The Problem:

Many articles written on Romans 1, found in ‘ATLA Religion Database 1996’ in the Chinese University, focus on Romans 1:18 or later, discussing the literary structure, the natural revelation and homosexual behavior. It is strange that very few articles are written on 1:1-17. Only a handful of the articles study the relation of these verses in relation to the whole book or its life situation, others focus on a few verses, one verse or even one phrase in a particular verse. This part of Romans has not received much attention. Romans 1:16-17 has been widely accepted as the theme of the book for many years, but the role of v.18 and the detailed relationship of the theme to the whole book are seldom scrutinized. Very few articles have revisited this theme in recent decades. I propose that this part, which contains the Proem (1:1-15) and the Proposition(1:16-18), is key to the whole book. Some hints on the purpose and audience of Romans, together with the structure can be revealed in this part. We will combine the epistolograhy, rhetorical, discourse analysis, and sociolinguistic approaches to explore the issue.

 

 

Introduction

The Christians in the earliest Christian Churches have developed some peculiar forms and vocabularies in communicating among themselves. These special uses of the Greek language are a kind of sociolects. According to the Encarta 97 , Sociolects are dialects determined by social factors rather than by geography. Sociolects often develop due to social divisions within a society, such as those of socioeconomic class and religion.” Due to the progressive oppositions from the Jews and the Roman government, the Christians have finally developed a system of code language, similar to argot and jargon. According to the Encarta 97 ,

Argot refers to a nonstandard vocabulary used by secret groups, particularly criminal organizations, usually intended to render communications incomprehensible to outsiders. A jargon comprises the specialized vocabulary of a particular trade or profession, especially when it is incomprehensible to outsiders, as with legal jargon.”

As Stowers rightly points out the onset of the Christianity among the Roman empire is demanding a self-understanding among others.

“Through their Judaism, the earliest Christians bequeathed the self-identity of resident aliens to later Christians. Jews of the Diaspora were alien nationals living permanently in the cities and towns of the Roman empire. Christians thought of themselves as the third race, neither Greek nor Jewish. This meant that they were to form their own self-governing communities. They would mark their own celebrations and write their own literature. In the first three centuries C. E., this drive toward self-definition produced remarkably for their movement toward political and theological consolidation and uniformity. With any generalization about early Christian letter writing, an exception lurks just around their corner.”

The self-definition of Christian movement has developed a sociolect for itself, revealing in the use of peculiar epistolary forms and style with peculiar vocabularies. This thesis will strive to find these two features in the Romans 1:1-18.

 

  1. Methodology and the theses used

We will first look at the sketch of the Greek epistolary forms and styles. Then compare these findings with that of the NT letters, with peculiar attention to the Romans 1:1-18. Discussion on the related rhetorical categories imposed on this passage is also included in this part to enlighten our view. The epistolary approach and rhetorical approaches cannot reveal the deeper intention of the author. The disputed classifications of the passages on the Romans are setback of these two approaches. To supplement these weakness, I propose to use discourse analysis and sociolinguistic approaches to help in this “expedition” for fuller understanding the texts.

A discourse analysis on Rom. 1:1-18 is followed by a sociolinguistic analysis. The sociolinguistic factors are listed and reviewed in the second section. Using these factors to form a framework to analyze the vocabularies used in Romans 1:16-18. To cover all the vocabularies in Romans 1:1-18 is an impossible task for this short article, therefore I limit the range to 1:16-18.

The theses used in this study are :

