While widely acknowledged as the single most influential document in Christian history, Pauls Letter to the Romans has also attracted the most comment. Standing at the head of Pauls writings in the New Testament and so eloquently delivering his Gospel, Romans has presented Paul to generations of readers: from Augustine in the fifth century, through the Reformation era, down to the present day.
This commentary adopts a literary-rhetorical approach, viewing the letter as an instrument of persuasion designed to transform readers through a celebratory presentation of the Gospel. Reflecting upon the fate of Jews and Gentiles, Paul wins his audience to a vision of a God who always acts inclusively. The God who, in the person of Israels Messiah (Jesus), has acted faithfully to include the Gentile peoples within the community of salvation, will not fail to see to the eventual inclusion of Israel as well. In the victory of grace displayed already in the risen humanity of Jesus, the original design of the Creator for human communities and for the world begins to come true.
The interpretation of Pauls letter to Rome has accompanied and stimulated the path of Christian theology down to today. Romans touches upon virtually all main issues of Christian theology as well as presenting a rewarding introduction to Paul. Byrne facilitates full access to Paul and his Gospel through the letter, allowing Christians today to hear Pauls voice as intelligibly and powerfully as it has spoken to past generations. Includes an updated bibliography and appendix.
Brendan Byrne, SJ, is professor of New Testament at Jesuit Theological College, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. A member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1990–96) and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2000–), he is the author of nine books and editor in chief of the theological journal Pacifica.
This is a lucid, major commentary on Romans.