Romans 1:3f: An Early Confession Of Faith In The Lordship Of Jesus -- By: Paul Beasle -Murray

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 31:1 (NA 1980)
Article: Romans 1:3f: An Early Confession Of Faith In The Lordship Of Jesus
Author: Paul Beasle -Murray


Romans 1:3f: An Early Confession Of Faith In The Lordship Of Jesus

Paul Beasle -Murray

I. The Form Of The Confession

It is generally agreed that at the beginning of his letter to the Romans Paul cites a common confession of faith, which would have been known and recognized at Rome.1

The traditional nature of this credal formula is indicated by six actors. Firstly, the participial construction (γενομένου ὁρισθέντος) is typical of such formulae. Secondly, the position of the verb at the beginning of the sentence is reminiscent of Semitic parallelism and therefore significant (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3–5; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pt 3:18).2 Thirdly, the parallelism in sentence construction points to careful formulation (cf. Rom. 4:25). Fourthly, the presence of two Pauline hapax legomena, ὁρίζειν (cf. Acts 10:42 and 17:31) and πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης, suggests a non-Pauline origin. Fifthly, there is the question of non-Pauline style: thus the form γίνεσθαι ἐκ is only to be found in Galatians 4:4, which itself may contain a fragment from an early Christian hymn,3 while the phrase ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν is elsewhere used of the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15: 12, 13, 21, 42; cf. also Phil. 3:11) and is not, as here,

connected with Christ’s resurrection. The sixth factor is the presence of non-Pauline theology: nowhere else in Paul is Christ’s Davidic origin mentioned (2 Tim. 2:8 is certainly another credal formula) nor is Christ’s status as Son of God connected with his exaltation. We might also have expected a reference to Christ’s death on the Cross if...

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