Home  >  Paul and the Power of Grace
Share |
Paul and the Power of Grace
PAPERBACK; Published: 11/10/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7461-0
Price: $ 24.99
202 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
Add To Cart

Paul and the Gift transformed the landscape of Pauline studies upon its publication in 2015. In it, John Barclay led readers through a recontextualized analysis of grace and interrogated Paul’s original meaning in declaring it a “free gift” from God, revealing grace as a multifaceted concept that is socially radical and unconditioned—even if not unconditional. 

Paul and the Power of Grace offers all of the most significant contributions from Paul and the Gift in a package several hundred pages shorter and more accessible. Additionally, Barclay adds further analysis of the theme of gift and grace in Paul’s other letters—besides just Romans and Galatians—and explores contemporary implications for this new view of grace.

Table of Contents

Prologue: What Do We Mean by Grace?
1. Grace as Gift
2. Perfections of Gift and Grace
3. Paul, Grace, and Second Temple Judaism
4. “I Do Not Reject the Grace of God” (Galatians 1–2)
5. The Christ-Gift, the Law, and the Promise (Galatians 3–5)
6. The New Community as the Expression of the Gift (Galatians 5–6)
7. The Incongruous Gift and Its Fitting Result (Romans 1–5)
8. New Life in Dying Bodies (Romans 5–8 and 12–15
9. Israel, Christ, and the Mercy of God (Romans 9–11)
10. The Grammar of Grace and the Gift of Christ
11. The Practice of Grace
12. Grace and Other Perspectives on Paul
13. Paul and the Dynamics of Grace Today

“This book’s larger forerunner, Paul and the Gift, was packed full—full of both content (early Jewish texts, the history of interpreting Paul, readings of Romans and Galatians) and full of significance (it recalibrated the study of Paul even as it proclaimed the apostle’s revolutionary and merciful surprise: God gives Christ to the unworthy). Paul and the Power of Grace, somehow, is much shorter and still offers all the goods. And more. With fresh material on other Pauline letters and considerations of the theological and social ramifications of God’s christological and unconditioned gift, this book does what its title promises: it studies and isn’t ashamed to speak the gospel that is the power of God—the gospel of God’s grace.”
— Jonathan A. Linebaugh
University of Cambridge
Praise for Paul and the Gift:
“Pauline studies and the church will be indebted to Barclay’s Paul and the Gift for decades, and those who read and ponder will never be the same again.”
— Scot McKnight in Books & Culture
“One of the more important books on Paul to appear in many years.”
— C. Kavin Rowe in First Things
“Technical, learned, and masterful, this book could prove to be the most rewarding and influential exposition of Pauline theology written in nearly two decades.”
— Matthew L. Skinner in The Christian Century
“Barclay’s distinctions regarding various perspectives on grace illuminate much of the ongoing controversy over what constitutes grace. In doing so, he interacts with a wide range of scholarly literature without getting lost in scholarly detail. . . . Recommended.”
— P. K. Moser in Choice
Paul and the Gift is a brilliant book. It is not just a big, important book—an opus from a senior scholar with which anyone working in the field is obliged to interact—although it certainly is that. . . . A model of surefooted use of theory, devastating criticism of previous interpretation, thorough command of relevant classical and Jewish sources, and critical but empathetic exegesis.”
— Matthew V. Novenson in Review of Biblical Literature
“One of the most important books on Paul’s theology in years. . . . Truly a gift.”
— Douglas J. Moo in Themelios
“John Barclay reveals just how little we have grasped the multitude of ways in which grace—’the gift’—was parsed among Paul’s contemporaries, including questions of reciprocity and the worth of recipients. The resulting bold proposal for reorienting Pauline theology is a landmark in New Testament scholarship. A must-have, must-read, must-ponder book!”
— Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Baylor University
“A deeply impressive study by a superb scholar from whom all will learn a great deal. Indeed, future Pauline scholars are now significantly indebted to Barclay for this superabundant scholarly gift.”
— Douglas A. Campbell, Duke Divinity School
“Barclay’s magisterial analysis results in a powerful and compelling new understanding of Paul’s theology of grace that cuts across traditional debates and disciplinary categorizations, remaps Paul’s location among his fellow Jews, and manages to be both historically sensitive and theologically rich.”
— David G. Horrell, University of Exeter
“A watershed in Pauline studies.”
— Stephen Westerholm
McMaster University
Wesley Hill in Christianity Today
“Paul’s unique understanding that the Christ-gift is a gift of incongruous grace has been the salutary firebomb for multiple generations of readers, from Augustine to John Wesley to Karl Barth, who have found it burning away all self-reliance and rooting them firmly in a hope anchored outside their own failures and private triumphs. Barclay’s books—and especially, perhaps, this newest one—have the potential to unleash that transformative fire in our generation. I’m doing my part to herald their gift far and wide.”
The Journal of Theological Studies
“Thanks to this book a larger Christian audience will have access to Barclay’s research and will find in it some fresh, appealing insights into how scholarly work can offer meaningful ramifications for contemporary Christian life.”
Religious Studies Review
“This book bears the same clarity and genius that marks all of Barclay’s scholarship. It is a volume highly recommended for classroom use and should be read by all who don’t have time to read Paul and the Gift.”