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Pauline Interpretation of Christianity: ROMANS RLST 212/Div/Rel 3162 Tuesday Feb 28.

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Presentation on theme: "Pauline Interpretation of Christianity: ROMANS RLST 212/Div/Rel 3162 Tuesday Feb 28."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pauline Interpretation of Christianity: ROMANS RLST 212/Div/Rel 3162 Tuesday Feb 28

2 Today’s Schedule 4:10-- 5:10 Rom 6 Forensic/Theological vs New Covenant/Pastoral vs Apocalyptic/Messianic Readings of Paul 5:15–5:20 Setting up the rest of the semester 5:20-6:40 Rom 6:1-23 Roundtable: Its F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M teaching about The Newness of Life in Christ “Being slaves of righteousness/justice” (instead of “slaves of sin”)

3 Newness of Life in Christ” “Being slaves of righteousness/justice BENJAMIN TAYLOR vs. Moo With Miladys & Michael SARAH JANE CAMPER vs. Jewett With Jessica & Erica Daniel PATTE vs. Byrne With Jill and Jesse

4 Today 1) Romans 6:1-23 2) Beker, The Triumph of God, (39-59) 4) Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity “Sin,” “Death,” “Sanctification” (multiple articles) “Theodosis” “Orthodox Churches, Eastern and their theology” ( )

5 Beyond the PROPOSAL … toward your RESEARCH PAPER defending a “thesis” The thesis (presented in an introduction that shows the importance of this issue; and tightly argued in the conclusion) must argue that: “One of two interpretations of the chosen passages from Romans on a chosen theme is the best for believers in a particular present-day situation, both because it best conforms to basic Christian convictions (“loving God”) and because it best addresses the needs of these believers and their neighbors (“loving neighbors”).” Can be ANY TYPE of interpretation, according to the actual ROO- PROBLEM in the particular CONTEXT (individual issue, F/T; Community/ideological, NC/P; Religious A/M)

6 Beyond the PROPOSAL … toward your RESEARCH PAPER The body of the paper is your argument that grounds your conclusion that an interpretation is “the best” in a given life-context must necessarily compare two interpretations: 1) YOUR interpretation (as supported by your companion scholar; closest to yours) and 2) ANOTHER interpretation, the most different from yours. For this you will have to show the differences between their theological choices, their textual choices, and their contextual choices differ.

7 Your PROPOSAL: A Contextual Biblical Interpretation I have asked you to self-consciously develop contextual biblical interpretation in Part B & C of your proposal As believers do when they read Paul’s letters as Scripture. Need to begin to think about Step 2 of our process (body of your paper) = comparing different contextual interpretations Surprise! All scholarly interpretations are contextual Especially when they pretend not to be contextual

8 Scholarly interpretations are contextual whether they find what is meaningful/most significant behind the text What Paul meant; what was “in Paul’s mind”; the newness of his teaching by contrast with earlier teachings; his theological views by contrast with what precedes--Jewish teaching, Jesus’ teaching, etc.; historical exegesis, philology Contextual: Western view of History as progressing through the production of new meaning by the individual author; for the benefit/needs of the individual readers. In front of the text In the text.

9 Scholarly interpretations are contextual whether they find what is meaningful/most significant behind the text In front of the text How people are positively or negatively affected? How Jews, Gentiles, Barbarians, Greeks, slaves and frees, men and women (Gal 3:18) are affected? How Gentiles are affected? How the poor and oppressed people are affected? How marginalized people are affected? Rhetorical Studies —as Gager, Stowers, Jewett, etc. Contextual: Hermeneutic of Suspicion: How community members are affected; Jews, various Christians;; other religious; non-religious; women and men; poor and rich; first world people and colonized; lesbians and gays (LBGT)? Feminist; Liberation theologians; post-colonial interpretations. In the text

10 Scholarly interpretations are contextual whether they find what is meaningful/most significant behind the text or in front of the text, or In the text the literary character of the text; its symbolism; how does this text as a religious text conveys convictions, give a glimpse of Paul’s own religious experience and opens the way to religious experiences for its readers. Literary studies; History of religion approach; structural approaches Contextual: Hermeneutic of Suspicion: concern with systemic/structural evil; anti-Judaism; anti-Semitism; sectarianism; sexism; patriarchalism; marginalization; economic, cultural, political oppression; colonialism; imperialism Feminist; Liberation theologians; post-colonial interpretations.

