Explain your understanding of Rom 5:1-6. What is the connection in Paul's thinking between suffering and hope?
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Rom 5:1-6 presents the theme of a confident hope and peace through suffering. The text starts with "therefore" = "oun" which is used to mark a transition to a new section. If before he spoke about justification by faith now he wants to show the effects of such justification: peace with God through Jesus. This peace does not mean "peace of mind or conscience about sins forgiven nor only in the negative sense of absence of war (Deut 20:12; 1 Sam 7:14; 1 Kgs 2:5; 5:26), but in the positive OT sense of shalom, the fullness of right relationship that is implied in justification itself and of all the other bounties that flow from it" (J.A. Fitzmyer, Romans, New York 1993, 395). It simply amounts to salvation. This is exactly the reason why one can boast in the midst of suffering. If before now boasting, for Paul, has had a negative meaning (2:17; 3:27; 4:2), now it takes up a new turn as it implies faith based on hope on living on an eschatological tone during the present life. Bear in mind that the boasting envelopes both the ...
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