Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor E.P. Sanders
The question of Paul's view of the nature of man has interested biblical scholars for the past 150 years. Of particular concern has been the degree to which Paul's heritage from Hebrew-speaking Judaism may have been altered by the admixture of Greek ideas. One of the passages used to measure this factor is Rom. 7:7-25, in which many anthropological terms and concepts appear. The presence of Hellenistic ideas in this passage has been both confidently affirmed and vigorously denied.
The present investigation attempts to resolve this question by a careful exegesis of the passage against the background of a comprehensive survey of the literature of Hebrew-speaking and Greek-speaking Judaism, particularly with respect to the nature of man and the origin and nature of sin. References of individual human destiny are included to the extent that they throw light on whether the immaterial part of man was seen to be distinct from the physical part.
The exegesis of Rom. 717-25 in this context shows that Paul does hold to a dualism of soul and body, or mind and flesh, at least in the passage in question. The opposition between the mind or "inner man" and the flesh or "members" is expressed as a war in which the "I" or subject is taken captive and can be delivered only through Christ.
No claim is made that an identical meaning is to be found in parallel passages using the same terminology or that Paul had a consistent scheme of the nature of man throughout his writings.
Milton, Albert Edward, "War in the Soul: Romans 7:7-25 in the Context of Palestinian and Alexandian Judaism" (1985). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1292.