Most of the Jesus-followers in Rome would have been familiar with socioeconomic hardship. Suffering was a daily reality either for themselves or for someone they knew. Many lived below or just above subsistence level. Some were slaves, homeless, or chronically sick. Followers of Christ might have experienced persecution because of their refusal to take part in the local religious festivals. Suffering is, of course, a significant theme in Romans 5:1-11 and 8:17, 18-39. Paul mentions various types of affliction many times in these texts. How might Paul's audience have understood them? In Suffering in Romans Siu Fung Wu argues that Paul speaks of the vocation of the Jesus-followers to participate in Christ's suffering, with the purpose that they may be glorified with him. Indeed, their identification with Christ's suffering is an integral part of God's project of transforming humanity and renewing creation. It is in their faithful suffering that Christ-followers participate in God's triumph over evil. This is counter-intuitive, because most people think that victory is won by power and strength.
Yet the children of God partake in his cosmic victory by their suffering, aided by the Spirit and the hope of glory.
Siu Fung Wu is Honorary Postdoctoral Associate at University of Divinity, Australia, and Adjunct Lecturer at Whitley College. He has an MPhil from Trinity College, University of Bristol, and a PhD from University of Divinity.
Foreword by Todd D. Still Preface Abbreviations 1 Aim and Approach of Study 2 Social Location of the Audience and Ancient Worldviews on Suffering 3 From Adamic Humanity to a New Humanity in Christ 4 The Work of Christ and the Eschatological Spirit 5 The Vocation to Participate in Christ's Suffering 6 Cosmic Renewal and the Purpose of Suffering 7 Participating in the Triumph of God 8 Overall Conclusion Appendix A: Key Greek Terms in Romans Appendix B: Additional Information Regarding the Social Location of the Audience in Rome Appendix C: The Meaning of ?????? in Rom 8:19-22 Appendix D: Parallels between Rom 8:18-30 and Jewish Literature Appendix E: Lists of Citations of Isaiah in Romans Appendix F: The Differences between the MT and LXX Texts of the Fourth Isaianic Servant Song Appendix G: Links between Rom 5:1-21 and the Fourth Servant Song Appendix H: Translations of Isa 50:8, 9 Bibliography Index of Ancient Sources Index of Subjects Index of Modern Authors