Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Pamela M. Eisenbaum, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gregory Robbins

Third Advisor

Albert Hernandez

Fourth Advisor

Jeffrey Mahan


Death, Justification, Paul, Plight, Punishment, Soteriology


Salvation requires that a person or group of people have a problem, a peril I am calling it, like disease, tyranny, eternal damnation, or the unbridled wrath of God. Paul's gospel promises salvation. What, exactly, is the peril from which one is saved in Paul's thought? The traditional response to this question is that believers are saved from the punishment of death, and from the wrath of God. The former is the legal consequence of Adam's transgression in Eden in the primordial past, and the latter is the legal consequence of a guilty verdict in a divine courtroom in the future. Thus, the perils from which believers are saved are legal in aspect. This view of the peril is wrong. I will argue that the primary peril from which one is saved is not legal at all, but is instead relational. Paul would say to a Gentile that she needs to be saved from a life apart from God. The apostle does not claim that the reason to be saved is to avoid punishment. Because assumptions about the peril are incorrect, so are models of justification. Acquittal via faith in Christ does not accurately describe justification in Paul's thought, nor do some New Perspective models of justification. Instead, justification signifies that proper relationship with God has been restored.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Mark E. Maxwell


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

195 p.


Biblical Studies