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8 With the Grain of the Universe: History and Hermeneutics in Wisdom 10–19 and Romans 9–11

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a reading of Romans 9-11 in conversation with Wisdom 10-19 in an attempt to uncover the discontinuity and identify its Christological basis. In contrast to Wisdom's σοφία-taught and Exodus-shaped hermeneutic, the author argues that the three major sections of Romans 9-11 are christologically occasioned and christologically ordered: Paul's historiography has its centre of gravity in the Christ-event; Israel's scriptural past is a typological and prophetic testimony to this singular occurrence and Israel's present and future is an effect of this concrete christological cause. The confident exclamation about the unchangeable and unconquerable love of God that closes Romans gives way, without grammatical warning, to 'great pain' and 'constant grief '. Paul's present is defined by the contradiction between Israel's possession of God's covenant privileges and promises and the unnerving irony that the advent of Israel's Christ has occasioned Israel's stumble.

Keywords: Israel's Christ; Paul's historiography; Romans 9-11; Wisdom 10-19



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