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‘With’ Not ‘for’: An Alternative Reading of Paul's Use of Psalm 68.10b OG in Romans 15.3

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2021

Josiah D. Hall*
One Bear Place 97284, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA. Email:


This article demonstrates that Paul's use of Ps 68.10b OG in Rom 15.3 makes sense of the psalm's context, fits with the parenetic rhetoric of Paul's argument in 14.1–15.6 and necessitates Paul's justification in 15.4 of his use of Scripture. Citing Ps 68.10b because the δυνατοί (15.1) face actual reproaches for accommodating to the ἀδύνατοι's convictions, Paul grounds the call to bear these reproaches in emulating Christ's devotion to God, not his vicarious suffering. The focus on allegiance to God orients the δυνατοί towards the one who can then enable them to counter-culturally endure shame with fellow members of God's household.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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This paper originated in a PhD seminar on Romans led by Beverly R. Gaventa at Baylor University. I am grateful to Beverly R. Gaventa, Greg Barnhill and the members of the seminar for their feedback on the paper's previous drafts. All remaining errors are of course my own.


1 All references to the Psalms throughout this paper use the Old Greek verse numberings as preserved in the LXX edited by Rahlfs. Translations of biblical texts are my own.

2 As shown below, regardless of whether scholars identify the referent of σε in Rom 15.3b as God or people they still argue that Paul employs the verse to urge suffering on behalf of others.

3 The words used to describe the two parties are commonly translated as ‘weak’ and ‘strong’. Instead, I use ‘powerful’ and ‘powerless’ to highlight Paul's contrast between οἱ δυνατοί and οἱ ἀδύνατοι in 15.1. This translation also brings out the nuance of the power dynamics at play throughout 14.1–15.6. Though, as Gaventa notes, Paul does not label the ‘eating’ party until 15.1, because this paper focuses on 15.1–6, I will use these labels to describe all references to the parties throughout 14.1–15.6 for clarity (Gaventa, B. R., ‘Reading for the Subject: The Paradox of Power in Romans 14:1–15:6’, JTI 5 (2011) 1–12, at 9Google Scholar).

4 Fitzmyer, J. A., Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 33; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008) 703Google Scholar. Wolter implies the citation's relevance for Paul's argument lies more in its ascription of passivity to the speaker than in the citation's context (Wolter, M., Der Brief an die Römer 9–16 (EKKNT vi/2; Ostfildern: Patmos, 2019) 398Google Scholar). Similarly, Kujanpää contends that the citation's Pauline framing is more significant than its original context (Kujanpää, K., The Rhetorical Functions of Scriptural Quotations in Romans: Paul's Argumentation by Quotations (NovTSup 172; Leiden: Brill, 2019) 275–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar).

5 Jewett, R., Romans: A Commentary (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007) 879–80Google Scholar. Note that Jewett here follows, among others, Sanday, W. and Headlam, A. C., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1900) 395Google Scholar. Kujanpää, Rhetorical Functions, 275–6 argues that Paul's framing of the citation most naturally leads the reader to conclude that σε refers to a human object, but leaves open the possibility that Paul maintains God as the object as in the citation's context.

6 E.g. Böhm, who argues the ὀνειδισμοί are the ἀσθενήματα the ‘powerful’ are to bear but does not clarify where the ὀνειδισμοί come from or how the ‘powerful’ bear them (C. Böhm, Die Rezeption der Psalmen in den Qumranschriften, bei Philo von Alexandrien und im Corpus Paulinum (WUNT ii/437; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017) 191). Similarly, Harrisville and Keesmaat stress Paul's faithfulness to the citation's context and application to the ‘powerful’ without clarifying either the origin of the reproaches or what it means for the ‘powerful’ to bear them (Harrisville, R. A., ‘Paul and the Psalms: A Formal Study’, WW 5 (1985) 168–79, at 178Google Scholar; Keesmaat, S. C., ‘The Psalms in Romans and Galatians’, The Psalms in the New Testament (ed. S. Moyise and M. J. J. Menken; The New Testament and the Scriptures of Israel; London: T&T Clark International, 2004) 139–69, at 156Google Scholar).

