Romans 7: 14–25 and the problem of akrasia*: Dr A. Van den beld

Religious Studies 21 (4):495-515 (1985)
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Romans 7: 14 if. has traditionally been one of the most frequently discussed passages in the whole of the Pauline Corpus. Nevertheless, this pericope has attracted attention more because it is consistently regarded as a crucial part of Paul's theology, than because of its intrinsic exegetical problems. The main issue is whether the ‘split personality’ and the weakness of will should be regarded as essential to the life of the believing Christian; or, rather, as characteristic for those who are not ‘in Christ’ and therefore beyond the power of his Spirit. For the systematic theologian, the question of whether the first person singular in these verses should be understood in an autobiographical sense is a subordinate one. However this particular question is answered, we are still confronted by the main issue.



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