In the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 62.2 (353–69), Greg Goswell contemplates “Reading Romans after the Book of Acts.” According to the abstract,
The Acts-Romans sequence, such as found in the Latin manuscript tradition and familiar to readers of the English Bible, is hermeneutically significant and fruitful. Early readers had good reason to place the books together, for the visit of Paul to Rome (Acts 28) is the one anticipated in the next chapter (Romans 1). The Letter to the Romans appears to pick up and develop key themes in the preceding book, and prefixing Romans with Acts promotes a certain reading strategy for the head-letter of the Pauline corpus. The adjoining of Acts and Romans suggests that the accusations made against Paul in the final chapters of Acts (and summed up in Acts 21:28) set the agenda for Romans, in which Paul shows that he does not speak against the people, the law, and the temple. Paul’s gospel proclaims that God will be faithful to the promises made to Abraham, so that Jewish privileges are preserved, the law is exonerated, and a community consisting of believing Jews and believing Gentiles is brought into being.
For the full article, see JETS.
Now available from Mohr Siebeck is Carol Newsom’s Rhetoric and Hermeneutics: Approaches to Text, Tradition and Social Construction in Biblical and Second Temple Literature. According to the publisher,
This collection of essays by Carol A. Newsom explores the indispensable role that rhetoric and hermeneutics play in the production and reception of biblical and Second Temple literature. Some of the essays are methodological and programmatic, while others provide extended case studies. Because rhetoric is, as Kenneth Burke put it, “a strategy for encompassing a situation,” the analysis of rhetoric illumines the ways in which texts engage particular historical moments, shape and reshape communities, and even construct new models of self and agency. The essays in this book not only explore how ancient texts hermeneutically engage existing traditions but also how they themselves have become the objects of hermeneutical transformation in contexts ranging from ancient sectarian Judaism to the politics of post-World War I and II Germany and America to modern film criticism and feminist re-reading.
HT: Jim Davila