B. J. Oropeza offers the most thorough examination in recent times on the subject of apostasy in the New Testament. The study examines each book of the New Testament with a fourfold approach that identifies the emerging Christian community in danger, the nature of apostasy that threatens the congregations, and the consequences of defection. Oropeza then compares the various perspectives of the communities in Christ in order to determine the ways in which they perceived apostasy and whether defectors could be restored. In this second volume of a three-volume set titled Apostasy in the New Testament Communities, Oropeza focuses on the Christ communities of the undisputed and disputed Pauline Letters.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Professor B. J. Oropeza's three-volume work on perseverance and apostasy in the New Testament is certain to become the standard in the field for years to come . . . it is thoroughly exegetical, without attempting to promote established theological agendas." -Don Garlington, author of Studies in the New Perspective on Paul
"Professor Oropeza provides readers with a stimulating study of apostasy in early Christian communities. It is an important (and much neglected) topic and warrants a careful, detailed study. What I especially like about Oropeza's approach is his skillful integration of exegesis, biblical theology, and historical and social contexts . . . Readers will come across a number of interpretive gems. I found the discussion of Paul particularly insightful." - Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada
"The present book offers a genuine contribution to Pauline studies, not only in its study and analysis of 'apostasy' as a socio-religious category addressed within the Pauline tradition but also in its overview of those whose ideas and practices were perceived as a very real threat to the salvific well-being of the churches. In critical interaction with a broad range of contemporary scholarship, Oropeza provides a well-organized and accessible account of detractors from Paul and his followers. One important outcome of the book is its recognition of the bewildering variety of problems (and sources for these problems) faced by Pauline communities. While focusing on apostasy as a socio-religious reality and the role it played in shaping Pauline thought, Oropeza's study raises serious questions about the perception of evil in different dimensions, not all of which result in the loss of faith formerly embraced. This is a must-read for anyone looking for new ways to access the theological world of Paul and his associates." -Loren T. Stuckenbruck Richard Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies Princeton Theological Seminary
B. J. Oropeza
B. J. Oropeza is Professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University. He is the current founder and chair of Intertextuality in the New Testament sessions for the Society of Biblical Literature. Among his many publications are Jesus and Paul: Global Perspectives in Honor of James D. G. Dunn (2009), and Paul and Apostasy: Eschatology, Perseverance and Falling Away in the Corinthian Congregation (2000/2007).