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The function of 'justification by Faith' in the Letter to Rome

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Chapter Summary

The decision to examine the function of Paul's arguments concerning 'justification by faith' in Romans hardly requires a defense. The theme of righteousness as a 'gift' dearly plays a significant role in the letter. In Romans, moreover, it receives its fullest and final treatment by Paul. It is found that Paul's conversion led to his interpreting Jesus' atoning death as the source of forensic justification. Conflicts with Judaizers subsequently forced him to develop arguments to defend his practice of Gentile mission which was facilitated by this understanding of the Gospel. It is seen that in his letter to Rome Paul employs 'justification by faith' to address fresh issues. Romans therefore provides evidence that a forensic conception of justification assumed a larger role in Paul's thought than merely that of a means by which the place of Gentiles within the Church could be maintained.

Keywords: Gentiles; Judaizers; Justification by Faith; Paul's letter; ROME



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