Scot McKnight’s Reading Romans Backwards, The Dialogue, Part Four

Scot McKnight’s Reading Romans Backwards, The Dialogue, Part Four October 17, 2019

BEN: One of the really odd things about the greetings in Rom. 16 is the second person exhortations for one group of Christians in Rome to greet with every show of affection another group of individuals Paul mentions by name. This is not a normal way of doing greetings even in Paul’s creative letters. It seems to me that this shows: 1) the Christians are not all meeting together, and 2) the Jewish Christian minority like Priscilla and Aquila are being singled out to be welcomed and embraced. In other words—- this is an exhortation to the Gentile Christians in Rome who never left to get on the ball, and embrace these returning Jews. In short, the faultline is along ethnic divisions caused by Gentile anti-Semitism among other things, not so much power and privilege lines, although both could be involved. One has to explain the lengthy exhortation to Gentiles about how God has not rejected his first chosen people in Rom. 9-11, and why that practical exhortation is given. Rom. 16 bears witness to the ethnic divisions. Comments?

SCOT: This is reasonable and I agree: the greeting form can be read this way. I am not confident all those they are to greet are Jewish so I’ve got a little of that to consider. If Priscilla and Aquila already have a home/house church in Rome I’m not sure this point would be as strong. And, it seems to me the Weak of Rom 14-15 have been there long enough for issues to arise …

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