Judgment according to Works in the Epistle to the Romans
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This dissertation examines the meaning and function of the theme of judgment according to works in the epistle to the Romans. It may be summarized with two theses: First, in Romans 1:18-3:20, the judgment motif primarily functions to make a universal accusation of sin and guilt which lays the foundation for Paul's doctrine of justification by faith. Second, within the argument of Romans, justification by faith is an alternative, saving approach to the positive recompense of the final judgment. Two other functions of the motif are also identified in the letter. In Romans 3:1-8 the theme of judgment functions to make a defense of the righteousness of God. This passage also confirms my argument that judgment functions as an accusation against the Jewish people in 2:1-29, because it answers objections to that accusation. Finally, in Romans 14:1-23 the theme of judgment according to works functions to make an exhortation to the Christian community at Rome. In this passage Paul is confident that his Christian audience will stand at the judgment because of the saving work of God.