The Word Of God Has Not Failed God’s Faithfulness And Israel’s Salvation In Tobit 14:3–7 And Romans 9–11 -- By: John K. Goodrich

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 67:1 (NA 2016)
Article: The Word Of God Has Not Failed God’s Faithfulness And Israel’s Salvation In Tobit 14:3–7 And Romans 9–11
Author: John K. Goodrich


The Word Of God Has Not Failed
God’s Faithfulness And Israel’s Salvation
In Tobit 14:3–7 And Romans 9–11

John K. Goodrich

(John.Goodrich@moody.edu)

Summary

Tobit 14:3–7 and Romans 9–11 share several striking verbal and conceptual parallels that invite detailed comparison. Most notably, both Tobit and Paul (1) deny the failure of God’s word (Tob. 14:4a; Rom. 9:6a); (2) proceed to unveil a three-phase redemptive history for Israel (exile ࢐ partial restoration ࢐ full restoration); and (3) utilise their respective storylines to assure their readers in phase 2 that God will bring phase 3 to completion. These and other parallels show not only that Tobit and Paul share a common eschatological perspective, but that they deploy and develop almost identical thesis statements, thereby further demonstrating the proximity of Paul’s discourse to contemporary Jewish modes of thought and argumentation.

1. Introduction

Since the arrival of E. P. Sanders’s Paul and Palestinian Judaism, Paul’s epistle to the Romans has received no shortage of comparisons with early Jewish literature. This is especially true of Romans 9–11, where Paul elucidates Israel’s plight and salvation-historical situation in ways similar to those expressed in some contemporary Jewish writings.1 As John Barclay explains, ‘Rom. 9–11 stands in close

proximity to many discussions of Israel’s trials and hopes in Second Temple Judaism, not only in its subject matter and its method (scriptural exegesis), but also in its existential orientation: Paul speaks as a Jew about, alongside and on behalf of his “kinsmen”.’2 One early Jewish discussion of Israel’s fate that has been neglected in these recent studies is Tobit 14:3–7. While other comparisons of Romans 9–11 with Second Temple Jewish literature have thrown helpful light on Paul’s discourse, this article will show that Paul’s rhetorical approach and eschatological perspective in Romans 9–11 can also be read quite profitably alongside Tobit’s farewell speech.

2. Initial Parallels Between ...
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