11 All Scholarly interpretations are contextual Jewett’s, Gager’s (Stowers’s; Stendahl’s; Bill Campbell’s; ; Kathy Ehrensberger etc. ) scholarly studies are contextual: concerned by the effect of the text and its interpretations on Jews, women; economic/political issues, and community issues; and scholarly: detailed study of the rhetoric of Paul’s letters New Perspective/New Covenant /Pastoral interpretation Moos, Stuhlmacher’s (Bultmann’s, Dunn’s; Beverly Gaventa’s Elizabeth Castelli’s) scholarly studies are contextual: concerned by the ways in which the text and its interpretations help or fail to help individuals to gain salvation and to be good members of the church, but also in their private and family lives; and scholarly: detailed study of Paul’s theological argument and its “historical’ context so as to show what is new in Paul’s teaching beyond Judaism and beyond Jesus’ teaching Forensic/Theological interpretation

12 All Scholarly interpretations are contextual… Our Step 2 task includes discerning the contextual character of each scholarly interpretation. Each is a Complex interpretation (as often): each has read Forensic interpretations, but also New Perspective interpretations, and Apocalyptic interpretations. in most instances, each aims at showing that his/her interpretation is the most legitimate, and the most plausible And therefore that other interpretations are lacking, not as legitimate, not as plausible… This scholar is rescuing Romans from all kinds of misunderstandings and IF they acknowledge a contextual character to their interpretations – coming from a social economic, a political, a cultural, and/or a religious context – it is usually in order to find a way to overcome these biases… As if it were possible to have an interpretation without pre-understandings-

13 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (Human Predicament) Which One did You/Your Companion Scholar/Your Contrasting Scholar Choose? F/T Individuals under God’s condemnation; God is angry against human (God’s wrath); God views humans as God’s enemies, NC/P Being jealous of God’s people and Enemy of God; angry against God; suspicious of God (“God is unjust”; God is partial; God prefers & favors others) and jealous of God’s people A/M In bondage to the power of sin, power of evil; since humans serve evil, they are enemies of God and of God’s people;

14 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M Sin. Which One did You - Your Companion Scholar - Your Contrasting Scholar Choose? F/T Sin = Willingly not doing God’s Will; or Willingly doing evil NC/P Sin = Rebelling against God and against God’s beloved; participating in systemic sin A/M Sin = Serving an idol and/or a power which is not God, because it has power over them; being slave to death. Lack of control

15 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M Root-Problem of Sin Which One did You/Your Companion Scholar/Your Contrasting Scholar Choose? F/T Either not knowing (wrong) knowledge or not willing to do God’s Will and its goodness NC/P Lack of or Wrong vision of God (as partial, favoring others, and not us) and of God’s people; wrong ideology. A/M Lack of or Wrong Vision/faith (darkened mind by idols) because blinded, and being powerless under the power of idols

16 Which One did You - Your Companion Scholar - Your Contrasting Scholar Choose? View of “revelation” F/T = Revelation = truth given from above that is grasped/appropriated by faith for a life of faith = sola fidei (NIV by faith from first to last) NC/P Revealed = uncovered: What was hidden & is uncovered? The "righteousness of God" = the historical act in JC by which God brought people into right relationship- /new covenant with God was hidden and is now revealed = uncovered by God when the gospel is propagated Revealed = uncovered: What was hidden & is uncovered? God’s Justice [the just relationship that God establishes among people through the Risen Christ’s present powerful interventions]. It is present yet hidden but revealed =uncovered by (the eyes of) faith

17 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) Primary locus of sin F/T “Autonomous” mode of life; NC/P “Relational” mode of life; A/M “Heteronomous” mode of life;

18 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M Modes of Existence ? Which One did You/Your Companion Scholar/Your Contrasting Scholar Choose? “Autonomous” mode of life; we function as “individuals” with freedom to choose, “Relational” mode of life; we live in communities and in relations with others; “Heteronomous” mode of life; we are dependent on “Others” whom we trust, and to whom we abandon ourselves (e.g., as infants);

19 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M Modes of Existence ? F/T “Autonomous” mode of life; we have freedom to choose our life; self-confidence, liberty, free-will, NC/P “Relational” mode of life; we allow our lives to be defined by our community and interactions with others (peers, superiors, inferiors); A/M “Heteronomous” mode of life; we allow our lives to be structured by one’s religious experiences; one’s experiences of the holy, one’s convictions and spirituality; Which one has the primary role in defining our identity?

