This commentary adopts a literary-rhetorical approach, viewing the letter as an instrument of persuasion designed to transform readers through a celebratory presentation of the Gospel. Reflecting upon the fate of Jews and Gentiles, Paul wins his audience to a vision of a God who always acts inclusively. The God who, in the person of Israel's Messiah (Jesus), has acted faithfully to include the Gentile peoples within the community of salvation, will not fail to see to the eventual inclusion of Israel as well. In the victory of grace displayed already in the risen humanity of Jesus, the original design of the Creator for human communities and for the world begins to come true.
The interpretation of Paul's letter to Rome has accompanied and stimulated the path of Christian theology down to today. Romans touches upon virtually all main issues of Christian theology, as well as presenting a rewarding introduction to Paul. Byrne facilitates full access to Paul and his Gospel through the letter, allowing Christians today to hear his voice as intelligibly and powerfully as it has spoken to past generations.
Brendan Byrne, SJ, is a professor of New Testament at Jesuit Theological College, within the United Faculty of Theology, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Romans (1996) in the Sacra Pagina series, Lifting the Burden: Reading Matthew's Gospel in the Church Today (2004), A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark's Gospel (2008), Life Abounding: A Reading of John’s Gospel (2014), and The Hospitality of God: A Reading of Luke's Gospel (2015), published by Liturgical Press.