  1. The epistolary approach is adopted with the support of the rhetorical categories. Paul may have learnt the Greco-Roman rhetoric, but uses it as a natural mean of communication, rather than fixed rules of persuasive artistry. I am against White and Doty, who holds that rhetorical categories are of secondary applicability to the epistles. Neither do I accept Kennedy’s position , which advocates that epistles are basically speeches with epistolary openings and closings attached. It is rejected because the genuine epistolary features have been found in the epistles in recent researches. The combination of the epistolary forms and rhetorical categories is not easily discernable without careful analysis.
  2. The authenticity of the epistles will not be studied. The pastoral epistles which are taken by some scholars as non-authentic. Even though they are right, the styles in these letters will certainly reflect “Pauline styles” from the perspectives of the imitators. This shows the Pauline style inside the Christian circle especially the Pauline communities. This argument is also evident for the Catholic letters. Since I approach the issue from the sociolect of the Christian communities, the “authenticity” in the styles are assumed. For simplification sake, I will use the name of the author assumed by the traditional view to denote the author of the letters. For example, the author of the Hebrew is assumed to be “Paul” which may refer to the “real Paul the apostle” or an imitator of Paul who strive to preserve Paul’s style.
  3. I assume that the factors listed by contemporary sociolinguistic are similar to that of the NT times.
  4. The features revealed in the formation of dialect are hints for that of the literary. The insights are drawn from sociolinguistic which is a study on the language used by modern people in the speech. I am aware of the difference between the change of speech and the written literary, but there are no study on the socioliterary effect we can rely on. Therefore the use of that from sociolinguistic is a must.
  5. The model is used to analyze the historical documents in NT. Therefore it is assumed the human nature of NT times is similar to that of the contemporaries. This method is a “comparative historical” method. The analysis I based on is a “comparative historical sociolinguistic (more accurately socioliterary) approach.”

 

II. Form: Epistolary analysis

A. Analysis on Pauline epistles, other NT letters and selected letters

of the apostolic fathers

The analysis of Pauline letters are in ( ), while the other NT letters in [ ] and

that of the apostolic fathers are in { }.

(1)The analysis on the opening formulas

  1. Subject section (=Sender formula)
  1. Name of sender:
    1. A person: “Paul” [ Simon/Peter; Jude; the elder; James] {Ignatius; Polycarp}
    2. The sender is a church: “The church of God which sojourns in Rome” 1 Clem. “The church of God which sojourns at Smyrna” The martyrdom of Polycarp. The recipient is also a church.}
    3. The name of sender is not mentioned: [none in 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and in the epistle in Rev. 2-3, but all letters use peculiar description on the sender. For example, in Rev. 2:1, Christ is self-described as “the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands.”] {the epistle to Diognetus and the epistle of Barnabas.}
    4. (b) Title:

      (i) Usually: “apostle” (1Cor. 1:1; 2Cor. 1:1; Gal.1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1Tim.1:1;

      2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:1) [1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1]

      (ii) Sometimes: “doulos” (Romans1:1; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:1)

      [2 Peter 1:1; James 1:1; Jude 1:1]

      (iii) Very rare: “Set apart” (Romans 1:1)

    5. “the elder”: [2 John, 3 John]
    6. No title and description: (1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians)
    7. No title but with description: {All letters of Ignatius, opens with “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus (God-bearer).”}

(c) Short descriptive phrase, indicating source of title (slave / apostle of Christ Jesus)

(These particles are not found in 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians.)

(i) of Christ Jesus: (1Cor. 1:1; 2Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1Tim.1:1;

2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:1; Romans1:1; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:1; “through Christ Jesus”

Gal.1:1;)

(ii) of Jesus Christ: [1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; James 1:1; Jude 1:1]

  1. Mentioning companion: (the following list arranged according to the date of the letters, except Phlm. and Col.).
    1. “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy”: (1 Thess. 1:1, 2 Thess. 1:1)
    2. “and all the brethen who are with me”: (Gal. 1:1)
    3. “and brother Timothy”: (2 Cor. 1:1, Col. 1:1, Phlm. 1:1)
    4. “and brother Sosthenes”: (2 Cor. 1:1)
    5. No mentioning of any companion: (Romans 1:1) [c.f. all other NT letters don’t mention their companion also!].
    6. “and slave of Christ Jesus Timothy”: (Phil. 1:1)
    7. “and the presbyters with him”: {The letter of Polycarp to the Philippians}
  1. Reader section(=Recipient formula)
  1. Identification of recipient:
    1. Usually: the church of certain place: ( ekklesia; ) (1Cor. 1:1; 2Cor. 1:1; Gal.1:1 “churches” ; 1 Thess. and 2 Thess.) {1 Clement; all letters of Ignatius except his letter was written to Polycarp; the letter of Polycarp to the Philippians}
    2. Sometimes: “to the saints” -- (Phil. 1:1; Romans 1:7; Col. 1:2; Eph. 1:1)
    3. Sometimes: individuals -- (Phlm. 1:1-2; 1Tim.1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:1)
    4. [3 John 1:1; “the angel of the church in a place” Rev. 2:1] {letter of Ignatius

      written to Polycarp; the epistle to Diognetus}

    5. only geographic reference: [1 Peter 1:1; James 1:1]
    6. No name and geographic reference: [2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1; “you” 1 John 1:4; “wife and children” 2 John 1:1;] { “sons and daughters” the epistle of Barnabas}

