Challenging the New Perspective

Like advocates of the new perspective, challengers of the new perspective are not all cut of the same cloth. In a recent JBL article from the new perspective, Pamela Eisenbaum proposes the term “neotraditionalist” for those who challenge the new perspective on Paul. She writes: “I regard as neotraditionalist anyone who defends the traditional reading of Paul in light of the new perspective critique. Since the new perspective only emerged in the 1970s, I would regard anyone writing before that time as traditionalist. Many neotraditionalists have acknowledged and even incorporated some of the insights of the new perspective on Paul; some have taken a strong negative stance against it” (JBL 123/4 [2004] 673 n. 4). The following links span the entire spectrum of criticisms of the new perspective.

Abraham, Faith, and Works: Paul’s Use of Scripture in Galatians 3:6-14 by Moisés Silva was published in the Westminster Theological Journal. (Link updated 3/25/16)

A Defense of the Old Perspective on Paul by Phil Johnson is a seminar given at the London Reformed Baptist Seminary in January, 2004. (Link added 8/7/04)

After the New Perspective: Works, Justification and Boasting in Early Judaism and Romans 1-5 by Simon Gathercole is an article from the Tyndale Bulletin. Available in PDF format. (Link updated 3/25/16)

A Man More Sinned Against than Sinning? The Portrait of Martin Luther in Contemporary New Testament Scholarship: Some Casual Observations of a Mere Historian. Carl Trueman criticizes James D.G. Dunn’s description of Martin Luther. (Link added 8/2/02) A Response to Carl Trueman reiterates Dunn’s affirmation of justification by grace through faith. (Link updated 3/26/16)

A Pauline Take on the New Perspective by Douglas Wilson is an article from Credenda Agenda which clarifies points of agreement and disagreement with the new perspective. Available in PDF format. (Link updated 3/26/16)

A Reformed Critique of the New Perspective by Richard Gaffin is an article adapted from Westminster Theological Journal. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Apostate Turned Prophet: Paul’s Prophetic Self-Understanding and Prophetic Hermeneutic with Special Reference to Galatians 3:10-12 by Sigurd Grindheim was published in New Testament Studies. Available in PDF format. (Link added 11/25/09)

Assessing the Piper-Wright Debate on Justification by Denny Burk is an introduction to an MP3 file featuring Tom Schreiner, Mark Seifrid, Brian Vickers, and Burk in a discussion of Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, N.T. Wright’s counter-response to John Piper’s book The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright. (Link updated 3/26/16)

A Unified Theory of the Atonement by Alan Spence argues that N.T. Wright erroneously adopts a victory model of atonement as normative in his expositions of Pauline theology. (Link added 03/02/05)

Concordia Journal, July 2001, Vol. 27, No. 3, addresses both the new perspective on Paul and ecumenical dialogue on justification by faith. Available in PDF format. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Déjà Vu All Over Again by Michael Horton is a sweeping criticism of the new perspective and a variety of other positions. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Hermeneutics of the New Perspective on Paul by Robert L. Thomas was published in The Master’s Seminary Journal in Fall 2005. Available in PDF format. (Link added 8/2/06)

Interview on The New Perspective on Paul is an interview of Peter Williams and Simon Gathercole by Mark Dever. (Link added 10/21/09)

Jesus’ Perspective on Sola Fide by John MacArthur is an article from The Pulpit. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Justification by Faith is the Answer: What is the Question? by Stephen Westerholm was delivered at Concordia Theological Seminary’s 2006 Symposium on Exegetical Theology. Available in PDF format. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Justification By Faith Or Justification By Faith Alone? by Mike Stallard. This article addresses the new perspective and ecumenical dialogue. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Justified Hesitation? J.D.G. Dunn vs. the Protestant Doctrine Of Justification by Lee Gatiss. This article from The Theologian questions James D.G. Dunn’s logic, exegesis, and familiarity with Martin Luther. (Link updated 2/9/07)

More Concerns about N.T. Wright and the New Perspective(s) by J. Ligon Duncan III. This article from PCA News criticizes N.T. Wright on the doctrine of justification. (Link updated 3/26/16)

Narrative of Scripture and Justification by Faith: A Still Fresher Reading of Paul by Mark A. Seifrid was delivered at Concordia Theological Seminary’s 2006 Symposium on Exegetical Theology. Available in PDF format. (Link updated 3/26/16)

N.T. Wright on Justification by Charles E. Hill. This article from IIIM Magazine Online criticizes the position Wright articulates in chapter 7 of What Saint Paul Really Said. (Link added 2/6/02)

New Approaches of Biblical Theology to Justification by Douglas Kelly. This article from PCA News argues that the new perspective on Paul offers less than the gospel of justification by grace through faith. A Different Take on N.T. Wright and the New Perspective by Michael Woolsey is a response. (Links updated 3/26/16) New Perspective on Reformed Tradition by Daniel Kirk is another response. (Link added 4/3/03) Are Wright’s Critics Misreading Him? by Mark Horne is yet another response. (Link updated 3/26/16)

