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Christ's First Theologian
The Shape of Paul’s Thought

By Leander E. Keck

Christ's First Theologian
Hardback, 370 pages $49.95
Published: 15th July 2015
ISBN: 9781481303002
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Biblical Studies, All Theology, Biblical Theology, New Testament

For half a century Leander Keck thought, taught, and wrote about the New Testament. He first served as a Professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology before becoming Dean and Professor of Biblical Theology at Yale Divinity School. Keck’s lifelong work on Jesus and Paul was a catalyst for the emerging discussions of New Testament Christology and Pauline theology in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. Keck wrote a staggering number of now industry-standard articles on the New Testament. Here, they are all collected for the first time. In Christ's First Theologian and Why Christ Matters, readers will discover how Keck gave new answers to old questions even as he carefully reframed old answers into new questions. Keck’s work is a treasure trove of historical, exegetical, and theological interpretation.



1. Images of Paul in the New Testament

2. Paul the Jew

3. The Quest for Paul’s Pharisaism

4. The Jewish Paul among the Gentiles

5. The Problem of Paul’s Continuing Jewishness



6. Paul and Apocalyptic Theology

7. Paul as Thinker

8. The Logic of Paul’s Soteriology

9. Paul’s Understanding of Freedom

10 The Accountable Self

11. God the Other, Who Acts Otherwise

12. Justification of the Ungodly and Ethics



13. What Makes Romans Tick?

14. Good News for Us Gentiles

15. Pathos in Romans?

16. The Post-Pauline Interpretation of Jesus’ Death in Romans 5:6-7

17. The Absent Good (Romans 7:18a)



18. What to Do with Paul?

19. Is Matthew Arnold Also among the Prophets?

20. What If Paul Is Right?

21. Faith Seeking Canonical Understanding

“Independent thinking, sound judgment, generous criticism, theological acuity”

—Matthew V. Novenson, Lecturer in New Testament and Christian Origins, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh 

“Decades long in the making…to be welcomed by all”

—M. Eugene Boring, I. Wylie Briscoe Professor of New Testament, Emeritus, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University

“Stellar contributions from one of the outstanding New Testament scholars of the last half-century”

—Beverly Gaventa, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Baylor University

"Keck exercises sound judgment and follows solid exegetical techniques to bring these collected articles into publication. Baylor University Press is to be commended for making these available."

—Jeffrey L. Cockrell, Review of Biblical Literature

"The mature reflections of a seasoned scholar, these essays will be most beneficial to graduate students who are trying to find their way through the thicket of Pauline theology and to teachers and pastors who have a passion for this great apostle."

—Frank J. Matera, Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

“Keck’s incisive, magisterial essays are essential reading for all who want to understand New Testament criticism in the twentieth century: its findings, its foibles, and its future prospects.”

—Richard B. Hays, Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School

"These essays are creative and valuable for New Testament scholarship."

—Wendell Willis, Restoration Quarterly

Leander E. Keck is Winkley Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology at Yale Divinity School. 

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 370 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL006220, REL006720, REL067000
 Baylor University Press

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