Event Title

The Impenetrable Depths of the Love of God in Contrast to the Shallowness of Human Love in Romans 5:6–8: Literary Structure as the Key to Meaning

Location

Seminary Room S215

Start Date

15-2-2019 8:30 AM

End Date

15-2-2019 8:50 AM

Description

In Rom 5:6–8, Paul related a robust contrast between divine love, as it was concretely expressed in the death of Christ, and the greatest conceptions of human love of his time. However, much disagreement among scholarship exists regarding this contrast, particularly over its structure and the identification of δικαίου and τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ in Rom 5:7. This paper explores some of these scholarly perspectives and then applies contextual, structural, grammatical-syntactical, and historical- 33 cultural analyses to provide a fresh look at this passage, uncovering its beautiful chiastic arrangement. This chiastic structure is helpful (1) in unlocking the meaning of δικαίου as any morally upright person and τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ as a patron or benefactor in Rom 5:7 and (2) in illuminating its contribution to Paul’s overall contrast between divine and human love. When understood in this way, Rom 5:6–8 powerfully communicates the rarity and conditionality of humanity’s greatest expressions of love in contrast to the surprisingly initiatory, unconditional love of God, as it was demonstrated in Christ’s selfless death for morally weak, ungodly sinners. Thus, divine love profoundly unveils the shallowness found in the greatest displays of human love and reaches beyond them to impenetrable depths.

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Feb 15th, 8:30 AM Feb 15th, 8:50 AM

The Impenetrable Depths of the Love of God in Contrast to the Shallowness of Human Love in Romans 5:6–8: Literary Structure as the Key to Meaning

Seminary Room S215

In Rom 5:6–8, Paul related a robust contrast between divine love, as it was concretely expressed in the death of Christ, and the greatest conceptions of human love of his time. However, much disagreement among scholarship exists regarding this contrast, particularly over its structure and the identification of δικαίου and τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ in Rom 5:7. This paper explores some of these scholarly perspectives and then applies contextual, structural, grammatical-syntactical, and historical- 33 cultural analyses to provide a fresh look at this passage, uncovering its beautiful chiastic arrangement. This chiastic structure is helpful (1) in unlocking the meaning of δικαίου as any morally upright person and τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ as a patron or benefactor in Rom 5:7 and (2) in illuminating its contribution to Paul’s overall contrast between divine and human love. When understood in this way, Rom 5:6–8 powerfully communicates the rarity and conditionality of humanity’s greatest expressions of love in contrast to the surprisingly initiatory, unconditional love of God, as it was demonstrated in Christ’s selfless death for morally weak, ungodly sinners. Thus, divine love profoundly unveils the shallowness found in the greatest displays of human love and reaches beyond them to impenetrable depths.