7 This difficulty is especially prevalent among those who argue that Paul imports the notion of ‘vicarious’ or ‘substitutionary’ suffering with his use of the citation: Hays, R. B., The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel's Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005) 101–18Google Scholar; U. Wilckens, Der Brief an die Römer 12–16, vol. iii (EKKNT vi/3; Düsseldorf: Benziger/Neukirchener, 2003) 101–2. Others, while not linking the citation to vicarious suffering, nevertheless emphasise the connection with Christ's suffering in the passion and de-emphasise the focus on reproaches: Moo, D. J., The Letter to the Romans (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 20182) 875Google Scholar; Koch, D.-A., Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums: Untersuchungen zur Verwendung und zum Verständnis der Schrift bei Paulus (BHT 69; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1986) 324–6Google Scholar.

8 In addition to Hays, Wilckens and Moo (see note above), see Böhm's stress on Stellvertretungsgedankens in Paul's use of the citation (Böhm, Rezeption, 190–2).

9 See Barclay, J. M. G., ‘“Do We Undermine the Law?”: A Study of Romans 14:1–15:6’, Paul and the Mosaic Law (ed. J. D. G. Dunn; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001) 287–308, at 305Google Scholar; Thompson, M. B., Clothed with Christ: The Example and Teaching of Jesus in Romans 12.1–15.13 (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011) 223Google Scholar; Käsemann, E., An die Römer (HNT 8a; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1973) 365–6Google Scholar.

10 Scott, M., The Hermeneutics of Christological Psalmody in Paul: An Intertextual Enquiry (SNTSMS 158; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) 62–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11 Scott focuses on justifying a metaleptic reading and how the reader predicates the citation to Christ, and only briefly connects his reading to actual reproaches the ‘powerful’ would experience if they followed Paul's exhortations. Metalepsis with the psalm's context (esp. v. 10a) certainly strengthens the reading, but I do not view it as necessary (contra Scott, Hermeneutics, 85). My argument stresses that Paul's rhetorical focus on the ‘powerful’ and how they are to see themselves as members of the same household as the ‘powerless’ combines with the reality of potential reproaches and the way Paul frames the citation to lead the reader to understand that they are to follow Christ in bearing reproaches because of their association with God. In essence, the audience's experiences play a driving role in the hermeneutic. Paul's argument in 14.1–15.6 plays on the connection between ὀνειδισμός and ἐξουθενέω so that the ‘powerful’ are called to move from being those who reproach the ‘powerless’ to being those who are reproached with the ‘powerless’. Scott appears to overlook this connection, perhaps because he incorrectly assigns the action of judging to the ‘powerful’ and the act of despising to the ‘powerless’ (Scott, Hermeneutics, 69 n. 21), even though 14.3 indicates that those who eat (the ‘powerful’) despise those who do not eat (the ‘powerless’).

12 Since Karris’ influential essay, scholars have debated whether Paul responds to an actual issue ‘on the ground’ in Rome. See Karris, R. J., ‘Rom 14:1–15:13 and the Occasion of Romans’, CBQ 34 (1973) 155–78Google Scholar. In my judgement, Barclay decisively demonstrates that there is an actual ongoing debate between ‘powerful’ and ‘powerless’ parties in Rome, where the ‘powerless’ party – comprised mostly, but not exclusively, of Jewish Christ-believers – strictly adheres to Jewish dietary laws in contrast to the ‘powerful’ party – comprised mostly, but not exclusively, of Gentile Christ-believers (Barclay, ‘“Do We Undermine the Law?’”, 287–308).

13 Specifically, Barclay demonstrates that, despite the fact that we have no record of any Jewish dietary prohibitions necessitating vegetarianism, the situation Paul describes in Romans nevertheless resonates with those ardently seeking to avoid compromising their religious identity (Barclay, ‘“Do We Undermine the Law?’”, 294–9).

14 Both parties Paul addresses here should be considered Christ-believers (Barclay, J. M. G., ‘Faith and Self-Detachment from Cultural Norms: A Study in Romans 14–15’, ZNW 104 (2013) 192–208, at 200–1Google Scholar). For a rebuttal of the position that the ‘powerless’ are non-Christian Jews, see Gagnon, R. A. J., the, ‘WhyWeak” at Rome Cannot Be Non-Christian Jews’, CBQ 62 (2000) 64–82Google Scholar.

15 With Barclay, the ‘weakness’ of the faith of the ‘powerless’ party is an issue of vulnerability, not quality or quantity (Barclay, ‘Faith’, 202).

16 See the evidence in Reasoner, M., The Strong and the Weak: Romans 14.1–15.13 in Context (SNTSMS 103; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 45–55Google Scholar; pace Scott, Hermeneutics, 72, who implies that Paul primarily switches to language of ‘power’ to connote agency. In my view, the terms connote not only agency, but also the power and prestige that accompany the ability to wield one's agency.

