Lectionary Year A
August 4, 2002
Romans 9:1-5

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological center of this paragraph is the God who gives the Israelites such gifts as are listed in verse 4f and who is referred to by name in the last part of the last verse in this lection. Of course, also, highlighted in this passage is the Christ whom Paul names in the first part of the first verse, in the middle of the third verse and in the middle of the final verse. Next, in importance is the Israelites themselves and then that Paul considers himself kin to them. These observations leave the minor concerns to be the Holy Spirit (can you believe?), Paul's truth telling (can you believe?), his grieving for their refusing to take advantage of God's gifts (can you believe?) and his willingness to give himself in their stead (can you what? Believe?)

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 Truthfully I say in Christ, I do not lie, rather I am telling the truth, really, for my conscience is clear in the Holy Spirit Holy, 2 that I grieve greatly and in my heart I am distressed. 3 For I am as much as wishing that I could be cursed of God to be myself separated from Christ for the sake of my kinfolk in the faith (the Jews) my fellow countrymen who are mine according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, who are the ones adopted, having even the glory, the covenants and the one (God's) giving the law (to Israel) and the opportunities to worship and the promises, 5 from whom (are) the fathers and from whom the Christ the one according to (the) flesh (has come); the one upon/over all whom God has to be blessed/praised into the forever/eternity, Amen.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) How 'bout the movie, "Dead Poets Society"? Welton Academy, to say nothing of the boys' various backgrounds, was too traditional to endure John Keating's (English teacher played by Robin Williams) creativity and respect for each students' potential to encourage developing. The tradition the Jews Paul grieves over is too established for them to find the updated version in God's New Covenant, the New Testament's Savior and the Christ in the final verse of this week's Epistle lection.

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