A creative collection of essays that introduces, critiques, and dialogues with Daniel Patte’s ground-breaking work Romans: Three Exegetical Interpretations and the History of Reception: Volume 1: Romans 1:1-32 (T&T Clark, 2018). Nine scholars from different cultural and methodological perspectives engage with Patte’s work, critique his methodology and ethic of interpretation, and develop alternative readings.
The first part introduces the format of Patte’s book and the three historical interpretations: forensic, covenantal, and realized-apocalyptic. Part two debates methodology and ethical responsibility. The third part focuses on Romans 1:16-18 and 1:26-27 and includes a Confucian Chinese reading and a call for joint biblical and social-science research on the role of Romans in current public policy debates. The final part includes a chapter on pedagogy regarding how Patte’s book can be used in the classroom. The final chapter is a powerful description by Patte himself of the various life experiences that shaped his reading of Romans. This book is a critical and communal conversation with Patte on the history of reception of Romans 1 and an example of the necessity of conversations among diverse interpreters that, as Patte says, “reflect the diversity of the modes of our human experience”.
Outside the field of biblical exegesis, it may seem strange that so much can be written on one single chapter of a biblical book. However, in churches and the ecumenical movement this mirrors daily experience. We share the Bible, interpretations differ. This can lead to conflict, but also to insights with implications for interreligious and cross-cultural settings. Daniel Patte has dedicated his work to the pluralism of readings. He has described the complex process of interpretation, engaging students and colleagues all over the globe. This book is an accessible resource for a wide audience to take part in the conversation. -- Cristina Grenholm, The University of Karlstad, Sweden How scholars interpret the Bible does matter! Our interpretations do bring life or death to people. Faced with such a heavy responsibility, Daniel Patte and his respondents foreground the effects of heritage and history of reception on interpretations, and make explicit the process of interpretation - namely, the textual-analytical, hermeneutical, and contextual choices that one privileges - so that we can become self-critical and avoid absolutizing any interpretation. Highlighting a Ricoeurean sense of "conflicts of interpretations," the chapters in this book insist on how critical biblical interpretations should embody loving God and loving others in people's concrete conditions of existence. -- Menghun Goh, Taiwan Graduate School of Theology, Taiwan Interpretation of scripture is serious work, as it has a real impact in the world beyond the faith communities that produce and receive those interpretations. For three decades, Daniel Patte has called on biblical interpreters to understand this ethical imperative in their interpretative choices. These scholars in turn take his interpretation seriously, by holding him to account for its potential effects. The breadth of perspectives they bring makes this book an excellent resource for those preparing to become responsible biblical interpreters, and for ministers who wish to gain insights into the developments in biblical studies in the decades since their formal theological education. -- Timothy B. Cargal, Assistant Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church, USA