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Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism



Readers of Paul today are more than ever aware of the importance of interpreting Paul’s letters in their Jewish context. In Reading Romans in Context a team of Pauline scholars go beyond a general introduction that surveys historical events and theological themes and explore Paul’s letter to the Romans in light of Second Temple Jewish literature.

In this non-technical collection of short essays, beginning and intermediate students are given a chance to see firsthand what makes Paul a distinctive thinker in relation to his Jewish contemporaries. Following the narrative progression of Romans, each chapter pairs a major unit of the letter with one or more thematically related Jewish text, introduces and explores the theological nuances of the comparative text, and shows how these ideas illuminate our understanding of the book of Romans.

Key Features

  • Explores the historical-cultural context of Romans
  • Invites readers into the ancient practice of reading a Scriptural text alongside relevant nonscriptural texts
  • Examines Paul’s relationship with Second Temple Judaism by comparing perspectives and hermeneutical practices of Paul and his various kinsmen


  • Foreword by Francis Watson
  • Psalms of Solomon and Romans 1:1–17: The “Son of God” and the Identity of Jesus,” by Wesley Hill
  • “Wisdom of Solomon and Romans 1:18–2:5: God’s Wrath against All,” by Jonathan A. Linebaugh
  • “Jubilees and Romans 2:6–29: Circumcision, Law Observance, and Ethnicity,” by Sarah Whittle
  • “4QMMT and Romans 3:1–20: Works of the Law and Justification,” by Jason Maston and Aaron Sherwood
  • “The Epistle of Enoch and Romans 3:21–31: The Revelation of God’s Righteousness,” by Jonathan A. Linebaugh
  • “Sirach and Romans 4:1–25: The Faith of Abraham,” by Mariam J. Kamell
  • Community Rule and Romans 5:1–11: The Relationship between Justification and Suffering,” by Mark D. Mathews
  • “Philo of Alexandria and Romans 5:12–21: Adam, Death, and Grace,” by Jonathan Worthington
  • “Wisdom of Solomon and Romans 6:1–23: Slavery to Personified Powers,” by Joseph R. Dodson
  • “Sirach and Romans 7:1–25: The Human, the Law, and Sin,” by Jason Maston
  • 4 Ezra and Romans 8:1–13: The Liberating Power of Christ and the Spirit,” by Kyle B. Wells
  • “The Greek Life of Adam and Eve and Romans 8:14–39: (Re-)creation and Glory,” by Ben C. Blackwell
  • “Philo of Alexandria and Romans 9:1–29: Grace, Mercy, and Reason,” by Orrey McFarland
  • “Philo of Alexandria and Romans 9:30–10:21: The Commandment and the Quest for the Good Life,” by David Lincicum
  • “Tobit and Romans 11:1–36: Israel’s Salvation and the Fulfillment of God’s Word,” by John K. Goodrich
  • “4 Maccabees and Romans 12:1–21: Reason and the Righteous Life,” by Ben C. Dunson
  • “Josephus and Romans 13:1–14: Providence and Imperial Power,” by Dean Pinter
  • “1 Maccabees and Romans 14:1–15:13: Embodying the Hospitable Kingdom Community,” by Nijay K. Gupta
  • “Tobit and Romans 15:14–33: Jewish Almsgiving and the Collection,” by David E. Briones
  • “Synagogue Inscriptions and Romans 16:1–27: Women and Christian Ministry,” by Susan Mathew

Product Details

  • Title: Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism
  • Editors: Ben C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, Jason Maston, and Francis Watson
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 192
  • Resource Type: Collected Essays
  • Topic: Romans

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

About the Editors

Ben C. Blackwell (PhD, University of Durham) is associate professor of early Christianity at Houston Baptist University. He has authored a number of essays and articles related to Historical Theology and the New Testament, including Christosis: Engaging Pauline Soteriology with His Patristic Interpreters. He is currently working on new monograph: Participating in the Righteousness of God: Justification in Pauline Theology. He also served as a co-editor for several volumes: Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination; Reading Romans in Context: Paul and Second Temple Judaism; and Reading Mark in Context: Jesus and Second Temple Judaism.

John K. Goodrich is assistant professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and the author of Paul as an Administrator of God in 1 Corinthians (2012).

Jason Maston (PhD, University of Durham) is Lecturer in New Testament at Highland Theological College UHI (UK). He is the author of Divine and Human Agency in Second Temple Judaism and Paul: A Comparative Approach and contributor to and co-editor (with Michael F. Bird) of Earliest Christian History: History, Literature and Theology. Essays from the Tyndale Fellowship in Honor of Martin Hengel.

Francis Watson is an English theologian and New Testament scholar. He commenced his career at King’s College London before being appointed to the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen in 1999.

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