(b) Short phrase, positively describing the recipients’ relationship to God

“in God (Our) Father and Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1)

“in Christ Jesus”(1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1)

  1. Greeting formula
  1. Greeting “grace and peace”
  2. Recipient “to you”
  3. Divine source “from God Our Father and Lord Jesus Christ”

  

(2) The Analysis on the Thanksgivings

On the Pauline Thanksgivings, Jervis has found five units:

  1. ||| (1:8a),
  2. Manner of Thanksgiving (1:8b,9),
  3. Cause (1:8c),
  4. Explanation (1:11-12,13b-15),
  5. Concerns for Readers/Prayer Report (1:10, 1:13a).

The causal unit (unit C) which is generally used by Paul to establish a sense of personal relationship with the readers is very brief and formal in the Romans. Paul’s cause for thanksgiving rests on the general knowledge on the faith of the Roman believers is being reported all over the world. In the manner unit (unit B), Paul stresses his apostolic role and his commission to preach the gospel (1:9b), rather than affirming his love for him. The explanation unit (unit D) and concerns unit (unit E) use a twofold repetition pattern to show Paul’s intention to preach the gospel to his Roman readers (1:15). Therefore, “A visit to them (the Roman Christians) is vital for him because he longs to be able to exercise his apostolic obligation by preaching to them as he has preached to ‘the rest of the Gentiles’ (v.13b). That Paul expresses a desire to preach to the Roman believers does not imply that the thought he would be preaching to the unconverted. Rather, in the context of having affirmed his respect for their faith, he is expressing a desire that these Roman believers would hear his preaching of the gospel.” Jervis rightly shows Paul’s desire to visit for his presentation of his gospel, but the hint of “world mission” (1:8) seems to be over-looked by her.

Paul has writed with a familiar tone to the addressees.

O’brien has suggested that the thanksgiving paragraphs have found functions: epistolary function, pastoral and apostolic concern for the addressess, didactic function, and paraenetic purpose.

 

 

B. Comparative analysis of Greek and Christian epistles with special

attention to Romans 1:1-18

(1)The analysis on the opening formulas

  1. The Identification of Sender:
  2. The sender of the Greek letters usually writes his/her name before the recipient. Though the sender’s inferiority of the status may affect the sender to put the recipient’s name before his/her own name, but it is not compulsory. Paul and the earliest Christian letter-writers follows this style.

    In the Greek epistles, the title of the sender is not mentioned, in contrast to consistent use of Pauline epistles. This feature may increase the credibility of the sender and enhances the recipients’ acceptance of the message embedded in the letter. The title is critically challenged by the opponents of Paul in Galatians. Paul wrote, in Gal. 1:1, “Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),” (NASB). The re-affirmation of this title is strongly felt. This emphasis on the title is not widely used among the other Christian letters even down to the period of the apostolic fathers. This is clearly a “Pauline” feature that is used to establish Paul’s own credential. The three-fold titles, including the rare title “set apart”, in Roman 1:1, shows the strong emphasis on the credibility. This is easily understood as Paul has never visited the Roman Christians. The titles are designated by Paul may show different natures of the leadership in the early churches. They are “apostles, servants (doulos), and brothers.” The apostleship of Paul is continually challenged by his contemporaries even among the Jewish Christians.

  3. Designation of Recipient
  4. The recipient of Pauline letters, other NT letters, and letters of the apostolic fathers are mainly a church, or a group of people. Paul does not use the word to describe the Romans Christians in Rom. 1:7; but uses it in the house-church around Aquila and Prisca (Rom. 16:5). Besides this group, there are four other groups mentioned in Rom. 16:10,k 11, 14. If the other 14 persons mentioned do not belong to any of these groups, Peter Lampe proposes that there are 8 small group churches in Rome. The word “church” is absent in Romans 1:7, but it appears in 16:5 when describing the house-church around Aquila and Prisca. This may imply the division among other congregations is unacceptable to Paul and he admires only that of Aquila.

