It is big, then, for Nanos to say a major cutting edge between Paul and other forms of Judaism was that Paul permitted Gentile “conversion” without becoming “proselytes” to Judaism. You could convert to Judaism but did not have to become a Jew by undergoing circumcision. Paul opposes proselyte circumcision for Gentile “converts” to Judaism, because circumcision entails Torah observance, and Gentiles don’t have to obey the whole Torah.Read the whole summary at Where Christians Got it Wrong with Paul.
The issue, for Nanos then, between Paul’s Judaism and others is “chronometrical”: What is appropriate now that the crucifixion and resurrection have occurred? Are we in a new era or not? Paul says Yes, others say No. In other words, it is eschatological. Or, perhaps even more nuanced, hermeneutical. How do we explain where we are in God’s plan? And it revolves around whether or not Jesus is the Messiah.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Scot McKnight on Mark Nanos: Where Christians Got it Wrong with Paul
Back in August, Christian author, professor, and blogger Scot McKnight did a series on Michael Bird's recent book Four Views on the Apostle Paul, which includes among its four authors Jewish New Testament scholar Mark Nanos. A couple quotes: