Friday, 3 September 2010
Review of my Book in JSNT 32/5 (2010)
Below is a very generous review of my book, as published in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament 32/5 (August 2010): 97.
‘The Sufferings of Christ are Abundant in us’: A Narrative Dynamics Investigation of Paul’s Sufferings in 2 Corinthians
Kar Yong Lim
LNTS 399; London: T&T Clark, 2009, 978-0-567-10728-2, £65.00, xvi + 240 hb
Reviewed by Grant Macaskill
Kar Yong Lim seeks to bring recent scholarship on Pauline narrative dynamics, generally focused on Romans and Galatians, to bear on 2 Corinthians, and specifically on the theme of suffering that runs through the letter. After surveying the history of research on the theme, the author notes that such research has often focused on individual sections of the text in isolation from the wider letter and has, rather surprisingly, neglected both the scriptural background to these texts and the narrative of the cross in relation to them. His own study, therefore, seeks to address this by examining all of the major passages on suffering in 2 Corinthians, and the mainstream historical research on these, in conversation with studies of narrative dynamics elsewhere in the Pauline corpus.
The result is a rewarding study of 2 Corinthians. Often, the author offers insights that are only subtly different from those offered by other scholars, but the integration of these into the wider context (and, indeed, into the broad sweep of Pauline theology) makes for a satisfying study. Significantly, the adoption of a narrative dynamics approach does not displace meticulous attention to traditional historical spadework, resulting in a well-rounded study that ought to feature prominently in future discussion of the passages in question.