The series Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft (BZNW) is one of the oldest and most highly regarded international scholarly book series in the field of New Testament studies. Since 1923 it has been a forum for seminal works focusing on Early Christianity and related fields. The series is grounded in a historical-critical approach and also explores new methodological approaches that advance our understanding of the New Testament and its world.
Though the Epistle to the Romans repeatedly mentions the issue of evil, suffering, and oppression (Rom 5, 8, 12, etc), one rarely finds studies of its contribution to this issue. Yet the context of Hab 2:4 deals with suffering, oppression, and a promise of deliverance (Hab 1.1-4). This quote starts Paul's demonstration of the Gospel, the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (1:2). For Paul the Scripture's function in Romans is to give hope to the believers (4:23 5; 15:4-13). This study investigates the contribution of Rom 1-3 to the issue of evil and suffering and its link with the theme of the righteousness of God. After a brief survey of recent scholarship it offers a commentary of Rom 1-3 that pays attention to the LXX context of all the explicit Old Testament quotations. This commentary is followed by a study of the use of the Old Testament in Rom 1-3, a justification for taking the LXX contexts into account using data from the history of reading and writing, the use of memory in composition in the first century, and of the role of the figure of David as a model for the believer. The following chapters summarize the relevant theological data of Rom 1-3, survey Rom 4-16 with the same issue in mind and conclude with an interaction with some theological and philosophical literature.
Erwin Ochsenmeier,Institut Biblique Belge, Belgium.