17 Reasoner, Strong, 57–8. Pace Reasoner, I contend that the ‘nickname’ ‘weak’ (14.1) was a designation only employed by the ‘powerful’, not the ‘powerless’. So Tobin, T. H., Paul's Rhetoric its Contexts: The Argument of Romans (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004), 409Google Scholar. Tobin rightly argues that ‘powerful’ was not a self-designation but was employed by Paul in 15.1 ironically or sarcastically. I place quotes around both ‘powerful’ and ‘powerless’ to indicate my understanding that Paul uses the terms to rhetorically undercut the position of the ‘powerful’.

18 Elsewhere in 14.1–15.6, 14.3 excluded, κρίνω corresponds with the ‘non-eating’ party (3b, 5, 10, 22).

19 By following the imperative not to cause one's sibling to stumble (14.21) with the admonition to keep one's faith between oneself and God (14.22a), Paul indicates that flaunting one's freedom could lead to the stumbling of the ‘powerless’. Thus, it follows that Paul intends the ‘powerful’ to understand that by keeping their freedom private they protect the conscience of the ‘powerless’. This logic undergirds Barclay's claim that the ‘weakness’ of the ‘powerless’ is one of vulnerability. See n. 15 above.

20 Reasoner clarifies that the type of power in view here was not political, such as that wielded by Roman senators, but rather a social power whereby one group within the church(es) sought to exert influence over the other (Reasoner, Strong, 47–9, 59–60).

21 See Gaventa, ‘Reading’, 8–9, for how Paul here contrasts divine and human power.

22 Though τοῖς ἀνθρώποις could apply to both believers and non-believers (C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (2 vols.; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975–9) ii.720) the contrast between εὐάρεστος and βλασφημείσθω in 14.16 and the focus on behaviour in God's kingdom (14.17) indicate that the primary referent is the ‘powerless’ party (Moo, Romans, 875; pace Jewett, Romans, 864; Dunn, J. D. G., Romans 9–16 (WBC 38B; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988) 824Google Scholar).

23 Contra Käsemann, Römer, 365, who argues that 15.1–6 no longer focuses on conflict in Rome.

24 Gaventa, ‘Reading’, 10.

25 Contra Jewett, Romans, 878, who views the ‘shift’ indicated by ἕκαστος ἡμῶν as more significant and argues that 15.2 concerns both the ‘powerful’ and the ‘powerless’.

26 Cranfield, Romans, ii.732, esp. n. 6. On Paul's relationship to the Jesus tradition more broadly, see Allison, D. C., ‘The Pauline Epistles and the Synoptic Gospels: The Pattern of the Parallels’, NTS 28 (1982) 1–32Google Scholar.

27 A minority objects to reading Christ as the intended referent in Paul's use of the psalm (e.g. Hafemann, S., ‘Eschatology and Ethics: The Future of Israel and the Nations in Romans 15:1–13’, TynBul 51 (2000) 161–192, at 164Google Scholar; Dunn, Romans 9–16, 839). Bates provides a more nuanced reading based on his understanding that Paul employs prosopological exegesis (Bates, M. W., The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation: The Center of Paul's Method of Scriptural Interpretation (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2012) 251Google Scholar).

28 For instance, Thompson and Hays focus on parallels with the crucifixion (Thompson, Clothed, 222; Hays, Conversion, 113–14), while both Käsemann and Cranfield see parallels in Christ's whole life (Käsemann, Römer, 366; Cranfield, Romans, ii.732).

29 E.g. Gal 3.13; 2 Cor 1.5; Phil 2.8; 3.10.

30 The NT frequently uses Psalm 68 OG in reference to Christ's passion (e.g. Mark 15.23, 36; John 15.25) as well as the Temple cleansing (John 2.17) and God's judgement (Rom 11.9). See E. Lohse, Der Brief an die Römer: übersetzt und erklärt (KEK 4; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003) 384 n. 12. On the early church's use of the psalms, see Juel, D., Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1992) 89–117, esp. 96–8Google Scholar on Psalm 68 (69 MT). While I agree with Hays that Paul uses the citation to represent Christ's experiences/attitude (with the result that the first-person verbs refer to Christ), I would contend, contra Hays, that the use here is distinct from that in Hebrews, where the citation is ascribed to Christ as if he were the original speaker (cf. Hays, Conversion, 104–7).

