Original Research

N.T. Wright’s New Perspective on Paul: What implications for Anglican doctrine?

Lekgantshi C. Tleane
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a4754 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.4754 | © 2018 Lekgantshi C. Tleane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2017 | Published: 22 November 2018

About the author(s)

Lekgantshi C. Tleane, Change Management Unit, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of South Africa,, South Africa


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Abstract

The entrance of New Perspectives on Paul as a reinterpretation of what the Apostle Paul wrote evoked varied responses, especially within the evangelical circles of the Reformed community. Interestingly, one of the foremost thinkers within the New Perspectives on Paul school is the retired Anglican Bishop and New Testament scholar Nicholas Thomas Wright. Wright’s scholarship is interesting to study, given his prominence within evangelical circles in general and his respectable standing within the Anglican Communion in particular. Yet there does not appear to be any coherent response or position from the Anglican Communion in relation to the New Perspectives on Paul, let alone Wright’s views. The key question posed in this article is whether Wright’s writings might influence Anglican doctrine. The Communion’s soteriological doctrine as contained in Articles XI, XII and XIII of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion may be understood to affirm the ‘old perspective on Paul’ and its ‘justification by faith only, and not by good works’ approach. Finally, the article examines the complexities that Wright’s influence might have, in the form of a possible shift in doctrinal posture, and the implications for church structures that such a shift might necessitate.

Keywords

Paul; Justification; The law; New Perspectives on Paul

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