The Letter to the Romans: Salvation as Justice and the Deconstruction of Law
Romans, says Waetjen, is the first publication of the Christ movement. To understand it well is therefore a task of monumental importance, and to understand it today requires a postmodern hermeneutics, in which the interpreter’s subjective experience of reading the text is correlated with historical-critical knowledge and social-scientific criticism.
Romans, says Waetjen, is the first publication of the Christ movement. To understand it well is therefore a task of monumental importance, and to understand it today requires a postmodern hermeneutics, in which the interpreter’s subjective experience of reading the text is correlated with historical-critical knowledge and social-scientific criticism. That hermeneutics has to create a new genre of commentary, making room for readers’ prior understandings as well as for a dynamic form of close reading and consistency building. The outcome is a contemporizing of Paul’s theology that induces conversation with Derrida, Žižek, Badiou and Agamben and others.
The central theme of Romans is, according to Waetjen, the healing of humanity through the realization of ‘the justice of God’, which is disclosed in the movement ‘out of trust into trust’, or, more specifically, out of the trust of Abraham into the trust of Jesus Christ. Living on this side of the law of Sinai and therefore being conscious of the condition of sin requires the reconciliation of Christ’s death and the justification of Christ’s resurrection in order to participate in the New Humanity of life-giving spirits.
Consequently Romans is more than a rhetorical effort to mediate conflicts between Jewish and Gentile believers in Rome. Composed prior to his journey to Jerusalem with the possibility of martyrdom before him, the letter is Paul’s major theological testament.
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Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Chapter 2 SALUTATION, THANKSGIVING AND THE PROSPECT OF A VISIT 1.1-7. Salutation and Benediction 1.1. Paul, A Slave 1.1. A Slave of Christ Jesus 1.1. A Slave of Christ Jesus, Called an Apostle Set Apart for the Gospel 1.3-4. A Creedal Fragment 1.8-16. Thanksgiving and Intercession 1.17. The Transition: Paul’s Announcement of God’s Revelation Chapter 3 PAUL’S ANALYSIS OF THE GENERAL HUMAN CONDITION 1.18-32. God’s Wrath: ‘Being Handed Over’ 2.1-16. Indicting the Moralists 2.17-29. Indicting the Jews Chapter 4 THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING A JEW 3.1-8. Entrusted with the Word of God 3.9-20. Paul’s Summation in the Role of Prosecuting Attorney Chapter 5 ‘OUT OF TRUST’—‘INTO JUSTICE’ 3.21-22a. The Justice of God through the Trust of Jesus Christ 3.22b-26. Scribal Interpolation 3.27-4.22. The Trust of Abraham 4.23-25. From the Trust of Abraham into the Trust of Jesus Christ Chapter 6 JUSTIFICATION THROUGH JESUS’ DEATH 5.1-2. We have peace toward God 5.3-4. Scribal Interpolation 5.5-10. At-one-ment 5.11. Scribal Interpolation Chapter 7 THE LEGACY OF JESUS CHRIST 5.12-21. Saved by his Life 5.12-14. Adam and Eve, the Fall, and Original Sin 5.15-21. The Abundance of Grace and the Legacy of Justice Chapter 8 ENTRY INTO THE NEW HUMANITY AND ITS DUTY WITHOUT DEBT 6.1-11. The End of the Old Moral Order and the Power of Hamartia 6.12-23. The Indebtedness of the New Humanity 7.1-6. The End of the Law 7.7-25a. The Other Side of the Paradox of Being ‘in Christ Jesus’ 7.25b. Scribal Interpolation Chapter 9 EMPOWERMENT BY GOD’S SPIRIT OF LIFE 8.1-8. Walking according to the Spirit 8.9b-10. Scribal Interpolation 8.9a-11. Liberation by God’s Indwelling Spirit 8.12-17. Membership in God’s Family 8.18-30. The Indebtedness of liberating the Creation 8.31-39. No Separation from God’s Love Chapter 10 GOD’S SALVATION AND THE PROBLEM OF ISRAEL 9.1-5. The Great Heritage of Israel 9.6-13. Paul’s Dialectical Interpretation of Israel’s Beginnings 9.14-33. The Criterion of Reversal in the First and the Second Exodus 10.1-21. The Possibility of the Actualization of God’s Justice 10.17. Scribal Interpolation 10.18. ‘But I say…’ 11.1-36. The Cosmic Tree of Life: Disobedient Israel Will Be Saved Chapter 11 THE ETHICS OF GOD’S NEW HUMANITY 12.1-2. Entering the New Indebtedness as Bodies Offered to God in Worship 12.3-8. The Ministry of the Gifts of Grace 12.9-13. Genuine Love 12.14-21. Against Retaliation 13.1-7. Ethical Relationships to Government and Civil Authorities 13.8-14. The Indebtedness of Love 14.1–15.6. The Unity and Inclusiveness of God’s New Humanity 15.4. Scribal Interpolation 15.5-6. Continuation of the Ethics of God’s New Humanity 15.7-13. Conclusion of the Ethics of God’s New Humanity Chapter 12 PLANS FOR THE IMMINENT FUTURE 15.14-21. Motives for Writing 15.22-33. Rome, Spain and Jerusalem 16.25-27. The Doxology Following 15.33 in P46 Chapter 13 CONCLUSION OF THE LETTER SENT TO EPHESUS 16.1-2. The Commendation of Phoebe 16.3-16. Greetings 16.17-20a. Scribal Interpolation 16.21-23. The Greetings of Those with Paul in Corinth 16.24. The Problem of the Concluding Benediction 16.25-27. The Doxology
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