So much has already been written on the pauline doctrine of justification that the reader will probably ask what more could there possibly be to say on the subject. However, recent exegetical debates show that interest has not waned. And if the doctrine of justification has been considered as one of the major achievements of New Testament exegesis, recent debates have raised serious methodologicl and theological doubts: is Paul's discourse on the Law (with a capital letter, this word designates the mosaic Law, in other wordsthe Torah) well-found-ed, pertinent or erroneous ? In other words, did he really understand the Judaism of his time ? Exegetes have had to recognize that they knew little about the Judaism of the period.They also have had to admmit to their sparse knowledge of Paul's rhetorical techniques and the function of hte literary models he used. And yet, methodological and cultural knowledge is important for correctly tackling and treating the pauline doctrine of justification. So here, with the help of these tools, the inquiry into this theme in undertaken in order (1) to furnish a more or less complete status quaestionis on the research, (2) to note and present the essential principles of he doctrine, synchronically and diachronically, and (3) to demonstrate the importance and the stakes of the doctrine for yesterday as well as for today.
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