The Relationship of Jewish and Gentile Believers to the Law Between A.D. 30 and 70 in the Scripture

2 between the merit-based indulgences of the medieval period and the works of the law. Since then, for good or for ill, much of New Testament scholarship has followed in his footsteps. More recently, Krister Stendahl in his short but seminal work, Paul Among Jews and Gentiles, has called into question the projection of this modern preoccupation (which he calls "the introspective conscience of the West") onto the writings of Paul. He argues that in the book of Galatians in particular Paul is not answering Luther's question of the sixteenth century, "How can a sinful man become righteous before God?" but rather a question asked in the first century by Paul's converts, "On what basis can Gentiles be admitted into the people of God?" 2 Following after Stendahl has been the work of E. P. Sanders , Paul and Palestin– ian Judaism. 3 One of the results of this study was to demonstrate from early sources that rabbinic Judaism was not, contrary to accepted opinion, a merit-oriented religion of works . As Moo _has noted, "Once these assumptions are questioned or rejected, and the background for the interpretation of Paul's theology of the law is re-shaped , the nature of that teaching itself becomes subject to serious revision ." 4 Much debate continues today about the harmony between the Epistles and Acts and many scholars question whether Paul even held a y temat– ic theology of law . While some harmonize Paul ' s epistles by seeing development from one book to another , others view his writings a imply incoherent. 2 Kri ter tendahl , Paul Among Jews and Gentiles and Other E a (Philad lphia: ortre , 1976) , 86-88 . 3 • P . and r , Paul and Pale tinian Judai m: A ompari on of Pattern of Religion, (London: M , 1977) . in th L t T n otti h Journal of r h 1tn d n 1mpr ppr pn t t d