Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The problem of Romans 7 : the law of Paul's opponents
Author: Johnston, David James
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 3862
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 23 Feb 2023
Access from Institution:
Determining the identity of the ‘I' who is speaking in Rom 7:7-25 and the nature of the problem being addressed has long been recognised to be one of the unsolved riddles in Paul's letters. This thesis articulates and defends the new view that the speaker in Rom 7 is a believer who has fallen prey to the deceptive teaching of Paul's opponents regarding the Law. In short, the problem of Rom 7:7-25 is the Law of Paul's opponents. The thesis principally establishes this identification of the Law and the speaker of Rom 7 through a close exegetical study of the event described in verses 8c to 10a, and then considers its consistent application to the argument throughout verses 7-25 and in Rom 8:2. Two central elements in the description of the event have been bypassed in the commentary tradition: the meaning of χωρίς νóμον in 7:8-9 and the referent and significance of áναζάωά in 7:9. Yet, taken together and interpreted in accordance with the lexica, they clearly identify the ‘I' of Rom 7 as a believer. Only of a believer can it be said that the one who used to live independently of the Law (χωρίς νóμον) is the one for whom sin should be reckoned as dead. In the same way, only of a believer can it be subsequently true that when the commandment came into his life, sin was resurrected (áναζάωά). Moreover, it will be argued that verses 10-11 establish a context of false teaching for the coming of the commandment, and therefore that the event is the arrival of deceptive false teaching regarding the Law as propagated by Paul's opponents. The thesis then considers the implications of this identification of the Law in the life of the believer in verses 8-10 for interpreting verses 7-11, where a state of sin-entwined Law is described; verses 21-25, where the two Laws are presented (Paul's and his opponents'); and Rom 8:2, where the believer is declared to be freed from ὀ νóμος τῆς άμαρτίας καί τοṽ θανάτον. As the solution to the problem of Rom 7, it is Paul's own hermeneutic of the Law that frees the believer form that of his opponents.
Supervisor: Hafemann, Scott J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available