Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians and Romans: Essays and Dissertations
by Benjamin Jowett
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Benjamin Jowett lived two lives: one as a churchman, and the other as a philosopher. As
Oxford’s regius professor of Greek, he gave lectures on both Paul’s letters and Plato’s
dialogues. During visits to Continental Europe, Jowett met and studied the works of
prominent German philosophers. He brought Hegelianism back to England with him,
becoming one of Great Britain’s most influential liberal theologians. The Epistles
of St. Paul is regarded as one of the seminal works of liberal theology and biblical
hermeneutics. In spite of his natural inclinations as someone proficient in Greek, Jowett
argued that the meanings of Paul’s letters should not be limited by language and syntax,
but by context and history. More conservative theologians objected to Jowett’s extra-
textual hermeneutic, but Jowett’s work nevertheless allowed biblical scholars to gain new
insights from reading Paul in new ways.
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