Romans chapter 7 is a treasured section of a treasured letter. The depiction of Paul in turmoil, struggling to honor God’s Law stands as a comforting testament to the plight that every believer faces. Or does it? What if this is not the correct interpretation? In teaching through Romans, I get the twisted joy of ruining this passage for my students! Not really; in fact, that’s exactly what I try to avoid doing to them. However, it’s unavoidable that they would be unsettled a little when a beloved text is challenged. What is really going on here? In the next few posts, we will use B&H’s Perspectives of Our Struggle with Sin as our guide to interpretations of this knotty chapter. In this post, I will introduce the options and the scholars that argue for them.
Category: Romans (page 3 of 6)
Douglas Moo is a veteran and respected commentator, particularly in the area of Paul’s epistles. Having written the esteemed Romans commentary in the NICNT series, he is a natural choice for a guide to this most sweeping of Paul’s letters. I had the pleasure to read the second edition of Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey in the Encountering Biblical Studies series from Baker, and now it’s my privileged to review it.
Colin G. Kruse is senior lecturer in New Testament at Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. He has also produced commentaries on John and 2 Corinthians in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series as well as the Johannine epistles in the Pillar series. I used his commentary on Romans (also for the Pillar series) this past semester at CCBCY and will review it in this post.
Peter acutely said that Paul’s letters contain “some things in them that are hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). We need all the help we can get in grasping this monumental letter and passing on its transformative teaching; this is all the more true for pastors and teachers. The new commentary on Romans by Steven Runge meets a unique need in achieving these goals of clarity and communication.
It’s commonly held that baptism is merely a sign. That is, it’s an event where the believer confesses Jesus publicly, with their immersion symbolizing the fact that they died with Jesus, and their appearance from the water displaying their new life and anticipation of the resurrection body. In other words, to put it crudely, baptism doesn’t do anything but represents what has already happened through one’s faith in Jesus. Therefore, it becomes optional for the believer: if it doesn’t do anything, then it isn’t essential. This unfortunately leads to neglect.
There is no doubt that Deuteronomy profoundly shaped the theology of the apostle Paul. However, what if his most famous letter – Romans – is completely structured around Deuteronomy? This is exactly what C. Marvin Pate argues in his book Apostle of the Last Days (and his Romans commentary in Teach the Text Series). In his words, “the outline of Romans matches the covenant components of Deuteronomy” (p162). It’s as if Romans is the new Deuteronomy; as Deuteronomy was the document for the Israelite (Old) covenant, Romans would be the formal document for the New Covenant.