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Mystery of Romans the [Paperback]

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Item Number 145725  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   435
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.07" Width: 5.98" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1996
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  080062937X  
EAN  9780800629373  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
1996 National Jewish Book Award for Jewish-Christian Relations! Arguing that Romans 9--11 is the climax of Paul's letter, Nanos sees the recipients as steeped in Judaism, while early Gentile converts clearly misunderstand God's plan for Israel. Paul as a true Hebrew of Hebrews!

Publishers Description
Paul's letter to the Romans, says Nanos, is an example of Jewish correspondence, addressing believers in Jesus who are steeped in Jewish ways-whether of Jewish or gentile origin. Arguing against those who think Paul was an apostate from Judaism, Nanos maintains Paul's continuity with his Jewish heritage. Several key arguments here are: Those addressed in Paul's letter were still an integral part of the Roman synagogue communities. The "weak" are non- Christian Jews, while the "strong" included both Jewish and gentile converts to belief in Jesus. Paul as a practicing devout Jew insists on the rules of behavior for "the righteous gentiles." Christian subordination to authorities (Romans 13:1-7) is intended to enforce submission to leaders of the synagogues, not Roman government officials. Paul behaves in a way to confirm the very Jewish portrait of him in Acts: going first to the synagogues.

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More About Mark D. Nanos

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mark D. Nanos (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is the author of "The Mystery of Romans: The Jewish Context of Paul's Letter," which won the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish-Christian Relations. He also wrote "The Irony of Galatians: Paul's Letter in First-Century Context" and has contributed essays to various collected works.

Mark D. Nanos was born in 1954.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Romans Revealed  Jan 27, 2007
Mark Nanos leads the reader through the historical context in which Romans written with substance undergirding his thesis. His historical and pastoral exegesis does not detract from the spiritual guidance Paul was communicating to the Romans, but amplifies it. He skillfully addresses dissimiliar scholarly orthodoxy with reason and facts. This is a thoughtful and flowing work that holds the reader's interest to the end. For those interested in additional information that seems to support Nanos' conclusions read The Christians and the Roman Empire by Marta Sordi, and The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark.
The most stimulating book on Romans I have read  Jul 6, 2005
This was the most stimulating book on Paul's epistle to the Romans that I have ever read. It challenged my thinking and shifted my paradigm.

Essentially, Nanos argues that the 'weak' in Romans are not Christian Jews, but rather Jews who have not yet believed in Christ. With this in mind, Nanos interprets the entire epistle as a sustained plea to gentile Christians not to cause offense to Jews, but rather to live in such a way as to cause them no stumbling block to believing in Jesus as the Christ.

There were some elements on Nanos' theory which I found unconvinving. For example, his critique of Luther's view is somewhat overstated, though some criticisms are warranted. Also, Nanos' treatment of the governing officials from Rom 13 being synagogue officials seems a little too narrow. His treatment of the Claudius Edict is also unconvincing. In my opinion, Paul is writing to the gentiles for them to take not a 'hands-off' approach towards Jews, but rather a 'hands-on' evangelistic approach.

One feature of the presentation I thoroughly disliked was the amount of argumentation which appeared in the footnotes. I could not see why most of Nanos' arguments in the footnotes could not have been put into the body of the work. Footnotes should, in my opinion, be reserved for referencing and short peripheral statements. On occasion, Nanos' footnotes take over in arguing his case.

Nevertheless, Nanos' work is highly thought-provoking and well-worth a read. You will not be disappointed by reading this book closely. I did and it altered my outlook on Romans (for the better, I believe).

excellent approach to scripture  Jun 26, 2004
Nanos pulls from the history, the culture, the Greek language, and even the archaeology to bring a "fresh" interpretation of a mysterious book to our time. In doing so, he comes closer to putting us into the minds of Jewish Christians living in the 40s, 50s than most commentators.

Nanos' thesis is that Paul is rebuking Gentile Christians for being arrogant about their grace-oriented lifestyle, and that the weak and the strong in Romans aren't Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians (as interpreted for, goodness, 1900+ years?), rather non-Christian Jews and Jewish/Gentile Christians. The Christians are the "strong" because they rely on God's grace, the Jews "weak" because they rely on the law. However, the term "weak" is not necessarily prejorative. In fact, Nanos states that the weak are stumbling *because* of the arrogance of the strong regarding violating the Law. The Christians are chastized in the letter, not exalted, and the Christians are asked to be more "Jewish", or at least, Noachidic.

The Jews are still considered brethren, the calling of God is irrevocable, the seed of Abraham is the branch which sustains the Church, and "all Israel will be saved" (pas Israel sothesetai). Nanos backs all this up. This is a challenge to 'Replacement Theologians,' as Replacementers rely on this letter for much of their arguments.

I also found Nanos' comments on the Shema and its role in the Gospel enlightening.

One of 10 best Paul books of last 5 years  May 4, 2004
That's it--simple--one of the best 10 books on Paul of the last 5 years.
Excellent but difficult read  Feb 5, 2004
Nanos is unequalled in his ability to write and back up his thoughts with proof. He has a twist in this book, from a Jewish perspective, he attempts to show how Paul is writing to Jews and Romans to consider one another as brothers, to emphasize toleration.

Nanos' thesis is that Paul was writing a correction to both, neither should think more of themselves than what they should. It was not the Jews who thought too much of themselves, it was he Romans who were thinking they were more than just simple Christians. His reference to Romans 9 is very insightful.

It is a difficult read, written mostly to a more educated audience, however, it is a good tool for anyone who has a desire to understand the depth of scripture from a Jewish perspective.

If only all christians would remember that the early church was originally all Jewish until the conversion of the Samaritans. The core of Paul's work was done in synagogues and Jews were among the converts throughout Europe and Asia Minor.

Nanos goes a long way to reveal a much needed dialog between Christian and Jew. Christian roots, Jewish ideas, a need for understanding.


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