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Indebted Love: Paul’s Subjection Language in Romans
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Indebted Love: Paul’s Subjection Language in Romans


Wipf & Stock 2013

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Gathering Interest


For Paul, the gospel message is simple, yet profound: be subject to God. But, subjection for Paul means recognizing that the gift of God to one is the capacity to acknowledge and appreciate the gift of God in another. Paul argues that God’s reconciling work in the world is manifest through the process of all people (Jews and Gentiles) understanding themselves in a mutually indebted relationship with each other. The power of the gospel, according to Paul, empowers these groups to function out of a mutually indebted mindset and enables them to discern and demonstrate the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God.

In establishing his argument Paul gives considerable attention to hypotasso (subjection), dokimazo (discern), phronema/phroneo (mindset/way of thinking), and metamorphomai (transform) as key theological concepts. In this light, Monya Stubbs analyzes the ways in which Paul speaks about subjection, engages in reflection, and exhorts his readers to transformation—a type of transformation necessary for those to whom he exhorts to walk in the nearness of God’s salvation power. Focusing on these categories, Stubbs helps us recognize the ways in which the text explores ideological systems of convictions and their implications for human relationships.

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Key Features

  • Analyzes Paul’s word choice in the book of Romans
  • Discusses subjection, mindset, and other perspectives of Paul in Romans
  • Explores cultural aspects and influences in ancient Rome and modern implications


  • Subjection, Reflection, Transformation (and Oh, Indebted Love): Exploring the Interpretive Claims
  • Subjection in Romans: Now Is the Time to Be Awakened from Your Sleep
  • Reflection on the Subjection: A Discerning Awareness
  • Transformation in Romans: Reflection/Discernment As a Call to Lived Nonconformity
  • Subjection to Governing Authorities: The Ideological Duality of Subjection in Romans 13:1–7
  • Subjection to Governing Authorities: The Call to Critical Consciousness and Indebted Love in Romans 13
  • Paul, Debt, and Indebted Love

Praise for the Print Edition

This book moves easily and convincingly from the syntax of Romans to the questions of economic and political dominance in both ancient Rome and modern America. This is, therefore, a book that speaks to a variety of readers. On the one hand, for historians it provides exegetical insights into Paul’s arguments in Romans and, on the other hand, for non-specialists it offers challenging ways to think about the obligations and mutuality of love.

Lewis R. Donelson, professor of New Testament, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

A breakthrough in critical interpretation of Romans resulting from two staggering insights: following Tubman’s African-American perspective, Stubbs shows that, for Paul, being submitted to powers is inherent to the human condition—the goal is freedom from evil powers and submission to God’s power; and following Filipino interpreters, she shows that, for Paul, loving neighbors, like loving God, begins with our sense of indebtedness for their contributions to our freedom from evil powers. Romans will preach again!

Daniel Patte, professor of religious studies, Vanderbilt University

Product Details

  • Title: Indebted Love: Paul’s Subjection Language in Romans
  • Author: Monya A. Stubbs
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 156
  • Christian Group: Reformed
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Pauline Studies

About Monya A. Stubbs

Monya A. Stubbs is associate professor of New Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. She is the author of “1 Thessalonians” in Revised Women’s Bible Commentary; “Philippians” in True to Our Native Land; and coauthor of A Contextual Reading of Matthew’s Gospel.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition