Romans: An exercise in Jewish vocation

In my book, I argue that:

Paul and the Vocation of Israel: How Paul's Jewish Identity Informs his Apostolic Ministry, with Special Reference to Romans

the occasion and purpose of Paul’s letter to the Romans is bound up with the relationship between his apostolic ministry and his Jewish identity. Romans, in other words, is an exercise in Jewish vocation. (p. 16)

The connection between Paul’s missionary activity and the issue of Jew-Gentile relationships becomes more explicable, however, when we take into account Paul’s own self-presentation. It is not only the case that Paul is a preacher of a gospel with implications for Jew-Gentile relationships. Neither is it only the case that harmonious Jew-Gentile relationships have implications for Paul’s ability to preach the gospel. Rather, Paul’s own gospel ministry is itself an exercise in Jew-Gentile relationships. Paul proclaims a gospel that was promised in the Jewish Scriptures about a Jewish Messiah who has sent him to the Gentiles. Paul is both an Israelite and apostle to the Gentiles. Paul presents himself as an Israelite priest, administering the offering of the Gentiles. Paul’s gospel ministry proceeds from the Jewish capital Jerusalem into the rest of the world. Paul’s mission itself is thus a Jew-Gentile dynamic. It is not surprising, therefore, in a letter in which Paul calls his addressees to be partners in his gospel-preaching, to find him frequently addressing issues pertaining to Jew-Gentile interaction. (p. 17)

Windsor, Lionel J. Paul and the Vocation of Israel: How Paul’s Jewish Identity Informs his Apostolic Ministry, with Special Reference to Romans. BZNW 205. Berlin / Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2014. Pp. 16, 17.