31 Koch, Schrift, 326.

32 Hays, Conversion, 112 (emphasis original).

33 Commentators frequently contend that Paul has in mind Christ’s sufferings, which serve as an example and impetus for the ‘powerful’ likewise not to seek to please themselves (e.g. Cranfield, Romans, ii.733; Fitzmyer, Romans, 702; Moo, Romans, 885). As Jewett notes, and many of these authors concede, those arguments seem less concerned ‘with the direct application of Paul's argument to the Roman audience’ (Jewett, Romans, 880).

34 Bates is an example of the approach under critique here, assuming that because Paul elsewhere connects Christ's passion to vicarious suffering, he must do so here (Bates, Hermeneutics, 255 n. 75). Yet Paul does address the crucifixion without reference to vicarious suffering in 1 Cor 1.20–31 and Phil 2.1–11. Scholars often point to the latter as a parallel text for Rom 15.3–4 but underemphasise that Paul's focus in Philipians 2 lies on Christ's exemplary obedience and humility, not vicarious suffering. Paul could have stressed vicarious suffering in numerous ways, but neither Bates nor Hays fully accounts for the specific language that Paul does employ.

35 Käsemann, Römer, 366; Dunn, Romans 9–16, 839; Cranfield, Romans, ii.733; Fitzmyer, Romans, 703; Moo, Romans, 884.

36 Moo, Romans, 884–5.

37 See especially the taunts’ content in Matt 27.43: πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν, ῥυσάσθω νῦν εἰ θέλει αὐτόν· εἶπεν γὰρ ὅτι θεοῦ εἰμι υἱός.

38 Similarly, Böhm, though contending that Paul follows the psalm's context in arguing that Christ suffers for God's sake, states: ‘Nach dem Vorbild Christi sollen die Adressaten aus Liebe ihre Mitchristen “tragen” und von sich selbst absehen (vgl. 13,8–10; 14,15)’ (Böhm, Rezeption, 191).

39 Jewett, Romans, 879.

40 Jewett, Romans, 880. Jewett goes on to rightly note that if Paul were making the vicarious suffering argument made by interpreters such as Hays and Moo, then it seems more likely that he would have chosen a more obvious text, such as Isa 53.4. Thompson, Clothed, 410–12 argues that this text is indeed in view. With Käsemann, however, ‘[d]as Zitat läßt jedoch solche Assoziation nicht zu, weil es in ihm nicht um die Annahme menschlicher Schuld, sondern um das Erleiden rebellischer Lästerungen geht’ (Käsemann, Römer, 366).

41 So Wolter, Römer 9–16, 398. Wolter, however, overly disconnects v. 3 from v. 2, disregarding the καὶ γάρ in v. 3a. Jewett concedes the role of ἀλλά but maintains the connection between the citation's content and v. 2. While I affirm that 15.1–3 cohere in a shared theme of setting aside one's own concerns for the good of the other, I disagree that the citation's content must connect to v. 2.

42 Thus, while Kujanpää sees a human referent as the more natural reading, she allows that either remains possible (Kujanpää, Rhetorical Functions, 276).

43 The difference between Jewett's and Moo's nuances is that Jewett argues that there is a parallel between the insults ‘both Christ and his followers bear’ (Jewett, Romans, 880). As noted below, I contend that Jewett's reading, focusing on intracommunity shaming, leads to possible paraenetic implications in conflict with Paul's exhortation.

44 Böhm's recurrent stress on Stellvertretungsgedankens and Koch's on οὐκ ἑαυτῷ ἀρέσκειν have similar effects (Böhm, Rezeption, 190–2; Koch, Schrift, 326).

45 Fitzmyer seems sympathetic to this position, arguing that Christ's example is for all Christians (Fitzmyer, Romans, 701). Similarly, Harrisville argues that Paul links the psalmist's words to Christ ‘as prototype of Christians of all persuasions’ (Harrisville, ‘Paul’, 178). Those who contend that Paul's focus remains on the strong throughout 15.1–4 include Moo, Romans, 883; Cranfield, Romans, ii.732; Wilckens, Römer, iii.100–1.

