N. T. Wright and Justification Revisited: A Contrarian Perspective

Bibliographic information:

J. Andrew Cowan, “N.T. Wright and Justification Revisited: A Contrarian Perspective,” in One God, One People, One Future: Essays in Honour of N.T. Wright, edited by John Anthony Dunne and Eric Lewellen (London: SPCK, 2018), 440-465.



This article revisits the controversial topic of N.T. Wright’s interpretation of justification in the letters of Paul. The article begins by sketching Wright’s proposal and identifying how and why he has been misunderstood by many of his evangelical critics. Following this, the focus turns to Wright’s central proposal–the claim that justification in Paul refers primarily to the declaration of one’s membership within God’s covenant people. After examining this claim from several angles, it is concluded that, despite Wright’s many contributions to biblical scholarship, this proposal about the meaning of justification fails to convince as the evidence consistently points towards the view that justification is a declaration about one’s moral standing before the divine court.


SPCK (website: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/one-god-one-people-one-future)

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