Review: Studies in the Pauline Epistles

91IlUeY7VtLDouglas J. Moo is Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. Moo is a well-respected New Testament scholar with prominent publications ranging from a magisterial commentary on Romans in The New International Commentary on the New Testament series to the widely used New Testament Textbook An Introduction to the New Testament (with D. A. Carson). Moo’s steady influence and academic esteem over the last several decades have left a long-term mark on the field of New Testament studies, especially in the arena of Pauline scholarship. So, the idea of a festschrift to honor the life and career of such an individual as Douglas J. Moo only makes sense.

Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo edited by Matthew Harmon and Jay E. Smith is a must-have for any serious Pauline scholar or student of the New Testament. Studies in the Pauline Epistles opens with a brief introduction to the volume followed by a short biography of Douglas J. Moo by Dane C. Ortlund. The collected essays are organized into three major sections: (1) Exegeting Paul, (2) Paul’s Use of Scripture and the Jesus Tradition, and (3) Pauline Scholarship and His Contemporary Significance. The contributors include Thomas R. Schreiner, D. A. Carson, G. K. Beale, James D. G. Dunn, N. T. Wright, and more.

The initial six essays are grouped under the heading of “Exegeting Paul” and focus on specific Pauline passages. The scope of these essays are narrow and positioned to highlight the reach of Moo’s academic interest in the Pauline Epistles. The following three essays are grouped under the heading of “Paul’s Use of Scripture and the Jesus Tradition” and focus on the intertextual nature of the Pauline Epistles. Craig L. Blomberg has a fascinating essay entitled “Quotations, Allusions, and Echoes of Jesus in Paul” where he interacts with the criteria of Richard B. Hays for identifying Old Testament references and applies it to Paul’s use of Jesus tradition. The final seven essays are grouped under “Pauline Scholarship and His Contemporary Significance” and focus on a few of the anticipated Pauline issues. These essays are among the most noteworthy in the volume, especially the essays by James D. G. Dunn, Stephen Westerholm, N. T. Wright, and G. K. Beale.

The reader interested in Pauline Studies will have much to devour in this festschrift. The essays are all important for various reasons, and Harmon and Smith have done a commendable job both in bringing together the contributing roster and organizing the volume. I can’t think of any overt shortcomings. Although with the exception of Carson’s essay, I did find the essays in the latter two sections to be the most interesting due to the nature of the content and personal interest. It was also exciting to see an essay by Jonathan Moo, which was very well done. The final essays by Thomas R. Schreiner and Mark A. Seifrid offer a practical bridge out of a volume that holds a good deal of academic merit. These essays were both refreshing and helpful in reminding the reader the reason for doing biblical scholarship—a focus that has clearly marked the life and career of Douglas J. Moo.

Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo edited by Matthew Harmon and Jay E. Smith is a must-have for any serious Pauline scholar or student of the New Testament. Those who have been encouraged and blessed by the work of Moo will find themselves in familiar company, and the reward of reading through these honorary essays will demonstrate the grace of God present in biblical scholarship. This is a must-have volume that comes highly recommended!

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