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Tuesday, December 01, 2009


"He argues that 1:18-32 and much of chap. 2 do not contain the words of Paul, but of the Teacher...." (SBL text, p. 4)
"One sometimes has the feeling that Douglas ascribes the bulk of 1:18—3:20 to the Teacher(s)...." (SBL text, p. 5).

You're right that I think that Paul is engaging with the words of the Teacher--really, the teachings of the Teacher--a lot in Romans 1-3, running a set of reductios, so this is probably what you're getting at with these statements Mike. Unfortunately, these sorts of comments are apparently being widely misrepresented as a suggestion that Romans 1-3 is largely if not entirely in the Teacher's own voice. So, e.g., Richard Hays in the Romans session with you at SBL suggested that I ascribe all of Romans 1-3 the Teacher, a position he wanted to go on record as disagreeing with. Of course even I disagree with that position! (Although Sanders likes it.) The irony seemed lost on the session that this was of course a reductio by Richard.

Douglas, Sean and all---

Just for the record: in the text of my SBL response and, therefore (I think) always on my blog, I only said that 1:18-32 (not all of Rom 1-3) was speech-in-character according to Douglas. Unless I am mistaken about the blog posts, then, Sean and then Douglas are (unintentionally) mistaken here and I have NOT misrepresented Douglas.

Hi Douglas, and welcome.
Thanks for the clarification. I have amended the text of the post to reflect your comment. The more I am reading of the book, the more I find plausible. But paradigm shifts take a while, so be patient with us.


Glad you enjoyed the session. Just a small correction.

I never anywhere ever claim that Romans 1-3 is speech-in-character throughout. Mike rather badly misrepresents my approach here (quite unintentionally, I hasten to add!). I suggest that Romans 1-3 is a reductio that swings off speech-in-character in 1:18-32, a text that is about the same length as the speech made in character in 7:7-25. Moreover, everyone has already conceded that one of the voices in 3:1-9 is not Paul's, although scholars disagree on which voice to assign to him. So I basically extend this suggestion to the first paragraph in the argument. The commentators are then, by the way, also nearly unanimous that the hypocritical judger has spoken these words, thereby conceding my point. (You have to make this concession really in view of 2:1 and 3.) But they tend to assume that Paul agrees with this strong opinion, and so shift to him in their exegesis of the following material. It's this subsequent move that I have a problem with, finding no evidence for it in the text and many considerations that stand against it.

Well, I hope all those reading your excellent blog will benefit from this small clarification.

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