Romans 3:9-20

1.    Read verses 9-19 and stop. How do you feel? What if that were all the word from God?

2.     Paul uses in these verses as many as ten quotations from the Old Testament, mostly from the Psalms. In our day, some would call this list of supporting texts, the “prooftext method.” Discuss how does Paul get away with it here, when Adventist text lists are less and less efficient, effective, or condoned.

3.    Notice the use of Isaiah 59:7-8. What would be the back-story of Isaiah as compared to the Psalms? Do you think Paul put the references in his original letter? Why or Why not?

4.     Scan the original context of each of Paul’s quotations to see if there in anything new or of note in those contexts. Do the quotations’ original contexts support Paul’s argument?

5.    Ponder the function of this passage in the outline of the letter. Look for images and echoes from the Old Testament. Look for similarities in Paul’s other letters. Look for echoes of Jesus. What questions arise for you out of the reading of this text? What did you learn that was new to you, or a new way of looking at something? What does this text tell you about God and about yourself? About humans in general?

Wilma’s Notes:
3:10-12    Psalm 14:1-3 (Genesis 6:12); 53:1-3 (2 Chronicles 15:2); Ecclesiastes 7:20 (1 Kings 8:46)
3:13        Psalm 5:9; 140:3
3:14        Psalm 10:7 (10:1-11)
3:15-17    Proverbs 1:16; Isaiah 59:7-8
3:18        Psalm 36:1 (Genesis 20:11)
3:20        Psalm 143:2