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Document Details :
Title: 'Christ Replaces the Law, - but Israel Remains the People of God'
Subtitle: The Rhetorical Dispositio of Romans 1,13-11,36
Author(s): FARLA, Piet
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 93 Issue: 4 Date: 2017
The model of classical rhetorical oratory does not apply to Paul’s letter to the Romans as a whole, but it does apply to Rom 1-11, at least to each of the three parts of this section separately: 1-4; 5-8 and 9-11. Using this model to analyse these parts gives us a clear idea of the occasion for and purpose of the letter, and it throws surprising new light both on the structure and argument of the eleven chapters as a whole, and on the function and meaning of the various parts and of a number of details within this whole. Paul feels compelled to defend (1,16) against Jewish Christians his preaching of a Christianity without the Law, and without distinguishing any longer between Jew and Greek. In 1,13-4,25 he attempts to convince them that, even though they have the Law, they are no different from the Gentiles: they, too, have to rely on faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation: 1,13-17: exordium; 1,18-3,20: narratio; 3,21-26: propositio; 3,27-4,22: argumentatio; 4,23-25: conclusion. Jewish Christians had two major objections (3,2-4.5-8) to this theology of justification by faith, with its radical qualification of the Law: 1. Does this theology not imply that God has broken off his covenantal relationship with Israel, which is in effect reckoned to be unbelieving? 2. How justification by faith does relate with the Law as the norm of a sinless life? Paul gives his view on the second issue in 5-8: the Christian certainty of salvation rests on faith: it is not the Law, the accomplice of sin, but only faith that has the power to set people free from sin: 5,1-5: exordium; 5,6-11: narratio; 5,12-21: propositio; 6-7: argumentatio; 8,1-17: recapitulatio; 8,18-30: amplificatio (on the certainty of salvation for all of creation); 8,31-39: hymn of praise. Paul explains the cause of Israel’s current state of being cut off from salvation in 9-11, first negatively: God has not broken off his relationship with Israel, then positively: Israel has rejected the gospel: 9,1-3: exordium (1); 9,4-5: narratio (1); 9,6a: propositio (1); 9,6b-29: argumentatio (1); 9,30-31: exordium (2); 9,32-33: narratio (2); 10,1-4: propositio (2); 10,5-21: argumentatio (2); 11,1-12: recapitulatio; 11,13-32: amplificatio (the prospect of Israel’s ultimate salvation); 11,33-36: hymn of praise.