Forensic metaphors in Romans and their soteriological significance

Previous studies on legal references in Paul concentrated almost exclusively on matters of civil law. A study of five important passages in Romans and an overview of the rest of Romans indicate that this letter contains an unusual number of forensic metaphors and that Paul, in Romans, packaged his s...

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Published in: Verbum et ecclesia Vol. 24; no. 1; pp. 53 - 79
Main Author: Du Toit, A.B
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: AOSIS 01-01-2003
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: Previous studies on legal references in Paul concentrated almost exclusively on matters of civil law. A study of five important passages in Romans and an overview of the rest of Romans indicate that this letter contains an unusual number of forensic metaphors and that Paul, in Romans, packaged his soteriology within a forensic setting. This suggests that he deliberately created an implicature, inviting his readers to compare the iustitia Dei with the iustitia romana. Contrary to the latter, which was expected to function on the basis of equity and with which Paul's addressees were all too well acquainted, the iustitia Dei proves to be astonishingly unconventional. This judge operates with grace. Ironical as it may seem, exactly by using forensic imagery, Paul completely delegalized the Christian message.
ISSN: 1609-9982
2074-7705
DOI: 10.4102/ve.v24i1.311