Outside of the Gospels themselves, there is no single Christian document whose influence has been greater than Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Its explosive character has changed lives—Augustine’s, Martin Luther’s, Karl Barth’s, to name a few—and precipitated revolutions.
This full-scale commentary deals with the most important issues of the early Christian church. And it is through the eyes of the apostle Paul, the major figure of this period, that we see dominant motifs and themes, the theological essentials of the Christian faith. Who better than the once pious Jew, converted to the Christian cause, to tell the reader about the early struggles with Judaism, the reluctant yet nurturing mother of this new community of faith?
This volume is aimed primarily at Christians, because the letter to the Romans is a part of their canon of Holy Scripture. But it is equally valuable for all those who have an interest in learning about one of the most important letters ever written by anyone, and in understanding the world-shaking movement of which it was an essential part, and to which it gave powerful impetus.
“When human beings enjoy a correct relationship with God, their condition may be one of inner calm and quiet composure, of undisturbed conscience, but the essential thing is the experience of God-given salvation and the hope of glory. Those who are now at peace with God are no longer objects of wrath; for them Christ has removed all wrath. Reconciliation has been provided by God. See 5:10.” (Page 395)
“The peace that Christians experience is derived from being introduced into the sphere of divine favor by Christ, who has, as it were, escorted them into the royal audience-chamber of God’s presence.” (Page 396)
“ God’s promise to Abraham came independently of the law.” (Page 383)
“Abraham’s status of justification before God not only did not depend on his adoption of circumcision, but did not depend even on his observance of the law.” (Page 383)
“Paul realizes that the law could not be the norm of justification, for it would undo the role of faith. The law could not determine who the heirs of the promise would be.” (Page 383)
Joseph A. Fitzmyer is a Jesuit priest and professor emeritus at the Catholic University of America. A past president of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association, and coeditor of The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Fitzmyer has written The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire and The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (1Q20): A Commentary, available from Logos in the Northwest Semitic Collection (7 vols.), and A Manual of Palestinian Aramaic Texts.