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A Rereading of Romans: Justice, Jews, and Gentiles [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   383
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.97" Width: 5.88" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 27, 1997
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300070683  
EAN  9780300070682  


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Item Description...
Overview
In this groundbreaking reinterpretation of one of the most influential documents of Christian theology, Stanley Stowers argues that Christian tradition has interpreted Romans in an anachronistic fashion fundamentally different from how readers in Paul's time would have read it. He provides a new reading that places Romans within the sociocultural, historical, and rhetorical contexts of Paul's world.

Publishers Description
Paul's Letter to the Romans is one of the most influential writings of Christian theology. From the time of Augustine it has been central in discussions about sin and salvation, about guilt, fear of God, and gratitude for God's mercy. In this groundbreaking reinterpretation, Stanley Stowers argues that Christian tradition has interpreted Romans in an anachronistic fashion fundamentally different from how readers in Paul's time would have read it. He provides a new reading that places Romans within the sociocultural, historical, and rhetorical contexts of Paul's world. Stowers challenges the idea that salvation is the central issue of Paul's letter and that the letter's addressees include Jews. In Stowers's reading, Paul, a Jew immersed in Hellenistic culture, is addressing his letter to an audience of gentiles. Paul says that in faithfulness to his mission and God's promises, Jesus restrained his messianic powers, allowing an opportunity for gentiles to be redeemed. Thus God demonstrated his justice and, by raising Jesus, created a new line of kinship by the Spirit that will lead gentiles to moral and psychological self-mastery. The acceptance and self-mastery that gentiles seek is not to be found in observing teachings from Jewish law. According to Stowers, Romans neither offers an answer to human sinfulness nor presents Christianity as a religion of salvation. Stowers thus reinterprets the relation of Paul's Christianity to Judaism, the meaning of faith, and the significance of Jesus Christ.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The grammar of Paul  May 14, 2003
I thought that Stowers approach adds a dimension to the discussion about the new perspective on Paul. His attention to how a Greek speaking Gentile would read Paul's epistle is excellent. The book clearly highlights how modern tendencies to read the Bible in the "plain sense" can be hugely mistaken. His focus on who the epistle was written to and what cultural frame of reference they had is very clear. The focus on grammar and on cultural references of Gentiles exceeds simple lexical approaches. Romans was written by a Jew who straddled the growing divide between Judaism and Gentile believers in a Jewish messiah.

I really liked this book, it's full of notes about translational biases that color every approach to the epistle. I would add that Gaston's translation of Romans in his book Paul and Torah is a useful comparison. This book is not for the timid reader of Paul. You have to study it.

 

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