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Paul's Rhetoric In Its Contexts: The Argument Of Romans [Paperback]

By Thomas H. Tobin (Author)
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Item Number 119494  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   496
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.06" Height: 1.16"
Weight:   1.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2005
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  1565639464  
EAN  9781565639461  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Paul's Rhetoric in Its Contexts offers a substantially new interpretation of Romans, looking in detail at the specific contexts in which Paul wrote the letter, the internal literary cues to its structure, and the rhetoric and philosophical style of his arguments. The resulting interpretation is not a commentary. Rather, it offers new and perhaps truer views of Paul's actual concerns and objectives in writing the letter-and to the arguments he makes in it.According to Tobin, Paul wrote this letter as a response to the Roman Christian community's suspicion of him because of his controversial past and writing, rethinking and revising some of the positions he took earlier in his letters to the Galatian and Corinthian churches. Tobin argues that, while recent ecumenically minded works have moved beyond long-standing denominational interpretations to offer a broader perspective on Romans, they have still not broken through the basic framework itself of these interpretations. For example, while most interpreters have moved beyond taking denominational positions in the interpretation of Romans on such topics as justification by faith, salvation, or "the works of the law," the belief has remained that these topics are, indeed, what Paul's letter to the Romans is about. This substantial reevaluation of Romans provides a rich array of fresh perspectives on the book, offering new ways to understand and use the letter, both in the interpretation of early Christianity and in contemporary theological discussion. Scholars and pastors alike will find the bibliography, outline, and indexes useful.

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More About Thomas H. Tobin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thomas H. Tobin, SJ, is professor of New Testament and early Christianity at Loyola University of Chicago. He is the author of three books: "The Creation of Man: Philo and the History of Interpretation," "Timaios of Locri: On the Nature of the World and the Soul," and "The Spirituality of Paul." He has also written a number of scholarly articles in the areas of the New Testament (especially on Paul and the Gospel of John) and of Hellenistic Judaism. He has been a member of the editorial boards of the "Catholic Biblical Quarterly," the "Journal of Biblical Literature," and "New Testament Studies." At present he is a member of the editorial boards of "The Studia Philonica Annual" and "The Studia Philonica Monograph Series."

Thomas H. Tobin was born in 1945.

Thomas H. Tobin has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Graeco-Roman Religion Series

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament   [2808  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testa   [1782  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
One of the best  Jun 1, 2007
Having taken no less than three courses on St. Paul in seminary, I have read a great many books on Paul and his epistles, As a result I feel qualified to say that Tobin's study of Romans is both thorough and interesting and most persuasive.
Approaching Romans a fresh old way  Apr 23, 2005
Exegesis is the process we use to read through and listen to the text of Scripture. Well, it should be. This discipline is not isolated to the study of words and phrases, or even grammar and syntax. A good exegete will pay attention to how a biblical author puts his document together. The text of Scripture, especially a book or letter, is more than just words on parchment. Tobin reminds us that Paul's letter to the Romans has a context and an argument, and is more than a one-sided conversation. There is a rhetorical context--how Paul crafts his argument; and, a social context--how we are to hear Paul's argument within a real life environment (i.e., Rome, the church community of Paul's day). I highly recommend Tobin's volume on Romans because it is a superb example of how to examine, exegete, and listen to a Bible book. He takes into consideration sociological backgrounds (e.g., the Gentile and Jewish communities in Rome), as well as, a structural-literary analysis (e.g., noting literary clues in Paul's Letter) that amplify his argument and point(s). This approach runs counter to how most popular bible study methods take, that is, in moving from the text to interpretation to sermon to application. Rather than starting from its parts (the smaller units of thought), Tobin starts from the whole of Romans and its socio-rhetorical context and moves to the Letter's smaller units-the chapters and paragraphs. It is not Tobin's interpretive conclusions that I am recommending (although I agree with most of them); it is his method I wish for you to learn from. Anyone serious about studying or preaching through Romans will benefit from Tobin's work. In fact, once this volume is read, its method and approach would be beneficial when studying any New Testament book of the Bible. Tobin has offered a fresh way of reading and listening to Paul's Letter to the Church in Rome. Although somewhat heavy for the average lay-person (though they should give it a try), pastors and bible study leaders should wade through its content when preparing for sermons and bible studies on Romans.

Post-script: It is Tobin's method I applaud, not necessarily his interpretive conclusions. I disagree with his choice of Romans 1:16-17 as Paul's thematic statement (which is both a syntactically and grammatically impossibility). Rather, it seems more likely that the thematic statement comes in Romans 1:1-5. Tobin is still captive to hermeneutical categories that define both (national) Israel and the Church as the people of God, and thus, consequently under obligation to interpret chapters 9-11 as pointing to Israel's future salvation. Whereas I do not find that Romans 9-11, and especially 11:25-26, eliminates a "future" salvific situation for the nation of Israel, it certainly does not indicate a requirement for one. Such hermeneutical captivity and approach, rather than relying on the socio-rhetorical approach that Tobin himself sets forth, causes one to miss other possibilities and applications of the text of Romans. I was a little disappointed that Tobin did not interact with my two articles on Romans ("Romans 1:1-5 And The Occasion Of The Letter: The Solution To The Two-Congregation Problem In Rome," Trinity Journal 14.1 (1993): 25-40; and "Another Word On `All Israel Shall Be Saved' (Rom 11:26): Dramatic Tension, Hearing the Text, and The Davidic Connection," Paper presented at the 1994 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society). Nonetheless, Tobin's work on Romans should be read by scholars and preachers and bible study leaders.

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