46 Jewett, Romans, 880.

47 So Wolter, Römer 9–16, 398.

48 Almost every occurrence of ὀνειδισμός in the NT and LXX refers to hostility from outsiders/enemies. See e.g. Josh 5.9; 1 Sam 25.39; Neh 1.3; 3.36; 5.9; Jdt 4.12; 5.21; Tob 3.4, 6, 13, 15; Isa 43.28; Ezek 34.29; 36.15; Dan 9.16; 1 Tim 3.7; Heb 10.33; 11.26; 13.13. Occasionally, the term can be used of conflict between God and his people (e.g. Jer 6.10; 12.13). Note that Ps 68.9 speaks of the psalmist's estrangement from his family just prior to the mention of reproaches in the verse which Paul cites (v. 10), and so one might argue that ὀνειδισμός does apply to situations akin to an intra-believer controversy (so Dunn, Romans 9–16, 839). Verses 8–9 indicated, however, that it is the shame resulting from the hostility and reproach of enemies (v. 5) that has caused the psalmist's estrangement from his family.

49 Jewett argues that ‘the contempt and judging going on between the Roman congregations add to the shameful reproach that Christ bore on the cross for the sake of all’ (Jewett, Romans, 880).

50 See Paul's similar statements in Rom 4.23–5; 1 Cor 9.10; 10.11. Jewett points to a parallel with 1 Macc 12.9 (Jewett, Romans, 882). Lohse argues that 15.4 echoes interpretative practices in Qumran (Lohse, Römer, 384); see also Fitzmyer, J. A., ‘The Use of Explicit Old Testament Quotations in Qumran Literature and in the New Testament’, NTS 7 (1961) 297–333, at 315Google Scholar.

51 Moo, for example, sees v. 4 as a ‘detour’ from the main argument (Moo, Romans, 885).

52 Keck, L. E., ‘Romans 15:4 – An Interpolation?’, Faith and History: Essays in Honor of Paul W. Meyer (ed. J. T. Carroll, C. H. Cosgrove and E. E. Johnson; Atlanta: Scholars, 1991) 125–36Google Scholar.

53 Jewett, Romans, 881–2.

54 Hays, Conversion, 113–14; Cranfield, Romans, ii.734.

55 Jewett, Romans, 877.

56 Even though Paul focuses here on the ‘powerful’, the ‘powerless’ still receive paraenetic benefit from the instruction and cannot rightly contend that they are not also to love their neighbour and follow Christ's example.

57 Contra Jewett, Romans, 880. As Scott notes, while 15.3 certainly pertains to ‘powerless’ in Paul's audience, the agency of the ‘powerful’ means that they are the primary addressee (Scott, Hermeneutics, 74).

58 Moo, Romans, 884.

59 Paul elsewhere uses ἐξουθενέω in 1 Cor 1.27–8 to describe things which God has chosen to elevate in order to shame (καταισχύνῃ) the wise (σοφούς) and strong (ἰσχυρά) and nullify τὰ ὄντα, and in 1 Cor 6.4 to describe outsiders who therefore lack any social standing in the ἐκκλησία. In both of these cases (despite their contextual differences) treating the despised people/things with honour results in shame (see 1 Cor 1.27; 6.5).

60 Though 14.5 does not mention the Sabbath, at the least, the Sabbath was most likely included in the controversy over days. Barclay provides evidence that the observance of the Sabbath, at least as a day when businesses closed, was practised to some degree by non-Jews (Barclay, ‘“Do We Undermine the Law?’”, 297–8). Yet, as Barclay observes, most gentiles probably utilised the day of rest to ends vastly different from those of observant Jews. The evidence of scorn for Jewish Sabbatarianism, reflected in the quotes above, therefore still probably reflects the prevailing social opinion.

61 While Juvenal and Tacitus only reference abstention from pork rather than vegetarianism, the connection of the practices Paul references with Jewish purity laws (see above) indicates that the mockery evidenced here would probably also apply to the practices of the ‘powerless’ party of Romans 14. For further examples of contempt for the Sabbath and Jewish dietary practices by Greek and Roman authors, see Daniel, J. L., ‘Anti-Semitism in the Hellenistic-Roman Period’, JBL 98 (1979) 45–65, at 54–6Google Scholar.

62 Tacitus, Hist. 5.4 (Moore, LCL).

63 Tacitus, Hist. 5.5 (Moore, LCL).

64 Juvenal, Sat. 14.96–106 (Braund, LCL). The remarks elided in the quote above concern the immateriality of the Jewish God and the practice of circumcision and express a complaint that the Jews revere the Mosaic law while despising Roman law. Horace (Sat. 1.9.68–73) contains another example where Jewish Sabbath observance is played on to humorous effect. Reasoner cites this passage as an example where a party uses the term ‘weak’ (infirmior) as a self-appellation (Reasoner, Strong, 53–4), but neglects the fact that in context the term is employed tongue-in-cheek, which does not rob it of negative connotations.

