The Mystery of Romans by Mark D. Nanos The Mystery of Romans:
The Jewish Context of Paul's Letter 
by Mark D. Nanos

Paperback (May 1996) 
Fortress Pr
ISBN: 080062937X

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Winner of the National Jewish Book Award  for Jewish-Christian Relations

Paul's letter to the Romans is an example of Jewish correspondence, addressingbelievers in Jesus who are steeped in Jewish ways —whether of Jewish or gentileorigin. Arguing against those who think Paul was an apostate from Judaism, Nanosmaintains Paul's continuity with his Jewish heritage.

"Nanos views Romans through an insightful prism. His arguments are madewith clarity and fairness." — Thomas H. Tobin, S.J., Loyola University ofChicago.

"Worthwhile reading for every student of Paul and for everyoneinterested in Jewish-Christian relations in the first century." — Sarah J.Tanzer, McCormick Theological Seminary

"Nanos's stress upon the Jewish background of Paul combined with the newperspective enables him to bring meaning from familiar texts in such a way thatexciting new interpretive vistas are opened up." — William S. Campbell,Westhill College, University of Birmingham.

"A provocative new book on Paul that takes seriously the notion thatPaul was a Jew within the Jewish community and yet also a person for whom theexperience of Christ made an important difference.  This book willchallenge older notions... and help build a new consensus."  — AlanF. Segal, Barnard College, Columbia University 

Chapter 1: To the Jews First and Also to the Greek
Chapter 2: The Historical Backdrop and Implied Audience

  1. Diaspora Judaism in Rome at the Time of Paul's Letter
  2. The Implied Audience for Paul's "Reminder" to Rome
Chapter 3: Who Were the "Weak" and the "Strong" in Rome?
  1. The Problem with Prevailing Views of the "Weak" and the "Strong"
  2. Must One Assume that the "Weak" and the "Strong" Are Christians?
  3. The Identity of the "Weak" and the "Strong" in Romans
  4. Paul's Instructions to the "Weak" and the "Strong"
  5. The Impact of Redefining the "Weak" and the "Strong" on the Purpose and Message of Romans
Chapter 4: The Apostolic Decree and the "Obedience of Faith"
  1. Monotheism and the Shema as the Basis of Paul's Argument
  2. The Apostolic Decree and the Message of Romans
  3. The "Obedience of Faith" and the Apostolic Decree
Chapter 5: Paul's Two-step Pattern and the Restoration of "All Israel"
  1. Paul's Two-Step Pattern in Romans and Reflected in Acts
  2. Romans 11:25-29
  3. Exegesis of Romans 11:25-29
  4. The "Fulness of the Gentiles" and the Restoration of "All Israel"
Chapter 6: Romans 13:1-7: Christian Obedience to Synagogue Authority
  1. Exegetical Feasibility
  2. Contextual Feasibility
  3. The Feasibility of this Proposal as Demonstrated in Paul's Example of "Subordination" (A Final Concern)
  4. Summary
  5. An Expanded Contextual Translation of 13:1-7,8
Summary and Appendix 1: Peter's Hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11-21) in the Light of Paul's Anxiety (Rom. 7)
Appendix 2: Some Problems with Reading Romans through the Lens of the Edict of Claudius

Great resource: Author Mark Nanos' website.


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