    The phrase nu}nnornnu} is a common expression in Pauline letter which may show the recipientsC good standing in the faith, but it is absent in Philemon and Romans. The omission is linked to the absence of the |nThis may due to Paul’s concern over the dissonance between their faith and practice. nThe Roman Christians are “called to be holy” (upnpw|nThis is comparable with the usage in 1 Corinthians where the Corinthians Christians show problems in holy lives demanded by the gospel.

    Though it is a divided church, Paul calls them, “beloved” by God (upnu). This term is not used in Pauline letter to describe the recipient individually, except that the use on Philemon personally beloved by Paul. This may be a tact to establish the bridge between Paul and his readers.

  5. Greeting

The greeting unit of the Pauline opening formula begins usually with pnunn. In contrast to the standard “Writer to Recipient, Greetings!(chairein)” , Paul’s usage is unique. Scholars cannot be sure that Paul was self-consciously playing on words when he used “Grace (charis)…and Peace…!” to replace “greeting (chairein)”. Doty suggests that “Peace!” (shalom) is a standard element of Jewish letter greetings and Paul is likely consciously using his Jewish heritage. In support of this, Doty gives an example of the two-part salutation in Jewish letters, which add a prayer for peace and other blessings to the formal address from the sender to the reader. For example in Apoc. Bar. 78:2, “Baruch the son of Neriah to the brethren carried into captivity: Mercy and Peace!”.

If Paul is addressing only to the Gentiles, why a Jewish greeting is used by this apostle to the Gentiles? If Doty is right , then Paul is attempting to speak to both the Jews and the Gentiles who seems to be addressed in Romans. J. M. Lieu proposes that the peculiar usage reflect Paul’s apostolic goal for his readers. He assumes the letter is read before the gathered congregation. Then Paul is trying to communicate to a congregation which is mixing the Jews with the Gentile. The portrait of Paul in Acts has been rejected by many scholars as the real Paul, but I propose that it sheds some lights on the unknown Paul. Paul was striving to witness to the Jews and the Gentiles in the synagogues, and he went to a place of prayer (if there is no synagogue) in Philippi. He went to the people who had the OT background and many are Jews. He witnessed only to the Gentiles after he was entirely rejected by the Jews. The continual double greetings both to the Jews and the Gentiles reflected his double concerns.

Paul greets consistently, except in 1 Thessalonians , with pnunn by supplementing it with the prepositional phrasennunpnunnnnunu|nThe Romans “greeting” unit is standard.

L. Ann Jervis has studied the opening formulas (Romans 1:1-7) in Pauline Epistles. Comparing them with the Romans, she suggests that the ill-proportioned length of the ‘identification of sender’ unit reveals Paul’s intention:

“Here Paul defines his apostolic role by emphasizing that he is both a slave of Christ Jesus and that he is set apart for the gospel of God. Paul evidently considers that such a self-identification is insufficient of itself and so incorporated a credal statement (1.3-4) that is placed in direct relationship to his commissioning on behalf of the gospel. He gives an apologetic, as it were, for his apostolic credibility by affirming the creed that he shares with his readers. In so doing he creates a bond between himself and his readers. Then he returns to a description of his apostolic commission (v.5), in the process making it clear that he considers his addressees to be among his charges.” (Bold and italic mine.)

(2) The Analysis on the Thanksgivings

Paul’s thanksgiving has been assumed to follow form of contemporary “epistolary introductory thanksgiving”. Peter Arzt has re-visited this assumption and propose an oppose view. The so-called formula valetudinis or health wish with a motif of thanks to the god occurs in the main clause seems to be limited to the third century B.C.E. This is not a common convention in Paul’s times. But the report of a prayer is used in numerous papyrus letters in some Pauline epistles (Rom.; Phil.; 1 thess.; Phlm.). In Greek papyrus letters this report acts as an extended version of the formula valetudinis and is found in both the beginning and at the end of the letters. In contrast to that, Paul’s prayer reports refer to the “well-being” of the addressees’ Christian life, and are mostly placed in the beginning. Therefore he proposes that “the combination of a report of a prayer and/or the -motif with a thanksgiving to God for the addressees derives from Paul’s personal intention and not from a common epistolary convention.” Paul’s practice does not seem to influence other Christian communities. This practice is found in some pseudo-Pauline epistles only (Eph.; Col.; 2 Thess.; 2 Tim.), and not found in other early Christian epistles.

III. Style: Rhetorical analysis

Firstly, let us summarize what modern scholars have done to “reveal” the rhetorical nature of Pauline letters.

