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Lecture 16

November 8 Notes Week 9 Lecture 17; (Also includes Lecture 16, 17 - November 5, 6, 8 + Tutorial 7) - RELIGST 2HH3

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Religious Studies
Course Code
Stephen Westerholm

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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 East  Rome on way of Spain – always wanted to go to Rome; asking for support from Rome to send him off to Spain rd o Paul is in Corinth – end of 3 missionary Journey  Acts 20:2-3 – spending 3 months in Greece (Corinth) before Jerusalem collection  Purpose for writing Romans o Preparation for his visit – telling them his plans so they will be ready for him o Planning to go on to Spain and would like their support o Obligation to set forth his understanding of the Gospel to Rome – Paul is an Apostle to the Gentiles (his vocation, calling); Rome is center of Gentile world o Asks for their prayers on his behalf (end of Romans 15) – concerned about a) His own safety – enemies in Jerusalem, some see him as an enemy and traitor of the cause) b) Welcome of his gift – whether collection will be accepted by Jerusalem – Paul is suspicious of a character in Jerusalem, believers in Jerusalem may be afraid to associate with him and not want to accept money from him  We now know about arrest in Jerusalem; went to Rome having been arrested in Jerusalem, not under circumstances he had intended o Letter seems to be broad – yet it is possible that Paul was aware of the circumstances of Roman Church  Romans 14-15 – suddenly talks about strong and weak believers  Strong believes – eat anything  Weak – wont eat meat  May be general treatment about what may arise – or Paul may have known about the circumstances in Rome o Not known how the Gospel first reached Rome – but was an established Christian community when Paul wrote to them o Roman government is unproblematic – every government has been instituted by God, therefore we ought not challenge them – did not seem to be persecuting believers  Toward end of 40s – Roman empires banished Jews from Rome  Too much fighting occurring, concerning “Christos”; conflict between Jews; those who believed in Christ and those who did not  Banishment was no longer occurring when Paul had written to them, because Paul refers to the Jews in Rome in his letter  Possible that there was a time in Rome when believers were made up of entirely non-Jews  When Jews returned, there may have been tension between Jews and non-Jews  Non-Jewish believers look down on Jewish believers  Suggested by Paul’s writing about strong vs. weak believers  Writing to Gentiles – don’t want you to boast over Jewish people (Romans 11)  Romans 1:16-17 – o Language of not being ashamed – may be openly confessing the Gospel  Jesus says – whoever confesses, I will confess to my father; whoever is ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of them in front of my father  Language of Psalms – speaker is in trouble; God do not let me down, put me to sham – God doesn’t let Paul down  Comes from last book of Isaiah – addressed to Jews exiled in Babylon coming to them with good news that God will deliver his people (redemption from captivity and exile); language of proclaimer of Good News is taken over by Jesus in the Gospels (coming of gods kingdom) o Not only news to pass on – wants to pass on the power of God – the means God uses to bring salvation to people o Applies to Jew and also to the Greek – universal message; no longer conformed to Jews; for Jews and Gentiles on the same terms (for those who believe) o Message of Salvation – in message of Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed  debated phrase; taken in 2 ways  Righteousness of God may mean the Salvation of God – salvation that god brings to his people; righteousness of God means Gods way of putting thing right  Seen repeatedly that it is basic to Jewish and Christian faith – if God is all powerful and good, sometime things will be put right, evil cannot triumph in the end, may be present in the time being; by whatever means, God will put it right  the Gospel is the means by which God puts things right in a world that’s gone wrong  Gods way of putting people right declaring people to be in the right who are otherwise in the wrong; people have done what they ought not to do, because of this, when they stand trial before God they ought be condemned, but the righteousness of God is Gods gift of righteousness to those who are not righteous in themselves  Gods gift of righteousness to those who are not themselves righteous so that they may be approved when they stand judgment 2 WEEK 9 RELIGST 2HH3 Tutorial 7 November 6, 2013 Romans 3:21-31 Romans 3:21-26  Called the heart of this section of Romans; heart and center of the whole book of Romans o Martin Luther (former; Augustan Monk) – thought this was the heart and center of the whole Bible  Most debated section  Compact argument; big theological words, dense  Main point – to explain why Christ died on the cross; Paul’s Gospel  this is the section that people should know  Topic of discussion – Righteousness of God  Romans 3:21-22a  WHEN the righteousness of God appears o Romans 1:18-3:20 – argument that all have sinned (Jew or Gentile) and are under wrath God’s wrath; essentially the problem argued in OT o Temporal argument – although people are under Gods wrath, God has made his righteousness appear o Righteousness of God – definitions 1. Salvation of God 2. God declaring people’s righteousness – main focus of first 4 chapters of book of Romans; now God has declared people righteous (Just and Good) 3. God’s faithfulness in upholding creations goodness – fall of man (first sin), God now restoring goodness o WHEN  JESUS CHRIST; God’s righteousness given through faith in Jesus Christ o Salvation was spoken to and hinted in the Law and Prophets (Law and Prophets can testify)  Law and Prophets  referring to the OT o Salvation comes apart from the law (Law Covenant/Mosaic Covenant/Sinaitic Covenant; Exodus 19-end of Deuteronomy)  Romans 3:22b-23  FOR WHOM righteousness of God is for o ALL WHO BELIEVE  Righteousness of God applies to all who believe  All are accountable for their sin and face wrath  all who believe receive God’s salvation  Romans 3:24-25a  HOW righteousness of God applies to “for whom” o Redemption – buy back; pay to free; OT and ancient world, to be freed from slavery someone had to redeem slave (pay to free slave)  Christ has paid for all sinners to be freed from “slavery” o Justified – acquitted, declared just (Romans 3:24); people who believed in Jesus are justified freely by the redemption in Christ o Great Paradox – THE UNJUST DECLARED JUST  Paul claims that all are under wrath and are unjust  then claims that all are justified by Christ  Makes God seem unjust (eg/ serial killer admits to crime, judge declares them innocent and just) – letting people who deserve punishment become just and free o GOD MADE JESUS A SACRFICIE OF ATONEMENT (Romans 3:25) – answers paradox  Expiation
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