Monday, January 25, 2010

Moo Commentary on Romans (pp. 53-63)

In going through Romans with Moo (about 18 pp. week), it's certainly beneficial to notice the things he is noticing about the details of grammar. Very few things are unavailable so far to us in the English, at least in the parsimonious translations. The details are reflected in the English which he often expresses as what the Greek says. That's encouraging!

1:6-7. Moo overlooks the repeated use of "called" -- as an adjective -- in these two verses (as well as far back in 1:1). The Romans are "the called of Jesus Christ" (1:6) and "called saints" (1:7). Describing the meaning of called, he describes a verb: "the powerful and irresistible reaching out of God in grace to bring people into his kingdom" (p. 54). Hearing that said makes us want to ask Moo, did God do so here? If so, and they are in fact "called saints" -- then they're "in." You can't have a powerful and irresistible reaching out of God without an effect! I.e., they're in! This reticence is especially unusual in that Moo also says this call is "effectual" (p. 54).

Moo has no such reticence about Paul himself. On p. 42, he says "Paul, as a called apostle, has been set aside by God." If it is a fait accompli in Paul's case, it is a fait accompli by God Himself no less in their case, when Paul says that the recipients are "called saints" and are "the called of Jesus Christ."

Our prior calling entails work. Not to be called, but because called.

1:12-14. Going into the nuances of the division of humanity as Greek/barbarian, wise/foolish is fine; however, he misses Paul's humor as he applies the division to Rome: you Romans, whether it's to the Greeks or barbarians among you, to the wise or to the foolish among you, I'm eager to preach the gospel to you whoever you are!

1 comment:

Larry said...

(pp. 58-63)

We shouldn't be surprised at Paul wanting to preaching the gospel TO them in Rome, even though they were "called saints." Christianity is not a two-stage course, the first being a throw-away-afterwards gospel. There are things about the gospel, implied by the gospel, engendered by the gospel, in the gospel, for the Christian life, and so it's just fine for Paul to want to come to Rome "to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome."


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