1 Thessalonians

Part

 

R. Jewett 1986

F. W. Hughes 1986

G. A. Kennedy 1984

A

Exordium

1:1-5

1:1-10

1:2-10

B

Refutatio

--------

--------

2:1-8

C

Narratio

1:6-3:13

2:1-3:10

2:9-3:13

D

Partitio

--------

3:11-13

--------

E

Propositio

--------

--------

--------

F

Confirmatio

4:1-5:22

4:1-5:5

4:1-5:22

G

Peroratio

5:23-28

5:4-11

5:23-28

H

Exhortatio

--------

5:12-22

--------

I

Conclusio

--------

5:23-28

--------

J

Epistolary postscript

--------

--------

--------

2 Thessalonians

Part

 

R. Jewett 1986

F. W. Hughes

G. Holland 1986

A

Exordium

1:1-12

1:1-12

1:3-4

B

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

C

Narratio

--------

--------

1:5-12

D

Partitio

2:1-2

2:1-2

--------

E

Propositio

--------

--------

--------

F

Confirmatio

2:3-3:5

2:3-15

2:1-17

G

Peroratio

3:16-18

2:16-17

3:14-15

H

Exhortatio

3:6-15 (a)

3:1-15

3:1-13 (a)

I

Conclusio

--------

--------

--------

J

Epistolary postscript

--------

3:16-18

3:16-18

(a) R. Jewett and G. Holland put Exhortatio before Peroratio, while F. W. Hughes puts it after Peroratio.

 

 

Galatians

Part

 

H. D. Betz 1979

R. G. Hall

J. Smit

G. A. Kennedy 1984

F. Vouga

B. L. Mack 1990

M. Bachmann

A

Exordium

1:6-11

1:1-5

1:6-12

1:6-10

1:6-11

1:6-10

1:6-10

B

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

C

Narratio

1:12-2:14

--------

1:13-2:21

--------

1:12-2:14

1:11-2:14

1:11-2:14

D

Partitio

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

2:14b

E

Propositio

2:15-21

1:6-9

--------

--------

2:14-21

2:14-3:5

--------

F

Confirmatio

3:1-4:31

1:10-6:10

3:1-4:11

1:11-5:1

3:1-4:31

3:6-4:7

2:15-6:17

 

Digressio

3:19-25

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

G

Peroratio

--------

6:11-18

4:12-5:12

6:11-18

--------

--------

--------

H

Exhortatio

5:1-6:10

--------

--------

5:2-6:10

5:1-6:10

4:8-20

--------

Amplificatio

--------

--------

6:11-18

--------

--------

--------

--------

I

Conclusio

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

J

Epistolary postscript

6:11-18

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

Eschatokoll

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

6:18

Romans

Part

 

W. Wuellner 1976

G. A. Kennedy 1984

  1. Jewett

1986

A

Exordium

1:1-15

1:1-15

1:1-12

B

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

C

Narratio

--------

--------

1:13-15

D

Partitio

--------

--------

--------

E

Propositio

--------

1:16-17

1:16-17

Transitus

1:16-17

--------

--------

F

Confirmatio

1:18-15:13

1:18-11:36

1:18-15:13

G

Peroratio

15:14-16:23

15:14-23

15:14-16:23

H

Exhortatio

--------

12:1-15:13

--------

I

Conclusio

--------

--------

--------

J

Epistolary postscript

--------

--------

--------

 

Other Pauline Epistles

Book

 

1 Corinthians

Philippians

Colossians

Philemon

Part

 

  1. Mitchell

1991

D. F. Watson 1988

J.-N. Aletti 1993

F. F. Church

 

Epistolary Prescript

1:1-3

--------

--------

--------

A

Exordium

1:4-9

1:3-26

1:3-23

4-7

B

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

C

Narratio

1:11-17

1:27-30

--------

--------

D

Partitio

--------

--------

1:21-23

--------

E

Propositio

1:10

-------

--------

--------

F

Confirmatio

1:18-15:57

2:1-3:21

1:24-4:1

8-16

G

Peroratio

15:58

4:1-20

4:2-6

17-22

H

Exhortatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

I

Conclusio

16:1-24 Epistolary Conclusion

--------

--------

--------

J

Epistolary postscript

--------

--------

--------

--------

 

