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Paul's Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
Ben Witherington III with Darlene Hyatt
From The Publisher:
While Paul’s letter to the Romans is the most studied and commented-on document from the biblical period, the major exegetical books on Romans from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been overwhelmingly shaped by the Reformed tradition. Through a careful survey of work on Romans by both ancient Church Fathers and modern exegetical scholars, Ben Witherington III here argues that the interpretation of Romans since the Reformation has been far too indebted to — and at key points led astray by — Augustinian readings of the text as filtered through Luther, Calvin, and others.
In this first full-scale socio-rhetorical commentary on Romans, Witherington gleans fresh insights from reading the text of Paul’s epistle in light of early Jewish theology, the historical situation of Rome in the middle of the first century A.D., and Paul’s own rhetorical concerns. Giving serious consideration to the social and rhetorical background of Romans allows readers to hear Paul on his own terms, not just through the various voices of his later interpreters. Witherington’s groundbreaking work also features a new, clear translation of the Greek text, and each section of the commentary ends with a brief discussion titled “Bridging the Horizons,” which suggests how the ancient text of Romans may speak to us today.
Ben Witherington is one of the most outstanding New Testament scholars of our generation, and in this commentary on Romans he brings his usual breadth of knowledge and reverence to the text. Scholars will appreciate the fresh analysis and rhetorical insights, while the work’s clear language and sensitivity to Paul’s message make it ideal for general readers desiring a readable commentary.
—Craig S. Keener
Ben Witherington’s sensible, clearly written commentary is based on a sound knowledge of the first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman discourses of which Paul’s letter to the Romans was a part, yet it also makes a point of addressing issues and concerns pertinent to twenty-first-century Christian life and faith. This volume should prove a valuable resource for students and preachers alike.
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About the Author
Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of numerous books on the New Testament, including (with Hershel Shanks) The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story and Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus and His Family. Darlene Hyatt is a graduate student at Asbury Theological Seminary.
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