Deeply conversant in the full range of questions and interpretations of the letter, Jewett’s commentary explores the crucial and controverted passages that have always animated studies of Romans. Robert Jewett also incorporates the exciting new insights from archaeology of the city of Rome, social history of early Christianity, social-scientific work on early Christianity, and the interpretation and reception of Paul’s letter through the ages.
Breaking free from abstract approaches that defend traditional theologies, Jewett shows that the entire letter aims to elicit support for Paul’s forthcoming mission to the “barbarians” in Spain. His work specifically focuses on Paul’s missionary plans and how they figure in the letter, on Paul’s critical and constructive tack with the Roman community, and finally and especially on how Paul’s letter reframes the entire system of honor and shame as it informed life in the Roman Empire at the time. The latter remains a pertinent message today. The first commentary to interpret Romans within the imperial context as well as in the light of the situation in Spain, this landmark commentary, twenty-five years in the making, will set the standard for interpretation of Romans for the next generation.
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Interested in more Hermeneia commentaries? Explore the series and watch the video here.
“The argument is structured around a thesis statement in 4:13*3 that is developed negatively by two enthymemes in vv. 14–15* and positively on the basis of scriptural citations in vv. 16–22*. The conclusion that Christ believers are the recipients of Abraham’s promise is then drawn in vv. 23–25*.” (Page 323)
“not through the law’ but ‘through righteousness of faith,’” (Page 326)
“The word ἐπαγγελία appears for the first time in Romans to refer to the ‘promise’ given to Abraham” (Page 325)
“Paul articulates an antithetical thesis about Abraham’s promise” (Page 324)
“I view the argument of this letter as an attempt to persuade Roman house and tenement churches to support the Spanish mission.” (Page 3)
Richard I. Pervo is guest professor of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg and professor of New Testament interpretation emeritus at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books in American religious and cultural history and New Testament studies, including Romans.