Nijay Gupta – Paul and the Language of Faith

Episode: After years of relative silence, conversations about “faith” (pistis) in the New Testament and early Christianity are suddenly blossoming. Pistis is essential. But because it’s multifaceted and can be used in so many contexts, Nijay Gupta compares it to a Swiss Army knife. OnScript co-host Matthew Bates welcomes guest Nijay Gupta to speak about Nijay’s exciting new book, Paul and the Language of Faith.

Guests: Nijay K. Gupta (PhD, Durham) teaches New Testament at Portland Seminary (Portland, OR). He has written academic articles and books, most recently Paul and the Language of Faith (Eerdmans, 2020). He is also co-editor of The State of New Testament Studies (Baker Academic, 2019) and co-editor of the planned second edition of the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (IVP Academic, ~2022). Watch out for his soon-to-appear A Beginner’s Guide to the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2020). Gupta blogs at When he is not working, he likes to cook Asian food, watch superhero movies, drink good coffee, go to a Portland Timbers soccer game, and hang out with his wife Amy and his three kids..

The Book: Nijay Gupta, Paul and the Language of Faith (Eerdmans, 2020). A dynamic reading of Paul’s faith language, outlining its subtle nuances as belief, trust, and faithfulness. Faith language permeates the letters of Paul. Yet, its exact meaning is not always clear. Many today, reflecting centuries of interpretation, consider belief in Jesus to be a passive act. In this important book, Nijay Gupta challenges common assumptions in the interpretation of Paul and calls for a reexamination of Paul’s faith language. Gupta argues that Paul’s faith language resonates with a Jewish understanding of covenant involving goodwill, trust, and expectation. Paul’s understanding of faith involves the transformation of one’s perception of God and the world through Christ, relational dependence on Christ, as well as active loyalty to Christ. Pastors and scholars alike will benefit from this close examination of Paul’s understanding and use of faith language. For Gupta, Paul’s understanding involves a divine-human relationship centered on Christ that believes, trusts, and obeys. (Publisher’s description, unabridged).

The OnScript Quip (our review): This book should excite scholars and pastors. Gupta reveals the full spectrum of “faith” language in early Christianity. It is an exciting exposition of how faith language interfaces with loyalty, covenant, cognition—and much more. Our understanding of early Christian theology has been enriched. — Matthew W. Bates, author of Gospel Allegiance, OnScript

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