Romans 8:18--30 and its relation to the current Romans debate

Mary Carolyn Thomas, Fordham University


Contemporary scholarship on the Letter to the Romans has moved away from the view of Romans as a compendium of Christian doctrine to a consideration of the question of the contingency of the letter. This study explores chapter 8, especially 8:18–30, in light of this debate. ^ Chapter I presents a survey of research on Romans with special focus on Romans 8. It highlights the current concern for the specificity of the letter. ^ An examination of the structure of Romans 8 in Chapter II reveals Paul's focus on the lordship of Christ in the life of the Christian and the consequences it bears in view of the present and of God's final triumph. The realms of the flesh and the Spirit are shown to be warring domains in which the Christian, who lives in the Spirit, is empowered by the Spirit to responsible engagement in the world. ^ Chapter III, which provides a detailed exegesis of 8:18–30, demonstrates that this passage flows out of Paul's statement that those who suffer with Christ will also be glorified with him (v. 17). These verses reveal that the Christian's suffering ensues from solidarity with enslaved creation in the struggle against the domain of the flesh. ^ Special issues which emerge from the study are examined in detail in Chapter IV; Apocalyptic Eschatology, Christology, Pneumatology, Anthropology, and the Nature of Christian Hope. ^ Chapter V reviews the significant results of the research, and relates 8:18–30 to the nuclear statement in 1:16–17 and to Paul's contingent purpose in writing the letter. The passage responds to enthusiasts who would separate themselves from the world and to those who claim Paul's law-free gospel is a license to immorality. Finally, in light of 8:18–30, the hermeneutical question is posed: What meaning does the passage hold for contemporary Christians?*^ *Originally published in DAI Vol. 47, No. 3. Reprinted here with corrected degree date.^

Subject Area

Biblical studies|Theology

Recommended Citation

Thomas, Mary Carolyn, "Romans 8:18--30 and its relation to the current Romans debate" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8612862.