in their common biblical heritage. As this brief summary makes clear, the primary focus of this volume is the New Testament rather than Hellenistic Judaism per se. Nevertheless, the volume will be of value to those who are interested in the common Hellenistic background of Diasponi Judaism and early Christianity, and, more specifically, in their shared exegetical traditions and methodologies. Adele Reinhartz Department of Religious Studies McMaster University Paul and the Gentiles: Recapping the Apostle's Convictional World, by Terence L. Donaldson. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997. 409 pp. $34.00 (p). Following Thomas Kuhn, Donaldson seeks a new paradigm for Pauline studies which by solving a number of interpretive problems will set the pattern for work to follow. The old paradigm that has dictated the direction ofPauline scholarship from the second century to the present is bankrupt. In it Paul, frustrated and guilt-ridden by his failure to keep the law, finds salvation in Christ by grace and rejects Judaism for Christianity. His resulting universalist gospel addresses a universal sinful condition and thus supersedes the particular ethnically based Jewish religion. Recent Pauline scholarship has exposed the flaws ofthis old paradigm and has underscored the need for a new one. Donaldson aims to describe this new one and to explore its implications for the Gentile mission. Two items from E. P. Sanders's work guide Donaldson's thinking: (1) covenantal nornism, not legalism, was the central pattern ofthe Jewish religion, and (2) Paul does not argue from the plight of all humanity to the solution the gospel offers without respect to the law, but rather the reverse. He begins with his experience of Christ, the solution, and argues backward to the plight of his addressees. In this reconstruction a Gentile mission that was formerly thought to be axiomatic seeks a different rationale. Paul does not, Donaldson maintains, repudiate an ethnic Jewishness or seek to replace a Jewish particularism with universalism. Rather as a Jew he conducts his mission to the gentiles for the sake of Israel. 164 SHOFAR Fall 1999 Vol. 18, No. I Donaldson compares this paradigm to the deep structure of an ordered set of convictions that provides a framework or coherent order of meaning. From this paradigm or stable set ofconvictions comes a second-order process where conflicts are mediated, tensions balanced or resolved, and problems worked out. At the uppermost level or surface level are the letters themselves, which provide a level of contingency and involvement with the everyday world. Donaldson invites the reader to come with him as he descends to the deep level to find the absolutely stable items in Paul's convictional world that control the discourse of the letters themselves. Crucial to Donaldson's thesis are his understanding of Paul's conversion and his belief that with that conversion Paul's fundamental unarticulated convictions were set for life. Rather than providing a release from the burden of guilt accumulated by his inability to keep every stricture of the law, the conversion reversed the direction of a strict, zealous, conservative Shammaite Pharisee who sought the salvation of Gentiles through their conversion to Judaism and who persecuted the church for its substitution of Christ for Torah as an entry requirement and boundary marker. Persuaded by his Damascus experience that the crucified and risen Jesus was God's Messiah, Paul believed thatrighteousness and membership in God's people logically came not through Torah but through Christ. Through this move from one convictional world to another his Judaism was revised but not repudiated, and his loyalty to Christ replaced Torah as an entry requirement to the elect but did not discard Torah altogether. In a stunning tour de force Donaldson...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 163-166
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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