Department/School of the Primary Author

Biblical and Theological Studies


New perspective on Paul, justification, righteousness of God, works of the law, soteriology, ecclesiology




The Pauline doctrine of justification is a prevailing subject among biblical scholarship today. Especially, as a New Perspective on Pauline literature rises claiming that Luther was wrong in his view of Justification, since he was blinded by his own context forcing it into his interpretation of the Pauline text. Consequently, the reformed view cannot be right since it interprets the doctrine of justification mainly through soteriological lens, whereas the Apostle had only ecclesiological purposes in mind when addressing the subject. In light of the previous thought, the purpose of the article is to criticize the New Perspective’s exclusive method by proposing a “both-end” approach to Justification affirming the soteriological aspects of justification held by Luther, but also pointing out the reality of ecclesiological implications. The article is divided in two main sections. The first section highlights the NPP (New Perspective on Paul) definitions of key terms, such as “Works of the Law”, “the Righteousness of God”, and “Justification”, followed by important observations concerning their view of the terms. The second portion of the article provides three main arguments for Paul’s use of the doctrine of Justification having primarily in mind soteriological purposes. The hope for this work is not to solve the debate between both parties, but to demonstrate that the traditional (reformed) view concerning the doctrine of justification is not absurd, as some would say, and that it is possible to hold a soteriological position and still affirm ecclesiological implications to the Pauline doctrine.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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© 2016 Rodrigo Reis. All rights reserved.



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