Romans 3:21-31

Most commentaries I’ve examined assume that Paul’s discussion of the work of Jesus in Romans 3:21-31 centers in the cross. The reference to blood and to propitiation (or propitiating sacrifice) in v 25 justifies this, but this doesn’t mean that Paul’s focus is exclusively on . . . . Continue Reading »

Paul on God’s Righteousness

Romans 3:21 begins a section where Paul expounds, for the first time in Romans, on the revelation of the righteousness of God. One of the ways to characterize current debates about this passage, and about the righteousness of God and justification in general, is to ask whether this is about the . . . . Continue Reading »

Paul’s Goal in Rom. 1:18-3:20

What is Paul trying to prove in Romans 1:18-3:20? Here are a few, non-exhaustive, suggestions: 1) He is trying to close “every mouth” and demonstrate that “all the world” is “accountable to God,” and guilty before Him. It is sometimes said in recent Pauline . . . . Continue Reading »

Romans 3:5a

Most commentators accept that Romans 3:5a offers a legitimate conclusion, but one whose implications must be carefully qualified. From the quotation of Psalm 51, it is argued, Paul draws the inference that the unrighteousness of Israel commends or establishes or somehow contributes to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Mindset Behind Romans 3:3

What kind of mindset would even raise the question Paul poses in Romans 3:3? On what basis would it follow that the APISTIA (unfaithfulness) of Israel would nullify the PISTIS THEOU, the faithfulness of God? This would follow only if God’s faithfulness to His promises, and His faithfulness to . . . . Continue Reading »

Romans 3:1-8

Romans 3:1-8 picks up on a number of themes and concerns that reach back to the first chapter of the letter, especially the crucial verses in 1:16ff. Although unrighteousness (ADIKIA) has been a topic in chapter 2, the contrast between the ADIKIA of man (and of Jews in particular) and the . . . . Continue Reading »

Where Is Boasting?

Simon Gathercole’s Where Is Boasting has some stimulating insights into the argument of Romans 2, and some important objections to the NPP. The following notes are based on Gathercole: 1) It is clear that in Romans 2, Paul considers this Jew to be unrepentant and an apostate from Judaism. It . . . . Continue Reading »

Psalm 51 in Romans 3:4

Some interesting things going on in Paul’s quotation from Psalm 51 in Romans 3:4: 1) The surface significance is pretty clear. Earlier in the chapter, Paul has raised the question about how the PISTIS of God can be manifest if “some” in Israel have been APISTIA, so unfaithful to . . . . Continue Reading »

Chiasm in Romans 3:19-31

There’s something chiastic going on in 3:19-31 (or maybe 2:25-3:30). A. by works of law no flesh shall be justified, 19-20 B. Apart from law, righteousness of God is revealed, 21 C. righteousness through faith in Jesus—> for all have sinned, 22-23 D. being justified as a gift through . . . . Continue Reading »

Additional Thoughts on Romans 2

A few additional thoughts on Romans 2: 1) As Dunn points out, Paul is clearly lining out a series of oppositions in the latter part of this chapter, much as he does in Galatians: manifest ?Enot Jew ?Emanifest circumcision ?Eflesh ?E gramma /letter ?Epraise from man hidden ?EJew ?Ecircumcision . . . . Continue Reading »