Picking up on themes explored in Campbell's The Deliverance of God, but without direct reference to it, take a look at these speculations about Paul's understanding of grace.
And some interesting looking reading material:Allen Brent, A Political History of Early Christianity
‘Allen Brent’s Political History of Early Christianity is breath-taking and ground-breaking. He argues that the Jesus Movement, from its earliest days until it blossomed into the officially sanctioned Christianity of the Roman Empire under Constantine at the start of the fourth century, was inextricably linked to and in tension with the political concerns of wider culture. However, Brent demonstrates that this does not reduce Jesus and the movement that evolved in his name to a group of mere social revolutionaries. Rather, the value-inverting and world-negating philosophy they espoused stemmed from deep-seated apocalyptic beliefs. Brent is master of four centuries of Christian history and deploys this knowledge to build a case that is convincing and compelling. A first-rate book from a first rate-scholar.’ - Paul Foster, University of Edinburgh, UK.
Michael Goulder is a scholar who has always taken an original approach to the Bible and biblical criticism. He has developed five major theories, which challenged received opinion among the learned; and the book tells the story of how these ‘stones’ fared when confronting the biblical establishment. He wryly admits that his slinging has been rather less successful than David's against Goliath.
Among his five theories a special place must be given to his demonstration of how much of the teaching ascribed to Jesus actually derived from the evangelists—the Lord's Prayer for example being composed by Matthew out of Jesus' prayers in Gethsemane. The parables too are the composition of the evangelists, Matthew characteristically writing of kings and rich merchants, while Luke speaks of women, stewards, a beggar and a Samaritan. A long-rooted error Michael Goulder has valiantly opposed has been the belief that Matthew and Luke were both dependent on a lost source, Q; in fact, he argues, Luke was familiar with Matthew's Gospel and copied or developed its teaching as he thought best.
Goulder has worked at the Old Testament as well as the New. He concludes that the Psalms were not the individual prayers of pious Israelites, as Gunkel and others supposed, but the compositions of kings or their poets, deploring national disasters and praying for blessing at the great autumn festival.
This account of Goulder's scholarly work is fascinatingly interwoven with that of his life and ministry; and there are many anecdotes and vignettes of other people that are both amusing and interesting. He was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church, and though he resigned his Orders in 1981, he never lost his love of the Bible.
Michael Goulder was Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Birmingham prior to his retirement in 1994.
Publication November 2009 (not yet published) - HT: Mark
And courtesy of Joel Willitts over at Euangelion
The friendship of Matthew and Paul: A response to a recent trend in the interpretation of Matthew’s Gospel
Author: Joel Willitts
David Sim has argued that Matthew’s so-called Great Commission (Mt 28:16–20) represents a direct anti-Pauline polemic. While this thesis may be theoretically possible and perhaps fits within the perspective of an earlier era in New Testament research, namely that of the Tübingen School, the evidence in both Matthew and the Pauline corpus does not support such a reading of early Christianity. In this paper, I argue that an antithetical relationship between Matthew’s Great Commission and Paul’s Gentile mission as reflected in his epistles is possible only (1) with a certain reading of Matthew and (2) with a caricature of Paul. In light of the most recent research on both Matthew’s Great Commission and the historical Paul, these two traditions can be seen as harmonious and not antithetical in spite of the recent arguments to the contrary. My argument provides a further corrective to the view of early Christianity, which posits a deep schism between so-called Jewish Christianity and Paul’s ostensibly Law-free mission to the Gentiles.
You can find the article here at HTS.