Fredriksen-Paul’s imaginary Gentile who identifies as Jewish


Paula Fredriksen’s interpretation of Romans in Paul, the Pagan’s Apostle sees the letter as addressed to Gentiles. Several times Paul says he is writing to the ethne, the Gentiles. Her interpretation does not depend on the composition of the Roman community. Some scholars have seen the church as more Jewish than Gentile, others have seen it as predominately Gentile. There is a theory that Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews, or many of them, but that before Paul wrote Romans, they had come back.

Her point is not about the composition of the church. Whatever its composition, Paul chose to address primarily the Gentiles (Romans 1:6, 13 and 11:13).

There is rhetorical level where Paul uses a fictive Gentile as a foil for his arguments. We have already seen that Fredriksen holds that the person in chapter 7 who cannot do what he wills is a Gentile trying to keep…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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