Posted by: Joel | August 26, 2008

The book of Romans

I have embarked on an intensive personal study of the book of Romans. The purpose of this is a) to hear God’s address to us, his church, and me, his child; and b) to exegetically test some of the things I’ve been reading in N. T. Wright about the ‘gospel’, the ‘righteousness of God’, ‘justification by faith’, ‘works of the law’, etc. Man it is a lot tougher than I hoped it would be. I really want some clarity from Scripture because now that I’ve dipped into N. T. Wright’s teachings on certain categories they plague my mind whenever I’m reading Scripture or in a conversation about theology or Scripture.

One question I have for Mr. Swales and anybody else reading this: Does N. T. Wright believe that every time the word ‘righteousness’ or ‘unrighteousness’ shows up (in Romans) Paul is talking about ‘covenant faithfulness’ or ‘covenant unfaithfulness’? (I guess the question would be whether righteousness/wickedness is always seen in covenantal terms for Wright…would it make no sense to him otherwise?) Or is that only the case for the phrase ‘the righteousness of God’?

For example, in 1.18 Paul talks about the wrath of God being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Maybe it would make a difference whether Paul is here talking about Jews or Gentiles (or both). My guess is that this has traditionally been understood as referring to both in ‘abstract righteousness’ terms, whereas Wright probably wants to understand it as referring to Jews in covenantal terms…


  1. Glad to hear your doing a major study of Romans. Here is a link to a N.T. Wright article on righteousness I would suggets reading Romans with at least another commentary such as Moo or Shreiner. These guys are aware of the NPP and offer a nuanced traditional reading.

    I would say that righteousness=covenant faithfullness in N.T. Wrights reading when it comes in the ‘righteousness of God form’ or in contexts which are linked to this…. have you read ‘what saint paul really said’ by N.T. Wright?

  2. Thanks for the link.

    I own “What Saint Paul Really Said”, but haven’t yet given a thorough reading to the chapter on the righteousness of God. I’m working through his article entitled “Romans and the Theology of Paul” and next on my agenda is “The Law in Romans 2”.

  3. Joel,

    He understands that verse as referring to Gentiles. You REALLY need his commentary on Romans. It is absolutely awesome! It is in the New Interpreters Bible. Here is the link:

    I highly recommend not to waste your money on Moo and Screiner. I have both but N.T. Wright is the authority on Romans. Bless you.

  4. I would love to purchase Wright’s commentary on Romans, but I struggle to pay my rent every month, let alone purchase massive books. And my alma matter does not let that book leave the library. Maybe someday.

    Thanks for the comments. I appreciate you stopping by and look forward to some interesting conversations.

  5. Sorry I assumed you had the Wright commentary. Unfortunately its not available on its own but part of a set. You could also get the Romans for everyone commentary. He has some great mp3s online as well. If I get over in January i can loan you my copy of his commentary, if not try and get it through a library or someone at Church.

    Russell is mistaken to think that Moo and Schriner are a load of rubbish. I do think Wright is better but lets not think that only NPP scolars have a monolopy on the truth. Surely its best to read the best of both NPP and traditional reading.

  6. Joel,

    If you want a copy of N.T. Wright’s commentary I will have one shipped from Amazon or will send you a check to buy one. It appears that you are located in Scotland. Can you cash an American check? If you want one, let me know brother. It’s yours, just say the word.

  7. P.S. Johnswales, please don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t suggest that Moo and Schreiner were a ‘load of rubbish’. I said I wouldn’t waste my money buying them. Pretty big difference.

  8. Yeah fair enough. Russell. Apologies
    If u could only go for one then Wright would be the best.

    Have u seen the Paul Page. Don Garlington has an excellent commentary on Galatians .

    Click to access Shorter_Galatians.pdf

    and some work on Romans 1-4

    Click to access Rom1-4.pdf

  9. No problem brother jonswales. I am pretty sure I have been to thepaulpage. I might check into the comments on Galatians. I spend a lot of time trying to teach. Thanks for the link brother. P.S. I kinda like the word ‘rubbish’. Are you in the UK?

  10. yeah, Bristol in England.

  11. […] – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by jimray on 2008-12-08 The book of Romans – bookmarked by 5 members originally […]

  12. I am also just beginning an in-depth study on Romans. I recently purchased LOGOS Bible software and look forward to incorporating that into my study. Here’s to what God shows us all in Romans. God Bless!!

  13. Hi Joel,
    Wright is awesome, and usually, but not always correct. His commentary on Romans can be purchased separately from But he also has a 2 vol. paperback commentary on Romans (his ‘Paul for Everyman’ series). These are quite a bit cheaper than the $55. volume from the NIB. For me, Wright is problematic when it comes to creation-I think he is either theistic evolution or some form of FH. He also believes in ordination of women. Also, when he applies the bible to society he tends to lean left (typical European). I have 15 of his books and they are all gems.

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