I propose the following division:

Romans 1:1-18 can be divided as follows,

Romans 1:1-7 Opening formula Exordium

Romans 1:8-15 Pauline Thanksgiving Narratio

Romans 1:16-18 Thematic Introduction: Propositio / Transtus

Robert Jewett has followed George A. Kennedy’s rhetorical analysis on Romans as follows :

1:1-15 I (Address) and Proem

1:16-17 II Proposition

1:18-11:36 III Headings: Doctrinal Message and Refutation of Objections

12:1-15:13 IV Pastoral Headings: Application of the Doctrine Developed in the Doctrinal Headings

15:14-33 V Epilogue

16:1-23 VI Postscript and Letter Closure

Jewett imposes the rhetorical categories on Romans as follows,

Part One: Exordium (Introduction, 1:1-12)

Part Two : Narratio (Narration, 1:13-15)

Part Three: Propositio (Thesis Statement, 1:16-17)

Part Four: Probatio (Proof, 1:18-15:13)

The First Proof: Confirmatio (Confirmation, 1:18-4:25)

The Second Proof: Exornatio (Elaboration, 5:1-8:39)

The Third Proof: Comparatio (Comparison, 9:1-11:36)

The Fourth Proof: Exhortatio (Exhortation, 12:1-15:13)

Part Five: Peroratio (Peroration, or conclusion, 15:14-16:27)

 

The Part One to Three are a key to the whole book because part four and five are only the proof and conclusion to it.

Wedderburn has proposed the structure of Romans as follows,

1.15: Paul is eager to preach the gospel in Rome,

[A] for he is not ashamed of this gospel, for it is God’s power for saving all (1.16)

[B] for in it God’s righteousness is being revealed (1.17),

for [C] in it God’s wrath is being revealed against all humanity,

both Jews and gentiles (1.18-3.20/23).

(2.17-3.8: are the Jews privileged?)

[B] (3.20-4.25) The revelation of God’s righteousness.

(3.31-4.25: the Law is not abrogated by this message, for it testifies to

justification by faith in the case of ‘righteous’ Abraham.)

[A] 5.1-8.39: Paul’s gospel does not put the one who believes to shame.

(6.1-7.6: the Christian should not continue in sin, but has broken with it.

7.7-25: the Law is not sinful.)

[B] 9.1-11.36: God has dealt righteously with Israel, both in the past and in

the present, and Israel still has a special place in the divine

purposes.

Nils A. Dahl has noticed the parallelism between v.17 and v.18 and proposed v.18 as one the themes of Romans. In v.16-18, there are four consecutive use of “” (therefore), the themes may lie in these hints. The first one is related to the Paul’s attitude towards the gospel which is clearly the theme of Romans. The other three occurrences may show the content of this gospel, namely, God’s saving power for all with Jews’ ‘primacy’, God’s righteousness and His wrath revealed.

In 1:16a, Paul says, he is “not ashamed of the gospel.” This may be a standard rhetorical device (litotes) which uses the double negative to produce a positive emphasis. This means Paul is proud of the gospel. This “boasting” motifs are found in 2:17,23; 3:27; 5:2,3,11 too. The rest of the thematic statement (v.16b-18) is the grounds of this boasting. I propose the themes as follows:

for he is not ashamed of this gospel, (1:16a)

  1. for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, (1:16b)

to the Jews first and also to the Greek (1:16c)

[B] for in it, God’s righteousness is being revealed (1:17),

[C] for in it, God’s wrath is being revealed against all humanity,

both Jews and gentiles (1.18-3.20/23).

  1. 1-2: Then what advantage has the Jew?) This theme is touched again in chs. 9-11.
  1. Content: Socio-linguistic model on the choice of literary usage (e.g. style and wordings)
  1. Introducing the model
  2. Applying the model on Romans 1:1-18
  3. Reflections on the model

IV. Conclusion

The purpose for Paul to write the Romans is many. The main concern is on his mission to Spain. He hopes to prevent adverse opponents to influence the Roman Christians and helps them to unify the Christians groups in Romans. The structure of is related to chapter 1. Its theological linkage is based on the importance of Jewish tradition, the Righteousness of God and His wrath. The combination of the epistolography and rhetorical analysis cannot deal with the problem thoroughly. To supplement them with other linguistic approaches proves to a fruitful one, still await for a further investigation.

 

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