M. E. Boring, Butler University


The study of the New Testament properly begins with Paul, since the earliest documents of the New Testament are from his hand. In this, my first serious attempt to make a study of one aspect of the theology of the New Testament, I have thus chosen to begin with Paul. I have tried to choose a topic which would allow me to study Paul's theology as a whole, but which would permit me to approach it from a viewpoint not already overused. Thus I have chosen the topic, "The Aspect of Freedom in Paul's Theology." Of the scholars whom I have consulted, only Anders Nygren and Rudolf Bultmann have written much about Paul's doctrine of freedom. My debt to them is obvious in this thesis. This thesis is not set forth as an exhaustive study, as a solution to a problem, or as a demonstration of a proposition. It was undertaken as an inductive study to help the writer gain a better insight into the theology of Paul and thence into that of the New Testament as a whole. I should like to express my appreciation to the professors in the Biblical Field of Christian Theological Seminary who have guided my first steps toward serious Bible study, and to my wife whose patience and understanding have made my academic projects possible. A word should be said about mechanics. In direct quotations, I have underlined where the original was in italics, upper case letters, spaced, or underlined for emphasis. In all cases where words were not so emphasized in the original, but appear underlined in this thesis, this has been noted. Unless otherwise noted, the version of the Bible quoted throughout is the Revised Standard Version. The Greek text used is that of Nestle. The word "Church" is capitalized when it refers to the universal Church or to any idea larger than the local congregation, and spelled with a small letter when it refers to a local congregation. The word "Law" is capitalized when referring to the Torah, and spelled with a small letter when referring to law in general. The words "Sin,II "Death," and II Cosmic Powers" are some times capitalized to indicate that Paul considers them at least quasi-personal beings. In quotations I have followed the author's own scheme of capitalization.