Romans 7 and Christian Identity: A Study of the 'I' in Its Literary Context Book uri icon


  • From the Publisher

    In this book, Will N. Timmins provides a close rereading of Romans 7 within its literary-argumentative context and offers a fresh and compelling solution to the identity of the 'I' in this text. Challenging existing paradigms, which fail to provide both literary coherence and theological plausibility, he develops his own positive theory about the device. Along the way he also re-examines a number of key texts within the letter, which have hitherto not been given due weight within the scholarly discussion. This study offers a fresh and satisfying solution to one of the Bible's most notorious cruxes, and contributes to our understanding of the apostle Paul's thought. It will be of interest to all scholars and students within the fields of biblical studies and Christian theology.

    • Provides a new reading of the difficult crux of Romans 7, the identity of the speaking 'I', satisfies with a literary coherence and theological plausibility lacking in other readings
    • Reflects on the character of Christian existence in the mortal body, appealing to all readers interested in Pauline anthropology and eschatology
    • Offers close readings, with fresh exegetical insight, of a number of key passages in Paul's Epistle to the Romans

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Will N. Timmins has produced here one of the best close readings of Paul in recent years. Eschewing both standard interpretations and exegetical despair, this monograph provides an original approach to what is in danger of being regarded as an insoluble problem. In paying close attention to the place of the 'I' throughout Romans, Timmins shows how some leading interpretations have intractable difficulties, and points the way to a view which must surely be regarded as one of the strongest cases yet made for understanding Romans 7.'
    Simon Gathercole, University of Cambridge

    'Timmins' book is a bold and subtle reframing of Romans 7, which will be sure to reinvigorate discussion of this controversial text. He convincingly undermines the recently popular reading of the chapter as 'speech-in-character', and makes what is probably the strongest possible case for taking this chapter as a description of the ongoing 'anthropological condition' of Christian believers. Timmins draws an important distinction between believers' 'intrinsic' and 'extrinsic' conditions, and thus opens up a significant agenda for fresh discussion about Pauline anthropology. The exegetical acumen and clear argumentation of this book are a delight to read, and its thesis will provoke and stimulate exegetes and theologians for years to come.'
    John Barclay, Durham University

    '… Timmins's study deserves to be widely read. His argument advances a new and refreshing attempt to identify the speaker of Romans 7 as a Christian. Indeed, among current scholarship it is the finest study available for this position. Future studies of Romans 7 will need to engage this important contribution.'
    Jason Maston, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

publication date

  • December 2017

place of publication

  • Cambridge

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

  • 9781107197091


  • 170