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Title: The historical and social context of new creation in Paul's letters
Author: Jackson, Tony Ryan
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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This work explores the apostle Paul’s conception of new creation in the light of a fresh consideration of its historical and social contexts. It seeks to understand how Paul innovatively applied his theological convictions in his letters to three communities, in Galatia, in Corinth, and in Rome. The discussion contributes to the ongoing debate concerning the degree to which Paul’s soteriology should be viewed in continuity or discontinuity with the Old Testament. The thesis proposes that Paul’s concept of new creation is an expression of his eschatologically infused soteriology which involves the individual, the community, and the cosmos, and which is inaugurated in the death and resurrection of Christ. The chapters in part one address both the Jewish and the Greco-Roman backgrounds for Paul’s thinking. It will be argued that the Isianic new heaven and new earth provides the pattern for Paul’s thinking about new creation. The development of this concept in intertestamental literature attests to the variety of interpretations given to the idea of a new creation among Jewish thinkers and serves to show how Paul’s thinking was distinctive. Chapter 4 explores how Paul’s writings may have been heard in a world ubiquitously influenced by the Roman Empire. In Part 2, we address the three most obvious expressions of new creations in Paul’s Hauptbriefe in light of the findings. Chapter 5 suggests Galatians communicates the concept of new creation in the form of an appeal for a new social structure which is not built on the same principles or religious distinctions as that of the agitators who are distorting his gospel. Chapter 6 argues that the new creation in 2 Corinthians articulates the entrance of the believer into the new realm which had dawned in the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul’s discussion of the new creation in Romans specifically links the salvation of the individual to the salvation of creation reminiscent of the Isianic link between redemption and creation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available