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I remain focussed on investigating the implications for Jewish - Christian relations of my reading of Paul as a Torah-observant Jew founding Jewish subgroup communities. These "assemblies [ekklesias]" were attracting some non-Jews, but nevertheless dedicated to practicing and promoting Judaism for non-Jews as well as Jews. In other words, I propose to that we should be investigating Paul's Judaism in the intra-communal context of other Jewish groups, including other groups of followers of Jesus, which together with Paul's groups represented a coalition we might describe as Apostolic Judaism.


Recently Published:

"Out-Howling the Cynics: Reconceptualizing the Concerns of Paul's Audience from his Polemics in Philippians 3." Pages 183-221 in The People Beside Paul: The Philippian Assembly and History from Below. Edited by Joseph A. Marchal (Early Christianity and Its Literature; Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015).

"The Question of Conceptualization: Qualifying Paul's Position on Circumcision in Dialogue with Josephus's Advisors to King Izates." Pages 105-52 in Paul Within Judaism: Restoring the First-Century Context to the Apostle. Edited by Mark D. Nanos and Magnus Zetterholm (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015).

Paul Within Judaism: Restoring the First-Century Context to the Apostle. Edited by Mark D. Nanos and Magnus Zetterholm (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015).

Available at Fortress and Amazon in print and ebook formats.

"Implications of Paul's Hopes for the End of Days for Jews and Christians Today: A Critical Re-evaluation of the Evidence." Co-authored with Philip Cunningham. Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations [SCJR] 9.1 (2014): 1-45; http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/scjr/article/view/5793/5165.

"Paul’s Non-Jews Do Not Become 'Jews,' But Do They Become 'Jewish'?: Reading Romans 2:25-29 Within Judaism, Alongside Josephus." Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting (JJMJS). 1 (2014): 26-53 (www.jjmjs.org).

"Römer 11 und christlich-jüdische Beziehungen: Exegetische Optionen für eine andere Übersetzung und Interpretation des Textes." Pages 18-25 in "So wird ganz Israel gerettet werden": Arbeitshilfe zum Israelsonntag 2014: 10. Sonntag nach Trinitatis. Edited by Hanna Lehming, Volker Haarmann, and Ursula Rudnick (Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Hannover, Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland, Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Norddeutschland, Begegnung von Christen und Juden Bayern: Hannover/Düsseldorf, 2014).

"The Translation of Romans 11 Since the Shoah: What's Different? What's Not? What Could Be?" Pages 167-77 in Exploring Bible, Church and Life. Essays in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Lutheran Theological Seminary (Theology and Life 36). Edited by Dieter Mitternacht and Nicholas Thai. (Hong Kong, China: Lutheran Theological Seminary, 2013).

"Was Paul a 'Liar' for the Gospel?: The Case for a New Interpretation of Paul's 'Becoming Everything to Everyone' in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23." Review & Expositor 110.4 (2013): 591-608.

"Paul's Polemic in Philippians 3 as Jewish-Subgroup Vilification of Local Non-Jewish Cultic and Philosophical Alternatives." Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 3.1 (2013) 47–92.

Review of: Stephen Westerholm (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Paul (Blackwell Companions to Religion; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). Catholic Biblical Quarterly 75.2 (2013): 407-10.

"To the Churches Within the Synagogues of Rome." Pages 11-28 in Reading Paul's Letter to the Romans. Edited by Jerry L. Sumney (Resources for Biblical Studies Series 72; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012).

"Paul: A Jewish View." Pages 159-93 in Four Views on the Apostle Paul. Edited by Michael Bird (Counterpoints; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012). Pre-release video>
Undertaken in dialogue with other contributors writing from different perspectives, this is a welcome opportunity to describe my general view of Paul to a broad, non-specialist readership. In addition to each of us developing our own perspectives for the reader, we also comment on the essays by each of the other contributors.

"Paul's Relationship to Torah in Light of His Strategy 'to Become Everything to Everyone' (1 Corinthians 9:19-22)." Pages 106-40 in Paul and Judaism: Crosscurrents in Pauline Exegesis and the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations. Eds. Reimund Bieringer and Didier Pollefeyt (T&T Clark Int/Continuum: London-New York, 2012).

"Romans 11 and Christian-Jewish Relations: Exegetical Options for Revisiting the Translation and Interpretation of This Central Text." Criswell Theological Review N.S. 9.2 (2012): 3-21.

Paul and the Jewish Tradition: The Ideology of the Shema." Pages 62-80 in Celebrating Paul. Festschrift in Honor of Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. Edited by Peter Spitaler (CBQMS 48; Washington D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2012).


