An die Roemer, part 3: 1:16-17

1:16-17: Explaining the gospel/introducing the teaching
οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι, Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι. δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, καθὼς γέγραπται, ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται.
1:[For] I am not ashamed of the proclamation, because it is the power of God toward salvation for every believer, first the Judean and also the Hellene. For in it, the righteousness of God is uncovered to faith by faith, just as it was written, "but the righteous will live by faith."
1: "For" as a continuation, or "Indeed" as an introduction? Does this belong to the prior or following section? The parallel ἀποκαλύπτεται makes the connection, but the proclamation and the wrath of God are dialectically opposed. The logic of γὰρ connects as explanation of Paul's eagerness, but it could just as easily be introducing and explaining the gospel as a start to the discussion of law below. In any case, it appears to be rhetorical 'connective tissue'.
Paul, who proclaimed up until now to the provincial population, might be expected to change his tune in the seat of wisdom. He might be expected to be ashamed of what played well in Macedonia and Achaia. But Paul is not a man with an act. He has, as we have heard, one gospel. Even the angels don't proclaim another one. His proclamation is the power of God, the revelation of God. πίστις is the only qualification for it, and life is its result. That little dig, as we often read it, "to the Jew first and then the Greek," shows a priority that I expect to conflict with his audience just a bit. God, and not Rome, sets the agenda here. Paul used the language of Hellenes and barbarians not a moment ago, but he has another global us/them paradigm in mind. God's wisdom came first to the Judeans, and not the Gentiles -- to barbarians, and not Hellenes.


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