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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Baptism and Cognition in Romans 6–8: Paul’s Ethics beyond ‘Indicative’ and ‘Imperative’
Siikavirta, Samuli

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015 pp. xiv + 214. €74.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2, 407

Description: Baptism, for Paul, is a christological event that he also uses in his ethical argument. The discussion of the relationship between Paul's theology and ethics has made use of the terms 'indicative' and 'imperative' since Wernle and Bultmann. As subsequent discussion has shown, these terms are problematic not only because of their rigidity and ambiguity. In this study, Samuli Siikavirta focuses on Romans 6–8, the key text for the interplay between Paul's theological and ethical material. He brings the discussion back to what he sees as central to this interaction: baptism and its cognition. Both elements are examined in their Jewish and Stoic settings. Death to sin, slavery to God, holiness and the indwelling of the Spirit are all seen as integral parts of the baptismal state that is deeply christological rather than symbolical. Paul's cognitive language is then viewed in light of his desire to remind his addressees of who and whose they are because of their baptism.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Romans, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches

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Review by Garwood B. Anderson
Published 12/27/2018
Citation: Garwood P. Anderson, review of Samuli Siikavirta, Baptism and Cognition in Romans 6–8: Paul’s Ethics beyond ‘Indicative’ and ‘Imperative’, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

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