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Lecture 16

November 5 - Week 9; Lecture 16 - RELIGST 2HH3 (ROMANS)

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

WEEK 9 RELIGST 2HH3 Lecture 16 November 5, 2013  All parts of the Bible are important, but all parts are not equal to Christians – some are more central to Christian faith o Ecclesiastes is not as important as Isaiah, or Psalms  Matthew, John, Romans – most quoted NT scripture o Suggested that Orthodox Eastern Christian Church – Gospel of John o Roman Catholicism – Matthew o Protestant – Romans o Matthew includes everything from Mark, but also Sermon on the Mount o Matthew and John – both Gospels o Romans – most important, non-narrative, in the Christian tradition  Most important to leaders of church (Luther, Calvin)  Most important for 20 century theologians – Karl Barth  famous for commentary on Romans  Rome was the center of the empire at the time  Letter written to Rome – he had never been to Rome; he had to start with fundamentals because he hadn’t established the church; he knew people there, but had not been there – opportunity to set forth the Gospel as he understands it, for people who hadn’t heard it from him  Given that there were different ideas about the Gospel from others – he set forth his understanding  Most other letters were written to churches founded by Paul, did not need to go over basics because he had already gone over them when he was with them, he addressed specific issues  Paul had a mission to the Gentiles  Rome center of Gentile world, they needed to hear the Gospel message from him who has the primary responsibility to set forth the Gospel for Gentiles  Paul was controversial  Some thought he was an apostle  Some believed he was inferior to Super Apostles  Some did not agree with his Gospel message; disagreed with his conclusion about circumcision – people probably talked about him and how they felt about him  He wanted to set the record straight, tell them in his own words what he understands the Gospel to mean  Summary – most important and influential because  More systematic treatment than other letters – don’t know him (he wants to convey his message in his own words), have heard misrepresentations of what he stands for (put things right)  More mature statement – mature Paul; mature statement of issues that had arisen in earlier communications o Language of Justification by Faith  Not found in Thessalonian letters, not really present in Corinthian letters  Had become part of Pail’s repertoire and basic message – initially was not until an issue arose in Galatia  Issue in Galatia – false teachers about circumcision and keeping laws; Paul says that you should not follow the law, because you cannot be justified through it, justified by faith in Christ, not by the law o Church is a Body with different members  Not part of Paul’s repertoire until issue arose in Corinth – Paul developed idea of quality of gifts like each member of the body is equal  Issue in Corinth – Corinthians celebrating other gifts more so than others  Romans 8 o Whether Christians ought to eat meat offered to idols  Paul worked this out in the context of a Crisis  1 Corinthians 8-10; in principle its OK, but don’t do it if it offends or causes misunderstanding of others  Romans 14-15 Romans  Most important and influential non-narrative in Christian tradition  Paul’s circumstances when writing Romans o Come visit Rome shortly – stresses that he has always wanted to, but it was never the will of God, been prevented to this point; now plans to come  prepare them for his visit o Romans 15 – circumstances become clear  Going to Jerusalem to deliver the collection from different churches 1 WEEK 9 RELIGST 2HH3  Going to Spain – always been his ambition to take the Gospel where it has not been before; wants to be a pioneer, not work on foundation built on someone else’s message; done with West, wants to go
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