Month: May 2017

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Notes from the Conclusion to Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul

Paul quotes most from Isaiah, The Psalms, Deuteronomy and Genesis. Isaiah is an obvious choice with its large focus on eschatological hope, and also the inclusion of the gentiles. The Psalms would be a good choice as the songbook of the Jews and the early Christians. Deuteronomy’s emphasis on blessings and curses  fits neatly into early Christian belief. Genesis quotations are mostly to do with Abraham.   Unlike Philo who uses a metaphorical method in interpreting scripture, Paul does not have a simple system. One interesting way Paul uses scripture is the way he changes the tense, e.g. For the Lord will not forsake his people (Psalm 94:14) God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew (Rom 11:2) I shall not be put to shame (Isaiah 50:7) For I am not ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16) The way the tenses change implies that the decisive event has occurred. Paul is not always bothered about the context of the original usage but is interested in the immediate application to this very important new situation....

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Overview of Romans

Romans 1 The gospel reveals the covenant justice of God. God has come to put the world to rights. The good news is about God’s Son, and power is released when Jesus, the Crucified One, Israel’s Messiah, raised from the dead is proclaimed Lord of the World. Deuteronomy 27-30 and Daniel 9 speak about God’s anger and punishment as being part of his covenant justice, God’s hostility to idolatry. God is coming to judge the world – Psalm 96, 98. Romans 2 The Jew is the answer to the problem of sin in the world. However, Israel’s vocation went wrong. All humans have sinned … What is God going to do about it? He granted promises to Israel … How is God going to be faithful to those promises? Genesis 15 is in Paul’s mind. Rom 5 Reconciliation through the work of Jesus. Peace, reconciliation, the love of God. Renewal of humanity – Genesis 1. When humans are redeemed creation is set free from its slavery. Glory – rule over creation –  the divine presence returning Rom 6,7,8 Holy spirit reveals glory in human lives. Romans 6,7,8 parallel the Exodus. 6 Slaves going through the water/ baptism 7 Mount Sinai / the Law 8 God dwells in the Tabernacle, leads as a pillar of cloud / Spirit Led to promised land / Renewal of creation Jesus shaped, spirit driven?...

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