About David Clausen

David Clausen

David Christian Clausen serves as adjunct lecturer in Christian origins at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte teaching courses in Jesus, Paul, the New Testament, and Early Christianity. Related studies have taken him from Rome to Istanbul and include numerous trips to the Holy Land with time spent at UNCC’s on-going archaeological dig in Jerusalem. Clausen’s field work and research led to the publication of The Upper Room and Tomb of David: The History, Art and Archaeology of the Cenacle on Mount Zion, the most comprehensive study yet on the traditional location of the Last Supper. His most recent publication is Meet Paul Again for the First Time: Jewish Apostle of Pagan Redemption. He currently resides at Hilton Head with his wife Ann.

Presenter at

BAS Spring Symposium 2024, April 27, 2024
Did Paul Preach a Law-Free Gospel?

Paul either taught, or was accused of teaching, a “law-free” gospel. This implied, among other things, that the Torah, and the covenant associated with it, was no longer in force. But is this an accurate summary of the message of the historical Paul? Did Paul announce that, with the coming of Christ, the covenants between God and Israel were no longer in effect? This line of thinking remains popular to this day. But we strain to find evidence of these views in the letters of Paul. Instead, what we find there is Paul validating covenantal history. None of the covenants, in his view, had replaced any other. We see how Paul characterized the law and its commandments as good, holy, righteous, and spiritual. Likewise, on multiple occasions, Paul urged his Gentiles to obedience. But obedience to what, if God’s law had been overturned? Paul did say, after all, that works of the law make no one righteous. Is Paul being inscrutable or simply hypocritical? Or is it possible we need to interpret Paul from a different angle, beginning with accepting him as he described himself: a Hebrew of Hebrews who sought to bring trusting Gentiles into familial relationship with Israel for the worship of the one God and his Messiah? Did not both groups need to observe their covenantal commitments including continued obedience to God’s law? The answer seems to be yes.