20 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) Priority among Modes of Existence F/T “Autonomous” mode of life; we have freedom to choose our life; self-confidence, liberty, free-will, NC/P “Relational” mode of life; we allow our lives to be defined by our community and interactions with others (peers, superiors, inferiors); A/M “Heteronomous” mode of life; we allow our lives to be structured by one’s religious experiences; one’s of the holy, one’s convictions and spirituality;

21 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) Primary locus of sin F/T “Autonomous” mode of life; freedom to choose our life; self-confidence, liberty, free-will, but sin: misdirected will, misdirected intention; wrong decisions in personal, individual life; bad individuals make bad communities NC/P “Relational” mode of life; privilege community life and interactions with others; but sin: competition with others; wanting to be better than others; power plays; oppression; wrongly placed honor and shame; wrong ideology (see Salieri in Amadeus) A/M “Heteronomous” mode of life; allowing one’s life to be structured by one’s religious experiences; one’s of the holy, one’s convictions and spirituality; but sin: wrong, twisted religious experience; misdirected worship; wrong vision; fanaticism; idolatry; believing that our idols give us life, protect us of all evil

22 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) NC/P “Sin” NC/P “Relational” mode of life; competition with others; wanting to be better than others; power plays; oppression; wrongly placed honor and shame; wrong ideology (see Salieri in Amadeus) “Make me great… famous through the world… Let everyone speak my name with love…” Wanting to be superior in some way to others, who are then inferior Seeking to be better, stronger, faster, to have the best grade; competition Being loved, honored, instead of being shamed

23 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) Dying to sin (6:2) = F/T “dying to” Willingly not doing God’s Will; NC/P “dying to” Rebelling against God A/M “dying to” Serving an idol and/or a power which is not God;

24 Paul’s Metaphoric self- designation as “slave.” A “slave” is: Someone owned by a master, and thus in bondage and totally at the mercy of this master; someone worthless, powerless, in an abject situation, with a shameful status (emphasized by the Apocalyptic/Messianic Reading); Someone who, althoughPresupposition: human are ALWAYS slave … the question is: to whom/what? in a low status, is a member of a household, and who, as a servant, acts in the name of his/her master for the sake of the household; someone totally defined by his/her mission in the name of a master (emphasized by the New Covenant/Pastoral Reading); Someone who is unconditionally submitted to the will and authority of a master (emphasized by the Forensic/Theological Reading).

25 Connotations of “Slave of Christ Jesus” 1. Christ’s power upon the “slave” (according to the first view of slave chosen in the Messianic Reading); 2. Christ’s mission which the “slave” prolongs in the name of the Lord (according to the second view of slave chosen in the Pastoral Reading); 3. Christ’s authority to which the “slave” voluntarily submits (according to the third view of slave chosen in the Theological Reading).

26 Showing “Obedience of faith” to a Roman Legionnaire

27 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) Jesus’ death F/T willingly doing God’s will: dying instead of us; NC/P The cost of being absolutely faithful to God in a world where people are in rebellion against God and against God’s beloved. The cost of being absolutely faithful to God’s children in a world where God’s children define themselves against each other A/M Jesus’ powerlessness under the power of death; his being crushed by the powers of death and other evil powers (incarnation)

28 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M (see Handout) baptized into his death (6:3) F/T putting ourselves at the benefit of his death; NC/P sharing in Jesus’ faithfulness; accepting to share in God’s fate among humans A/M acknowledging that we are under the dominion of death, and of other evil powers (and need God’s intervention)

29 F/T vs. NC/P vs A/M ( 6:6-7) our old self was crucified with him F/T Willingly abandoning our old “will” (bad intentions, etc.) in order to submit to God’s will as Jesus did NC/P No longer defining ourselves against each other but defining ourselves for others (as Christ did) A/M Losing our identity as defined by our idols and losing our confidence/trust in our idols


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