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Different Answers To Different Issues: Israel, the Gentiles and Salvation History in Romans 9-11

Different Answers To Different Issues: Israel, the Gentiles and Salvation History in Romans 9-11

Abstract

Different Answers To Different Issues: Israel, the Gentiles and Salvation History in Romans 9-11 SAGE Publications, Inc.1989DOI: 10.1177/0142064X8901103606 Bruce W. Longenecker Trevelyan College Elvet Hill Road, Durham, DH1 3LN One of Paul's purposes in Romans is to establish that the community of God's people is marked out by nothing other than faith in Jesus Christ. In order to affirm faith as the sole criterion, Paul must, conversely, deny all others. The main target of his attack is the law, or 'works of law'-Paul's shorthand symbol for Jewish covenant- alisml-which he disqualifies altogether from consideration in this regard. But by denying the salvific centrality of the law, Paul endangers the centrality of the people of the law, whom God had placed in the centre of salvation history. As S. Sandmel well writes, 'Israel and the Torah constituted a blended entity; without Israel the Torah had no significance, and without the Torah Israel had no uniqueness'.' Thus, to deny the law, with its distinctively ethnic character, is simultaneously to deny the ethnic people with whom it had been associated, a people with whom God had entered into covenant. Fundamentally, therefore, to remove the law from one's pattern of religion is
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