Lectures Available for Viewing/Listening:

Audio of my paper (also available are those of the other participants, John Dominic Crosson and Pam Eisenbaum, and Scott's response) from the Westar/SBL '15 session reviewing Bernard Brandon Scott, The Real Paul: Recovering His Radical Challenge (Westar/SBL Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Nov. 22, 2015)

"Paul's Relationship to Jews and Judaism in First-Century Context: Revisiting the Translation of Romans 11" (Westmont College, March 24, 2014).

"A Jewish View of Paul – A Skype Interview with Mark Nanos" (David Burnett interviewed me for a class discussion at Criswell College in Oct. of 2012 on matters related to my essay in Zondervan's Four Views on the Apostle Paul, entitled, "A Jewish View").

Shalom Talk Radio Interview (in 2 Parts) discussing my work on Paul with Stuart Dauerman, KRLA 870 AM Radio, Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, 2010, episodes 15 and 16.

"Paul and the Jewish Tradition: The Ideology of the Shema" (Paper presented at Villanova University, Philadelphia, Penn., Thurs., Oct. 23, 2008, in the Jubilee Year of the Apostle St. Paul seminar series; youtube delivery of paper).

"Paul's Reversal of Jews Calling Gentiles 'Dogs' (Philippians 3:2): 1600 Years of an Ideological Tale Wagging an Exegetical Dog?" (delivered at University of Helsinki, Finland, May 14, 2007: version of paper; edited video of presentation; for final publication, see Biblical Interpretation 17.4 (2009): 448-482)


More About My Work:

Published books include The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul's Letter, Fortress Press, 1996; The Irony of Galatians: Paul's Letter in First-Century Context, Fortress Press, 2002. Volumes I have edited include The Galatians Debate: Contemporary Issues in Rhetorical and Historical Interpretation, Hendrickson, 2002;and with Magnus Zetterholm, Paul Within Judaism: Restoring the First-Century Context to the Apostle, 2015. More details are available on the projects and reviews pages.

Galatians and Romans contain much of the material from which histories of early Christianity and interpretations of the Jerusalem churches and of Paul's relationship to them have been developed. This has led me to investigate more directly the Apostle Paul's relationship with the Jerusalem apostles and churches. In one current project, I am working specifically on topics concerning Paul's relationship with the Jerusalem based apostles and their communities. In another, I am trying to understand the allegorical rhetoric of Galatians 4:21--5:1. I am also completing an introduction to Galatians for students, and a commentary on Romans, as well as several other essays. Please check the right hand sidebar and related pages for more information about these as well as other current and planned projects. More Projects>>

Many of my professional society papers and lectures are available as pdf's for download: see the right hand column on the projects page.

I am a lecturer at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. For a list of past, current, and planned class offerings, see Lectures>>

 Current Projects

Galatians: New Testament Guides (New Series). General Editor: Tat-Siong Benny Liew (Sheffield Phoenix Press; 2016).

This is an exciting opportunity to develop an introduction to this letter after writing a dissertation published in revised form as a monograph (The Irony of Galatians) as well as a number of essays about topics that arise in this text, an edited volume on rhetorical and historical debates about Galatians (The Galatians Debate), and several introductions (in Blackwell's Companion to the NT and in The Oxford Bibliography Online). The format for the series calls for a concise, accessible approach with a focus on the critical issues in debate.


To the Synagogues of Rome: A Jewish Commentary on Romans (Eerdmans, 2016)

Romans has been such an important book for Christian perceptions and positions on Jews and Judaism, and Jewish responses. There is much at stake in both community's conceptions of the other, and of the obstacles and opportunities for better relations going forward, that continues to be imacted by interpretations of Paul's language in this letter. In this project I plan to go through the letter verse by verse in commentary style, offering translation alternatives and comments. Already I have discovered many new possibilities to add to those discussed in The Mystery of Romans. It is an exciting project to undertake.


Is Galatians Really About "Freedom from the Law (i.e., Torah)," or "Freedom from Judaism"?


Paul and Apostolic Judaism: An Introduction

Anders Runesson (of McMaster University) and I are co-writing a book project designed to introduce Paul as a Torah-observant Jew who believed that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the Nations. We have coined the term Apostolic Judaism to signify this dynamic. Discussions will focus on the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of Paul and the various audiences of his letters alongside detailed examinations of the messages he communicated. The outline is designed to be suitable for a one semester introductory course on Paul, or to be used for the Paul component of a broader New Testament course.


Rival or Representative: Re-evaluating Paul's Perspective on the Jerusalem Church

This project builds on published research on the Jerusalem Meeting and Antioch Incidents of Galatians 2. The focal point is the investigation of Paul's language regarding the Jewish coalition of believers in Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Since Paul's extant letters provide most of the available material written prior to the Jewish Revolt of the late 60's-70 c.e., these will be the primary area of research, rather than, e.g., Acts, or the even much later Pseudo-Clementines. I hope to provide an historical construction of the Jerusalem Christ-believers' position as it relates to my interpretation of Paul's thought and behavior, for example, their policy on the admission of non-Jews into this coalition. Did it include the necessity of proselyte conversion? If not required, did it allow for it? A focus on Paul's attitude toward and relationship with the Jerusalem leaders of this coalition, such as James and Peter, will be sustained. The dynamics of Paul's collection project will be investigated. As a result of one of the areas of research I have begun to work on a related project investigating the allegory of Galatians 4:21-31.


