Presentation on theme: "Taxonomy of Responses A. Paul isn’t coherent B. Paul is coherent B1. Rom 2:13 is hypothetical (an empty set) B2. “Doers of the Law” (positive) ≠ “works."— Presentation transcript:
Taxonomy of Responses A. Paul isn’t coherent B. Paul is coherent B1. Rom 2:13 is hypothetical (an empty set) B2. “Doers of the Law” (positive) ≠ “works of the Law” (negative) B2a. Gentile Christians B2b. Non-Christian Gentiles The Apparent Contradiction Rom 2:13: “For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified” (ο ὐ γ ὰ ρ ο ἱ ἀ κροατα ὶ ν ό μου δ ί καιοι παρ ὰ τ ῷ θε ῷ, ἀ λλ’ ο ἱ ποιητα ὶ ν ό μου δικαιωθ ή σονται) Rom 3:20: “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight” ( ἐ ξ ἔ ργων ν ό μου ο ὐ δικαιωθ ή σεται π ᾶ σα σ ὰ ρξ ἐ ν ώ πιον α ὐ το ῦ ) Rom 2:12-16 (my translation) 12 For all who have sinned apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be condemned by the Law ( 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified; 14 for whenever Gentiles who do not have the Law by nature do what the Law requires, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the function of the Law written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend themselves) 16 on the day when God judges the secrets of humans through Christ Jesus – as my gospel declares. Objections to Hypothetical View with my responses (1) No hypothetical markers But Rom 2:13 is “hypothetical” in sense of “if-then” Paraphrase: “If a person does the Law, they will be justified” The problem is, no one does the Law (3:9-10, 23) (2) Judgment according to works in Paul (e.g., 2 Cor 5:10) But Rom 2:13 is part of diatribe with unbelieving Jew Not addressed to Christians (see green box top right) (3) The uncircumcised Law-keeper (vv 25-29) This is the toughest argument against my view vv – Paul nowhere says Christians “keep the Law” vv alludes to Christians only in abstract sense (4) “In accordance with my gospel” (v 16) NIV: “as my gospel declares” – judgment part of message Paul will re-appropriate principle of judgment Christologically But not here in this passage (5) Symmetry between condemnation and justification But “there is none righteous” (3:10), “all have sinned” (3:23) Therefore, all stand condemned apart from gospel – assymetry Paul writing from “a pre-evangelical point of view” (Lietzmann) (6) Allusion to Jeremiah 31:33 (“work of Law written on heart”) In full paper, I argue against an allusion to Jer 31:33 3 significant grammatical differences between Jer and Rom 2:15 Paul relying here on Stoic concept of “unwritten law” (7) Alleged impossibility of justification by works But Paul only denies it to fallen Adamic humans (“flesh”) (Rom 3:20) Gal 3:21 (“If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on Law”) Critique of Gentile Christian View (1) Meaning of ἔ θνη The word means “Gentiles” not “Gentile Christians” In context, Paul divides humanity into Jews (those who have the Law) and Gentiles (those who do not have the Law) (2) The universal impartiality of God Paul’s argument for the universal impartiality of God would have a gaping hole if he only had Christians in view See Jouette Bassler, Divine Impartiality (SBLDS 59, 1982), (3) “A law to themselves” (v 14) Inappropriate as a descriptor of Christians (4) Accusing thoughts (v 15) Why would Christians have accusing thoughts? N. T. Wright’s view: they lack assurance due to their status of being Gentiles outside the Torah But Paul never describes Gentile Christians as lacking assurance (5) The lead sentence (v 12) “All who have sinned apart from Law will also perish apart from Law” Only envisions Gentiles who sin and perish No mention of Gentiles who are sufficiently obedient (6) The Achilles’ heel of the Gentile Christian view How reconcile the apparent contradiction between 2:13 and 3:20? How reconcile the apparent contradiction between 2:13 and 3:20? New Perspective says “works of Law” = Jewish badges of exclusivism New Perspective says “works of Law” = Jewish badges of exclusivism On this view, “doers of Law” (positive) “works of Law” (negative) On this view, “doers of Law” (positive) ≠ “works of Law” (negative) But ποιητα ὶ & ἔ ργα are too closely related to allow this disjunction But ποιητα ὶ & ἔ ργα are too closely related to allow this disjunction Hypothetical view does better job of showing Paul’s rhetorical coherence Hypothetical view does better job of showing Paul’s rhetorical coherence Romans 2:13: Is Paul Coherent? Lee Irons New Testament Ph.D. student at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California) Mentor: Dr. Donald A. Hagner Judgment according to Works Paul does not discard the principle of final judgment He re-appropriates it within a new framework of grace (e.g., Rom 14:10-12; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor 5:10 and Col 3:23-24) Not quite the same as the final judgment expected in post-biblical Jewish literature In Paul, judgment of believers has taken on a Christological coloring Purpose of judgment of believers according to works: - Not to determine whether Christians will be delivered from wrath and enter the eschatological kingdom - But to publicly vindicate their profession of faith (good works as the evidence of faith) However, I argue that, except for the very brief hint in v 16 (“as my gospel declares”), Paul isn’t engaging in this Christological re- appropriation of the doctrine of final judgment here in Rom 2:6-16. Full paper (69 pages) available online Representative Scholars View A: Paul isn’t Coherent Räisänen, Heikki Sanders, E. P. View B2b: Non-Christian Gentiles Dunn, James (Romans WBC) Snodgrass, Klyne View B1: Hypothetical Alletti, Jean-Noël Bassler, Jouette Bell, Richard Best, Ernest Black, Matthew Fitzmyer, Joseph Lietzmann, Hans Moo, Douglas Watson, Francis (2004) Westerholm, Stephen Wilckens, Ulrich View B2a: Gentile Christians Augustine Barth, Karl Bird, Michael Cranfield, C. E. B. Garlington, Don Gathercole, Simon Jewett, Robert VanLandingham, Chris Watson, Francis (1986) Wright, N. T. Yinger, Kent SBL 2007 San Diego Thesis In this paper, I critique B2a (Gentile Christians) and defend B1 (the hypothetical or empty-set view). Paul is coherent because Rom 2:13 must be read in light of his larger argument in Rom 1-4, esp. 3:9-10 (“There is none righteous, no not one”), 3:23 (“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). Thus, 2:13 states a hypothetical principle (“if a person keeps the Law, they will be justified”). But no one in fact keeps the Law. Ergo, “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified” (3:20).