Lectionary Year A
February 24, 2002
Romans 4:1-5,13-17

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) This pericope seems to present an argument from a previously held position, re: who gets justified, promises, blessings and/or life. It argues from the standpoint of the uselessness of the law to bring promises. It states that faith brings validation. It does value the law as providing a reference point for obedience and disobedience. It uses Abraham as an example with whom the readers/hearers of this epistle would be familiar. It quotes God in Scripture effectively to seal the case. It asks rhetorical questions and mentions instances of everyday life in the recipients' experiences, e.g., the wage earner.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) My first question asks why the omission of the sixth through the twelfth verses? Then I have to ask this passage, "Are you sure of your universalistic position?" And, too, is it "the world" that was promised or is this term figurative for the enormity of the gift from God's grace of such a gift as enumerated elsewhere? Furthermore, is Abraham's fatherhood so valuable to all the recipients? These questions must come from an attempt to want to/to need to confirm one's own universality, perhaps.

C. Organization

(JFC) The omitted verses come between verse five and twelve. The universalism appears in verses five and sixteen. "The world" is attested to in the thirteenth verse. Abraham's fatherhood is mentioned in verses one and sixteen.

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