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God and Israel
Providence and Purpose in Romans 9-11
Edited by Todd D. Still
John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost consciously seeks to “justify the ways of God to men.” The Apostle Paul’s magisterial letter to the Romans does not so much intend to defend God’s ways as to declare God’s Word—a Word made public in the gospel. In Romans 9–11 this declaration occurs within the context of God’s troubled relationship with Israel, both past and future.
God and Israel traces the ways in which providence and purpose are realized as God’s Word to and about Israel in Romans 9–11. Written by gifted and tested Pauline interpreters, the volume offers a fresh reading of this vexed and vexing part of Paul in the context of Romans and the Pauline witness. God and Israel squarely tackles the questions of Paul’s understanding of salvation-historical time (L. Ann Jervis); the faithfulness and sovereignty of the covenantal God (Michael Wolter); Paul’s mythic rhetoric of “ingrafting” (Davina C. Lopez); the disputed relation between Israel and her “enemies,” the gentiles (J. Ross Wagner); the role of Christ in God’s purposes and his relation to the nation of Israel (Simon Gathercole); and, finally, the unfailing eschatological hope for Israel’s full inclusion (Jonathan A. Linebaugh).
If only simple solutions are sought for the challenges Paul’s gospel and his letters pose, frustration will result. But if readers follow the Apostle to the Gentiles as he wrestles with ultimate questions of God’s purposes in his own anguish over kith and kin, then wisdom will be found.
"This book is a rare achievement: a chorus of voices which all, in different ways, have something both original and important to say about a much-discussed text. All six contributions to this volume are the product of mature reflection; they deserve to be widely read and deeply pondered."
—John Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University
"To read this book is to enter into a provocative, substantive, and wide-ranging conversation about issues at the heart of Paul’s theology. For anyone interested in a deeper historical and theological engagement with Romans 9-11, God and Israel: Providence and Purpose in Romans 9-11 is a must-read. This is an extraordinarily rich collection of essays."
—Susan Grove Eastman, Associate Research Professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School
"For good reason, Romans 9-11 is now widely recognized as a crux in the argument of Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and indeed in the apostle’s theology as a whole. And yet, it remains a very difficult passage to read and to understand. The excellent cast of contributors—Ann Jervis, Michael Wolter, Davina Lopez, Ross Wagner, Simon Gathercole, and Jonathan Linebaugh—together offer a master seminar in the careful interpretation of a difficult text. This volume is not a commentary, but it deserves to stand on the shelf alongside Romans commentaries as a trustworthy guide through the twists and turns of this remarkable passage."
—Matthew Novenson, Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Christian Origins, University of Edinburgh
Todd Still is Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean and William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.