Lectures and Other Current Projects

"Reading Paul's Allegory (Gal 4:21--5:1) Within Judaism: Is Isaiah 54:1 the Haftarah for 'Hearing' Torah on Slave (= [Adult] Foreign Male) Circumcision?" (2016 PCR/SBL New Testament: Epistles and Apocalypse section, March 13-14, 2016, Claremont Graduate University).

"Are Jews Outside of the Covenants if Not Confessing Jesus as Messiah?: Questioning the Questions, the Options for the Answers too." Paul Within Judaism Session of the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Nov. 23, 2015, 9-11:30am, S23-132.

Panelist reviewing The Real Paul: Recovering His Radical Challenge, Bernard Brandon Scott (Westar Institute at the Society of Biblical Lit. Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Nov. 22, 2015, 4-5pm, P22-348a).

"'Do you not hear the Torah?': Paul's Allegory (Gal 4:21--5:1) in the Context of Ancient Haftarah" (Paper in the Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins [AJCO] Colloquia entitled "Reading the New Testament as Second Temple Jewish Literature," September 24, 2015, 10:00am-12:00pm, Room 2241, Nyack College, 2 Washington, NY, NY)

“Reading Paul in a Jewish Way." Lecture in the program "'Oh be joyful all you peoples, with God's People': Who are the people? An ecumenical discussion," at the German Protestant Kirchentag in Stuttgart, Germany, 11am to 1pm, June 5, 2015. (news article from World Council of Churches)

"At the Root of Christian Replacement Theology Stands an Olive Tree (Romans 11:11-33): Can it be Saved?" Lecture at the Centrum för Teologi och Religionsvetenskap, Lund University, Sweden, 5:15pm, June 2, 2015.

"Paul’s Non-Jews Do Not Become 'Jews,' But Do They Become 'Jewish'?: Reading Romans 2:25-29 Within Judaism, Alongside Josephus." New Testament Traditions in the Context of Early Judaism Seminar of the Nordic New Testament Conference, Aarhus University, Denmark, June 1, 2015.

"How to Read Paul in a Jewish Way: A Case Study of Romans 15:10 Citing Deuteronomy 32:43." Nordic New Testament Conference, Aarhus University, Denmark, May 31, 2015.

"Paul's Position on Circumcision in Dialogue with Josephus's Advisors to King Izates" (Paul and Pauline Lit., 2014 SBL International Meeting, Vienna, Austria, July 6-10, 2014)

"Qualifying Paul's Position on Circumcision in Dialogue with Josephus's Advisors to King Izates" (Paper for "Re-Reading Paul as a Second-Temple Jewish Author," Nangeroni Meeting of the Enoch Seminar, Rome, June 23-27, 2014)









Other News

Recent Discussions of the Implications of My Work for Jewish-Christian Relations and Pauline Studies:

"The Myth of the 'Traditional View of Paul' and the Role of the Apostle in Modern Jewish-Christian Polemics," by Daniel R. Langdon, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 28.1 (2005) 69-104. (See now also in his book, The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination.)

"Following in the Footnotes of the Apostle Paul," by Pamela Eisenbaum, pages 77-97 in Identity and the Politics of Scholarship in the Study of Religion, eds. J. I. Cabezón and S. G. Davaney, Routledge, 2004.

"Paul's Religious Experience in the Eyes of Jewish Scholars," by Alan F. Segal, pages 321-43 (specifically 340-43), in Israel's God and Rebecca's Children, eds. D. Capes, et al., Baylor University Press, 2008.

"Jewish Interpretation of Paul in the Last Thirty Years," by Michael F. Bird and Preston M. Sprinkle, Currents in Biblical Research (CBR) 6.3 (2008): 355-76.

"Paul, the Jew Among the Nations--Mark D. Nanos," pages 147-55 in Approaches to Paul: A Student's guide to recent scholarship, by Magnus Zetterholm, Fortress Press, 2009.

Supersessionism: A Not So Super Idea. Bill Tammeus of the Kansas City Star in an August 19, 2006, discusses recent conference papers on supersessionism in the Letter to the Hebrews, and the implications for Christian/Jewish relations today.

Taking Another Look at Paul: Researchers are clearing apostle's name of anti-Semitism associations: May 22, 2004 article in the Kansas City Star by Bill Tammeus explaining the implications of our work on Paul for Jewish/Christian Relations


© 2003 Mark D. Nanos | Updated Last 12/18/2015
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