New Perspective on Paul by Dave Chang evaluates the new perspective on Paul’s exposition of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. (Link added 2/5/04)

New Perspective on Paul is an article from Theopedia. (Link added 12/21/04)

New Views regarding Legalism and Exclusivism in Judaism: Is there a need to reinterpret Paul? by Gerhard H. Visscher. This article from Koinonia criticizes the work of E.P. Sanders and James D.G. Dunn. (Link added 7/9/01)

Norman Shepherd / New Perspective on Paul is a lengthy discussion thread that’s more about Norman Shepherd than about the new perspective on Paul. (Link added 1/2/04)

Nueva Perspectiva sobre Pablo 1 by Matthew Leighton gives a general overview of the new perspective. Nueva Perspectiva sobre Pablo 2 provides a more detailed description and Nueva Perspectiva sobre Pablo 3 provides an evaluation. Available in MP3 format. (Links added 3/3/07)

O Significado de “Fim da Lei” en Romanos 10.4 by Paulo Sérgio Gomes. This article criticizes the new perspective on the basis of Romans 10:4. (Link updated 3/27/16)

Pastoral Implications of the New Perspective Parts 1, 2, and 3 by Darren Middleton. These articles criticize the new perspective’s impact on the gospel, the doctrine of justification, and personal assurance of salvation. (Links updated 9/19/02)

Paul, the Law, and Justification: Did Luther Get It Right After All? by Albin Huss, Jr. argues against the new perspective. (Link updated 3/27/16)

Problems with the New Perspective on Paul by Peter Stuhlmacher is available in audio format. (Link updated 3/27/16)

Reformed Confessionalism and the “New Perspective” on Paul by Kim Riddlebarger. This essay from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals criticizes the new perspective from a Reformed point of view. (Link updated 3/27/16)

Retreating to Rome: The New Battle Over Justification by James W. Galyon is an article fromFounders Journal. (Link added 12/10/03)

Tabletalk magazine’s February 2010 issue was devoted to criticizing N.T. Wright and “the new perspectives  on Paul.” (Link added 12/31/13)

The Attractions of the New Perspective(s) on Paul by J. Ligon Duncan is a transcript of a paper given in Jackson, Mississippi and Glasgow, Scotland. (Link updated 3/27/16)

The Eschatological Aspect of Justification by James T. Dennison, Jr. This short lecture on Romans 4:25, published in Kerux, criticizes E.P. Sanders and James D.G. Dunn, among others. (Link updated 7/23/01)

The Fulfilment of the Covenants: An Acovenantal Perspective on Paul by Lionel Windsor explores Paul’s understanding of the “covenant” concept. (Link updated 11/2/06)

The Future of Justification by John Piper is a response to N.T. Wright. Available in PDF format. (Link added 12/9/07) Trevin Wax responds in The Future of Justification Series (link added 1/20/08) and Don Garlington responds on John H. Arlington‘s blog. (Link added 3/7/08)

The Gospel of God’s Righteousness is Chapter One of Revisiting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification: A Challenge to the New Perspective by Peter Stuhlmacher and Donald Hagner. Available in PDF format. (Link added 6/25/03)

The Heart of the Matter: Another Look at the New Perspective on Paul by Terry L. Pruitt argues that while the new perspective has some interesting insights, it fails as a whole to understand justification (Link added 12/17/04)

The New Perspective and Means of Atonement in Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period by Charles L. Quarles is an article from the Criswell Theological Review. Available in PDF format. (Link added 4/22/06)

The New Perspective and “Works of the Law” (Gal 3:16 and Rom 3:20) by William D. Barrick was published in The Master’s Seminary Journal in Fall 2005. Available in PDF format. (Link added 8/2/06)

The New Perspective is Another Gospel by Andy Webb. This article from PCA News argues that N.T. Wright presents “a false gospel.” (Link added 3/6/03)

The New Perspective on Justification by Richard D. Phillips argues that the new perspective “threatens that doctrine that Paul himself defended so fiercely, even calling down divine anathemas on all who would teach a new and different version of justification.” (Link added 12/14/05)

The New Perspective on Paul is a collection of resources on the “Paul’s Perspective” web site. (Link added 4/25/05)

The New Perspective on Paul by Rick Klueg argues that the new perspective corrupts unsuspecting innocents. (Link added 12/17/04)

The New Perspective on Paul by Sinclair Ferguson is a sermon available in MP3 format. (Link added 1/20/08)

The New Perspective on Paul and the Law – Reviewed by Ben Witherington is a brief section from his forthcoming two-volume work on NT theology and ethics entitled The Indelible Image. (Link added 3/23/08)

The New Perspective on Paul: Calvin and N.T. Wright by J.V. Fesko argues that the new perspective’s terminology harms the church. (Link added 4/3/03)

