Stumbling stone or cornerstone? The structure and meaning of Paul's argument in Romans 9:30-10:13
The thesis presented in this study is that Paul's argument in Rom 9:30-10:13 is best understood against the background of the OT texts to which he referred and interpreted, and the structural framework in which he chose to present it. Three of the most debated areas in Pauline studies converge in this short passage. These issues are the impact of the interpenetration of Judaism and Hellenism on the development and expression of Paul's thought, the phenemonen of inter-textuality, and his understanding of the relationship between Christ and the law. Each of these general issues has a specific application in Rom 9:30-10:13. The influence of Hellenism is reflected in Paul's use of a diatribal style, which he believed was the appropriate medium to address the central problem of this text, the hypocritical behavior of Jews toward gentiles. Paul's use of the OT is highlighted by his juxtaposition and interpretation of texts which contained two apparently divergent perceptions of the law and its purpose, both of which needed to be understood in light of the resurrection of Christ. Paul's understanding of the relationship between Christ and the law is succinctly stated in his conclusion that "Christ is the telos of the law, resulting in righteousness to all who believe" (10:4), and in the apposition of the "righteousness of faith" and the "righteousness of the law" (10:5). By addressing these three issues, I reach the following conclusions regarding the structure and meaning of Rom 9:30-10:13. Paul believed the Jews had acted hypocritically by refusing to grant the gentiles co-equal status before God. This was a violation of the law's most basic requirement and revealed the hypocrisy of the Jews, who claimed to have obeyed the law but disobeyed its essential summation. Therefore, the purpose of the law and Christ was contiguous. The intention of both was to save Jews and gentiles.
Stephen Bowser Pattee,
"Stumbling stone or cornerstone? The structure and meaning of Paul's argument in Romans 9:30-10:13"
(January 1, 1991).
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