Saturday, November 27

Pauline Epistles: Romans
(chapter 7 (mostly), essay 5)

Well, a few quick points overall before we get started. Perhaps for a while now, an overall pattern will settle with respect to bloggin the Epistles. It may find me returning to some leftover question(s) from the last blog, then blogging about what I read, mentioning some question or three that I don't understand, deferring them to the next time. Also, if I ever manage get a few posts ahead of myself (in the can so to speak), Mrs Polymath wants to get back to proofing my text. We will all benefit from that. Last night I was tired, my apologies, for the typos in the last post. So, then, onward to the text.

Speaking of using "I was tired as an excuse". The phrase that stumped me last night, was when I had been reading along in Chapter 5, and got to "hope does not disappoint us". The reason why hope doesn't disappoint had not been what I had expected. The reason our "hope of the Glory of God" will be fulfilled, was "because God has poured out his love into our hearts". Well, after a night's sleep, possibly it is the translation. That translation I had read was the NIV (New International Version). The King James (in the adjoining column in my text) has "the hope of God makes us not ashamed, because of the love of God is shed into our hearts". Glancing at the Greek I find it was more literally followed by the older translation. However, as I learned before, again shame for the Roman Christian has much to do with how Christ died (crucifixion). I've got to keep in mind as I'm doing this, I have three translations in front of me. Look at them, when I have questions (doh!).

Moving on, we had gotten through Chapter 6. Mr Wright (remember that essay I mentioned (linked!) back in my first posting) warns us that 5-8 make for the core of the Epistle (the engine that drives the rest of the letter), so it will do us in good stead to heed his warning and "stay sharp".

In Chapter 7, Paul starts by making an analogy to our re-birth in Christ and our relationship with the Law with marriage. In marriage, death of a spouse frees the other to re-marry without committing adultery. In Christ, we died to the Law and are reborn. Then he goes on to make points about the relationship between sin and the Law. One point is that knowing the Law exists, tempts us with the lure of the forbidden. It was sin, seizing on this opportunity opened by the commandment of the Law that brought us to sin. But that increase in my temptation is not the fault of the Law. We all find ourselves wrestling with sin. We do what we know we should not. Who will rescue us? Christ.

It's late, I'm going to post this for now. No burning questions seem left over (so much for my pattern). I'll be on to Chapter 8 on the morrow.