06 November 2009

Schreiner on Jewett's Romans

I continue to consult and profit from Robert Jewett's 2007 Romans commentary (Hermeneia), which is especially illuminating in its interaction with Greco-Roman sources contemporary to Paul (though 'illuminating' easily becomes 'controlling'). But my sense is that Tom Schreiner's recent BBR review of Jewett hits the nail right on the head. Dr. Schreiner calls Jewett's work 'a stunning achievement' for various reasons, but concludes:

Jewett's microscopic reconstruction of the Roman situation fails to convince. It seems to betray an almost modernist confidence in determining the historical circumstances of the letter, and he fails to heed cautions that have been raised about reconstructing the situation in NT epistles. Jewett's commentary is full of insight and helpful discussions of individual verses. Still, it is doubtful that the fundamental contribution of the commentary will be considered to be anything other than a period piece, reflecting a particular kind of historical-critical scholarship at this juncture in history.

--BBR 19 (2009): 448


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