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December 19, 2011



Decent review, Andy. It seems to me that if you agree with Campbell's general thrust, you have to assume that his re-reading of Romans 1-3 is, if not absolutely correct, at least based on the right presuppositions on how to read Romans.

That said, I think that Robin Griffith-Jones did make a reasonable objection regarding speech-in-character - or rather, said enough to stop Campbell getting too carried away with speech-in-character in Romans. But as Campbell himself said, I don't think that G-J's objection was a crippling blow. I wonder if Campbell has any doctoral students researching speech-in-character...

Steve Martin

No exactly sure I totally understand what Cambell is shooting for.

I have always believed that Romans 1:18 - 3:20 set forth the problem of all mankind.

And that 3:21 and following set forth the antidote.



I reached a similar position to Campbell regarding speech-in-character in Romans 1-3 independently of him, so I was quite pleased to see he had publicized the arguments in favour of this position.

I found particularly helpful in this area the article Romans 1.18–32: Its Role in the Developing Arguement by C.L. Porter, and Stanley Stowers' book Rereading Romans. They provide good reasons for thinking that the 'voice' in Rom 1:18-32 is "not Paul". So I would be quite interested in seeing Robin Griffith-Jones' arguments against this.

I also think the parallel between Romans 1:18-32 and Wisdom of Solomon 13-14 is particularly compelling. Not nearly enough attention has been paid by scholars to the fact that Paul begins Romans with such a lengthy quotation/paraphrase from Wisdom. Terminology from that work also occurs often in the rest of Romans. The next key observation is that a primary theme of the work Wisdom of Solomon is the evils of the gentiles and how they deserve God's wrath, and how the Jews by contrast will receive great reward. This unequal view of Jews and Gentiles is diametrically opposed to what we know to be Paul's view. This tells us that Paul's use of the Wisdom text is not a supportive one: It provides the position which he is arguing against. Indeed, whenever an allusion to Wisdom is made in Romans, we see Paul follow it up immediately with a rejection or denial or critique.

I do differ to Campbell a bit in terms of how we assign particular bits Romans 1-3 to variously Paul and the Teacher. I find his scheme to be overly complex, and too much driven by his assumptions about Paul's theology.

Terry raises an interesting question to think about - to what extent does Campbell's interpretation of Paul (and by extension, my own) rely on interpreting Romans 1-3 in a particular way (particularly, with regard to dependency on Speech in Character)? Having spent a little time thinking about this, I would have to agree with Campbell's sentiment in DoG: It is justification theory that is dependent upon reading Rom 1-3 in a certain way, not us. As Campbell points out in his book, justification theory is primarily founded upon a certain reading of Rom 1-3, and nowhere else in the bible are all the elements of justification theory laid out in such a systematic way. Therefore, if justification theory loses its reading of Rom 1-3, it loses its primary evidence and in fact has precious little left to go on. Whereas Campbell's view, and my own, which are not founded upon Rom 1-3, are not dependent upon it being read in any particular way. Thus the motivation that Campbell and myself have for finding the correct reading of Rom 1-3 is not so much to support our own positions (though that would be nice, of course) as to undermine justification theory's primary supporting passage. Of course we need not necessarily come up with any explanation of what Rom 1-3 says. We could, like EP Sanders, just say that justification theory's interpretation of Rom 1-3 is unsatisfactory (I agree it is unsatisfactory), and then admit that we (like the rest of the world) have no idea as to what the correct reading of it is, and perhaps wonder if it may be suffering from interpolations which might prevent it ever being successfully reconstructed. However, Campbell and I both go further than that and think that we do have the correct reading of it. But if it turns out that we don't then it doesn't actually matter too much.


I'm generally supportive of Campbell's approach to Romans, but one thing nags at me. As Campbell makes his transition away from picking apart Justification Theory and toward asserting his own reading, he hints at the identity of the Teacher. I don't recall the page number, but he says something like 'The position of the Teacher or his later followers can arguably be found in the New Testament.' Then, infuriatingly, in a book full of over-the-top footnoting... there is no footnote. My guess is that he is hinting at the book of James or maybe Hebrews. I was wondering if someone could shed some light on this (and also maybe shed some light on why Campbell would leave this one detail unresolved in a book in which every other dead horse is thoroughly beaten).



The profile of the Teacher is carefully reconstructed in all essential details by Lou Martyn. I agree with pretty much everything he says--certainly all the key moves. But I see the same construct in Romans as he does in Galatians. The original influence here is, as you probably know, F. C. Baur.

The reconstruction of Jewish Christianity seems to be undergoing a renaissance in NT studies at present, although it's embarrassing that we ever lost sight of it.

In the NT, have a careful read of Matthew, Revelation, and of course James. I don't think Hebrews is relevant here. Baur leaned heavily on the Pseudo-Clementines, which are still important and highly indicative.


Spencer Hodgens

For those who are interested, I noticed through a google search that recordings of the conference are available at: http://www.gci.org/media/paulconf2011

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