Paul's use of cultic language in Romans : an exegetical study of major texts in Romans which employ cultic language in a non-literal way
In this study cultic language used in Romans will be viewed as an aspect of the letter as a whole. In Part One we survey foundational studies concerned with Paul's use of cultic language (chapter I) and assess contributions to the discussion of historical and theological questions that are relevant to this thesis (chapters II and III). By means of this survey we state the need for the exegetical method of this study and we justify Romans as the text for our exegeses. In Part Two we present our exegeses based on the suggestion that cultic language is significant to the argument (3: 25,5: 9,8: 3), and structure (12: 1,15: 16, [1: 9]) of the letter (Chapter I). Paul uses cultic language in 1: (16)18-11: 36 to explain his gospel, and to defend his thesis that the gospel is the power of God (chapters II [3: 25], III [5: 9], IV [8: 3], V [11: 16a]). (Chapter V also illustrates Paul's ability to use cultic language without explanation, and without direct connection to other cultic images in the letter). Paul, furthermore, uses cultic language to introduce his ethical directives (Chapter VI [12: 1]). Here, the apostolic 'priestly' exhorter calls for the community sacrifice of obedience which is the authentic worship of those justified by faith and baptized with Christ. Paul also uses cultic language to describe his ministry which acts as a rationale for his manner in writing (Chapter VII [15: 16]). Paul is the priestly minister bringing about the acceptable offering of the Gentiles. In Part Three we conclude our study by emphasizing that although Paul has not directed a polemic against the Temple nor consciously unified a 'Christian cultus', his cultic language functions to authenticate and illustrate his claim that the gospel is the power of God resulting in salvation, and in this way he defends his own ministry.