Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Employing an architectural metaphor inspired by C. H. Dodd and utilizing methodology that draws from Richard B. Hays and Francis Watson, this dissertation presents a primary proposal and secondary sketch. The primary proposal is that both constitutively and rhetorically (through ironic, inferential, and indirect application), Ps 106(105) serves as the substructure for Paul's argumentation throughout Rom 1:18-2:11. Constitutively, Rom 1:18-32 (especially vv. 22-32) hinges on the triadic interplay between "they (ex)changed" and "God gave them over," an interplay that creates a sin-retribution sequence with an a-ba-ba-b pattern (vv. 22-23, 24-25, 26-27, 28-32). Both elements of this a-ba-ba-b pattern derive from Ps 106(105):20, 41a respectively. Rhetorically, Paul ironically applies the psalmic language of idolatrous "(ex)change" (cf. Ps 106[105]:20; Rom 1:23, 25, 26b) and God's subsequent "giving-over" (cf. Ps 106[105]:41a; Rom 1:24, 26a, 28) to Gentiles. Aiding this ironic application is that Paul has cast his argument in the mold of Hellenistic Jewish polemic against Gentile idolatry and immorality, with particular affinities to Wis 13-15. In Rom 2:1-4, however, Paul inferentially incorporates a hypocritical Jewish interlocutor into the preceding sin-retribution sequence through the charge of doing the "same," a charge that possesses hermeneutical warrant in light of Israel's sins recounted in Ps 106(105). This inferential incorporation then gives way to an indirect application of Ps 106(105):23a,d, by means of a multifaceted allusion to Deut 9-10 throughout the double-chiasm of Rom 2:5-11. The secondary sketch suggests that Paul's decision to construct Rom 1:18-2:11 on the substructure of Ps 106(105) reflects his exploitation of an intra-Jewish debate. This sketch has three parts. The first concerns general confusion about Jews and theriolatrous Egyptians, which makes the golden calf incident an especially sensitive subject. The second part traces the contours of a particular conversation concerning the differing understandings of Jewish identity in Wis 11-19 and Pss 105(104)-107(106). The third part re-reads Rom 1:18-2:11 and shows how assuming the existence of this debate explains both the broad sweep and specific form of Paul's argumentation.

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