Most modern exegesis on Paul’s letter to the Romans has been overwhelmingly shaped by the Reformed tradition, having been filtered through Luther, Calvin, and others. Through a careful survey of work on Romans by both ancient Church Fathers and modern exegetical scholars, Witherington gleans fresh insights from reading the text of Paul’s epistle in light of early Jewish theology, the historical situation of Rome in the middle of the first century A.D., and Paul’s own rhetorical concerns. Giving serious consideration to the social and rhetorical background of Romans allows readers to hear Paul on his own terms, not just through the various voices of his later interpreters. Witherington’s commentary on Romans also features a new, clear translation of the Greek text, and each section of the commentary ends with a brief discussion titled “Bridging the Horizons,” which suggests how the ancient text of Romans may speak to us today. Darlene Hyatt, a graduate student at Asbury Theological Seminary, assisted Witherington by providing some of the application materials for this commentary.
Ben Witherington is one of the most outstanding New Testament scholars of our generation, and in this commentary on Romans he brings his usual breadth of knowledge and reverence to the text. Scholars will appreciate the fresh analysis and rhetorical insights, while the work’s clear language and sensitivity to Paul’s message make it ideal for general readers desiring a readable commentary.
—Craig S. Keener, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ben Witherington’s sensible, clearly written commentary is based on a sound knowledge of the first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman discourses of which Paul’s letter to the Romans was a part, yet it also makes a point of addressing issues and concerns pertinent to twenty-first-century Christian life and faith. This volume should prove a valuable resource for students and preachers alike.
—Christopher Bryan, The University of the South