Analysis Of The Book ' Romans '

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Introduction Reaching Chapter seven in the book of Romans, the framework for Paul’s theology has been laid out with a basis on God’s righteousness and humanity’s sinfulness as illuminated by the Mosaic law. In Chapter seven Paul furthers his discussion on the power of sin. This discussion offered by Paul must be preceded by a discussion of who in fact Paul is referencing in this passage. The question rests in his use of the word “εγώ” translated “I.” The identity of this “I” is debated amongst theologians. Answering the question of who is being referenced is a longstanding question which begs exploration. The viewpoints are plentiful, yet the prominence of the law and the nature of Paul’s argument in other portions of this letter and his…show more content…
This paper will thus, look at the specific views on Chapter 7’s “I,” not isolated from, but in reference to the greater message in the book of Romans. “I” representing all humanity The perspective, which takes the stance that Paul is referencing all humanity, seeks to affirm the far reaching nature of sin. All humanity is affected by sin and faces the same struggles that Paul is describing. This viewpoint’s emphasis on the reach of sin is expressed by Jan Lambrecht when he says: “The inner conflict and division can be experienced everywhere and at all times, by everybody” (Lambrecht 63). This viewpoint was brought to focus by Kümmel at the beginning of the 20th Century; “In this epochal study, Kümmel contends that the description of the εγώ in Rom 7 is purely a rhetorical device in which Paul 's own experience is not in view. Rom 7 pictures the human in general, who assents to the Law 's demand but is unable to accomplish it” (Seifrid 313). Those who would hold to this view would claim that Paul is using “a known rhetorical device” (Shogren 120). In this view, the one who is speaking as “I” is merely a hypothetical speaker who serves to represent humanity, rather than a specific individual or individuals. Additionally, this view draws on Paul’s motif throughout the letter of the equality of Jews and Gentiles. It finds grounding in the preceding chapters of the book in which Paul
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