Monday, January 05, 2015

Rm 1:1-27

We'll be trying always to look with "new eyes" at the passages, and this is equally important everywhere, since most sincere theological errors come from presuppositions brought to the text.

Here, in the most famous epistle in the Bible, the presupposition is so easy to adopt -- that it's not an epistle!  How does that pan out?  Paul, writing a letter, using the customary "from:" and "concerning" and "to" of the headings then, puts ... for "concerning" ... "His Son"!!!!  Paul, writing a letter, and the subject is God's Son.  That's pretty non-letter-like, and pretty bold if you ask me.  Come on, Paul!  You expect us to believe that "God's Son" is the reason for your letter, not something about us, about you, about our stuff, about your stuff?  Yup!

And he proves it, doesn't he, going right into details!?  Before the "ink" was dry on the first word "Paul," with only one intervening word in Greek (doulos), names the one whom the letter is "concerning."  Before he says "concerning" (1:3) he's already mentioned who his letter is concerning!

But not to toy with the Romans, he gives them plenty of information about himself: he was sent by the One whom this letter is concerning, and he is a bond-slave of Him.  His particular task, a specialized one, is "the gospel of God," the good news from God, "which He promised beforehand."  It's one thing for something to be good news.  It's another thing entirely that it was known about beforehand, and the hardest to add to a piece of good news is the last fact: God promised the good news long ago.  Not too much good news gets promised beforehand, and that, by God, and written down.

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