Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Paul’s ‘Spirit of Adoption’ in Its Roman Imperial Context
Lewis, Robert Brian

London: Bloomsbury, 2016 pp. x + 222. $112.00

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 545


Description: Robert Lewis examines Paul's use of the phrase “Spirit of Adoption” in Romans 8:12-17 against the background of its Roman Imperial context in order to shed light on interpretation of Paul's Letter to the Romans. Whereas other scholars have explored what Paul may have meant when he uses the term “adoption” Lewis instead explores the reasons behind Paul's coupling of it with the term “spirit”. Having examined theories for a possible Jewish antecedent for Paul's use of this phrase, and found them less than persuasive, Lewis unlocks the data within the term's Roman Imperial context that significantly clarifies what Paul means when he uses the phrase “Spirit of adoption". Lewis shows that when Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, adoption had become a feature of Imperial succession. Roman religion gave a great deal of prominence to the Roman family spirit - the genius. The Emperor's genius became identified as a deity in Roman religion and its veneration was widespread in Rome as well as the provinces. When Romans 8.12-17 is read against this background, a very different kind of exegetical picture emerges.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Romans, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.


Email Address
SBL Password
 
  
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership


Review by James N. Hoke
Published 10/18/2018
Citation: James N. Hoke, review of Robert Brian Lewis, Paul’s ‘Spirit of Adoption’ in Its Roman Imperial Context, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us