On Robert Jewett’s Romans

In my reading of Romans for my thesis, I rely on Robert Jewett’s commentary heavily, but one thing I find not agreeing of his with mine is his interpretation of 3:21-26.  As Luke Timothy Johnson points out, (for full article, see Reading Romans)

Because Jewett rejects (without appearing fully to understand) the important recent work done on “the faith of Jesus Christ" in Paul’s letters, above all in Romans 3:21-26, he is not able fully to connect God’s saving work disclosed through Jesus’ obedient faith and the lives of obedient faith that he seeks to cultivate among his readers. In short, the central theme of faith in Romans is removed from its powerful role as the essential human response to God, one with profound anthropological implications, and reduced to something far more formal (like commitment to Christian belief). Failing to grasp how Paul has made Jesus’ human response to God part of God’s essential gift to humans means failing to grasp how dispositions of mutual acceptance articulate the form of life possible only because of that powerful and transforming gift. That it is possible to read Romans from the perspective of such a strong Christology without losing in the least the horizontal dimension (of relations between Jews and gentiles) is shown by A. Katherine Grieb’s The Story of Romans: A Narrative Defense of God’s Righteousness (2002).

More in line with mine is Richard Hays in The Faith of Jesus Christ. I found because of his reservation of Hays’ interpretation, it is impossible to work around for an inclusive cross-cultural interpretation that can do justice to Rom 2:13-14.




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