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Bibil Identifier bibil:224507
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) 'Abraham Did not "Doubt" in Unbelief' (Rom. 4:20): Faith, Doubt, and Dispute in Paul's Letter to the Romans
Author Schliesser, Benjamin
Journal The Journal of Theological Studies (Volume: 63, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2012
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2012
Year (Copyright) 2012
Year (Reference) 2012
Language English
Pages 492-522 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This article offers an exegetical-theological analysis of Rom. 4:20: ‘No distrust made him waver (διακρίνεσθαι) concerning the promise of God’ (NRSV). It challenges the common assumption that our customary descriptions and definitions of ‘doubt’ may be applied—via negativa—to the attitude or disposition of Abraham. When Paul uses the word διακρίνεσθαι in this context, he does not intend to say that Abraham’s disposition was free from doubt, uncertainty, or hesitation. Rather, Paul had in mind that Abraham did not oppose God in a presumptuous attitude, offend him through conceited enquiries, or question him in order to overturn his word. This interpretation counters the exegetical communis opinio, but has veritable precursors—John Chrysostom, John Calvin, and Markus Barth—and, at the same time, conforms well to the line of thought of Paul’s letter. The object of Paul’s accusation against Greeks and Jews (Romans 1–3) is less an intrapersonal contradiction or inconsistency rather than an interpersonal conflict between God and human being. Significantly, the contextual argument is supported by a lexicographical fact: The meaning ‘to doubt’ for διακρίνεσθαι is unattested prior to the New Testament; in classical/Hellenistic Greek the verb comprises, inter alia, the notions of ‘separation’ and ‘dispute’.
DOI 10.1093/jts/fls130
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Abraham
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the New Testament : Letters of Paul : Romans
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Faith
Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Ancient Christian Literature : Texts and Authors (Church Fathers) : Texts and Authors : John Chrysostom
Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : History of Interpretation and Reception : Important Persons : Renaissance - Reformation (15th -16th cent.) : Calvin, Jean
Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : History of Interpretation and Reception : Important Persons : 20th century
Pericopes Romans 4,20
Terms διακρίνω διακρινω
Last modification 2017-10-27