Of course this could be an exaggeration, but it does look like it is shaping up to be an epic Autumn/Winter 2015 for Pauline studies. I have probably mentioned all of these books before, but perhaps it is nice to see them all in one place at one time
Paul and the Gift, John M.G. Barclay (Eerdmans, already released). This is a “tome” if ever the word was fitting, and the product of many years of the study of Paul and, more specifically, his theology of grace. I have this on my desk at home and I am eager to dive in. Barclay has been heavily invested in the “divine and human agency” discussions related to the New Testament and he is also very critical of the work of N.T. Wright and the so-called New Perspective on Paul. This is sure to be a discipline-shaping book, for good reason, but I am also hoping to hear good critical reviews from the likes of James D.G. Dunn, N.T. Wright, Morna Hooker, and others.
Paul: The Apostle’s Life, Letters, and Thought, by E.P. Sanders (Fortress, Dec 2015). Sanders is a household name in NT studies, but hasn’t contributed much on Paul in recent years. This 600+ page book is certain to stir up conversation.
Paul and His Recent Interpreters, N.T. Wright (Fortress, Oct 2015). This is the companion volume to Paul and the Faithfulness of God where Wright analyzes and critiques modern Pauline scholarship (and, apparently, all major interpreters “since the Enlightenment”). In many ways, I was more interested in this book than PFG. In reviews of PFG, Wright took a lot of hits from those who thought he too often caricaturized his opponents rather than representing opposing views fairly. I am curious to see reactions to this work.
The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle, by NT Wright (Baylor, Oct 2015). This seems to be a distillation of his massive work in Paul and the Faithfulness of God and Paul and His Recent Interpreters. According to the book description, this book offers Wright’s answers to his critics. I do think we are getting close to NTW “overkill” with this book, but at the same time I think Wright “shines” in his shorter, more “popular” works than in the tomes.
The Epistle to the Romans, by Richard N. Longenecker (Eerdmans, Dec 2015). This too is a book many years in the making and will, perhaps, bring a third voice (not NPP, not apocalyptic) to conversations about Romans and Pauline theology. Longenecker is such a mature, sensible, and spirited scholar.
Paul: An Outline of His Theology, by Michael Wolter (English ed; Baylor, Nov 2015, trans. R. Brawley). I also look forward to the English translation of Paulus: Ein Grundriss seiner Theologie (2011). I am glad Baylor is working hard to bring some continental voices into anglophone scholarship – this one is definitely on my list to read ASAP!