Vassiliadis Petros, Paul, Aspects of his Theology, vol. A’, “Biblical Library” series, num. 31, P.Pournaras Publications, Thessaloniki 2004, pp. 498.
This book by Petros Vassiliadis essentially constitutes a textbook intended primarily for first-year Theology students, but also academics involved in New Testament hermeneutics. Its content is an attempt for a systematic presentation of part of the theological thought of Apostle Paul in the form of indicative sections in depth and width, in three areas of his teaching: Soteriology, ecclesiology and ethical and social teaching. The aim of the project is to contribute to the revision of conventional interpretation of the Apostle’s theology.
In this context, the book is divided in three parts. There are short introductions in Pauline theology with special mention to the latest developments in the field of Pauline theology and the “paradigm shift” that has occurred in relation to it.
In the first part there is an examination of the Pauline aspects of salvation. Emphasis is placed on the soteriological background of Paul’s teachings about Jesus’ Cross, always under the prism of the anti-Pauline interpretation of Jesus’ death. The author attempts to ascertain the Apostle’s substantial contribution the problem of salvation and highlight the watershed brought about in Christian soteriology by the “Theology of the Cross”.
The second part looks at Pauline ecclesiology. In this context, there is an examination of the Pneumatological, Christological and Eschatological character of Pauline ecclesiology. Further, there is an analysis of Pauline Eucharistic theology, focusing on its Christological background and the eschatological character of the Eucharist as a living expression of ecclesiological identity of the Christian community as a communion of the utmost.
In the third and last part there is an examination of aspects of Pauline ethical and social teaching. Thus, there is a brief analysis of the views of Paul on the dynamic interpretation and understanding of tradition, his notions about the relationships between Church and State and about peace. The greatest part of the third section is an analysis by Vassiliadis of the problem of Pauline logia, as presented in B’ Cor. 8-9. After the introductory material on the issue of logia, there is annotation of the two chapters.