vrijdag 1 februari 2013

Review of: James D.G. Dunn, Romans 1-8 (WBC38A), Word, 1988

James D.G. Dunn, Romans 1-8 (WBC38A), Word, 1988

Review in: Interpretation 1991 45: 92
Review door: Kevin Quasi
Gevonden op: http://int.sagepub.com/content/45/1/92.full.pdf+html

Romans 1-8, by James D. G. Dunn, WBC38A, Word Books, Waco, 1988. 513 pp. n.p.

With so many commentaries on Romans available, Dunn's distinguishes itself in both its purpose and scope. While the "Comment" sections of the commentary do present an update of the more detailed critical issues occupying other scholars, the unique contribution of this book is to be found in the "Explanation" sections. Two tasks dominate Dunn's approach here: ( 1 ) the penetration of the historical context(s) of Paul and his first readers; and (2) the explication of Paul's cohesive train of thought as it runs throughout the commentary.

The letter is seen to arise from a context common to the Roman church and Paul's own experience: the emergence of Christianity from Judaism. With the Roman church, Paul works through the tension between "the Jewish conviction of Cod's special choice of and revelation to Israel and the impact of a gospel that came to him independently of his Jewishness and despite his Pharisaic zeal for the law" (p. xvi).

In particular, Dunn sees Paul wrestling with the problem of how Gentiles sympathetic to Judaism enter into God's righteousness as laid down in the convenantal relationship. Incorporating recent and profound scholarly advances, Dunn ably demonstrates how the letter consistently approaches such topics as revelation, the law, cultic activity, faith, grace, election, and the spiritual life from the perspective of the interface between Judaism and Christianity.

Ontario Theological Seminary

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