Decades ago, Werner G. Kümmel described the historical problem of Romans as its “double character”: concerned with issues of Torah and the destiny of Israel, the letter is explicitly addressed not to Jews but to Gentiles. At stake in the numerous answers given to that question is nothing less than the purpose of Paul’s most important letter. In The So-Called Jew in Paul’s Letter to the Romans, nine Pauline scholars focus their attention on the rhetoric of diatribe and characterization in the opening chapters of the letter, asking what Paul means by the “so-called Jew” in Romans 2 and where else in the letter’s argumentation that figure appears or is implied. Each component of Paul’s argument is closely examined with particular attention to the theological problems that arise in each.
I recently also had the privilege of reviewing Rafael’s prior If You Call Yourself a Jew: Reappraising Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Wipf & Stock, 2014). I very much appreciate the argument that Rafael brings out in that volume. Rafael has very kindly received the review, though he rightly notes some lingering questions that tend to make me lean in a bit different direction. But, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what in the new Fortress volume may speak to those or other related matters. As H.-G. Gadamer reflects,
We say we “conduct” a conversation, but the more genuine a conversation is, the less its conduct lies within the will of either partner. Thus a genuine conversation is never the one that we wanted to conduct. Rather, it is generally more correct to say that we fall into conversation, or even that we become involved in it. The way one word follows another, with the conversation taking its own twists and reaching its own conclusion, may well be conducted in some way, but the partners conversing are far less leaders of it than the led. (Truth and Method, 401; underlining added)
The decades-long effort to understand the apostle Paul within his Jewish context is now firmly established in scholarship on early Judaism, as well as on Paul. The latest fruit of sustained analysis appears in the essays gathered here, from leading international scholars who take account of the latest investigations into the scope and variety present in Second Temple Judaism. Contributors address broad historical and theological questions—Paul’s thought and practice in relationship with early Jewish apocalypticism, messianism, attitudes toward life under the Roman Empire, appeal to Scripture, the Law, inclusion of Gentiles, the nature of salvation, and the rise of Gentile-Christian supersessionism—as well as questions about interpretation itself, including the extent and direction of a “paradigm shift” in Pauline studies and the evaluation of the Pauline legacy. Paul the Jew goes as far as any effort has gone to restore the apostle to his own historical, cultural, and theological context, and with persuasive results.
Registration for the 2017 Stone-Campbell Journal Conference is now open. The 2017 meeting will be hosted by Johnson University in Knoxville, TN, and will focus on the theme of “Communicating the Old Testament.”
This year’s conference marks the meeting’s 20th anniversary. The plenary lineup includes Ellen Davis (Duke Divinity School), Chris Heard (Pepperdine University), and Jason Bembry (Emmanuel Christian Seminary).
For additional information and to register, please see the SCJ website.
offers a substantial and accessibly written overview of the whole Bible. He traces the storyline of the scriptures from the standpoint of biblical theology, examining the overarching message that is conveyed throughout. Schreiner emphasizes three interrelated and unified themes that stand out in the biblical narrative: God as Lord, human beings as those who are made in God’s image, and the land or place in which God’s rule is exercised. The goal of God’s kingdom is to see the king in his beauty and to be enraptured in his glory.
The text’s page on Baker’s website also provides a PDF of the front matter and first chapter. The text is currently also available for order from Amazon, Logos Bible Software, and other booksellers.
This commentary by Gareth Lee Cockerill offers fresh insight into the Epistle to the Hebrews, a well-constructed sermon that encourages its hearers to persevere despite persecution and hardships in light of Christ’s unique sufficiency as Savior. Cockerill analyzes the book’s rhetorical, chiastic shape and interprets each passage in light of this overarching structure. He also offers a new analysis of the epistle’s use of the Old Testament—continuity and fulfillment rather than continuity and discontinuity—and shows how this consistent usage is relevant for contemporary biblical interpretation. Written in a clear, engaging, and accessible style, this commentary will benefit pastors, laypeople, students, and scholars alike.
The Eerdmans blog has a two-part interview with Cockerill about the volume (part 1, part 2). This volume is a replacement for F. F. Bruce’s 1964 volume, which has been kept in print as a stand-alone work.