Talk Examines Paul, His Relationship to Jews

Dr. Mark D. Nanos

Dr. Mark D. Nanos

Mark D. Nanos, a Reform Jew who has lectured at the University of Kansas since 2005, probes the identity of the Apostle Paul in a lecture, “Paul’s Relationship to Jews and Judaism in First-Century Context: Revisiting the Translation of Romans 11,” Monday, March 24, at 6 p.m. in Founders Room at Westmont. The lecture, sponsored by the Westmont Religious Studies Department, is free and open to the public.

“Romans 11 continues to be a central text for Christian perceptions of Jews and Judaism,” Nanos says. “Current translations give the impression that Paul was a Christian who perceived Jews who did not believe in Jesus as Christ to be hardened and cut off from the covenants God made with Abraham and Israel, as if Judaism no longer represented Paul’s own identity.”

Nanos will explain why these are not the most accurate choices for interpreting Paul’s message in its original first-century context. He will also explore how a new approach to Paul’s message from within Judaism can contribute to advancing Christian-Jewish relations today.

Nanos, who earned a doctorate at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, wrote “The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul’s Letter,” which won the 1996 National Jewish Book Award for Christian-Jewish Relations. He has also written “The Irony of Galatians: Paul’s Letter in First-Century Context” and edited “The Galatians Debate.” He is currently writing “To the Synagogues of Rome: A Jewish Commentary on Romans” and co-editing “Paul Within Judaism: A Post-‘New Perspective’ Approach to the Apostle.”