Lectionary Year B
December 22, 2002
Romans 16:25-27

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological focal point of this passage is the eternal God who is to be glorified, who strengthens, who commands the prophetic writings to reveal the mystery and who is wise without comparison. Also, the proclamation of Jesus Christ is of utmost importance in this text, theologically, as is the Gospel. These designations leave as secondary in the charts of importance, the revelation itself and the hidden-ness of the mystery, the long ages, the prophetic writings, the nations becoming believers and obey-ers and the wisdom of God.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 25 But to the one able to strengthen you according to my Gospel and by the message/proclamation of Jesus Christ, according the revelation of the mystery to time eternally of having been kept hidden, 26 but is being revealed now through both prophetic writings as the eternal God commanded for obedience of faith to/for/by all the nations having been made known, 27 the only wise God through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory in all the ages, Amen.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) Since this lesson comes up for the Sunday before Christmas, we better exegete the calendar and the congregation as well as the text. Worshippers come to church this week expecting to hear about the Nativity. Well, the Nativity reveals a great deal about the Gospel, the mystery hidden and revealed (quite dynamically in the Nativity!) and the glorification of God. So, the pericope we study this week might expand the horizon from the manger, the shepherds, animals and the Holy Family, even.

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