Scot McKnight’s Reading Romans Backwards– Part Fifteen

Scot McKnight’s Reading Romans Backwards– Part Fifteen November 25, 2019

BEN: ON pp. 95-96 there is a discussion of the much-debated phrase ‘the obedience of faith’ and I think you are right that this does not mean faith as a form of obedience but the obedience that flows from faith. There is an interesting dissertation done by one of my former doctoral students Dr. Jason Myers, where he shows that the language of ‘the obedience of faith’ is in fact part of Imperial propaganda, the propaganda about peace=pacification, and obedience and submission to the Empire as a sign of good faith…. This dissertation I think would further undergird your point here that this phrase is about the sort of lived theology referred to in Rom. 12ff. COMMENTS?

SCOT: Interesting. The interface of imperial language and NT language fascinates me, in part because I often wonder how in the world they would have heard such things. Is Myers’ evidence public evidence? I’d be interested in this… Don Garlington’s stuff long ago is part of what I have read.

BEN: pp. 100ff. I agree with you that Rom. 1.18-32 is a typical Jewish polemic against Gentile idolatry and immorality. I also agree that Paul is drawing on Wis. Sol. or that sort of Jewish tradition here. Where you lost me is when you said Paul is only critiquing some Gentiles here. Paul, like all Jews, believes Gentiles are all idolaters. They believe in false gods. They may not all be guilty of grossly immoral behavior, but on the matter of idolatry, their view was clear. This is why Paul will later say all have sinned and fallen short…… So, yes Paul has pointed out the worst case scenario, but surely he believed all Gentiles who had not become God-fearers were guilty of idolatry (see 2 Cor. 6.14ff.) Comments?

SCOT: I can’t see that all gentiles acted like this, and anyway the larger point is that this is a Jewish stereotype of the gentile idolater who lives a reckless moral life.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!