N.T. Wright, New Testament scholar, presents an hour-long lecture on Paul and Christian theology. What Wright demonstrates is that Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, is charged with presenting Jewish theology and theological concepts, to believers in Jesus as the Messiah who have no tradition, education, or history with the Jewish people. How do you do such a thing? How do you contextualize deeply Jewish ideas such as monotheism, election, and eschatology to non-Jewish people?
Keep in mind, the “newness” that Wright discusses with Paul and his theology is not a break with Jewish or Hebraic thought, but rather a new way of contextualizing – communicating ideas from one culture to another that is very different. When seen in this light, what is being “invented” is not something being created out of nothing, but rather Jewish theology being recapitulated for a non-Jewish audience. The theological content remains perfectly intact and in line with Jewish thought and history.