NIB Romans Commentary Review

N. T. Wright, “The Letter to the Romans: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections.” Pages 393-770 in vol. 10 of The New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Edited by Leander E. Keck. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002. Pp. xviii + 1011. $70.00, cloth.
(Originally published in Westminster Theological Journal, 2003, Vol. 65, No. 2, 365-69)

N. T. Wright has created quite a stir in American evangelical circles. On the one hand, his work has been lauded as an academically competent defense of the historical integrity of the synoptic gospels; moreover, an earlier work on Paul’s theology, The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), was highly touted as a “theologically and exegetically insightful”, “covenantal analysis of Paul’s thought” by a reviewer in this journal (T. David Gordon, WTJ 56 [1994]). On the other hand, Wright has been condemned in no uncertain terms as an agitator of the faith, one whose soteriology represents a departure from “historic biblical orthodoxy”–and that, too, in a review article in this journal (Richard B. Gaffin, WTJ 62 [2000]). Those familiar at all with the scholars who wrote these widely diverging assessments of Wright’s work will immediately recognize that the debate over N. T. Wright is not one whose lines can be drawn based on commitment (or lack thereof) to the doctrinal standards laid out in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. As the debate rages on, it is hoped that Wright’s exposition of Romans, upon which so much of the Reformation soteriology has been built, will help to clarify the issues at hand…

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