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Paul and the Person

Brian G. Edgar
S & CB 12 (2)
October 2000


Discussions of Biblical anthropology inevitably lead to the question as to whether it is fundamentally monist or dualist in form. In his recent article ‘Scripture and the Human Person: Further Reflections’ Joel Green put forward the modest proposal that anthropological monism is at least consistent with several New Testament passages which have often been interpreted in dualist fashion. This article takes this discussion a step further and interprets the Pauline data in the light of Paul’s soteriological purposes. The conclusion is that Paul deliberately varies his anthropological ontology in order to defend more central anthropological themes. It is argued that following Paul’s anthropology means more than accepting his ontological conclusions, it means adopting a method. This is shown to have implications for the contemporary use of biblical ontologies of the person.

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