06 January 2011

Matera on Romans

I'm working through the new commentary on Romans by Frank Matera in the Paideia series and enjoying it very much. Matera is a Roman Catholic who teaches at the Catholic University of America, and at times he takes a New Perspective-ish slant on things which I think trivializes what Paul is saying (pretty sure Frank won't be getting an email from Don Carson to join the Gospel Coalition any time soon). But this commentary is really excellent. Clear. Clear, clear, clear. And refuses to sacrifice the theological on the altar of the historical (O blessed breath of fresh theological air).

As a taste, I found this introduction to theological issues in Romans very satisfying.
Although Romans is an 'occasional letter,' inasmuch as [sic] it was occasioned by the circumstances of Paul and the Romans, it remains a profoundly theological document that deals with issues central to humanity's relationship with God. This is not to say that Romans is a theological essay or a systematic compendium of Paul's theology. But it is a religious document composed by a man who has reflected deeply on the significance of the saving justice that God manifested in Christ.

In doing so, Paul presents us with a series of insights that are foundational for the Christian understanding of the human person (anthropology), God's redemptive work in Christ (Christology and soteriology), the new community of believers whom God has called and sanctified in Jesus Christ (ecclesiology), the new life that believers live in and through the power of God's Spirit (ethics), and the hope of this sanctified community (eschatology). In effect, Romans provides us with the outline of a redemptive story that encompasses humanity's predicament prior to Christ, its redemption in Christ, and its hope for the final salvation and glorification it will enjoy when it participates in the glory that the risen Christ already enjoys.
--Frank J. Matera, Romans (Paideia; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010), 20-21

Amazing how many biblical scholars' middle names begin with j.

Thanks for this good contribution, Professor Matera!


Anonymous said...

Wild. Do you have Fitzmyer's commentary on Romans (Anchor)? He's another Roman Catholic (at Catholic U) who penned a fine commentary on Romans. Go figure!

Dane Ortlund said...

You're right Tony, another good one!

Matthew D. Montonini said...

Dane--You might find this interesting..