Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Theological Introduction to Paul's Letters

A Theological Introduction to Paul's Letters: Exploring a Threefold Theology of Paul (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011)

The book informational page

Sample syllabus

  • A new wave of Pauline theology characterized by the threefold participation of God, Christ, and the believer
  • An extensive, insightful, original research on key themes of Paul’s texts and contexts
  • Engaging Paul for today: Convergence of theology and ethics

Author information
Yung Suk Kim is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University, in Richmond, Virginia. Kim is the author of Christ’s Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor(Fortress, 2008), and editor of the Journal of Bible and Human Transformation (Sopher Press).

 Synopsis of the book 

In this study Kim explores a new way of reading Paul's letters and understanding his theology with a focus on three aspects of Paul's gospel: "the righteousness of God," "faith of Christ," and "the body of Christ." Kim argues that Paul’s thought can be best understood by reading these genitives as the subjective or attributive genitives, rather than as the objective genitives. The subjective or attributive genitive reading places an emphasis on the subject’s participation: God’s participatory righteousness, Christ’s faithful obedience to God, and the believer’s living of Christ’s body. Kim investigates the root of Paul’s theology in a wide array of texts and contexts: in the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, Greco-Roman world, and Paul’s canonical letters. In doing so, Kim synthesizes Paul's theology and ethics seamlessly, balancing the roles of God, Christ, and the believers in Paul's gospel.

“Yung Suk Kim possesses one of the most original, refreshing, and urgent voices among the rising generation of New Testament theologians. Kim has a rare ability to synthesize various critical approaches in constructing Paul’s theology: historical criticism, sociological analysis, and post-colonial interpretation interact productively. Kim’s Theological Introduction to Paul’s Letters invites readers to rethink crucial aspects of Paul’s theology – “righteousness,” “faith,” “embodiment” – as avenues of subjective participation in the politics of love.”
– Laurence L. Welborn, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Fordham University

For whom?

This book will be used as a textbook for seminary students taking introductory courses on Paul and his letters. This book also will be helpful to pastors and laity who are serious about Paul’s theology in the critical ministry contexts. In addition, this book will be a renewed stimulus to biblical scholars, who may be challenged by this kind of integrative, contextual biblical theology that deals with holistic aspects of life in Paul's time. Today, the convergence of theology and ethics is very important, and this book provides a venue for critical dialogue about Pauline theology in new way.



1 Overview of Pauline Interpretation
2 Toward a Threefold Theology of Paul
3 Threefold Theology of Paul: God’s Righteousness, Christ’s Faith, and the Believer’s “Body of Christ”
4 God’s Righteousness (Dikaiosyne Theou)
5 Christ’s Faith (Pistis Christou)
6 The Believer’s Body of Christ (Soma Christou)
7 “Imitators” (Mimetai) in 1 Cor 4:16 and 11:1: A New Reading of Threefold Embodiment
8 Reading Paul Today: Convergence of Theology and Ethics

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