65 E.g. Fitzmyer, Romans, 703; Moo, Romans, 884.

66 On the honour/shame dynamics at work in the Psalm, see Grund, A., ‘“Schmähungen der dich Schmähenden sind auf mich gefallen”: Kulturanthropologische und sozialpsychologische Aspekte von Ehre und Scham in Ps 69’, EvTh 72 (2012) 174–93, esp. 188–92Google Scholar.

67 So Tate, M. E., Psalms 51–100 (WBC 20; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990) 196Google Scholar; similarly Grund, ‘“Schmähungen”’, 182, 192. Though I agree with Scott that Paul probably has Ps 68.10a (ὁ ζῆλος τοῦ οἴκου σου κατέφαγέν με) in mind when citing v. 10b, I question whether such metalepsis was necessary for the ‘powerful’ to grasp Paul's stress that allegiance to God's household requires sharing in the shame of others in that household (Scott, Hermeneutics, 81). My argument instead highlights the ways in which Paul's rhetoric in 14.1–15.6 has prepared the audience for this conclusion.

68 Similarly Böhm, Rezeption, 189. Though πρὸς οἰκοδομήν is often understood to indicate edification (Fitzmyer, Romans, 702), Paul also uses the term for the church as God's building (1 Cor 3.9). The sense here focuses on the unity of the church as a collective whole (Moo, Romans, 883).

69 Throughout Romans 14 the referent of κύριος remains difficult to distinguish between God and Christ, which serves to indicate that in Paul's mind God and Christ closely align (Moo, Romans, 856 n. 524; contra Dunn, Romans 9–16, 803, who argues that Christ is subordinate in these verses).

70 Contra Hafemann, ‘Eschatology’, 165. Hafemann neglects that the psalmist and Christ both suffer because of their obedience and desire to please God, and he overlooks that reproaches borne by the ‘powerful’ also come from those in opposition to God.

71 E.g. Cranfield, Romans, ii.733; Thompson, Clothed, 223; Böhm, Rezeption, 192.

72 Pace Wilckens, who stresses that βαστάζειν should be rendered with tragen, not ertragen or aushalten, but then links βαστάζειν to entlasten (Wilckens, Römer 12–16, iii.101).

73 Contra Kujanpää, Rhetorical Functions, 276, the term does not indicate ‘transference’ in this context. Although βαστάζειν in the context of Christian unity can be associated with ἀνέχω (‘enduring’/‘putting up with’) – see Ign. Pol. 1.2 – here, due to the presence of ἀσθένημα, most modern commentators agree that βαστάζειν connotes ‘carry, bear’ instead of mere toleration (e.g. Wilckens, Römer 12–16, iii.101). See discussion in Jewett, Romans, 877–8. In the context of shared community meals, such bearing does seem to require the ‘powerful’ to adopt the dietary practices of the ‘powerless’, at least for the meal's duration (pace Moo, Romans, 882).

74 Tobin, Paul's Rhetoric, 409.

75 Pace Kujanpää, Rhetorical Functions, 276, the citation does more than demonstrate Paul's rhetorical skill or add ‘eloquence’ to his argument. Rather, because the citation's content correlates precisely to the very issue Paul is addressing, it serves a vital rhetorical function in clarifying what it means for the ‘powerful’ to not please themselves as Christ did not please himself.

76 A unified, smoothly operating domus bolstered the paterfamilias’ status, and the public nature of honour in Roman society means that slaves could enhance or detract from the master's honour (Cooper, K., ‘Closely Watched Households: Visibility, Exposure and Private Power in the Roman Domus’, Past & Present 197 (2007) 3–33, at 8CrossRefGoogle Scholar). Paul exhorts the ‘powerful’ to express devotion to their master (God) by prioritising his household's unity.

77 Similarly Scott, Hermeneutics, 82.

78 See Koch, Schrift, 327–8 on the Gegenwartsbezogenheit of Scripture's address and the connection to eschatological hope.

79 Similarly Hafemann, ‘Eschatology’, 167. Pace Scott, who rightly highlights Paul's accent of Scripture's formational potential in 15.4 but neglects the way in which Paul's use of δῴη in 15.5 implies that one's ability to access ‘imitation's formative result’ requires divine agency (Scott, Hermeneutics, 91, also 86–9, 92). Additionally, ἀλλήλων in 15.5 broadens Paul's focus so that the goal of unified worship in 15.6 encompasses both parties.

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