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Summarising Romans again: from individuals to groups to apocalyptic narrative

Pete Enns has an excellent Bible for Normal People podcast on Romans in which he “shares 10 things essential to understanding the book of Romans.” I wrote about this last year, but since Geoff Leslie asked about it, here’s a brief rerun.

Enns’ emphasis on the importance of groups gives a better account of the letter than Andrew Errington’s tweeted synopsis, which reads the text, in time-honoured fashion, as a treatise (or “tweet-ise”) on personal salvation and life under grace (except that, by some unexplained logic, in the end all Israel will be saved).

In this rather long post I want to address some questions put to me about the general plausibility of my reading of the parousia texts as prophecies regarding two historical developments—the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the armies of pagan Rome and the overthrow of pagan Rome through... (11th Jul. 2019 | 5 comments)
I had two emails from friends recently, within a few minutes of each other, recommending books to read. The first pointed me to an online edition of Fragments from Reimarus: consisting of brief critical remarks on the object of Jesus and His disciples as seen in the New Testament. The English... (1st Jul. 2019 | 0 comments)
Here’s another response to a comment that has outgrown itself and become an ad hoc summary piece. Peter Wilkinson points to Romans 3-4 as evidence that the gospel for both Jews and Gentiles was that Jesus died for their sins:The argument is addressed to Jews and Gentiles v.9, v.19b. The... (26th Jun. 2019 | 59 comments)
Todd asks a question in respect of an old post on the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6-8).Is the restoration of Israel, then, during a future Millennium? If so, how do Gentiles fit into this, and where is the Church during this time? Is the kingdom of Israel different than the Church... (24th Jun. 2019 | 8 comments)
If we think that the New Testament always presupposes the pre-existent, divine identity of Jesus as the eternal Son of God, we have to understand Paul’s statement in Romans 1:4 that Jesus “was declared (horisthentos) to be the Son of God in power” (ESV) to mean that, while Jesus was always the Son... (21st Jun. 2019 | 94 comments)
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Rev. 5:6)Is this a good example of what might be described as latent... (12th Jun. 2019 | 38 comments)
It appears that Catholics in Italy, France and Spain are getting revised translations of the Lord’s Prayer. The problem is the line “Lead us not into temptation”. The Pope complained in 2017 that this is a bad translation, not on exegetical grounds but on theological grounds:It is not a good... (7th Jun. 2019 | 8 comments)
This monograph addresses the question, “How does Revelation interact with the Roman Empire?” As the subtitle suggests, it contributes especially to empire studies, which have typically offered the response that Revelation is anti-Rome or anti-imperial. However, Shane J. Wood argues that, although... (6th Jun. 2019 | 5 comments)