Some Reflections on Wright Big Paul Book from Larry Hurtado (Gupta)

I resonate with Larry Hurtado’s brief statement about N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God project. Hurtado first mentions his admiration for Wright (which I would echo). But he also expresses surprise that Wright could not find a way to speak his mind, as it were, with less words and pages. I agree with this concern. I am afraid that, in fifty years when students want to read up on this “N.T. Wright” figure that the professors keep mentioning, few of them will turn to PFG. Fortunately Wright has written several shorter books on Paul, and I suspect those will become the “reader’s digest” for PFG for future students. I am enjoying the marathon of reading through PFG, but, if I weren’t especially aiming for writing a review, I am not sure that I could endure to the end (or resist the temptation to skip ahead to more central portions).


8 thoughts on “Some Reflections on Wright Big Paul Book from Larry Hurtado (Gupta)

  1. I’m sure people said the same thing about Barth’s Dogmatics. I appreciate the thoroughness of the world, especially in an academic scene where young academics and scholars practically spoonfed the “bottom line” for many of the courses they study.

  2. I appreciate you and Larry Hurtado a great, great deal but have to say there are many of us who are not scholars but very serious students who actually are grateful for this massive work by NTW.

    The scholarly world can be like a Fortress.

    Those of you inside all know who are the key folk but for those of us “outside” who do not go to SBL, we are unaware where the discussion is moving and why.

    But the work of the scholars has implications for our service in forming the eschatological “Spirit community” in ways that are faithful to the first century Trinitarian Kingdom of God event.

    The church has been radically individualized. Having such a comprehensive work helps us shape local ekklesia in ways radically relevant ( the suburb I live in has 65 first generation immigrant nationalities, nearby is one with 159 nationalities ) with awareness that the canonical narrative is given to shape us as a new community. So I have to say I am grateful for this man’s work….every single page… He has given us a comprehensive work that helps us think about being the Kingdom community serving the larger “missio dei” in sound theological cultural and personal reflection.

    Thanks for your blog…appreciate it.

    > >

    1. For this non-scholar, NT Wright’s main books (New Testament & the People of God, Jesus and Victory of God, Resurrection, and now Paul & Faithfulness of God) are a way for me to “catch up” on NT Wright. He’s written over 60 books! Where to start? So for a few years now I have worked through these (I’m about 75% through “Paul”).

      I’m not going to b able to take university classes on this, so these long books are very helpful for receiving from an important scholar. I feel like I’m keeping up with important scholarship, and his writing is accessible. But this will be the longest book I have ever read, and looks to take about 6 months.

  3. Is it some sort of cryptic meta-reference to Paul, that Wright has given us a book of 16 chapters, with the key ones being 9 to 11? I’m presently making my way through the wide open spaces of Chapter 10, and am resolved to go the full distance. There is much good stuff here, and my impression is that students are keen to read it too, as long as they are guided to the most useful excerpts for their current purpose.

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