The New Perspective on Paul: Its Basic Tenets, History and Presuppositions by F. David Farnell was published in The Master’s Seminary Journal in Fall 2005. Available in PDF format. (Link added 8/2/06)

The New Perspective on Paul: Reflections and Summaries by Lionel Windsor is a detailed reaction to the new perspective. (Link added 11/2/06)

The New Perspective of N.T. Wright on the Doctrine of Justification by David H. Linden criticizes Wright’s approach to justification. (Link added 12/26/02)

The New Perspective’s View of Paul and the Law by Jack Hughes was published in The Master’s Seminary Journal in Fall 2005. Available in PDF format. (Link added 8/2/06)

The New Southern Presbyterian Review, Summer 2002 is in part a reaction to the new perspective, as are the subsequent Fall 2002 and Summer 2004 issues. Available in PDF format. (Links added and updated 12/19/04)

The Reformers’ Understanding of Paul and the Law by Irvin A. Busenitz was published in The Master’s Seminary Journal in Fall 2005. Available in PDF format. (Link added 8/2/06)

The Sanders/Dunn “Fork in the Road” in the Current Controversy Over the Pauline Doctrine of Justification by Faith by Robert L. Reymond argues that the “new perspective” suggestions of Sanders and Dunn are “blind alleys” which the church must reject if it hopes to understand Paul’s doctrine of justification. (Link added 12/17/04)

The Unconditional Covenant in Contemporary Debate — and the Protestant Reformed Seminary (5) by David J. Engelsma is a speech given at the convocation exercises of the Protestant Reformed Seminary on September 4, 2002. (Link added 12/10/03)

Thinking Inside the Box: An Old Perspective on the New Perspective on Paul by Jerrold Lewis is another reaction. (Link updated 12/19/04)

Tom Holland‘s web site is about his book Contours of Pauline Theology. (Link added 10/19/05)

Tom Wright on Conversion by Brian Robinson is a criticism. (Link updated 12/19/04)

Tom Wright’s View of Justification: An Ecumenical Interpretation of Paul by Sidney D. Dyer is another criticism. (Link added 12/26/02)

True Spirituality by Sigurd Grindheim is a summary of his dissertation, The Crux of Election. (Link updated 11/25/09)

Undeserved Grace Versus Strict and Deserving Obedience in Early Judaism by A. Andrew Das is chapter one of his book Paul, the Law, and the Covenant. Available in PDF format. (Link added 6/27/02)

What is New Perspectivism? by Travis Allen challenges the hermeneutical approach of N.T. Wright. (Link added 1/28/05)

Why is Justification so Important? In this interview, Peter Jensen addresses justification, ecumenical dialogue, and the work of E.P. Sanders, James D.G. Dunn, and N.T. Wright. (Link updated 5/3/02)

Why Wright is Not Reformed by Fred Greco argues that there are significant differences between Wright’s soteriology and the Reformed Confessions. (Link added 1/28/05)

Wilson takes a shot at NPism by James White is a criticism of Doug Wilson’s criticism of “NPism.” For a differing interpretation, see the blog entry Wilson vs. Wright by Alastair Roberts. (Links added 1/2/04)

Articles by Cornelis P. Venema Challenging the New Perspective

Introducing the “New Perspective on Paul” (Link added 9/9/02)
The ‘New Perspective on Paul’: The Contribution of E.P. Sanders (Part One) (Link added 10/23/02)
The ‘New Perspective on Paul’: The Contribution of E.P. Sanders (Part Two) (Link added 11/20/02)
The New Perspective on Paul: The Contribution of James D.G. Dunn (Link added 12/7/02)
The New Perspective on Paul: The Contribution of N.T. Wright (Link added 1/21/03)
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul (1): Scripture, Confession, and Historical Reconstruction(Link added 5/6/03)
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul (2): Questions Regarding Sanders’ View of Second Temple Judaism (Link added 5/6/03)
“Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul” (3): Two Further Questions Regarding Sanders’ View
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul: A Final Question Regarding Sanders’ View of Second Temple Judaism
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul (4) (Link added 1/5/05)
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul (4 continued): What Does Paul Mean by ‘Works of the Law’? (Link added 1/5/05)
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul (5) (Link added 1/5/05)
Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul (5) – Part II (Link added 1/5/05)
“Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul” (6) “The ‘Righteousness of God’ and the Believer’s ‘Justification’ (Part One) (Link added 1/5/05)
“Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul” (6) “The ‘Righteousness of God’ and the Believer’s ‘Justification’ (Part Two) (Link added 1/5/05)
“Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul” (6) “The ‘Righteousness of God’ and the Believer’s ‘Justification’ (Part Three) (Link added 1/5/05)
“Evaluating the New Perspective on Paul” (8) “Justification and the ‘Imputation’ of Christ’s Righteousness” (Part One) (Link added 1/5/05)

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