Does the ‘New Perspective’ Diminish “Personal” Sin? Scot McKnight Responds

Questions That Matter

I had the immense honor of asking NT scholar Scot McKnight (Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary) some questions regarding the New Perspective on Paul (NPP).

You have noted elsewhere that you were there during the formation of the NPP. How was this experience? Do you remember your initial reaction to the ideas proposed, and have you grown since then?

Scot: The singular moment, which crystallized the NPP, was the publication in 1977 of E.P. Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism. While he had predecessors advocating some of his central ideas – GF Moore, K Stendahl, in some ways WD Davies – what Sanders argued was that Judaism was not a works righteousness religion, was not a religion that had fallen into corruption at the time of Jesus, was not a religion in need of retrieving the prophetic tradition since the legal and halakhic tradition had eclipsed the relational elements…

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