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Romans 9:1-3

Context
Israel’s Rejection Considered

9:1 1 I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me 2  in the Holy Spirit – 9:2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3  9:3 For I could wish 4  that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, 5  my fellow countrymen, 6 

1 sn Rom 9:111:36. These three chapters are among the most difficult and disputed in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. One area of difficulty is the relationship between Israel and the church, especially concerning the nature and extent of Israel’s election. Many different models have been constructed to express this relationship. For a representative survey, see M. Barth, The People of God (JSNTSup), 22-27. The literary genre of these three chapters has been frequently identified as a diatribe, a philosophical discussion or conversation evolved by the Cynic and Stoic schools of philosophy as a means of popularizing their ideas (E. Käsemann, Romans, 261 and 267). But other recent scholars have challenged the idea that Rom 9–11 is characterized by diatribe. Scholars like R. Scroggs and E. E. Ellis have instead identified the material in question as midrash. For a summary and discussion of the rabbinic connections, see W. R. Stegner, “Romans 9.6-29 – A Midrash,” JSNT 22 (1984): 37-52.

2 tn Or “my conscience bears witness to me.”

3 tn Grk “my sorrow is great and the anguish in my heart is unceasing.”

4 tn Or “For I would pray.” The implied condition is “if this could save my fellow Jews.”

5 tn Grk “brothers.” See BDAG 18-19 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.b.

6 tn Grk “my kinsmen according to the flesh.”



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