Is Sonship in Romans 8:14-17 a Link with Romans 9? -- By: George C. Gianoulis

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 166:661 (Jan 2009)
Article: Is Sonship in Romans 8:14-17 a Link with Romans 9?
Author: George C. Gianoulis


Is Sonship in Romans 8:14-17 a Link with Romans 9?

George C. Gianoulis

George C. Gianoulis is Professor of Greek and New Testament, Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota.

The sonship of believers is an important theme in Romans 8. Paul used the honorific title υἷοι θεοῦ twice (vv. 14, 19), τέκνα θεοῦ three times (vv. 16, 17, 21), and υἱοθεσία twice (vv. 15, 23). These terms all define the status of believers before God, that is, those who have new life in the Spirit. In Romans 9 υἱοθεσία is used once (v. 4), τέκνα with and without the genitive four times (vv. 7, 8), υἷοι θεοῦ (v. 26), and σπέρμα ᾿Αβραάμ once (v. 7). This sonship motif denoting the status of believers is an important connective link between chapters 8 and 9.

A Survey of the Relationship of Romans 1-8 to 9-11

The relationship of chapters 1-8 to chapters 9-11 has been widely discussed in commentaries, essays, and monographs. It has long been assumed that Romans 1-8 is the doctrinal core of the letter and that Romans 9-11 is an exegesis or a postscript in which Paul dealt with lingering questions derived from the doctrinal core of the letter. It has been rightly observed that no grammatical connection is made in 9:1 to provide an orderly transition of thought from chapters 1-8. This gives the impression that Romans 9-11 is a separate section of the letter unrelated (or only loosely related) to

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