Sometime back I interacted with professor Tom Holland’s Contours of Pauline Theology here, and which has surprisingly led professor Holland to give me an advance look at his forthcoming commentary on Romans, which is due this late spring early summer, from Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Professor Holland’s work will definitely be a welcome contribution to recent commentary’s on Paul’s Romans:
Why subtitle a commentary on Romans The Divine Marriage? Mainly because the central message of the Bible has to do with the drama of God seeking out a people for himself. The Old Testament described Israel as God’s bride because she was called to a unique, personal relationship with her God.
However, Paul’s contention is that national Israel’s exclusive claim to be the bride no longer stands. The apostle’s message is that God has created a new covenant with those who believe in his Son, and that believing Jews and Gentiles have now become the true bride of God. The Jewish remnant and believing Gentiles both draw from the same divinely-appointed stock as they share the promises given by God to Abraham.
The theme of the divine marriage (which is the culmination of the new exodus) shaped and guided the letters that Paul wrote. This is especially true for the letter to the Romans, the letter of the divine marriage.
And here’s Professor Robert W. Yarbrough, of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, take on Holland’s Romans:
This vigorously argued commentary seeks to allow Old Testament themes and thought patterns, not misguided scholarly conventions, to control Romans’ message. Paul’s ministry is seen rigorously in old exodus terms; the church is the New Israel, Yahweh’s people and (along with the true Israel of old) figurative bride. Verses from the prophet Isaiah are particularly foundational. Organizationally, Holland’s treatment is strongly messianic in focus – every section of Romans is subordinated to “the Messiah King.” Scholars of Romans will be stimulated by interaction with this canonically alert, creative and frequently contrarian exposition and synthesis of a Pauline classic.
If you’re at all into Pauline studies and especially his letter to the Romans, this forthcoming commentary will make for health interaction.
And as Peter Wilkinson remarks, “All agree that Holland has moved the debate on Paul decisively forwards and that a significant counter-proposal to the proponents of the New Perspective on Paul has been launched.”
Stay tuned for a full review…
Tom Holland is full time lecturer in New Testament studies, at Wales Evangelical School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales.