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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Word Is Near You: A Study of Deuteronomy 30:12Ė14 in Paulís Letter to the Romans in a Jewish Context
Bekken, Per Jarle

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2007 pp. 294. $141.00

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fŁr die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der šlteren Kirche, 144

Description: The study deals with a difficult and much-debated text in Paulís Letter to the Romans, 9:30-10:21. The study in particular analyses Paulís use and interpretation of Deuteronomy 30:12-14 in Romans 10:4-17. Scholars have characterized Paulís exegesis here as idiosyncratic, fanciful, baffling, and arbitrary. By a comparison with Jewish writings near Paul in time, such as the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Baruch, the thesis is argued that Paulís treatment of Deuteronomy 30:12-14 can be located within Jewish exegetical method, expository structure, terminology as well as content and context. In comparison with Baruch and Philo, it has been shown that Paulís handling of Deuteronomy 30:12-14 can be placed within a Jewish context as to the way the biblical quotations are rendered. The thesis is substantiated that Paulís expository rendering of Deuteronomy 30:12-14 follows the method of exegetical paraphrase of a biblical quotation. So, in comparison with Baruch and Philo, Paulís interpretative rendering of Deuteronomy 30:12-14 falls within a form of exposition, in which words, phrases and sentences from the Old Testament quotation are either repeated or replaced by interpretative terms and supplemented with other qualifying terms. Thus, Paulís christological exposition of Deut 30:12-14 can be located within the method of exegetical paraphrase, with a parallel in Baruchís application of this OT Scripture to the personified ĎWisdomí.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Romans, Literature

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Review by J. R. Daniel Kirk
Published 6/26/2009
Citation: J. R. Daniel Kirk, review of Per Jarle Bekken, The Word Is Near You: A Study of Deuteronomy 30:12Ė14 in Paulís Letter to the Romans in a Jewish Context, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

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